September 9, 2016
“And when you come before God, don’t turn that into a theatrical production either. All these people making a regular show out of their prayers, hoping for stardom! Do you think God sits in a box seat? Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.” Matthew 6:5-6 The Message
His life was the school. Jesus invited twelve men to enroll in his life and learn. He only asked them to “Follow” him. They went form weddings to demon-filled moments. They probably had not seen so many sick and diseased-filled people. They had no idea how much suffering happened because of sin. Jesus gave them a simple formula for living in a daily conversation with the Father: 55 words that cover every area of your life. Those 55 words have remained fresh for over 2000 years. We’re reminded: God is our Father .. heaven is home .. his kingdom rules .. he provides daily .. protects constantly .. forgives excessively .. and delivers from evil. And Jesus reminds you that all the Father is looking for today is for you to “simply and honestly” be yourself .. no one else .. in His presence. A WW1 tea-serving Scottish YMCA Chaplain once wrote that the one and only characteristic of a disciple was “a strong family likeness to Jesus”. It took the power of the cross to break up the suffocating choke-hold of lifeless words in you. It took the soul washing power of blood to transform wishes into living prayer. And it took a nail-scarred grave robber named Jesus to settle all the claims upon your life so you could learn to love the Lord with all your heart .. soul .. mind .. and strength. There are no school hours .. no scheduled classes .. and no breaks. His life is the method and message. No ones forcing you …. it only takes a moment ..
“As often as possible Jesus withdrew to out-of-the-way places for prayer.” Luke 5:16 The Message
Ken Chester: Grace-Gripped is sent to OUT-OF-THE-WAY PRAYERS following Jesus