We all have at least one relationship in which we are struggling. It might even be multiple ones, but we all have at least one. What we are building our relationships on greatly determines the health of our relationships. Therefore … This is from the beginning of my sermon yesterday. As for my musings …
-I can’t talk/write about Sunday without first sharing about Saturday night. On Saturday evening we participated in another Community Concert of Prayer. This is the 7th one we have done in the past 9 months. We rotate them among 5 local churches and gather to prayer for our community and for revival in our community. The attendance was not great but the spirit was wonderful. Seeing, and hearing, people lifting their voices in prayer for the community is always encouraging. These times grew out of prayer times with 5 of us local pastors who have been meeting to pray together every other week for over 2 years. There are now 9 of us that pray together from 6 different denominations. I believe this should be the norm and I am excited to be a part of something that is changing our city.
-After the message at my 9:00 church I had a gentleman tell me that the Lord had been working on him all week about a plan for one of his relationships. But he did not know what the Lord wanted him to do. He said that during the sermon the Lord showed him that the message yesterday was the plan he was to use in this relationship. God is working.
-The sermon series I am currently preaching is “7 Building Blocks of Great Relationships”. Each week we are looking at one word to build on and what the Bible tells us about applying that word in our relationships. I am very encouraged after the first 2 weeks.
-The end of yesterday’s message and the call to action was to apply this formula to a struggling relationships. Make the relationship be “For God”. Then “Love Sincerely” and “Give Generously” of yourself to the other person and the relationship. Then the final step in the formula is to “Repeat Often”. Ask yourself “Who is this relationship for?” All of our relationships are to be for God. Then ask “Am I showing sincere love to this person?” Remembering to make sure that I am doing the work not just saying the words. Then asking “Am I being generous in what I give to this relationship?” Then lastly, “How often am I willing to repeat this formula for this relationship?”
-I felt a lot better about the flow of the sermon yesterday. In fact I believe it went better in the service than it did during my run through to the empty room early in the morning.
-The early morning, 5:30 to 6:30 am, prayer times on Mondays and Fridays are becoming wonderful times for me. There have been at least 3 of us and on some days 5 of us who came and prayed each time. One of our stated points of emphasis 2 years ago was that we must be become a people of prayer instead of just people who pray some. The special times that have been set aside for prayer have made a huge difference in those of us who have participated and you can draw a direct line from our prayers to the changed lives and growing numbers.
-One of the greatest things that has transpired in me is that I am loving my times of prayer. I must confess that there have been seasons in my life when I prayed but was not always loving my prayer times. My desire to pray is growing.
-In just over 8 weeks our kids and grandkids who are serving in Africa will be back in the states. Not that I am counting or anything.
-I am very excited to preach the next message in the series on relationships. The next message is on “Belief”. Do you believe in the other person? Belief in someone is a powerful thing.
-I am looking forward to Friday night as I have been asked to share the Invocation and Benediction at the graduation ceremony of a local Nursing College. Hopefully I don’t trip going to the podium or stumble over my words. These are college graduates after all. Wouldn’t my High School English teacher be surprised to hear what I have been asked to do?
What would your answers be to the questions I shared about relationships? Here’s hoping that you take the opportunity to apply the relationship formula with someone this week. Remember, you are not alone and you are being prayed for.
P.S. – The weather was mediocre again and attendance was very good. I am on a roll!