Zis-N-Zat From Pastor Asher

God is my conscience, Jesus lives in my heart… this blog is about what I see, what I think, what I do and how I serve God

5 Days until Peninsula – Delaware Annual Conference

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Praying without Ceasing – A Call for Seven Days of Prayer

We invite you to be in prayer for the people of God, as the children of the Creator come together glorify the Holy One. A gathering of God’s people is June 5-7, 2014. The Peninsula – Delaware Annual Conference convenes at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Princess Anne, Maryland.  Let us come together in preparation for our gathering, as we pray together for one another. Seven days of praying without ceasing, as we call on the Lord to: Heal God’s World: Physically and Spiritually.

Praying without Ceasing – A Call for Seven Days of Prayer

Rev. Scot McClymont – Dir. of Young People’s Ministry

Scripture: I just want to know this from you: Did you receive the Spirit by doing the works of the Law or by believing what you heard?  Are you so irrational? After you started with the Spirit, are you now finishing up with your own human effort?  Did you experience so much for nothing? I wonder if it really was for nothing.  So does the one providing you with the Spirit and working miracles among you do this by you doing the works of the Law or by you believing what you heard?  Galatians 3:2-5 (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

Reflection:

I cannot think of a single time since I started driving that I was pulled over by a police officer to let me know that I was doing a fantastic job following the law (speed limit).  Although many of us do follow the “rules of the road” we do not earn points against possible future infractions or build up storage of good stuff to outweigh the bad.  Do we receive anything for following the law?  Not really.  Following the law may keep us from jail, fines, tickets, or our picture plastered all over the news.

This continues to be a struggle for people of faith today as well as a struggle for 1st Century Christians.  James and Paul argued over this in their writings, especially in the Book Romans for Paul and James’ Epistle. Is it faith/belief that brings us to the saving grace of the Christ or is it an adherence to the Law and works that lead us on that journey of grace?  Paul asks the question, “Did you receive the Spirit by doing the works of the Law or by believing what you heard?”  In our Wesleyan faith and tradition we hold to understanding of Grace in three ways: Prevenient, Justifying, and Sanctifying.  What we see in Paul’s question is that the Spirit came before any good work that we have done.  The Spirit came and was wooing us into relationship with God and it was nothing that we did by our human efforts.  But Paul continues and asks if that after we receive the Spirit are we trying to finish up with our own human effort or by our own power?  We live in a world and a society that tells our people that if we want to achieve anything in life that it is entirely up to us…no one can do it for us…success only can come through a tireless work ethic that allows you to climb a corporate ladder that ultimately leaves many lonely and tired.  But in the Christian faith, if we humble ourselves at the feet of a Holy God, we realize that it was not by any effort (good work or adherence to the Law) that we can receive grace and the gift of the Holy Spirit.  A professor at Seminary once said this, “If you take the first step, and allow God to take the second step; by the time you get to the third step you will realize that it was God that took the first step for you.”

As we gather in prayer over these several days and we prepare for our Annual Conference where our theme is “Healing God’s World: Physically and Spiritually”, may we allow ourselves to be prepared by the Holy Spirit who still works miracles among us today.  Prepare your hearts and minds to view our Conference and our world through the lens of God’s Grace that is available to all people.

Prayer for the Day:  God I thank you for this day and in the days to come.  I ask that you would prepare my heart and mind for whatever you have for me.  Help me to see…allow me to hear…unclog my ears so I may truly listen…and allow me to speak in love…and we ask this through the Spirit who woos us, the Christ who saves us, and the God who loves us…Amen.

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