Beloved Mt. Zion Family Members and Friends,
I greet you in the precious Name, Power, Blood and Love of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ! I do so excited about our new bi-weekly, “Reflecting on Spirit Together,” series that we are beginning right now in the month of October. What a spiritual growth journey this promises to be for us as a church family and beyond! You are invited and strongly encouraged to share these reflective readings and studies with others as we are prayerful that our collective sharing will lead us all to a deeper, more loving and intimate relationship with the Lord, one that will evidence itself in how we relate to, engage with and love and support one another.
So please, get your Bibles, journals, pens, highlighters, water, coffee, tea, comfy chair and clothes and whatever else you need to help you relax as much as possible as we together, in our own time and space, reflect on Spirit. Also, as we prayerfully participate in our bi-weekly reflections, including reading and meditating upon the suggested scriptures as well as others you are led to consider and incorporate, let’s share with one another the spiritual insights, discernments, nudges, inner growth as well as growing edges and revelations we get via the established email from which the reflections will be sent. In essence, share how the reflections are speaking to us personally and how they are helping us on our respective spiritual journeys and paths.
What is asked of us all is that whatever we share about our reflections, we do so with a genuine desire to grow closer to God; to become more Christ-like ourselves; and, to support the spiritual growth of others as we all grow as a church body and community. The prayer is that the sharings from our reflections will be God-led and Kingdom-intended. We especially want to hear from one another about how we do with the section called, “Bi-Weekly Actions”—actions we are being asked to sincerely take, with the Lord’s help, to deepen and grow spiritually. Also please know, if you opt not to publicly share your reflections by email or by any other means after reading and studying the bi-weekly reflection, you do not have to. Sharing is optional and completely voluntary. We do pray and hope, however, that you will want to share; that your reflections will create a Jeremiah moment within you such that you will proclaim his very words: “But if I say, ‘I will not mention His word or speak anymore in His name,’ His word is in my heart like a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot” (see Jeremiah 20:9).
Beloveds, I am honored to have this opportunity to connect, reflect and grow with you spiritually in this way and I thank our beloved Pastor, Rev. Dr. Valdes Snipes-Bennett, for her support and encouragement of this commitment to our collective growth as a church body and people. We only desire and pray for God’s best for us each and all, especially that we grow stronger and deeper in Christian fellowship with one another as we learn to live the two greatest commandments of love—love for God, love for ourselves and love for others! Amen? Amen!
Ready to Reflect on Spirit Together!
Rev. Dr. Janae Moore
Minister of Spiritual Growth & Healing
“Reflecting on Spirit Together”
Weeks of October 1-14, 2017
Rev. Dr. Janae Moore
Focus: “Being in Worldly Times like These”
Scripture: Acts 17:28a,c
For in [God] we live and move and have our being . . . for we are indeed His offspring [His children].
If we are not intentionally conscious and careful, we can so easily get plugged in to as well as conformed by worldly ways of living that we forget this eternal Truth that Peter is espousing about our existence in Acts 17:28: the eternal Truth that we all “live and move and have our [B]eing in God.” God is the Creator, and thus the foundation, for all existence, for nothing exists that God did not create to be (see Genesis 1; Psalm 24:1-2; John 1:13). Not only did God create all creation, God created all that He created to have His Spirit-nature so that His handiwork will reflect Him back as the Creator (see Job 12:7-10; Romans 1:20). In fact, for us as humans who are God’s ultimate creation, God did not only miraculously and amazingly create us in His own image and likeness (see Genesis 1:26-28; Psalm 139:13-16), God also extended to us, His children, His gift of freedom as well: the freedom to choose for whom and how we will be (see Matthew 6:24; Mark 8:34; Joshua 24:15). In other words, God has given us free will and it is how we exercise this God-bestowed free will that ultimately determines the quality of our existence, and most especially in worldly times like these (see Galatians 5:16-17). Although much of the world’s focus is on doing and having, to include doing whatever we believe we have to do to obtain power, privilege, prestige and possessions, God has created us, first and foremost, to just be and to just be in Him (see Matthew 6:33; Ephesians 5:1-2; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
In worldly times like these our Beings need a Savior—times when social conditions are worsening as capitalistic exploitations of the masses are heightening; times when historical racial divides and injustices are intentionally being stroked for the potential of yet another war that was never civil, but rather inhumane; times when political rhetoric is being ignorantly escalated from the highest position in the land, to the point of threatening world-wide annihilation with the ever growing possibility of nuclear war. Yes, in worldly times like these, beloveds, we need our Beings safely kept, protected and provided for by a Savior and that Savior is Jesus Christ.
It has always been for times like these that God, out of love for His world, sent Jesus in to the world to save our Beings from the death of sin. Thus, as we believe in Christ Jesus (see Romans 10:9-10), we will not perish, but rather, through Him, have the spiritual privilege and blessing of everlasting life (see John 3:16; John 1:12-13; John 5:24; Romans 12:1-2). For whom Jesus sets free is indeed set free to be the true Spirit-nature, the true image and likeness of God that God has created us to be (see John 8:36; Galatians 5:13). An ultimate question we are always faced with is: In worldly times like these, are we choosing to live, move and have our beings in unison with the will and way of God or are we allowing worldliness to cause us to go against t Him and thus too, against our very selves (see Romans 13:2)? Our very Beings depend on how we answer in both word and in deed. May we, both personally and as a church body, answer rightly for worldly times like these demand that we both remember and live, with the Lord’s help, the reassuring words of Jesus just prior to His ascension from earth to Heaven to be reunited with our Father:
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (see John 16:33).
Beloved Lord God, because it is seemingly so easy to be swayed and persuaded away from who we are in You, I pray for clarity and strength to guard the true Spirit-nature of my existence and that of others. I pray to have the spiritual audacity to reflect back who You are within me even when others around me are not committed to the same. I know we live in a country and culture that divisively and even deadly promote the ungodly principles of rugged individualism and survival of the fittest. However, it is my prayer that we will come to know and live the Truth of our commonality and unity as humans—humans who all and who only can live, move and have our Beings in You. I pray for the strengthening power of Christ Jesus to help me choose to use the free will You’ve graciously given me to still my Being before You, away from worldly busyness, so I can genuinely come to know and love You in spirit and in truth. I too pray that I truly desire the wonder-working power of Your Holy Spirit within me, cleansing and sanctifying me so I can know how to love my neighbors as You help me come to know how to love my Self. Help me, O Lord, to recognize and honor the sacred necessity of surrendering my Being unto You for Your will and purpose for my life as well as for Your good and glory. Help me to remember in worldly times like these that You have overcome the world so that I, as You strengthen me, can be of good cheer. I pray this prayer also for my church family, the Church Universal and for Your people everywhere. Amen.
This week, and next week as well, my Lord, I commit to being intentionally conscious and caring about how I am choosing to let my Self be. I commit to paying attention, O Lord, to how I am being wherever You bless me to go and with whomever You bless me to engage. I will look within rather than outwardly at others as I take responsibility for what I think, say and do as well as the why, when and how of my thoughts, words and actions. I will acknowledge when I fail to be loving and kind to others as well as to myself. I will ask for forgiveness as I need to and also ask for your help to create a clean heart and right mind within me so I can genuinely grow in to being Your image and likeness in the world.