Archive | February 2014

One Thing I Ask…

Something to Contemplate:

I’m asking God for one thing, only one thing: To live with him in his house my whole life long.  I’ll contemplate his beauty; I’ll study at his feet.  That’s the only
quiet, secure place in a noisy world; The perfect getaway, far from the buzz of traffic.                                     
Psalms 27:4-5 (The Message)

One thing, that’s all David wanted.  He makes an impassioned plea to live with God in the house of God.  As I considered his request this morning I believe that David was desiring more than the physical location of the house of God, but rather was seeking to dwell, to live, to abide in the constant presence of God. 

The church, where I am as I write this, is a perfect place for a little quiet and serenity, but I can’t live here.  I am going to be leaving shortly, and I want to be in God’s presence wherever I have to travel.  Thankfully, God is present in my life wherever I am, and I can fellowship with Him, speak with Him, and trust in Him no matter my location. 

So, today I join David in pleading with God, “One thing I ask, Lord, to be with you wherever I am.” 

We’re Pilgrim on the Journey

Journey Journal of First Baptist Wallingford, VT – March 2014

We’re Pilgrims on the Journey

-Pastor Dave Bentley

      • We’re Pilgrims on the journey of the narrow road
      • And those who’ve gone before us line the way
      • Cheering on the faithful, encouraging the weary
      • Their lives a stirring testament to God’s sustaining grace. (S. Green)

The words of this song by Steve Green have inspired me through the years as I have traveled this road with Jesus. It has not been easy traveling. The roads are not smooth and trouble-free. But there are things that can assist us in the travel if we will remember them on the road.

FIRST, WE ARE NOT ALONE

Having made several long trips through my life I have occasionally found myself on desolate and lonely roads. Some of those late night rides I have felt like I was the only person on the highway. While I’m not a fan of heavy traffic, the feeling of loneliness can be disheartening.

In Green’s songs we note that he writes in the plural. He doesn’t’ say “I am a pilgrim on a journey.” Rather “We’re (there’s more than one of us) Pilgrims (plural).” Look around, we are not on the road alone. His song goes on to remind us that there are others who have blazed the trail before us who cheer us on.

The Message, a translation of the Bible that reads more like a story, offers the following glimpse into this truth:

Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!

                                                                 (Hebrews 12.1-3 The Message)

SECOND, WE HAVE A ROADMAP.

In Green’s song he says that we are pilgrims “on THE NARROW WAY.” This reminds us that God has ordained a path that we are to walk. The trail may not be identical for every traveler, but each step along the journey is intended to bring us closer to the Lord. Consider this message from the Psalmist:

If the LORD delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.

                                                                                            (Psalm 37.23-24 NIV)

I would rather have God tell me I will never stumble and fall, but having the promise that He will uphold me is encouraging. The condition is that I need to be walking the path He has established for me, and that means I need to take time to seek that path in prayer and devotion as I search the Scripture and become better acquainted with God and His purpose for me. This is the preparation for the trip as we consult the Road map.

FINALLY, WE HAVE EACH OTHER

I may joke at times, and there may be added stress occasionally, but I am honestly much happier traveling with my wife on long trips than by myself. If I happen to miss a turn she helps me correct my error, and she encourages me to make sure I’m getting good directions. I am accountable to her as we travel, and she helps me avoid pitfalls and problems.

As members of God’s family we are more than people who fill a pew. We have several key roles that we play in the lives of our church family.

  • We are cheerleaders, offering encouragement
  • We are leaders, offering direction
  • We are partners, offering cooperation
  • We are witnesses, offering testimony
  • We are mentors, offering wisdom

There are more, but you get the idea. As we travel this journey we need to remember that we were never intended to do this alone. So, find out who your traveling companions are and let them know you look forward to enjoying the journey with them. I look forward to enjoying the journey with you.