Seeking God's Prescence
Sunday 27 January 2019
We thank Pastor James Bahn for the good news this week. Filled with energy and the Spirit, Pastor James builds on Pastor David Weng's concept of being good disciples from last week with a practical lesson on how we can work on this. Quoting Justin Whitmel Early "Habits form who we are, because habits are little liturgies of worship", Pastor James notes that the biggest changes we see in our lives come from the little habits we do every day. Developing a habit of seeking God's presence is a profoundly valuable and profitable thing to do in our journey of discipleship.
2 Timothy 3:14-17
14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Reading the Bible is a way to manifest the presence of God as the Holy Scriptures come from Him. God speaks to us through the words of the Bible and we profit by gaining insight into what is right (teaching), what to cut out from ourselves (rebuking), how to replace what is cut out (correcting) and how to do right (training in righteousness). As we make a daily habit out of reading the Bible and inviting into our lives the presence of God we can journey from Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:8) to Jesus (Hebrews 10:19-22). Developing this habit may not seem easy, but when we realise that "a day without the presence of God is a wasted day" then this struggle does not seem so hard. We desire to be in the presence of those we love, and so does the Lord desire to be present with us (Exodus 25:8).

Pastor James shares with us steps from Pastor Binh Nguyen to help implement our practice:

1. Gaze His goodness - Anticipate His presence, as you anticipate seeing your loved ones after separation. Slow down and spend two minutes preparing yourself through the art of thankfulness or simply reflect on God's goodness and grace so you are excited to encounter God.
2.Pray before reading – Ready your hearts to receive Him.
Some simple prayers points:
- Remind me this is your Word. Lord, speak to me through your Word
- Help me to enjoy this time and this text and not see it as religious chore
- Reveal yourself to me
3.Read the text – Pick a short passage and read it slowly, contemplatively so that the words sink in to your consciousness. Remember, this isn't a chore so don't rush. Try reading it three times. Some words may start to stand out. If nothing stands out, read it again (we are wrestling like Jacob).
4.Meditate – Be still and allow God to respond. A Relationship requires 2-way dialogue, a conversation, so wait on God to speak. As you develop your relationship with God, trust the relationship as you slow down and wait. Try praying "that word came up, why Lord? What are you trying to tell me?" Consider the context and theme of the passage.
5.Respond – Pray.
6.Live it out – Have faith that God's way is better than our way and enjoy the Christian walk.

We thank the Lord for Pastor James's message for showing us how wonderful it can be to have the presence of the Lord with us every day, not just on Sundays.

Author: Stan Williams
Photography: Sanjay Stephen Chelliah