Newsletter: February 10, 2016

Dear Church Family,

With Valentine’s Day upon us, let’s continue to think about the overflow of our love for God. Last week we talked about our need for a passion for God’s Word that we might know it—through reading, studying, meditating, memorizing, listening, and on and on—in order that we might cultivate our love for God. Today we will talk about the natural counterpart to God’s Word; namely, prayer.

Have you ever scanned the tables and booths while you sat in a restaurant? Some people are alone, some are with families, some are with a large group, and some are coupled up. While you can certainly see what I am about to talk about with families or groups, it is probably most telling between a couple. So there they are, sitting with just the two of them after their order has been taken, and there is silence. Neither looks at the other. There is no reaching across the table for a hand. There is just silence. Nowadays, the awkwardness of these moments is pacified with a smart-phone revealed by the tale-tell sign of a downward-looking, illuminated face. Naturally, there are times when nothing needs to be said and to be sure, silence is not always a bad thing. However, relationships will not thrive without communication.

Again, have you forgotten that God is a person? Do you remember that He is always with you and His Spirit is within you if you are trusting in Jesus? With that being said, do you ignore Him by not talking to Him? What does your communication with God say about the health of your relationship with Him? God speaks to His people through His word and applies His Word to our lives through His Spirit, so I am not here suggesting that you should be listening for voices or waiting for some mystical experience when you pray. I am also not implying that God needs our prayers or is lonely or anything like that.

Our prayers to God are for our benefit. As we offer up to God the situations and circumstances of our lives and of those around us, we are learning humility. We are forced to acknowledge our helplessness and dependence on God for everything—absolutely everything. And this is a wonderful thing to be reminded of because we are so prone to forget it and put ourselves in the place of God, a place where we perpetually flounder and fail because we are not God and should not want to be.

If you want to grow as a Christian, you must grow in your relationship with God. In order to grow in your relationship with God, you must grow in your communication with Him. God communicates with us through His Word and we communicate to Him through prayer. This is clearly not all there is to a thriving Christian life (e.g. obedience, faith, local church involvement, etc.), but these two are at the very heart of Christianity. We love ourselves and one another by loving the Lord with all that we are as we grow in our relationships with Him. So, let us stoke the fires of our love for God by talking with Him through our prayers to Him—you will not be disappointed.

Exodus 33:11; Ephesians 5:28-30; 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Gentry