Quiet Time: Thoughts And Reflections on Prayer And Matthew 9:38

Quiet Time

 

Pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest —Matthew 9:38

Everything with God’s work begins and ends with prayer. Why, you ask? Because I must be reminded that it is God’s work and Him working and not me, myself. Prayer is the key that opens the door for God to be active in the world around me. As mundane as it may seem, prayer is the powerful tool God uses to change the world. Through it, God changes me that I might be an agent of change for His name and glory.

Prayer may seem senseless and a waste of time, however, it is the best investment the time I have. When I pray I am investing in something eternal instead of ephemeral. Prayer brings heaven to earth. When I take the time to pray, I am aligning my thoughts with God’s thoughts and thus I am able to see things much differently as I get His mindset on life.

In prayer I am enabled to see the world as Christ sees it, with compassion. Payer doesn’t focus me as much on the needs around me as much as the singular need of each person who needs Christ. Prayer is truly about Jesus being realized as each person’s greatest need.

When Jesus told His disciples to pray that the laborers be sent out, His focus was on the prayer and not the work. When the harvest is ripe, the work is easy. The most special work I can do in the name of Christ is prayer, humble, unseen prayer. The Lord is the One who does the supernatural work in a heart. He is the One who prepares the seed, water the seed brings forth the fruit. I am to simply that God would send out workers to gather it up.

As I pray, God will do His marvelous work and bring His workers to collect His harvest. I have to place a greater focus on prayer as it is the greater work for me to be committed. It’s not about flitting around with much activity but rather being still and letting God be God (Psalm 46). When I am still in prayer, I can easily see the harvest God is sending me into and how I am to reap what field I am in.

George Lockhart

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Quiet Time: Thoughts And Reflections 1 John 2:2

Quiet Time

He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world —1 John 2:2

Jesus being my “propitiation” means that His sacrifice of Himself satisfied God’s anger and wrath of sin, thus opening the door for all to walk through into a relationship with God by faith in Christ alone.
As a missionary for Christ, this is to be the message preached, that the world can be saved through the death, burial and resurrection of Christ because He alone is what satisfies God’s wrath of sin. This gift of grace extends to all who believe. There is no limitation to whom can be saved because of what Christ has already done.

Jesus is not caught up in some battle for a nationalistic belief, personal preference, or racist bias. However, He is seeking that all would acknowledge Him in unwavering allegiance as the Lord of all because He is the Lamb of God who took away the sins, not just of my own, or a city, or nation but of the entire world. A missionary committed to the Lord is one who is devoted to that message being preached throughout the world.

As a follower of Jesus Christ, I cannot take on my own persuasion as to where to to whom the gospel is preached. Much like Jonah, some may have a tendency to hold onto prejudices and want to let people die apart from God’s love. Yet God sent His son to die and be the propitiation for the WHOLE world. It’s not about me preaching what I like or want to share. I must share TRUTH and the TRUTH is that God sent His son for everyone, not just the people I like.

George Lockhart

 

Quiet Time: Thoughts And Reflections

Quiet Time

Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ’All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations . . .’ —Matthew 28:18-19

The goal for anyone serving with a missionary mindset is the authority of Jesus Christ.  As Jesus departs, leaving His disciples with a powerful word, He says “Go”. But He doesn’t just say “Go” but “Make” also. Further He says “Teach” and the “Baptize”.  These elements demonstrate God’s rule in a person’s life. Are you going? Making disciples? Teaching? Baptizing? All of these things flow from a life that has Christ as the Authority.

This does’t mean that if you have never been out of the country that you are failing, however. What it means is that from where you are, you are living with this kind of philosophy. Jesus’ disciples never traveled to vast or various countries. But they did affect them all by the way they lived their lives!

When we spent time with Jesus Christ, we are changed and that change affects everything around us and everyone we encounter. When we bear the name of Christ, sharing in the fellowship of His sufferings, others easily see who the Authority in our lives is.

Going and making disciples of all nations doesn’t require us to go very far in our day and age. We have people coming from all nations to live among us. We have the access to all nations through the means of the Internet and Social Media. Making disciples is really about making ourselves available to God to be used in such a way.

God may select some to go far while others may go near. God is the one who orchestrates our comings and goings. God is not so much hung up on “where” we are as much as what we are doing wherever we are. Abiding in Christ is the way we discern and determine the direction Christ desires for us to travel and live. Walking with Jesus on a daily basis is the best way to ensure you end up going right where He wants you.

George Lockhart

Quiet Time: Thoughts And Reflections

Quiet Time

. . . present . . . your members as instruments of righteousness to God —Romans 6:13

I’m pretty much bankrupt on every level of life. It doesn’t matter what I work at or even master, my efforts are undeniably short of the perfection that’s needed to satisfy God. The scripture is clear when it says that all have sinned and come short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23) and I make several proofs of that each day. Try as I may to save myself, discipline myself, correct myself, adjusting my mind, thoughts, and way of living, I’ll never be able to completely perfect the life that God desires for me.

The grace and love of God is made manifest through the redeeming work of Jesus Christ on the cross, which completely satisfies God’s requirements for sin and miraculously saves me. I have to live in this reality. Remembering that it’s not about my accomplishments rather it is all Christ accomplished on the cross is what not only gets me through a day but through this life unto the next. What I have to do is to believe the right things. I have to not only take God at His Word but allow God’s Truth to sink deep down into my soul and radically change me.

