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The Latter Rain: Celebrate Lent – Day 10

4 How can we sing the songs of the Lord     while in a foreign land? 5 If I forget you, Jerusalem,     may my right hand forget its skill. 6 May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth     if I do not remember you, if I do not consider Jerusalem     my highest joy.

Psalm 137:4-6

Do you have any hopes and dreams yet unrealized? I do. Sometimes I even dwell on them with an unhealthy attitude. If I am not careful my attitude starts to dwell on this life and all the comforts I do or do not have. That is why I love Lenten Fridays. Every Friday is a remembrance of Jesus giving His life on the cross, so that I may truly live. But, as long as my main focus is on this present world and all it’s affairs, I am not living life to the full…life such as Jesus died to give me.

On Fridays in Lent I like to turn my attention to the cross of Christ. All my hopes and dreams are realized in the cross, death, and resurrection of Jesus. No matter what happens in this world, as an apprentice of Jesus Christ, I am called to live as a citizen of the Heavenly Jerusalem and not this present dark world.

The early Christians knew this. They longed for the day when Jesus would reign in the new Jerusalem, not the one that was always being attacked by her enemies. The Old Testament children of Israel new very well what it was like to have peace and prosperity, only to lose it all to their enemies when they took the Kingdom for granted, and began to live as part of the fallen world around them.

“By faith he dwelt in the promised land as a stranger in a foreign country…For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” Hebrews 11:9-10

The life I really want to live…successful and safe, with a happy and blessed family, can only be found in relationship with Jesus Christ. When my focus is on Christ and keeping my service of Him first in life, then I am free to see everything through His eyes. I can see tough times as preparation for something better. I can see miracles in everyday circumstances. But most of all, I can see through the shadows of this world into the light of eternity.

Through the spiritual disciplines of prayer and fasting, I remember that this world really isn’t about me. I can learn to take my eyes off of my circumstances and focus them on my savior and His plan for my life. But it all begins with seeing the blessings in the rain. Rain can be refreshing or frustrating it depends on one’s outlook. God’s latter rain is always refreshing when we recognize that even sorrow and pain can be a blessing to help shape us into what He wants..

What is going on with you today? Are you focused so much on this life that you don’t see how what you are going through can prepare you for something better? It is not easy to have such a God-centered focus, but it is possible.

Let us not forget Jerusalem while we are living in Babylon. Let us pray, ‘Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven…’

Shalom,

Pastor Brad

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About Me

Brad at Pen and Page copy.jpg

Hi! Thanks for learning a little more about me and my journey.

I am an ordained presbyter in the Church of the Nazarene, and in my ministry, I work with churches and individuals from all denominations. I also currently serve as Pastor of The Udall Methodist Church, an independent church in Udall, Kansas, and Grandview UMC in Winfield, KS and as Care Coordinator for the Cozine Memorial Group.

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