The Discipline of Confession


It’s hard to be honest.  To speak of our own weaknesses  is against human nature.  We always want to protect ourselves and control what others think of us.

Honesty is another one of those character traits that just can’t become rare

Confession is being honest with God and others about our failures, fear, inadequacies, and even sin.

Our culture does not want to appear vulnerable or weak.  We care way too much what people think of us, and we even try and control their thought about us.  We want to impress others, to be loved, and in doing the things that require this to happen to we are not true to ourselves or to them.

We live in a world where secrets and shadows are the norm.  to be totally and honest with someone is a very special relationship.  Priceless I would say.

We have learned to be dishonest, because we are all judgmental, and we expose others weaknesses for our gain.  We are a dark bunch in that way.

Admitting fault is ever so difficult but a strong character link,  — It is tough to say “I did it”  “I was wrong”  “I can’t do that”  “I struggle with….”  This all admits weakness?  Maybe not, maybe this is admitting honesty which is humility, which is a godly attribute, the fruit of the Spirit, and an attribute of Christ.

When we practice confession as a discipline it shapes our heart, molds our spirit, and attracts Jesus.  Confession is coming clean with the truth with God and others.

There is some wisdom here from Solomon

He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.”  Proverbs 28.13

Confession is humility. and humility always attracts the Holy Spirit.

Unconfessed sin will harden our heart to sin, invite more and we may be in danger of straying away from the Lord.  Sin separates, plain and simple.  We have a promise and a wonderful invitation, to total forgiveness,

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.” (1 John 1:9–10, NASB95)

Go be free, confess, and enjoy the mercy and love of Jesus!

I made some space and listened.


This morning as I set on the patio, with my Bible, journal, prayer book. I did the few moments of silence, centering my groggy mind on the Lord, sipping some strong black coffee, and immediately sensed His special presence.  I encountered a “thin place”. A place where it seems my connection with the Lord became closer.  I enjoyed this time.  I sat a few minutes, sipping, thinking, and soaking in God’s love for me.  I did not hear this, but know in my spirit-nate that this is what the Holy Spirit was saying to me.  It was refreshing, and there was fullness of joy.

I read a few chapters in Romans, my psalms, prayed. People were on my mind and heart.  I read the Scriptures from my Prayer/devotional book. And these words jumped up from my heart.

“The LORD is my portion.”  Psalms 119.57

I thought and meditated on this.  I realized He is all I need.  I don’t need to get a million things done today. I don’t need to worry who will be affected if I don’t. I don’t need to purchase this or that.  The Lord is my portion. I am fulfilled and content.  I keep saying this in my mind. I said it out loud to myself and the Lord.  As I said it, the truth of it, ignited faith in my spirit.  Say it a few times out loud.

“The LORD is my portion.”  Psalms 119.57

“The LORD is my portion.”  Psalms 119.57

“The LORD is my portion.”  Psalms 119.57

Jesus is enough.

I’m so glad I made some room to listen this morning. portion

P. Nate Elarton

 

Making Room is Making Sacred Time


Making-RoomAs we started the series “Making Space” this weekend, we have begun a journey of the spiritual disciplines.  I shared on the spiritual disciplines, and the need for us to take focused time each day for prayer, worship, solitude, meditation, study, and wonderful fellowship with the Father.

“Giving God time is creating sacred space in our lives in which God can act.”

Some have asked me what I do.  I will give you today’s sacred time for me.

Monday is our Sabbath. After a full weekend with 3 services, preaching, talking, laughing, and serving, on Mondays I can be worn out spiritually. The Sabbath is not just a rest from work, but a rest from work in the Lord.  I need refilled and refreshed more than ever.  After the focused time with Father, I’ll take a walk with Wendy, maybe carve today, be with my dad, get some errands done, and I always try to have the mowing done so I don’t have to do that on Monday.

I awoke this morning, and am just finishing up some of my time. I came down the stairs, and as every morning Wendy was already in deep fellowship with the Lord.  I got my coffee (yes I have to have that) and went outside to our patio.   I will also take some sacred time and “make room” before the end of the day.  This morning I started with silence, coffee, and solitude.  I did some thinking. I heard the birds, the traffic, the silence, and then the Lord. I prayed the Lord’s Prayer, read and Prayed, though and about my “Daily Office”. I sat in silence, sipping my coffee, allowing my thoughts to be on God. I thanked him for the weekend, the provision of a new Family Life Pastor.  I said my confession of faith. I journaled a few simple thoughts and read Romans 1-5. I  I often paused my reading to reflect, to think, and to listen to the voice of my Father. I  journaled some prayers, prayed blessing upon my family, my kids, my week, our church.  I asked God to help me be a blessing. I prayed in my prayer language for a few minutes (tongues).

