Come Into My Circle

As I make intentional efforts to live in community, I recognize that relationships are born in the overlap of two circles. While each of us are self-contained individuals (circle) with personality, wants and desires, and hopefully fully developed boundaries that guard our individuality—we have the ability to invite people into those circles. It is where these two circles overlap that we experience relationship. We do not stop being us. And, we do not start being them.

 

That is the best analogy I can think of for the Trinity; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Each person of the Trinity is its own Person—but simultaneously and fully committed to relationship with one another—they are One in agreement and unity. There is Oneness in the Godhead to such an extent that there is One true God.

 

God made man in His image and likeness. He made him a triune (three in one) being—body, soul and spirit. Each of these is a distinctly different aspect of the same person, and each has an interdependent relationship with one another.

 

Then we find this intriguing passage in the ancient writings of Ecclesiastes chapter 4.

 

Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up. 11 Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken. NKJV

 

This scripture says that it is better for two to walk together than for one to walk alone—because two are better than one; where one is weak—they may draw from the strength that exists in the overlapping circle of the one that is strong. But then the verse goes on to say a threefold cord is not quickly broken. I believe this means that God wants us to create relationships by inviting other people into the overlap of our circle—then invite God into that same space. This creates meaningful, long lasting, and hard-to-break relationships.

 

Those that form this type of relationship—enjoy a level of intimacy, belonging, and community that few do. For more on this subject visit http://www.newcovenantchurch.com/resources/media/sermons/prepare-the-way-of-the-lord.html

 

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Breaking Bread

The third day after Jesus had been crucified; two of his disciples were walking on the road to Emmaus. As they were walking, Jesus suddenly appeared and joined their conversation. They did not recognize Jesus as they walked along. The scripture says that their eyes were restrained. Even though Jesus was alive and expounding on the scriptures, they did not recognize him—until—they invited Him home and He broke bread with them.

 

In the Middle East, meals can last for hours and usually involve guests. In America, we have lost the gathering and sharing aspect of eating, and simply eat to re-fuel and get back to what we were doing before we realized we were hungry.

 

My wife and I and our dear friends were recently invited to dinner by a woman we know well. At her home we laughed and shared some very intimate stuff. We discussed the particular foods and drinks we like. We discussed our families, and our jobs. We shared stories from the past, and things that had happened that day. Each of us exposed at least one burden we were working through. We just shared…

 

After dinner, the woman graciously showed us around her home. When we saw her antiques, pictures, and memories, we truly entered her world. She is fascinating and a real treasure. I have known this woman for years, but I now know her better after sharing a meal with her in her home.

 

Jesus made Himself known to His disciples by the breaking of bread. It worked two thousand years ago, and I think it still works today. I hope your now inspired to invite someone—old friend or new one—to break bread with soon. For more on this subject visit

http://www.newcovenantchurch.com/resources/media/sermons/holy-heartburn.html

 

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Fear No Evil

Since fear is an issue that most people on the planet deal with, I thought I would Google phobias and see if there was a list. Sure enough, “phobia” has a dedicated website listing all the unique and diverse fears that people have. The site that I saw categorized hundreds of distinct different phobias.

 

Fear is dangerous and crippling. It causes us to make bad decisions, steals our joy, our sleep (as we lay awake at night trying to figure a way around the thing that is intimidating us), and it can steal our dreams as we use our thought life to fantasize about how awful our fear could be realized.

 

The Bible says that we are to “fear the Lord”. That doesn’t mean that we cower with intimidation. It means to recognize and respect the might and magnitude of our God. I have found that the more you “fear the Lord” (respect His might and power), the less you will fear everything else. As we recognize His strength and power and submit to it in our lives, what is there to fear?

 

King David was a man after God’s own heart. He had an amazing respect for God. So, is it any wonder that he is the one to tell us that we are to fear no evil? Here is what he says in probably the most famous of all the Psalms:

 

Psalm 23: 1-6 A Psalm of David. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. 3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever. NKJV

 

To the level that you “fear the Lord” you will not fear other things. To the level that you fear any other thing, you will simultaneously diminish the amount you “fear the Lord”. May we all consider this decision, and chose wisely.

 

For more on this subject visit http://www.newcovenantchurch.com/resources/media/sermons/in-god-we-trust.html.

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