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Grace drew to my attention this week that Gungor will be coming to Cary in April! The show is Monday, 4/16 at 6pm. It's general admission, so we can all get our own tickets and then go together! They're only $15, so you really can't afford NOT to go...
I'm hoping lots of us can go and experience this wonderful evening of worship! These folks wrote many awesome tunes, including "Beautiful Things" and "We will Run to You." You don't want to miss it! Get your tickets here.
"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will return to you.
Deliver me from death, O God, God of my salvation,
and my tongue will sing aloud of your deliverance.
O LORD, open my lips, and my mouth shall show forth your praise.
For you have no delight in sacrifice;
were I to give a burnt offering, you would not be pleased.
The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise."
Sometimes we equate the discipline of confession with somberness and mourning of our sin. While the act of confession can be very difficult, even painful, we must remember the joy and freedom that comes with the forgiveness of our sins! Confession is essential in our journey to become closer with God. The more we keep from God (as if we could), the less we share our hearts with our Maker. Sometimes we don't know what to confess, and it's best for us to pray and ask for God to open our eyes to our sin.
The next time we sing "We Will Run," let these words of the Psalm wash over you. Let it be your genuine prayer-- that God might create clean hearts within us... that we might return to God.
If you were wondering what's coming next each week with our sermon series, wonder no more! Here's a breakdown of each week in the series.
~The Outward Disciplines~
January 1 -- Simplicity
January 8 -- Submission
January 15 -- Service
January 22 -- Solitude
~The Corporate Disciplines~
January 29 -- Worship
February 5 -- Celebration
February 12 -- Guidance
February 19 -- Confession
~The Inward Disciplines~
Febraury 26 -- Intro to Inward Journey
March 4 -- Fasting
March 11 -- Prayer
March 18 -- Study
March 25 -- Meditation
"Rejoice in the LORD always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The LORD is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Sometimes we have a hard time rejoicing... life seems to get in the way of that, we say. Let's look at Paul, though: he was imprisoned, despised by many, and suffered much for Christ. How is his story any different from ours? Can we rejoice in all things? I love the verses in this passage that follow the rejoicing bit: "The LORD is near." Perhaps at the times we feel least like rejoicing, we are forgetting the nearness of God. Right after that, Paul talks about praying and being thankful. Those practices are intimately woven with rejoicing! So when we feel unsettled by our troubles, we may remember that God will fill us with peace; we but need to ask for it. That peace will guard us when we are confronted by the hardness of this world. How can you celebrate this week?
"For this said the LORD God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength."
Jesus took this passage to heart, evenwhile he was in the throes of his ministry (and especially then!). Time after time, we see the Son of God withdrawing to a garden, retreating to a mountainside... it doesn't always last long, because the crowds find him, but it is enough to fill him with God's Spirit. We often find ourselves amidst our own crowds, but it's much more difficult to hide away than we'd like to think. Perhaps this evening, take time to be intentionally alone with God. Turn off the radio on your drive home, and reflect on what God's given you today. Close your computer for ten minutes, shut your eyes, and envision Jesus sitting right next to you. Perhaps you don't even need to say anything-- just enjoy His presence.
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