06 September 2011

Messages from the Mountains

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good
news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim
salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” – Isaiah 52:7

I live amidst the mountains of Colorado. When I look at them I am always in awe of God’s majesty. I am also reminded that mountains were one of Jesus’ favorite places. He went to the mountainside to pray (Luke 6:12), and to appoint the twelve disciples and send them out to preach (Mark 3:14). In the Bible we also read about the mountains of Ararat - the place where the ark came to rest (Genesis 8:4), Mt. Sinai where Moses was given the tablets of stone - the Ten Commandments (Exodus 24), Mt. Zion (the mountain of the Lord), and the Mount of Olives where Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane.

God can deliver a sermon from any mountain He chooses. This past weekend God spoke to me from Walton’s Mountain. You might be laughing, but it’s true. Sunday I watched a “Walton’s marathon” and was caught up in stories about family values, watching out for your neighbor, living within your means, priorities, morals, responsibilities, encouragement, and simple faith. It was refreshing, a nice change from the crime series, and reality TV shows that are produced now-a-days.

Here are some thoughts that were inspired by Walton’s mountain:

#1 – Have you ever had a time when you felt you could not pray? Maybe you felt like there was no one listening? Sometimes we are only listening for God to give us the answers we want to hear. Many times those are the ONLY answers we are listening for, but God may be answering us in other ways – with answers we do not want to hear, or he may be asking us to wait... for answers spoken in His timing. It is in those times we need to be strong in our faith.

#2 – Have you ever felt like running away, like you’re looking for something but you don’t even know what you’ve lost? Are the problems and demands of everyday life closing in on you? Do you need space – room to breathe? We all need time for ourselves, time to refresh, time with God, time to do the things we enjoy - things that make us who we are.

#3 – Have you ever had to complete a huge project all by yourself? Did you grow weary or experience feelings of anger and self-pity? Whether it’s a family, a small group, a congregation, or a community working together we need to remember that many hands lighten the load.

#4 – Have you ever had to stand up for your family name, your race, or defend your religious beliefs ... or stood by someone else as they defended their rights, points of view, or beliefs? Would you be willing to suffer or die for what you believe is true? Would you have stood up for Jesus in biblical times, or denied Him three times like Peter?

Today I re-read the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1-12). Jesus taught about the goodness of living in the kingdom of God, the subjects that lived there, and the blessings of God’s people. The people of God’s kingdom were described as the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, peacemakers, and those who are persecuted because of righteousness. The blessings Jesus promised for the people of God’s kingdom were those of being comforted, inheriting the earth, shown mercy, seeing God, being called the children of God, and best of all, theirs would be the kingdom of heaven.

I think each of us can find a bit of ourselves in the descriptions of the people of God’s kingdom. And as God’s people, we enjoy His blessings here on earth tand look forward to the greatest fulfillment of His blessings in our eternal life.

Lessons from the mountains taught me two things ... first, God’s word is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. And second, the lessons from Walton’s mountain weren’t really that different from the teachings of Jesus.’  So, where will you hear God’s voice today?

Peace and Love, Donna Weaver

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given to you as well.” - Matthew 6:33

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