|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “Great thoughts from great Christians”
Our Bible verse for today: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men … It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23; 24 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “Enjoy the continuous presence of God”
Over the last few days, we’ve been considering God’s call to us to encounter Him in deep and personal ways. Often, we will find a quiet place away from other people so we can be alone with Him. We also engage in extended times of prayer, meditation on Scripture, fasting, and other spiritual disciplines which help us to go deeper with God. While all of those are good things, and they are helpful in our efforts to create a deeper encounter with God, there is another way.
Nicholas Herman was a young man who lived in Paris in the 1600s. He was a poor peasant and a simple man with no special skills or abilities. But he did love the Lord and He had a strong desire to serve Him. So, he entered a Carmelite monastery, changed his name to Brother Lawrence, and spent the rest of his life working in the kitchen cooking, washing pots and pans, and serving the other monks by doing a variety of simple chores around the monastery.
What Brother Lawrence is remembered for, and became famous for even in his own day, was his unique ability to enter into deep and intimate fellowship with God even in the busyness of all his everyday activities. As he was cooking, cleaning, and going about his regular activities, he had an ongoing conversation with God about all of it. His relationship with God was so deep, so real, so natural, and so observable, that people from around France traveled to the monastery to learn from him. After he died, his lessons were compiled in a small book called “The Practice of the Presence of God”, which has never been out of print in more than 400 years. Here is some of what Lawrence taught:
“The time of business does not differ with me from the time of prayer; and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were on my knees … I have abandoned all particular forms of devotion, all prayer techniques. My only prayer practice is attention. I carry on a habitual, silent, and secret conversation with God that fills me with overwhelming joy.”
“It is not necessary to have great things to do. I turn my little omelet in the pan for the love of God … The most holy and important practice in the spiritual life is the presence of God – that is, every moment to take great pleasure that God is with you.”
Whatever it is you do today, do it for the Lord and do it with the Lord. He is there with you so talk to Him, and enjoy His presence.
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