During my morning I always read more than the Bible.  I always have 4 or 5 books going at once, like my carving projects.  I am reading “Celebration of Discipline” again by Richard Foster. Finished the chapter on meditation.

It’s not complicated. It’s simple.  It’s the time priority that trips us up.  It’s not doing, it’s being with the Lord.  If we really take time, God will act deeply on our behalf, changing us, molding us, and spiritual shaping us.

The important point is taking time and making time.  We can always sleep a little longer, stay on our phones in the morning, turn the TV on right away to get our news “fix” or rush right on to all our tasks.  I am guilty of all of these things and have learned years ago that these will not add the value to myself, like time with the Living God.  During that time with Him, I find encouragement. I hear His voice about decisions. I ask Him about appointments during the day and often receive supernatural insight.  I reset in His fellowship and receive refreshing by His Spirit.  This time will help me keep my mind and thoughts on Christ during the day.  And if I do another short “Daily Office” during the day that will help even more.

My prayer and desire from Jesus and that we will make time to let Jesus by the power of His Spirit do His will in our lives, hearts, and souls.  From that will come change, from the inside out.                                         Praying for us all, Pastor Nate Elarton

Take some time to comment some of your thoughts about this.  thanks

Some Scripture that encourage

“My soul waits in silence for God only; From Him is my salvation (Psalm 62.1).

“Deep calls to deep (Psalm 42.7).

“In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there (Mark 1.35).

“Be still and know that I am God (Psalms 42.10).”

Year of Faith, Acts Faith


What a great few days of prayer and fasting.  So encouraged by this week at Compelled.  This week I was reading and meditating on some Psalms, but also on the Book of Acts.

Acts is an amazing, historical account, written by Luke, of the early church. One cannot read it and not be amazed at the growth of the church, the boldness of the disciples, the amount of miracles, and the level of commitment believer’s had.

Many want an Acts church today and wonder why we don’t have the same results?  I have been pondering this and have come to some conclusions and then some conclusions on my conclusions.

  • I wonder if we are as committed to Christ and His work as the Acts Church?
  • I wonder if we value being full, baptized, and led by the Spirit of God like they were?
  • I wonder if we don’t want to avoid offending people, or the persecution and opinion of us that would follow, if we are bold and courageous like the Acts Church?
  • I wonder if we intentionally build our faith daily like they did. They took time to pray, listen to apostles teach, be with believer’s learn the Scriptures.  They took the time needed to have great faith?

My conclusions to my conclusions

  • We need to evaluate our true level of commitment to living for Christ, not just believing.
  • We need to be baptized and filled with the Spirit of God, thus having the boldness and power to speak for Christ.
  • We need to take time to grow our faith. We (also me)  have time for Netflix, facebook, IPad games, sucked into fake news and every dumb share on social media, etc, but most believer’s don’t invest daily time to read, grow, listen, spend time with Christ.
  • We need a hunger. A deep hunger in our spirits for more of the Lord in our lives.  It so encouraging to see people hungry for Jesus this week.
  • I believe we are supposed to be the Acts Church.  I don’t think it was the will of God that the church and believers today be so different from then.

Your thoughts?

Pastor Nate Elarton, follower of Jesus

We are invited to receive revelation from our mysterious God.


Paul says to the believers in Colossians 1.9 that he is praying for them.  He reveals his specific prayer. He prays that they would “be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.”  This is the will of God for us.  Are we “filled” with the knowledge of His will. Sometimes I have to confess my will gets mixed up with his will.  His will comes in our lives but having spiritual wisdom and spiritual understanding.

This takes  effort on our part.  We are taught that pursing Christ does take some effort.  There is a lot we don’t know about God.  He has shown us so much in Christ, but without some thought, prayer, reading, study, and investment of time, God can remain a mystery to us. A mystery to great to begin to grapple with.  But if we begin to learn and grow by seeking him, we will know him deeper and more accurately.  We are instructed to seek the Lord, by Jesus, David, the writer of Hebrews:

Matthew 6:33 (NASB95)“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

Psalm 27:4 One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord And to meditate in His temple.

