Monday Morning Meditation 6-28-21

54When they heard these things, they became enraged and ground their teeth at Stephen. 55But filled with the Holy Spirit, he gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56“Look,” he said, “I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” 57But they covered their ears, and with a loud shout all rushed together against him. 58Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he died.  Acts 7:54-60

Throughout June I have been preaching on different visions in the scriptures.  We looked at two from the Old Testament (the Call of Isaiah and the Valley of the Dry Bones) as well as two from the New Testament (Peter’s vision on the rooftop and Paul’s conversion).  Each of these visions teach us more about God.  If you are interested in these sermons, you can click here for a link to our worship services.

Today’s scripture from Acts is a different kind of vision.  Stephen, as he is dying, sees Jesus standing at the right hand of God.  He has a death vision, or as I often put it, the veil between this world and the next is opened as Stephen enters into Heaven.

If you have stood by the bedside of someone dying, you may have seen this – they might be looking intently off in the distance, and even having conversations.  I have seen this many times, both in my role as Pastor and with family members.  While it is primarily a comfort to those about to pass, it is also a sign for us – that God continually walks with us and will guide us to the next life.

Jesus said “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am (John 14:2-3). This is a promise of comfort to us. 

As you journey through this week, know that God is with you.

Peace,

Pastor Bill

Link to Worship Services

Monday Morning Meditation 6-21-21

23Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 25When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astounded and said, “Then who can be saved?” 26But Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:23-26

For God all things are possible.  This was on a plaque hanging in our living room growing up which was a good reminder that no matter how difficult things were, God was with me, God would guide me through (as long as I allowed God to do this).

With God, all things are possible, even getting through difficult situations.

With God, all things are possible, even healing in our nation.

With God, all things are possible, even reconciliation between hostile people.

With God, all things are possible, even the church recovering from a pandemic.

With God, all things are possible (insert your situation here).

As you travel through this week, lift your burdens to God in prayer, remembering with God, all things are possible.

Peace,

Pastor Bill

Monday Morning Meditation 6-14-21

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

It was only a couple of days, yet it was restorative and healing.  Our brief time away also revealed how exhausting the past 15 months has been.  On Monday, right after lunch, we decided to take a little time to read or watch TV before going back to the beach.  Two hours later we awoke. 

Everyone needs to take time away from the rigors of life, time to refresh, time to rest and time to refocus.  It is hard to continually ride the wave of life without stopping to reflect, and as Jesus said, He will give rest.

The life of a follower of Jesus should not be so busy running around that we lose sight of Him, rather it should be filled with time of rest, time that He can tend to our spirit.

As you travel through this Summer, take time for rest and allow God to refresh you.

Peace,

Pastor Bill