Fellowship with God

January 30, 2022

Fellowship With God 

1 John 1:5-7


  1. God is                                                                                                                  




  1. God is                                                         






  1. God is                                                         




1 John 1:5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.



“But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 3:13-14
God is working in amazing ways in you right now! I am truly excited! He is making you more and more like His Son. Romans 8:29 tells us that God created us to be like His son: “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son.”
I want to encourage you, even as you get up and prepare for the day, God is going to continue to work in and through you—keep moving forward. One day at a time! Encourage someone else along your path, knowing that God placed them there for a reason. Remember that what we might see as an inconvenience, God sees as an opportunity! Embrace it today!
Our word of focus today is “distraction”! I think it’s pretty amazing that of all of the words that the Lord wants us to FOCUS on, we are looking at DISTRACTION (those things that keep us from focusing)
How many of us create plans for the day? I do! Both of my hands are raised high! I am up writing early this morning, and I have a plan set out for things that I want to get done. I am fully aware of the fact that some of those things will not get done today because of distractions that I will encounter. Now, some of those distractions are Holy Distractions. They allow me the chance to rest, repent, be restored, and experience Christ on an entirely different level. Those are great distractions. But what about the other kind?
As I sit here writing, my mind has been wandering. My thoughts have been cluttered. My emotions have been all over the place. In just the short amount of time that I have been up, I have gone in and out of focusing on what God wants to do in and through me today several times. So, let’s define what a distraction is.
A distraction is “a thing that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else”. The word comes from the Latin dis-, “apart,” and trahere, “drag.” A distraction is something that drags you away from what you were doing. The implication is that this isn’t something that we willingly happens!
A distraction can be anything: a person walking in the room, a hunger pain, a clock ticking on the wall, a dog scratching his head, someone breathing heavy, “A squirrel”. A distraction is simply anything that pulls our eyes off of the goal or the person in front of us. In and of themselves, they are not bad things. They are simply tools that can force us to change course. One important fact to note about distractions is that they often times reveal what we love. Our attention or focus often settles in on what matters most to us.
Can you think of Biblical characters who were distracted?
1. Sampson— “After putting him to sleep on her lap, she called for someone to shave off the seven braids of his hair, and so began to subdue him.[c]And his strength left him.” Judges 16:19
2. David–In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.
2 Samuel 11:1
3. Eve—”When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked;” Genesis 3:6-7
4. Martha– But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.”
Luke 10:40
As believers in Christ, we experience distractions all of the time. Anything that might pull us away from our time with God, or seeking His purpose for our lives, or embracing the path He has for us is a distraction. Even right now, some of us are thinking about what we have to do when we finish reading the challenge this morning. We are wondering if this will be a short writing or a long one. We are even wondering what day we are in on this 40 day challenge (we are on day 32). Distractions happen all of the time and in so many ways.
The Bible tells us that distractions are a reality that we all face:
This I say for your own benefit; not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is appropriate and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.
1 Corinthians 7:35
In a world that is clearly filled with distractions, how do we respond? It’s as if we are conditioned to distractions, because they happen all of the time. There is no sense of developing a gift of focus or self-control (although self-control is part of the fruits of the spirit that we should be developing). Instead, there is the constant barrage of change and rethinking that has our mind on constant overload.
Distractions will impact us in three different ways:
1. It will attack our identity and force us to question who we are in Christ. This can lead to doubts and feelings of despair.
2. It will speed us up or slow us down. Our pace in life and in our relationship with Christ will be drastically impacted. We become impatient, either wanting things to happen sooner than God desires, or waiting longer than we should, and hesitating when He is leading us to move forward.
3. It will present you with an imitation. Remember that the devil is always trying to imitate God. This imitation might come as a new job, or relationship, or opportunity. So how can you tell if it’s an imitation? Remember, this distraction will always come with a compromise, like taking a job or being in a relationship that moves you farther away from God.
There are 2 things we can do to work through distractions:
1. Focus.
The Bible tell us in Prov. 4:25—” Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.”
Be intentional about everything that you do, from spending time in prayer to getting groceries at the store. Always keep Christ at the forefront.
2. Evaluate.
Earlier, I mentioned the concept of Holy Distractions. Those are distractions that God intentionally puts in our path. So, we have to wonder, how do you tell the difference? Here is the one question that I ask, when faced with understanding the distractions in front of me– “Is this distraction bringing me or someone near me right now, closer to Christ, or farther away?” If the answer to that is closer, then it is a Holy Distraction– EMBRACE it. If the answer is farther away, then come back to the vision God has given you and keep moving forward.
• Set aside some time to simply be in the presence of Christ again. Don’t be distracted by anything else. Focus on Him. Rest in Him. Trust in Him today and watch how He will work. Don’t put a time limit on this. Stay as long as He leads you to stay there. You are developing a sense of understanding and recognition about what He wants for you! I am proud of you! Keep going.
• Then, as you go about your day, when you feel distracted, decide if it is a Holy Distraction or not. Embrace the Holy distractions. Move on from the other distractions and keep your eyes focused on Christ. He is using you my friend! I know it! Ask Him to keep you focused on Him today!

