Fernando’s message is followed by a time of Communion led by Austin Birkey.
Our message this week is brought by Fernando Marroquin and followed by a time of communion led by Austin Birkey. You are invited to join our LifeSpring family in taking communion together in your homes; we pray you will sense the Holy Spirit strengthening you as you unite with Him and with the rest of the body in taking the Lord’s Supper.
As we look forward to the celebration of Good Friday & Easter this week, we remind local LifeSpring members to submit your favorite scripture videos via video or voicemail this week! You can find instructions in this past Friday’s email and on our FaceBook page.
As I was reading from Genesis 6 and 7 to Mya this past week, something new struck me. In chapter 6, God tells Noah how frustrated He is with mankind and that he plans to destroy all living creatures on the earth. He instructs Noah to go make an ark in this size and manner. Noah obeyed and spent many years building the Ark. (I checked with Tom Kirk, and it seems likely that this construction project took in the range of 50 to 75 years. Check out https://answersingenesis.org/bible-timeline/how-long-did-it-take-for-noah-to-build-the-ark/ if you want more info on this from scripture.)
Several things in this first paragraph catch my eye. First, in Genesis 6:22 we see that Noah did everything just as God had commanded him. Here we see God establishing a principle of working in tandem with man to establish all of His Kingdom purposes on earth. God intended from early on to work with and thru man for all His purposes.
Second, I wonder what it was like for Noah to build the ark well away from a body of water. I’m sure Noah was the subject of ridicule, jokes, and cruel comments from others in the area as they watched Noah build this big boat in a spot where he couldn’t float it. I tried to imagine what kind of relationship Noah had to have with God in order to face mankind’s scorn for 50 to 75 years while building this boat. Would I had the backbone and drive to follow thru on what God said for that long? Do I believe in God’s promises to a point of doing things that no one thinks are smart or logical, for this long? Did Noah ever wonder if he was doing the right thing? I think Noah had many questions during this season of his life, and yet, he was obedient to what God said. He would have had to be confident he had heard God correctly. This could only have happened thru relationship with God—especially in a time and culture where no one honored God.
Third, when the ark was done, God says that in seven days he would send rain on the earth for forty days and nights (Gen. 7:4.) Why did God put the animals and Noah’s family in the Ark for seven days before the rains started? Was God helping the animals to grow comfortable in their new home, a home of darkness? Again, people probably stood outside the ark making comments about Noah being crazy. Yet Noah doesn’t appear to waiver. Do I have this kind of faith? Am I willing to go the distance with God? Do I hear God enough to make life decisions with confidence?
I hope these comments and questions help you in your walk with God. I’m amazed that all I’m doing is reading scripture to Mya, yet God brings new revelations to me as I read the scriptures. LifeSpring, be blessed today and in this week!
Love you lots,
How do we pray in this season of our lives?
We pray believing that God is our refuge, our source of help and our shield.
Here are three focus points to think about as you pray:
1) Be Prudent – “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.” (Proverbs 22:3 NIV) Ask the Lord to give you wisdom (practical steps/strategy) as to how to walk in this season.
2) Be Prayerful – Psalm 91:2 “I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Verbally declare aloud: “Lord, you are my refuge and I trust in You!”
3) Be Positive– Don’t focus on the negative thinking but meditate on those things that are life-giving! Psalm 1:2-3 tells us to be like the man who delights in His word and meditates on it day and night. When we do, we “will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.”
Church, let’s continue to pray!
Judy and Fernando Marroquin
Today’s theme word is “Decide”. What I decide today will influence my habit tomorrow. My habit tomorrow will shape my future destiny. So, today I can decide to partner with God with my resolve and God will partner with me with His help.
“My beloved ones, just like you’ve always listened to everything I’ve taught you in the past, I’m asking you now to keep following my instructions as though I were right there with you. Now you must continue to make this new life fully manifested as you live in the holy awe of God—which brings you trembling into his presence. God will continually revitalize you, implanting within you the passion to do what pleases him.” (Philippians 2:12-13 TPT)
Each day I get to choose to “make this new life fully manifested” in me. And, each day He is ready to meet me by “implanting the passion to do what pleases him”.
If we look at Mary, we see a person who made a different decision than her sister, Martha. Jesus honored that decision by saying:
“Mary has discovered the one thing most important by choosing to sit at my feet. She is undistracted, and I won’t take this privilege from her.” (Luke 10:42 TPT)
If I choose this one thing, what does He promise me?
- A focused life (undistracted)
- A permanent privilege of intimacy
- A revitalized life
- A passion to do what pleases Him
What will you choose to do today?
Day 12 of Reset refers to learning to Listen — “He who has ears to hear, let him hear” (Matthew 11:15.) As I read this portion, I became hungrier than ever to hear His voice. As I face uncertainties, I realize I need to hear His voice—especially His words of love for me and those I care about.
