Zion encourages personal devotion and prayer. These blogs are from the Pastor's devotion and prayer life. Our prayer is that these blogs encourage conversations and prayer life in your life and devotion to God's word. We would love to hear your feedback so please email us and share us your thoughts. God Bless. For additional blogs form Pastor Duren click on the BLOGS LINK. (The additional blogs will open in a new window.)
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Desire Worship

Desire Worship

 

“As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God.” (Psa 42:1 NLT-SE)

 

 

To love the Lord is to love worship. To love worship is to love to be in God’s presence. To be in God’s presence will lead one to totally adore him and worship him or shake and tremble in terror. To know God is to know he is good and to be in his presence is where you desire. To not know God is to not know the light and love darkness and fear his appearing. Christians who love the Lord are men and women waiting for his appearance and are excited to be in his presence in times of worship. 

 

Devoted followers of Christ desire God like a deer longs for streams of water. We are created for God’s glory and what better way to give God glory in worship. Worship is not limited to songs and corporate worship. Worship is shown in honoring your spouse, caring for your children being men and women of integrity at your place of employment and in community. Worship brings God honor. You should desire to bring God’s glory in your life each and everyday because of his great love for you and the change He made in you trough the cross of Jesus Christ. 

 

 

 

Samuel T. Duren, Pastor

Who Delivered Me

Who Delivered Me…

Faith in The Lord

 

“The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”” (1 Sam 17:37 NIV)

 

Counting victories in ones life should help one to see how The Lord has been involved in these triumphs. David recall how the Lord delivered him from the lion and the bear and the Lord will again defeat who is troubling his people. 

The reason why David had such faith in the Lord’s deliverance is because he has a covenant relationship with God. God has proven him self faithful in David’s life here early in his life and until the end. “I have been young and now I am old, Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken Or his descendants begging bread” (Psa 37:25 NAS95).

 

May you look at your life and the trials, troubles and things to come. Look to see that through them all God will deliver you. He is able to keep his word and every promise he has said. Trust in the Lord and follow him has he leads you through.

On The Spot

Reflections “Spot Light” Sermons

Text: 2 kings 5:1-16
You might not be a leper but you might have spots on you that you can't get rid of.  But do not let that stop you. Whatever you do, do it to the best of your ability do not let any handicap stop you from doing your best.  People can speak highly of you but you can let them know one more thing, " I have some spots, but I am an overcomer by the grace of God”.
 
However Leprosy is incurable by man just like sin is incurable by man. Only God can heal a sinner and deliver them. So when you are in the hand of God you are in God's spot, the right spot. No matter how far you slide or your issue as long as you are saved by his grace you are in God's spot, the right spot.  Because in that spot you can still be reached, healed and delivered, that is the right spot.  When you are in the right spot you can follow the right directions and go to the right house to the right master. This is the place you want to be, the right spot.
 
Now that you made it to the right spot you may be put “on the spot”. You may need to humble yourself and face issues in your life you have been denying for some time. It was not until the 7th time he was changed, for there are no shortcuts to God blessing you. You have to follow instructions. Naaman was not only cleared of his leprosy but also was delivered of his pride. Things God hates proverbs 6:16-19.  God removes from us what is not like him.  That is on the spot cleaning.
 

Make Disciples

I Am With You Always...
“Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19–20 NLT-SE).a
 
Jesus commission his disciples to go and make disciples, and he informs them that he will be with them saying, “I am with you always”.  Making disciples requires a disciple of Christ to teach another the commands of Jesus. Knowing Jesus is with them.
Knowing Jesus will be with them comforts the disciples that in making disciples they can do so in the authority of Jesus and in Christ’s presence.  This word of comfort in the commission helps to let the disciples know that in making other disciples Jesus will be part of this process. Therefore one can not make disciples with out Jesus. Also this says that Jesus will be with his disciples in the process. Therefore they are not alone. Knowing that Jesus is with us and will never leave us comfortless.
He will be with us in the process of making disciples. Jesus will be present in the process of one becoming a disciple. Jesus will be with you in your growing process to be his disciple.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
By: Samuel Duren
 
 
 

All In

 
“Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God.” (Romans 6:13 NLT-SE)
 
Present yourself as “instruments to do what is right for the glory of God”.  Then a life of righteousness would be reflected in every day life. Doing the work of the Lord is what makes one Holy and untied with Christ.
Do not be deceived by the pleasures of this world. They will only deceived you to become an instrument of evil and serving sin.Instead give yourself completely to God. You have new life through Jesus and should live in this new life and no longer in death.
 
Live each day with the understanding that Jesus died to give his follower everlasting life by his precious blood. “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20 NIV).
 
Being Christ disciple is being a instrument of righteousness that is being used by God for his awesome work. The work of a disciple is to do what pleases the teacher, Jesus Christ. Do what is right, do it for the glory of the Lord.

God of Compassion

Mic. 7:19 He will again have compassion on us;
    He will tread our iniquities under foot.
    Yes, You will cast all their sins
    Into the depths of the sea. (NASB)

God will have compassion on sinners because he desires to show mercy more than wrath. Compassion is God's sympathetic nature to specifically in this text toward sinners. The object of God’s compassion are his chosen called out people who he has revealed himself to and established covenant with. This heritage he has with the children of Israel is special and unique.