What distractions do you have today that might hinder your walk with the Lord?

What can you do about them?


You Can’t Contain Him

“The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you.”

1 Kings 8:27


I want us to try and wrap our mind around that phrase right there—“You Can’t Contain Him”.  What does it mean?  How does it impact our view of Him?  How does it impact our view of everything going on around us?


God is so much bigger and better and stronger than we could ever imagine, and there is nothing in this world that can throw His plans off track!


Isaiah 60:20-22 state—


Your sun will never set again,
    and your moon will wane no more;
the Lord will be your everlasting light,
    and your days of sorrow will end.
21 Then all your people will be righteous
    and they will possess the land forever.
They are the shoot I have planted,
    the work of my hands,
    for the display of my splendor.
22 The least of you will become a thousand,
    the smallest a mighty nation.
I am the Lord;
    in its time I will do this swiftly.”


Restoration is coming!


Not too long ago, I had a friend share some great insight into how God can use us, and how He expects us to be the salt of the earth.  In Matthew 5:13, Jesus says, “You are the salt of the earth.”  My friend made the reference to saltiness by pointing out that our physical/literal saltiness occurs in the midst of our labor. How?  Well when we are exerting ourselves, we find ourselves sweating. Sweaty = Salty!


Physically, that makes sense, but what about spiritually, what does that look like? As believers,  our saltiness is shown in our obedience to Him; to be His hands and feet to the world around us, both physically and spiritually. 


I was biking along the trails around Belle Isle here in Richmond not too long ago.  I had been biking for about an hour.  That hour was intense, because I was trying to keep up with a group of bicyclists that is far better and more experienced at this than I am.  An hour of intense bike riding was all that I could take that afternoon.  When I finished up, I stopped and looked at how drenched in sweat I was.  Then, as it always does when I have an intense workout, thirst consumed me.  And there is only one way to quench that thirst—a nice ice cold bottle of water! 


As I sat by the river drinking the bottle of water that I had, the Lord brought two passages to my mind:


  • John 4:14 which says “whoever drinks of the water that I give will Never be thirsty again.”Now, follow me on this rabbit trail for just a second–In order to physically sweat (be salty) we need literal water. In order to be the spiritual salt of the earth for the Lord we need His living water flowing through us. That seems to be an obvious truth, and something that we will all agree about.  However, the second verse was the one that hit me like a hammer. 


  • Jeremiah 2:13 states, “my  people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.”


There are two parts to this passage that can apply to our spiritual journey today:


  • First, we try so hard to do things on our own (“they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters,”.  We try to create water, or something that is very similar to water, but in the end, it’s not water.  I don’t care how you feel about Gatorade or Power Aid, or any other type of sports drink that might be available, nothing quenches that thirst like actual, physical, clean, cool, crisp water. That same reality exists with spiritual water.  We can’t settle for imitation Living Water.  We can’t settle for something that looks like it, but really isn’t it.  No matter how beautifully packaged the imitation might be, anything less than the Living Water of Jesus will NEVER satisfy our soul. 