Seeking the Lord to know him and understand Him is paramont in following Him with joy.  Understanding in Col. 1.9 is the Greek word “sunesis” which means to “comprehend”.  How do we seek Him?  We search. Search for Him in our lives, in His Word, in listening to His Spirit. This takes effort and time.

Paul says he is praying for “spiritual” wisdom and understanding. “Spiritual” is referring to our inner life, our inner spirit. That the wisdom and understanding is not just intellectual, but experiential as our spirit seek Him in the spirit-man, then we gain comprehension and wisdom, which means we understand and then live accordingly to our spiritual understanding.

As we “seek” the Spirit of God reveals the Godhead to us.  We gain understanding through revelation and our effort of seeking is putting us in a state of desire.  This is an exciting daily adventure.  Seeking and receiving have to be part of your daily life.  Those who really comprehend the spiritual mysteries of God, do so  by taking some time and effort to pursue the Lord.  Read, study, pray, meditate, practice silence and solitude and listen with your spirit and then the revelation of God’s Spirit to mankind begins.

Want to know the Lord more? Want to be closer?  Seek and Receive. Pray He takes you deeper into His heart, to comprehend spiritual truth by experiencing the presence of God personally.   You will begin to know Him more, comprehend spiritual truths, and then walk in them. Be filled!  Christ is inviting his people deeper and closer.

I close with these biblical invitations to you and I.  Will we say yes?

John 7:37–38 Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’ ”

Proverbs 8:17 I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me.

Hebrews 4:16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

James 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Handle Your Life With Care, it’s Your Only One


This weekend I start a new series “Handle With Care”.   The verses for this weekend are:

“So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise.  Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.”  Ephesians 5.15-16 (New Living Translation)

We only have one life.  We only have the present.  Our decisions are important as they impact so many people. We need to live wise.  Not like fools who have no regard for their family, their future, or their God.  Fools live selfish. Fools make decisions without the Lord. Fools waste opportunities.  Proverbs teach that  fools come to ruin.  They dishonor their parents, they make decisions for their own benefit, they have  lost sight of the gift of life.

The Lord has a will for us all. We can’t control what others do, say, or decide. But we do control our decisions, our speech, our daily choices.  We have so many opportunities, and we need to live wise to make those times prosper with all the good fruit of the spirit.

  • Loving and spending time with your kids is a wise opportunity.
  • Responding to the Lord and others when we fail and not blaming is an opportunity for honesty and humility which are  wisdom.
  • Making the most of your marriage, repairing it, granting grace, serving is sure an opportunity to make the most.
  • Living for Jesus and all the benefits of those choices, make a our lives a legacy.
  • Honesty, morality, sexual purity, love, forgiveness, and being content, are all virtues Christ makes available to us if we walk in them.  This evil world rejects it all.  Greed, lust, materialistic ambitions, always being right is the norm of the day—sadly.

God has called us higher and gives us the power, relationship with him, and the love to live every day to our best and that’s His best.

Handle your life with Care. You only get one. Ask the Lord to help you honor Him, and live without regrets.

Press On  PN

 

 

Nine Ways to get your zeal for Jesus back


Many are struggling with the level of passion for Christ.  Some have drifted back into old patterns and old ways.  The zeal and fire for Jesus can easily grow dim.  Is that happening to you?  Do you know your love and passion for Christ and His purposes is diminishing in  your life, thoughts, and heart?  What can you do? Can you receive back a white hot focus on the Lord?  Yes.  Here are some of my practical suggestions.

