The Journey Thoughts

September 1, 2016

Have you ever done a self-examination prior to receiving communion?  We all
have a desire in our hearts to walk a walk of faith, yet while we live in
the world, we find that we will often move back into the rut of daily
living, which is living in the world.  Living by faith, the way of God's
will, takes a constant process of trust, and not being OF the world, but
just living IN the world.  We realize that throughout this journey we will
have some issues in our walk.  I have never met a believer yet, who did not
find themselves, at times, being deflected from the faith, by something in
the world.  It happens, and I believe it happened to Paul also.  As
dedicated as he was to the faith, and the commitment to live by the Spirit,
he still says that he does things that he didn't want to do, and did not do
things that he wanted to do.  He struggled with the pull of the world,
perhaps the way he used to live in comfort, compared to the times he was
pressed down, and hungry to the point of death.  Who knows, but we must
admit that we struggle with walking the walk of faith at times in our lives.
During these times, we recognize  the need to get back to our Lord, and our
walk in the Spirit, instead of the flesh.  I find a good time to review this
is prior to communion.  For communion helps me put things in perspective
once again, and helps me to realize why I am doing the things I am doing,
and helps me desire to do the things the Spirit within me prompts me to do.
We know that the Lord gave us the ordinance of Communion prior to going back
to the Father, and He gave us this for us to remember, and the act of
remembering is what brings us once again to the Throne of Grace.  Paul would
write to the Corinthians: "Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the
cup of the Lord in an unworthy way will be guilty of sin against the body
and blood of the Lord. So a man should examine himself; in this way he
should eat the bread and drink from the cup. For whoever eats and drinks
without recognizing the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself. This is
why many are sick and ill among you, and many have fallen asleep. If we were
properly evaluating ourselves, we would not be judged, but when we are
judged, we are disciplined by the Lord, so that we may not be condemned with
the world." 1 Corinthians 11:27-32  So we are to examine ourselves, and this
is a reflection on not only how we are living, but the very reason we take
communion to begin with.  Communion is a sacred ordinance, but within
itself, it cannot, by its very performance, make us right before the Lord.
We are to examine ourselves.  But what an excellent time, prior to
participating in Communion, to reflect, to ask for forgiveness, to right
wrongs, to rid ourselves of the things within us that hinder us from walking
the way God intended us to walk.  It's a time to let God create a clean
heart within each of us.  But I fear that many participate in communion,
because it has become another ritual to do that makes us feel good about
ourselves, to practice for the purpose of letting others within the
congregation know how righteous we are.  I wonder how many, who during
communion, struggle with something that needs to be corrected in their
lives, but are afraid to correct it prior  to communion because they don't
want to be seen as someone with issues.  We even let our young children take
it so that we can appear like a well-put together family, when our hearts
know that this is not the case.  Don't you think it is time to start
treating communion for what it is?  A time of remembering the Holiness of
the Lord, the time of getting back to the place where He is guiding us,
instead of us guiding ourselves.  It's time to once again make communion the
blessed time, that our Savior set it apart for, to help us remember who He
is, and why we serve Him.

Pastor Andy

Heavenly Father, would You help us get back to You with a clean heart and a
right spirit, Your Spirit.  I pray that we all will reflect today, our walk
and the reason we do the things we do. Help us Father, to reach out to You,
in our weakness, our failures, our frailty, and beg for You to once again
take Your right place within our hearts.  I pray for these who  need you
daily, and if Lord there is something within them and me that needs
cleansing, please do a makeover on us, so that we can become more like You.
I pray for:  My own heart, that You put a noise suppression from the world
on it, and let me only hear You. I pray for: Linda and her family that You
help them to find strength in You. I pray for Don, Lynn, Dwight, Sammi,
Todd, Tonia, Aiden, Liam, Jackie Ann, the Reed family, the Foster family,
Adrian, Tuly, Tyler, Kristen, Trevor, Terry's dad, Shelly's mom, Tim's mom,
Pam and her son, Julissa and her friend, Kelly and her son, Richard and his
father, Ben and family, Maria, Tyson, Wendy, Montella, Joyce, Betty, David,
Phyllis, Devon, Cindy, Barbara, Terri, Marliana, Loren, Cynthia, Bill,
Carolyn, Tracy, Abraham, Elijah, Japheth, Jeff, Laura, Mike, Megan, Matt,
Liz, Matt, Bethany, Carmello, Kaitlyn, Tim, Michelle, BJ, Ida, Isabel,
Angie, Kristen, Shane, Choy, Alex, Ken, Eric, Sandy, JV, Nada, Andrea, Alan,
Fisher, Shannon, Robert, Pat, Ryan, Barry, Johnny, Annette, Kim, Gary,
Gavin, Shawn, Robbie, Laurie, Gary, Heather, Codi, Ron, Ada, Deane, Bill,
Dan, Rheba, Pam, Mike, Austin, Harriet, Gus, Lisa, Alice, Dotty, Fred, Mike
S., James, Scott, April, Craig, Ben, Ramona, Betty, Hunter, Asher, Lynette,
Kathy, Jennifer, Patrick, Candace, Abe, Trent, Garret, Mayeaux, Ben, Jason,
Ashley, Marc, Macy, Jake, Bob.  I pray for Lisa. I pray Father, that You
please renew all of us today, and make our hearts like Yours. I ask this in
Jesus name. Amen

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