Nominal: Existing in name only, not real or actual; hence so small, slight,as to be hardly worth the name.  Quite a definition.  Can we dare allow His Spirit to probe our hearts as to what degree it may define our relationship with Him?  
     A.W. Tozer wrote, "I cannot understand how anyone can profess to be a follower and disciple of our Lord Jesus Christ and not be overwhelmed by His attributes."  We are overwhelmed by much in life.  To what extent are we overwhelmed by the beauty, majesty, and holiness of Him?  What is the degree of our awe and wonder?  I can still remember the time, many years ago, when the truth came to me that the closer I got to Christ, the more unworthy I was to be there.  I fear we know little of this awe, this wonder, and I believe too many of us are closer to the definition of "nominal" than we are to that of disciple.  There may be many who presently seek to define our lives, including ourselves. The only definition that matters however is His.  What is His definition of our relationship with Him today?  
     Yes, we each walk at our own pace with Him, but it is a pace that is set by Him, not us.  Oswald Chambers called it "walking in the stride of the Father."  Are we matching His stride?  Are we, as scripture says, "following hard after God."  The picture of that is to be so pressed into Him as to be indistinguishable from Him.  Is that you?  Is that me?
     Matthew 6:33 reads, "But strive (seek) first for the Kingdom of God and His righteousness....."  Eugene Peterson asks of us, "What evidence is there in your life that you seek first His Kingdom?"  What is the evidence?  That we go to church regularly? That we tithe, pray, go to Bible studies, listen to Christian music, engage in good works?  Paul said that we could do all of these, but if we were without love, an overwhelming, passionate love for Him, we were nothing more than empty gongs.  Psalm 42:1, "As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for You, O my God."  The nominal life thirsts for the things that are passing. The Christ centered life thirsts for Him....and in Him finds satisfaction for that thirst.  What are we really thirsting for today? Security, provision, protection, position?  We become obsessed with these. We are obsessed with these.  We become nominal pursuers of Him, and passionate pursuers of these.  Which, and who are we pursuing right now?
    Josh McDowell wrote a compelling book about the reality of Christ titled "Evidence That Demands A Verdict."  As to the reality of His consuming Presence in our lives,  what is the evidence?  What is the verdict?  In our lives, our relationships, our homes and families, and in our church fellowships, what is the evidence, and what is the verdict?  
Pastor O
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   May 2019   
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