  • Identify and admit you are in need of being close to Christ. Once you know it, the victory is almost there. Most deny their true state.
  • Spend some time alone.  Solitude is a good thing. No TV, no Phone, no Screens, just you and the Lord.  Take a walk and invite the Holy Spirit to just speak to you.
  • Respond to the Lord.  Make a commitment to respond.  Respond in prayer, to his voice, to messages, to altar calls, to being obedient. Just move in response. Don’t allow your heart to get cold or hard. Respond.
  • Ask for help.  The Bible says “We have not because we ask not.”  This morning I prayed that God would set me on fire for Him, more than ever before.  I feel that. The Lord immediately began to flood my heart and mind with thoughts, messages, vision, people.  Ask for Help.
  • Stop  Procrastinating.  Get that Bible back out and that journal and read, and receive.  No excuses, no whining, no wimpering. It is what you need. He is who you need.
  • Put the phone down. Yep, put it down. Kill the OCD that thinks we need to have the phone near us, constantly looking, scrolling, pinging, alerting.  Gosh, what an interruption. I have turned off all alerts, notifications, deleted facebook, and I am making an effort to not be addicted to my phone. It is wasting my time.  It is interrupting my efforts for the Lord.  Just put it down.
  • Watch what you watch.  Our addiction for new things, new movies, new posts, new pics, can get us watching things that will steal our zeal for God.  Watching swearing, violence, sex, dirt, and vileness on TV/Sling/Netflix/prime/cable/youtube will steal your desire for Jesus away.
  • Just receive His love. He loves us and wants to be close to his children. He wants to encourage us, strengthen us, love through us, and reveal more of Himself to us.
  • Enjoy Jesus.  He is contentment. He is our all in all.

Verse page

” data-hasqtip=”1″ aria-describedby=”qtip-1″>1 Corinthians 15:58

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.”

Real Love


Real-Love

I am Looking so forward to starting this 6-week series called “Real Love”. Going to challenge us to really be “Compelled” by His love, be about His love, express His love, and also Abide in His love.  Bring your Bible, a journal, grab the notes and be ready to grow, receive, and I am praying God the Father gives us revelation on how much he loves us.  Then we will be secure, and not look for so much love and affirmation from others. We will not offend when others are not loving, and we will be generous with love because God’s love has been poured into our hearts.

We need more love in our homes.  We need more love in our marriages.  We need more love for our family. We need to learn to allow others to love us.  We need to stop hoarding Father’s love.  We need His Real Love.

We function too much in a love that is worldly, selfish, and dysfunctional.  Jesus wants us to love others the way He loves us and the key is to abiding in His love (John 15-1-10).  When we are not abiding in Christ, we get unlovely real fast.

My 5 goals for this teaching series:

  1. Love like Jesus
  2. How to “abide” in the Love of Christ.
  3. To rise to Christ’s standard of love, not our family’s or this worlds
  4. How To love well. How to be free to love.
  5. To teach from Scripture, how we can love others like Christ.

 

See you this weekend at Compelled Bedford or Holland. Click here for times

Once you are saved, live strong


“So Then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with

sunrise

thankfulness.”  Colossians 2.6,7

Jesus is not a “one-time” feel good experience and then we move on.  He wants to invade every area of our life.  He wants us to go beyond the receiving part.  As I often visit people, they can leave me standing in the door, or the entrance of their homes.  Yes they have allowed me in, but not really “in”.  Most people invite me to the living room, or the kitchen table (my favorite), as they open their home, their personal living space to their pastor.  One person told me, “strangers come to the front door, family comes to the back, you come to the back.”  I love that.

Let Jesus in deeper.  Paul writes here that we are to be “Rooted” with that commitment and then “built up” in him. This is the process.  We are built up and strengthened in Christ every time we choose to drawn to Him.  How do I do it?

  • A time of solitude, silence, and reflection to hear from God.
  • Some simple prayers as I follow “Handbook to prayer” by Kenneth Boa or “Day by day” by Peter Scazzero, or the “Celtic Daily Office”.   One of these are used to aid my heart and my mind on Christ.
  • I breath in Him and breath out me as I pray.
  • I have my journal ready to write down my thoughts, impressions, and prayers.
  • I follow a guide to reading my Bible. This year I wrote my own. I focus on a book or couple books for the month, re-reading them over and over.
  • I read another book to spur me on.
  • I listen to Scripture when often.  When I walk, carve, or drive. I use an app called “Dwell”.
  • I investigate my walk, my emotions, my intentions, and my motivations for purity of heart and the glory of Christ.

Some days I do this great! Some days I struggle through, yes, I even miss a day once in a while, but these disciplines strengthen me and transform my heart to be more like Christ. They change my appetite for things of God and not of this world.  My roots grow deeper, my heart more grateful, my flesh weaker, and faith stronger.

As you have been saved, live for Christ and don’t skip the very things that make living for Christ incredible and enjoyable.

>Nate

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