We need to learn to hear what the Lord is saying. As we hear from heaven, we act according to what He is saying. It’s very simple: I don’t change when I talk to God; things change when God talks to me. When I speak, nothing happens; but when God speaks, even the wind and waves obey Him. Therefore, we should be slow to speak and quick to listen. As we quiet our hearts, we learn to hear His voice.
Today, take a few moments to ask the Lord for a soft heart that responds to him in faith and obedience every time He speaks.
You can hear God’s voice every day. It happens in the simplest ways.
- Read the Word slowly.
- As you read, talk to God internally or aloud and make it an interactive visit with God.
- Take time to ask God questions and wait for Him to answer. He wants to speak to you.
4) Write down what God says to you.
“This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.” (Joshua 1:8)
“But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.” (Psalm 1:2)
If Satan has a strategy to defeat God, I wonder if it might include confusing God’s people as to who they are and why they are here? Might it include keeping people away from serious involvement with the Word of God? By keeping our relationship with God’s Word superficial and secondary, he prevents us from going deep with God. Someone has said the Adversary majors in three things: noise, hurry and crowds.
Each of these are opposed to and work against developing and maintaining the mind of Christ through studying and meditating on the Word. They’re designed to keep us out of the Word, which is so essential to our ability to avoid the delusions of Satan and the world system and to hear and respond to the call of God on our lives.
What does it mean to meditate? Meditation means “the act of focusing one’s thoughts: to ponder, think on, muse.” Meditation consists of reflective thinking or contemplation, usually on a specific subject, to discern its meaning or significance or a plan of action.
There are four objectives of meditation: Worship (Ps 27:4), Instruction (Ps 49:3), Motivation / Encouragement (Josh 1:7-8), and Transformation (Ps 4:4; 19:14; 119:15).
In this season, we can find life in time spent with God. Since our gatherings are few and far between, seek to find a special place with God. Mediate on His Word, worship, and be encouraged. 2 Tim 1:6 invites us to fan into flame the gift of God . . . for the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline!
In this season of fear, I commit to live in the presence of God. I invite you to join me in removing fear from our lives and replacing it with faith in God. Be blessed today.
Day 15 of Reset is titled simply, LOVE.
John 15:9,12 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love…This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”
“Prayer is all about love. Reduce prayer to its fundamental essence and you’re left with love. A prayer reset is to return to love.”
How did I never see or understand that prayer is all about love? And not the Hallmark Valentine kind of love, but love like a bride and groom on their wedding day; deep, intimate, rich and interactive love.
I have always understood prayer to be a conversation: talking & listening, thanking & requesting, praising & repenting. All of this is true—but focus all this now on our Father revealing how very much he loves us, and how completely He knows us. And, not only does He know me completely, but He loves me completely—every single day. On one level, I understand this; but honestly, I don’t think I have understood it enough. I imagine if I really understood the all-encompassing love of a perfect Father, I would behave differently—more like Jesus. It’s truly life-altering.
Pray with me:
God thank you for loving me. Please help me to understand more each day how wide and how deep your love for me is. I permit, desire and want your love to transform who I am, that I might love others also. Amen.
P.S. here is a song that is worth a listen too.
“Shelter in place” is a term we’re becoming accustomed to these days. Kevin shared helpful perspectives last weekend on his recorded video message to our church body. I’m adding my encouragement from my reading this morning in Psalm 27.
I often will read the Psalm associated with the daily date–in this case Ps. 27. Many of you will remember that Psalm 27:4 was the focal point of the first lesson in our Reset prayer journey related to desire, “One thing I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after—to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty (delightfulness) of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple.”
A couple of weeks ago I was in Ontario visiting my mother, who turns 91 in April. The news of the pandemic and the seriousness of taking action was filling the Canadian airwaves. (My travel across the border today would be difficult, if not impossible.) I wanted us to be able to share in God’s awareness and presence in the midst of all this before I left, and we turned to Ps. 91 –”You who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress.'” The whole Psalm is rich with God’s reassurance of His presence and protection.
So too is Ps. 27, reassuring us that, “He will hide me in shelter in the day of trouble; He will conceal me under the cover of his tent; He will set me high on a rock” (v.5.) He ends with having gained assurance through his prayer time and journaling, and says, “I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” He then passes that encouragement on to others, “Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” (vs. 13-14.)
I’ve gained some ground in my prayer life on our Reset journey, in waiting on the Lord. Still, it’s hard to break away from wanting to be busy, doing things, and focusing on future job possibilities. God understands, and He continues to extend the invitation to come into His protective presence, where there is fullness of joy (Ps. 16:11.)
How about “Shelter in Place” with a capital “P”? And let’s encourage one another while it is still called “today” (Heb. 3:13), all the while taking the necessary precautions to avoid receiving or passing on the virus.
Shalom to all,
Jim’s encouraging message is followed by a time of prayer led by Fernando & Judy Marroquin.