I thought I would begin this discussion with one of my spring pictures that I took yesterday. One of my neighbors has absolutely lovely flower gardens. I was taking some pictures from edge of his yard when he invited me into the yard, and then into the back yard where the myriad of color continued. I thought this most unusual daffodil was strikingly beautiful. So as we begin to work with some of the topics the Lord led last week-end at Conference, I thought I would share with you this lovely creation.
Conference Lessons Summary: Friday Evening Session
Most conference sessions (that I taught) began with a reading of John 17 either by the congregation or by my daughter (who also taught a session). I had given them a copy of the text, so all of us could read together. Normally I teach “word by word” through a given text. This time the Holy Spirit led me to topics within the text. One of those words was “Eternal”. I listed all the words that “popped” in my study in a post below. I found that even though I touched on all of them a bit, I took three main ones and let the others mold themselves around that one.
The first word was “Eternal.” We observed that our God is eternal in His very nature. He does not think in beginnings and ends, because He has neither. So His thoughts about us are eternal also. (Ephesians 1:4; Rev. 13:8) When we “create” something, it comes out of our person and will reveal our person in its structure. Years ago I did creative needlework, and if you look at my work closely, it will tell you quite a bit about me. Now when God created the visible, He was revealed in that creation. (Psalm 19 and Romans 1) So the created world and mankind was eternal in its origin — for that is what He is.
We know sin entered the scene and due to the willing exchange of that which was eternal for that which was passing, the entire creation fell into corruption (Romans 1). But of course we know our God was working all for His eternal plan. Jump forward many, many years and we have a “new Adam.” (Romans 5) The New Covenant is full of this understanding.
John 1:3-4 reads, “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men.” We know that our Lord Jesus was the creative agent of all that is seen. (John 1:1-3) Here also we are told of two creations: 1-in the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth through Jesus Christ — the one that was corrupted and finds its end in death; 2-the new life in Jesus Christ.
We brainstormed together in describing (with me writing it all down on the white-board) our Lord Jesus Christ. Then we work with the fact of the New Covenant and that we are in Him and therefore these items are about us in Him. (1 John 4:17b)
Our conclusions for this lesson was really the runway for the sessions to come. The grasping of the eternal fact of life in Jesus Christ and all its ramifications. I find we spend a lot of time in Christian circles, (writing, talking, teaching, preaching) trying to get our flesh to obey. In reality, I believe if we begin to absorb the truth of in Him, our flesh is no match for our Spirit. I believe that is what the Bible says. (Galatians 5:6)
There was much, much more to this lesson, including the understanding of the “new birth” makes us “bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh,” and the true meaning of the “adopted” passage in Ephesians. But this is just a summary for now. The total teaching was app. 1 hr. and 15 minutes.
I am experimenting with a video program for my MacBook. I would love to be able to video a short teaching for the blog. That would take the place of the podcast — would be a webcast instead and nicer and easier to do. Let’s see what we have.
After our time at Conference (summary posts to come soon) my daughter (Lauren) and I took several days away in the mountains (Adirondack) and thoroughly enjoyed our time of rest, relaxation and discovery. I have put a small video in of one of the creeks, just so you can enjoy a bit with us. The waterways were overflowing most places as the snow was melting in gallons with the warm weather.
We napped, ate, enjoyed the Lord’s beauty in our state, and just rested and rested. It was good for both of us. Tomorrow I hope to blog on some of our work at conference. I enjoyed the time thoroughly but it is good to be home and even good to be back in the office.
I am preparing for teaching three sessions at Psalm 19 Ministries’ Spring Conference this coming week-end, so my mind is totally focused that direction. Our theme is from John 10:10 where our Lord makes this statement, “I have come that they may have life and life abundantly.” The Lord has led me to John 17 for the time of our discoveries. As I pondered this section of Scripture I wrote down the concepts that came “at me” as I read. These are the words I wrote in answer to this question: “Just what are the characteristics of the life Jesus has given us?”
Inter-connectivity – Unity
Full of Glory
In only three sessions???? Well, the Lord is able, so we will work with them and allow Him. I am having a wonderful time with Him as these are developed. What an unfolding of this section of Scripture. I have never looked at it just this way before.
He truly leads us in wonderful pastures. I pray you have a blessed week-end. I know I am going to enjoy myself in our Lord. Wonderful Spirit-filled worship, allowing the unfolding of His Word, sweet remembrance communion time, and deep, precious fellowship (People from at least 8 different denominations will be present — wonderful)–don’t know of anything better. I will try to post some of the discoveries after the conference is completed. I will be on vacation with my daughter the first three days of the week, but after that I will try to post some of His leadings.
I am changing the title to “What is My Focus” simply because I think the other phrase does too much pointing of the finger at others and therefore basically dishonest. Whatever the Lord’s item of conviction in me probably is also in others, but one should not apply the thoughts to others, but to one’s own self.
My focus in my life makes all the difference. As I live and work and listen I am easily distracted from the single focus of the Lord Jesus Christ. I know the events in my life lately have tended to distract me. Even the joy (absolute joy) of my ministry going into our own meeting place has the potential to distract me from my primary call. Every good matter, and ever matter of circumstance that has little to do with anyone but me, still is potentially distracting from my call and purpose in Jesus.
Even my call and purpose can distract me. That seems like an odd thing, but it is true. I can get caught up in what “I” am to be doing and saying etc… so that my time with our Lord is consumed in talking about “me,” and ends up with no time for Him.
Health concerns, family concerns, ministry concerns, church concerns and on and on it goes. Now in my time with my Lord Jesus, He, of course, is very interested in all of this that is going on in my heart, but where is my focus. Is it in me, or are my prayers directed at finding out about Him and His heart? That is why the Word must always play a vital part in our prayer time. How can I spend time with Him and never concern myself with Him. Somehow I seem to manage — I bet you do to.
I know this is a lot of rambling, but I just wanted to write it out for myself and whoever might be reading. The Lord is to be our focus and gives us every power to allow that. I once again choose Him to be that focus of my moments and days. Everything else will fall into place when that is done.