Posts Tagged ‘God’s presence’

  

“Suddenly…the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified…” (Luke‬ ‭2‬:‭9‬ NLT)

In 1984, Ray Stevens used comic storytelling to frame what occurs when a young adolescent boy catches a squirrel (while visiting his grandmother in Pascagoula, Mississippi), brings it into church, where several self-righteous members – all with sinful secrets to hide – are prominent members … and the squirrel breaks loose from a box the boy has kept it in. As the squirrel wreaks havoc, several members admit to their fellow congregation members their faults, and by song’s end they all make a vow to change! A squirrel-inspired revival! (Watch the video on YouTube! Hilarious!)

I grew up in church. I learned God’s word and worshipped with His people. But then one day, while visiting another church as a teenager, I experienced something different: His presence! I never knew such a thing existed! I saw and heard things that I didn’t understand, making it a little frightening. But just as quickly, I had a realization: If this is God, then it’s okay and is probably something to desire for. And so I did, and it has made all the difference in me. 

God doesn’t need a squirrel to draw you into His presence! What He looks for is a hungry heart. When He finds it, He reaches out with something real and tangible, which should be in every church. Come today and feel His presence for yourself! It will make all the difference! You are loved! 

The LORD is watching everywhere, keeping his eye on both the evil and the good.” (Proverbs‬ ‭15‬:‭3‬ NLT)

On April 18, 1924, Francis Leavy, a Chicago firefighter, was washing a large window at the department when he apparently had a premonition: He would die that day. And he did. The next day, as fellow officers were dealing with his death, they noticed a handprint on the window that Leavy had washed, which wasn’t there before. When it was washed again, the handprint, possibly Leavy’s own, remained. Not even chemicals removed it. The handprint remained a mystery until 1944, when the window was broken by a newspaper boy’s wild throw. 

Everyday, God gives us “handprints of His presence” to show us that He’s there and involved with us. It might be a random song, a glimpse of nature, or a call from a friend, but each moment is associated with a feeling, even a brief one, that everything’s going to be okay. Consider it for what it is, your Heavenly Father reminding you that He’s there with you!

As I watched the snow gently fall yesterday, I felt it. When I talked to a friend on the phone yesterday, I felt it. And today, I’ll look again for another “handprint”, knowing that my God loves me and wants me to know it. May you see it too! You are loved!

mike@poyenassemblyofgod.org

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O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water.” (Psalms‬ ‭63‬:‭1‬ NKJV)

According to Healthy Living Plus, America is a very dehydrated nation:
•75% of the population is chronically dehydrated.
•37% of the population has such a weak thirst mechanism that it is often mistaken for hunger.
•Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers, as well as clear up short-term memory loss, not to mention prevention of certain cancers!

Just as our bodies become dehydrated, so does our soul. We are made to be drawn to God, energized by His presence. That is why when we recognize our spiritual thirst, we gravitate to the places where we know we can find it. And the best place to do that should be at Church!

So as you come to Church today, come ready to find God because He’s looking for you. As much as you thirst for God, God does for you as well. He desires to have you near, to place in you every good thing He possesses. If water can prevent bodily destruction, how much more should we care for our soul needs! You are loved today! Come join us!

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Then I went into your sanctuary, O God, and I finally understood.” (Psalms 73:17 NLT)

In Hereford, TX, on 15th St., is the old First Assembly of God Church where my wife and I held our first Senior Pastor position. In the back of the sanctuary is a small balcony, could probably seat 40 people. No matter what I was going through, I could always go up there and feel God’s presence and hear His voice. Even years later during a visit, that place was still sacred to me.

The psalmist was questioning God in our text, wondering how evil people could seem to be blessed. His questioning made him despondent. But when he came into the sanctuary, the one place on earth you should REALLY feel God, he understood the real picture and was at peace again.

There are many things in life that are competing for your attention and most don’t bring peace. Come to church, the place where God dwells most potently among His people, and lay your questions and quandaries at His feet. Life and all of its complexities can be made much simpler by being in the intimate presence of Him who made life! You are loved today! Come join us!
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Are you seeking great things for yourself?” (Jeremiah 45:5 NLT)

Imelda Marcos, widow of the former dictatorial president of the Philippines, is known for many reasons, but none more than her hunger for money and shoes. Today, since returning from exile years ago, she serves as a politician in the Philippines, is the 3rd richest Filipino at $5 billion in net worth, and has a museum that houses her 3,000+ pairs of shoes. In a poverty-ridden nation, she lives in continued excess and extravagance.

In the Christ Life, we must gauge whether we are still desiring more stuff, or are we desiring to be a better person. Some do try to live for God simply to get things from Him, but that account will soon dry up. As much as God loves to bless us and meet our needs, He is more concerned about long-term spiritual health than our immediate desires. A telling sign would be our prayer time: do we spend it just being in His presence or always asking for things?

Learn the value of desiring God’s presence more than His presents! By hungering for the right things the right way, you can ensure that you’ll have both! Stuff will never satisfy, always being replaced with more, but the richness of a true spiritual life is limitless! You are loved today!

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