My theme this year is LEGO, as in the building block. The idea is that in becoming the building that God desires, I have to Let Go and Let God. He is the Master Builder, after all. I cannot hold on to the plans that I have, nor try to construct my own set of blueprints. I cannot pour another foundation and try to build my life upon my own set of spiritual disciplines and “goodness”. Being “holy” through my own efforts leads to spiritual pride and is full of self-satisfaction.

However, being MADE holy is an entirely different thing. Christ is building upon His own foundation. He is tearing down, building up, and restoring things as He desires. He is making me holy as He is holy. Sure I work WITH God as He moves, quickens, convicts and teaches but it is all based on Christ and not my own sense of self-worthiness. I must be deconstructed and Christ reconstructed (John 3:30); there always has to be a letting go in order to take up.

God is constructing a dwelling place for Himself and it is within me. With this being the case, there is no room for any “self”. God wants full residency, not to just be a guest. He wants to have full say in the construction and remodel. All I need to do is comply and enjoy the delight of God in what He is building.

Jesus made an atonement for my sin and now He desires for me to live in complete obedience to His call. As I live out God’s leading in my life, I make the work of Christ evident in my own life. God is glorified in me when I completely obey Him. My obedience reveals my trust in His handiwork and ability to construct a home (life) within me because of the atonement of Christ alone. My efforts as swallowed up in His.

G.Lockhart

Quiet Time: Thoughts And Reflections

Quiet Time

Come to Me . . . —Matthew 11:28

Coming to Jesus requires a great deal of humility. Our pride gets in the way of many things and really coming to Christ is one of those. In fact, you will find out just how real you are by putting those words into practice. When Christ calls us, our flesh tends to employ every excuse possible. Coming to Christ is a very simple and humble thing yet one of the things that prevents us from coming is that very fact. We are looking for some grand “call” or movement from Heaven but all that comes is a simple call which says “come”.

When Christ calls you to come, something will happen inside of you. He will lead you through His Spirit. You will not come alone but with the Spirit who is teaching you and shaping you as you come. The Holy Spirit’s job is to prepare you to come. He searches out the depths of our hearts and brings to light those dark places that house the rebellion and sin which prevent us from coming to Christ. When He shines His illuminating conviction, He expects obedience. When we comply, we are enabled to come.

God doesn’t want us to come just because it’s good for us. In fact it’s the best! But God loves us so much He longs to be with us and He is calling out to us not just to meet our need but to engage in meaningful relationship as Creator and created. God is the Lover of our souls and He is calling us to give us what we desperately want: Himself.

G.Lockhart

Read My Utmost For His Highest

Quiet Time: Thoughts And Reflections

Quiet Time

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him —2 Corinthians 5:21

Sin isn’t just about doing the wrong things but having the wrong “being” within. What does that essentially mean? It’s not just being wrong but having the wrong nature controlling and residing within. That “wrong” nature acts and lives in defiance to God. This “sinful nature” is so not because of a list of actions done against against God but because it seeks to live independently of Him. Jesus died to redeem our sinful nature not simply pay for the many “sins” I’ve committed. He died for “sin”, He became “sin”, which is in my blood and nature but through His blood and nature, now redeemed.

It is easy to talk in the realm of things we can touch, see, and hear and we name those “sins”. Jesus however died for the nature of sin which no one but He can touch. I don’t become a Christian because I can deal with my sin but because Christ has dealt with it and deals with me. I am not made a saint of God because I have overcome sin but because Christ has overcome me. I am not made right with God because I have somehow managed to touch Him but quite the contrary, He has touched something with me no one else can ever touch; my sinful nature and turned it around!

When Jesus died on the cross, He did so for the entire human race making the world right with God once again. Everyone doesn’t experience this reality because they choose to live in a pseudo-reality. God’s work is done and everyone who chooses to ignore that continues to operate under a different system known as “law”.  God satisfied His Law through the grace-filled offering of Jesus Christ. Accepting the free gift of salvation is what activates the redemptive work within, changing a soul and allowing the full experience of God’s power and nature to operate within a life. Nothing aside from God’s grace, His redemptive expression, exhibited in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ can change a soul.

For more on this topic, read My Utmost For His Highest

Quiet Time: Thoughts And Reflections

Quiet Time

When it pleased God . . . to reveal His Son in me . . . —Galatians 1:15-16

We all possess a sinful nature that was passed down to us. It is innate and aside from being completely regenerated, there is no possible way for us to be holy. However, if Jesus is all that He says He is, then He was not only the conquerer of sin for the world but the One who is also able to eradicate and replace the sinful nature in me.  He is the One who makes me holy, not myself. I am not able to be Holy as He is apart from the nature of Christ within me.

When Jesus died His blood covered my sin and redemption was complete. When He ascended to Heaven, He promised the Holy Spirit to come and indwell every believer as a regenerator of the life I was meant to have. The Holy Spirit takes the teaching and word of God and crafts my new nature accordingly. Regeneration only happens through a submission to the Holy Spirit of God. There is nothing I do aside from accepting The Holy Spirit’s teaching.

As I realize my utter need apart from God, the Spirit of God comes alive within me and Christ begins to form within me. Christ infuses me with His Supernatural Life, not because I am strong but because I am desperately weak.

For more on this topic, read My Utmost For His Highest