Now through Jesus we know of this same compassion God has for sinners and his forgiveness for sins.“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9 NIV). God’s compassion moves him to remove our shame and guilt when he forgives our sins. This compassion he shows us we can show to others when we forgive them. We should be able to, “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Colossians 3:13 NIV).

Have the Same Mind…

“Make my joy complete: be of the same mind. Having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind” (Phil 2:2 NRSV).

            The church is the body of Christ, which should be united with one purpose, one mind and one attitude. This mind should be the mind of Christ, which will give glory to the Lord.

         To have this same mind would require thinking outside of one self and looking out for the interest of others. Loving others as one loves one’s self and doing unto others as they would have them to do unto them. This demonstrates an attitude of living a life devoted to living for Christ and not being selfish. This will help one to have the same love and being on one accord looking to do what is best for the whole than what is best for self.

         Selfish living is not living for Christ. Christ calls us to deny our self and to pick up our cross so that we can follow him (see Matt 16:21-28). Surrendering ones life to the Lord will help one to put life in proper perspective. To realize that Jesus paid the price for our life to set us free from the bondage of sin so we can now live a life that is holy and pleasing unto him. This life involves loving our neighbor and doing what is right for them and serving them to glorify the Lord.

         This will lead to a life of one accord and having the same mind. Agreeing to what is truth and love what is pure and holy. This will promote living to serve the Lord with others with one mind and one heart.  This is having the same mind.

My Heart, My Reflection

“As in water face reflects face, So the heart of man reflects man.” (Proverbs 27:19 NAS95)

 

            What is in you heart will come out in words and in actions. Jesus uses parables to teach his disciples that he has called in the character that is needed to follow him in Luke 6.

 

“For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit.

44           “For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush.

45           “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart. [1]

 

Therefore what is in your heart will be evident in your life. The fruit of your labors and the words of your mouth reflect this. This is why the Psalmist wrote in Psalm 19:4, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.” This is after one has confessed known sins and asks God to seek his heart and to reveal his hidden faults before him. This is needed for as Jeremiah 17:9-10 shows us, “That the heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give each man according to his ways, according to the results of his deeds.”

This leads to ask then what can I do to strengthen my hearts condition? The answer is the obedience to God’s word. We need to be doers and not hearers only.  This will lead to seeing the good fruit in ones life and the words reflecting what is in ones heart. This should leads us to liking what we see. God’s word will help us to see what we may not like about ourselves and help us to see where we can grow and be better followers of Jesus Christ.

 

Reflection Questions:

1.    Where is my treasure? What is my treasure?

2.    How do others see me? Do I see myself this way?

3.    What sins and faults to do I need to bring before the Lord to repent?

 



[1] New American Standard Bible : 1995 Update (LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995), Lk 6:43–45. All scripture will be NASB unless noted differently.

Faint Not

“While I was fainting away, I remembered the LORD, And my prayer came to You, Into Your holy temple” (Jonah 2:7 NAS95).

 

            In times of strength it is good to know the Lord. When things are well it is good practice to know how to go to the Lord in prayer and seek his will. The saying you play how you practice is good to apply here. Everyday practice of a Christian’s life should involve crying out to the Lord and praying. 

 

            Jonah rejected the Lord and went after his own way. Isaiah says, “All of us like sheep have gone astray” (Isa. 53:6). The grace and the mercy of God move on his children’s behalf. God sees the darkness of our sin and the lost state we are in and he still desires to hear our cry. These desperate cries make into his holy temple into his presence. Jesus as out mediator presents our plea before the Lord and the Lord hears our cry.

 

The Lord is mighty to save. While we are weak and faint and all one has is a desperate cry. This cry does not fall on deaf ears or someone unable to respond to the call. God is able to respond and save all who call on the name of the Lord (Romans 10:13). 

 

Therefore remember how the Lord delivered you from your sin sickness and repent. Do not go back to that position of weakness you once were. Now walk in the newness and the strength that God gives you through Jesus Christ. All because of the Great love of Jesus Christ the Lord.

 

Turn To Me...

““Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; For I am God, and there is no other.” (Isa 45:22 NAS95)

    God will save all who call on His name. Turn to Me and be saved God tells Israel. Many problems in our life are from us turning away from God and seeking other things to make our life better. God alone is who brings true joy, peace and love. God has promised his people a land filled with milk and honey and free from trouble. God told them they would be the head and not the tail (Deut. 28:13).““The LORD will make you the head and not the tail, and you only will be above, and you will not be underneath, if you listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, which I charge you today, to observe them carefully, (Deut 28:13 NAS95).”
   
    They only needed to listen to the commandments of the Lord their God. They were to observe them carefully. God simply asked them to follow his instructions for their life. God created them to inhabit the earth (see Isa. 45:18) and he was willing to show them how to live in the land he has promised them. God’s promise is true and he will hold to his word.
   
    The issue is for us to hold on to his word as the Israelites were to hold on to his word. God’s word calls us to obedience and to serve a Holy God. He is Holy and desires for his people to be Holy as he is Holy. To be holy is to be in his presence and serving him with a sincere heart. We can only serve the Lord with pure hearts. A pure heart is a heart turned to God with repentance and humility.
   
    Turn now and face the Lord and let him lift you up from your broken part of your life. He is able to make you whole and you are only whole in him. Come who are troubled in life and find your rest in Him. In the Lord you can find your rest. Turn to the Lord and be saved. There is no other who can save you but the Lord.“[F]or “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED”” (Rom 10:13 NAS95).

 
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