  • Second, we attempt to contain that power that comes from the Living Water, so that we might control it (“and hewed out cisters for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water”).  The Living Water was never meant to be contained.  It was meant to flow, but only in the manner that God wants it to–freely, for all people.  That is where true strength and peace will be found!


Remember, all that we do has to be done His way, for His purposes, for His glory. Let that living water flow! It brings life!




  • Today, spend time with the Lord, just Him alone. There is nothing else to do today but simply thank Him for what He is about to do.  You may not have a clue as to what that is, but He is using you.  You are going to see the lives of those you love drastically changed as God draws them closer to Himself; as God works in their lives.  You will see hardened hearts softened to the message of the Gospel. You will see those who have drifted away, begin to come back to the truths of His Word!  God is up to something amazing!  Continue to be obedient, and thank Him.  Thank Him!  Thank Him! Remember, the power flows from Him!



Who do you pray that God will greatly impact in your life right now?

Who desperately needs the saving grace of Jesus?


The End

The End

What do those words mean?  We see them as a movie or book comes to a close, but have we ever really stopped to understand what they imply?

It means that there is nothing else to expect. There is nothing else if we go farther. In fact, if means that we cannot go farther.

How does it make us feel?  To hear those words, what emotions run through our mind? 

Uncertainty, doubt, fear, confusion, hopelessness? 

All of those are emotions that can be deeply stirred when we recognize that we come to the end, but it all depends on what we are coming to the end of.  When we come to the end of a good book, we feel satisfaction.  When we come to the end of a scary movie, we feel relieved. When we come to the end of a semester of school, we feel the weight of many hours of study being removed from our shoulders.  When we come to the end of a work shift, we feel at peace.  When we come to the end of a relationship, we feel hurt.  When we come to the end of someone’s life, we feel heartache and pain. 

What about when we come to the end of ourselves?

We see an example of that with the prodigal son in Luke 15.  This young man left cocky and proud, ready to take on the world and conquer it.  But it wasn’t long until he realized that life was not always going to go the way that he thought it would.  There were hardships.  Some of them were brought on by his own decisions.  Some of them simply happened.  He would eventually find himself sleeping with the hogs, and finally recognizing that going back to his father and living as servant would be better than what he is doing right now–“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long distance away, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, `Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’ Luke 15:20-22


He came to THE END.  The end of his thoughts, his ideas, his plans, his purposes, his dreams, his visions, his hopes.  All of that came to an end, and he was willing to be a servant to his father. 

Some of us may see his hardships and poor decisions as failings, but I tend to the view them as a necessary release.  He needed to release everything that he claimed as his own, so that he could be used by the father.  He had to come to the end of himself.  Only then would he recognize the beauty of living in his father’s house.


The Lord mocks the mockers
    but is gracious to the humble.[c]

35 The wise inherit honor,
    but fools are put to shame!

Proverbs 3:34-35

To experience Christ, to live as Christ, we must come to the end of ourselves. We must reach that moment where everything we have ever known or done ceases to be the very central part of our existence. Instead our focus is now upon Him because He is all that we have left.  And He is all that we need. 

Luke 9:23 tells us that we are to take up our Cross and follow Christ daily.

Galatians 2:20 tells us that we have been crucified with Christ, so it is no longer us who live, but Christ who lives in us!

There is beauty in recognizing that we are powerless–“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  Matthew 5:3



Today, embrace the idea that you don’t need to fight against God.  You don’t need to fight against His plans.  You don’t need to prove yourself to Him.  You simply need to come to the end of yourself and allow Him to have complete control.

Sit in humility before the Lord, and embrace the grace, wisdom, and love that He offers.  You don’t need anything else—1 Peter 5:6-7, “ Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”



What do you have in your life right now that is keeping you from experiencing the peace of surrendering completely to Christ?