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O God, You are my God;

Early will I seek You;

My soul thirsts for You;

My flesh longs for You

In a dry and thirsty land

Where there is no water.

Psalm 63:1 NKJV

King David wrote these eternal words to open Psalm 63 that have provoked believers for generations. St. Bernard of Clairvaux responded by writing this hymn during his lifetime.

We taste Thee, O Thou living Bread,

And long to feast upon Thee still;

We drink of Thee, the Fountain-head,

And thirst our souls from Thee to fill!

It appears that for thousands of years there has been a deep understanding that a pang of very real hunger and thirst for God leads to the satisfaction that no other effort leads to. The Bible is full of passages that describe tasting, thirsting and hungering after God, in a pursuit that seemingly never ends. How is it then that today that we see such a starving and dehydrated Church, full of empty people?

A.W. Tozer wrote, “How tragic that we in this dark day have had our seeking done for us by our teachers. Everything is made to center upon the initial act of “accepting” Christ (a term, incidentally, which is not found in the Bible) and we are not expected thereafter to crave any further revelation of God to our souls.” The Pursuit of God was published in 1948. If believers like King David and St. Bernard had a deep understanding of this then what changed in the years leading up to Tozer’s decision to write a book to address the problem? I want to propose that our culture has not shifted much since these words were written over 73 years ago. I look out across the Body today and see so many starving and dehydrated Christians that were saved by a prayer but left without a craving to satisfy themselves in the depth of their Savior and Creator. After our salvation experience we have become stagnate and do not engage in a lifestyle where we taste and see that the Lord is good, but simply take our pastor’s word for it. Our relationship with God becomes one of vicarious experience in the sermons of our favorite preacher or Bible teacher. This may be hard to read and you may feel the need to rebuke me for such a scolding view of the American church today. Trust me it was harder for me to write than for you to read, but if this was not the case, would we see the emptiness, loneliness, depression, anxiety, addictions, failed marriages, family problems, and sexual depravity in the church that we are currently plagued with?

I am not asserting to fully grasp each situation in its complexities and pray for your grace in my overall generalizations. I make this statement clear though. I believe that if we each became hungry and thirsty for a soul-filling craving of God, we would be satisfied and fulfilled, even in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water.

Are you empty, lonely, anxious, depressed, overwhelmed, addicted, afflicted, or scared? Get hungry and thirsty and satisfy yourself in your loving God. He will fill your soul.

Praying for an insatiable Body,

Pastor Joshua Ogle

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Colossians 4:6, "Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."

When we read the Bible, we come across many great conversations. We know whenever God speaks there is always a release of the supernatural infused in the conversation. God still wants to have in-depth, instructive, comforting, edifying and exhorting conversations with us today.

Conversations can be casual, but they can also be life changing. Think about conversations you have had that were positive and life changing. My first audible conversation with Christ, “You are not going to die!” My first prophetic word from a mentor, “God is going to do great things with your life.” Those were outstanding conversations, but they would not have become real if I had not believed them.

Conversations are the most incredible and extraordinary means of communication, especially when they are with an all-knowing, all-powerful God. So, we start with “Hey God, can we talk?”

God answers, “Hey if I say yes, do I get to talk too?" Or "hey if we talk will you listen”? We must make it a point to listen more than we talk. Two way conversations are His way of giving us comfort, direction, instruction, information, and advice.

Hearing from God is not a skill or talent. It is not only for certain people who are gifted. It is not only for emergency use. It is to help us grasp what God created us for, which is fellowship through communication and interaction.

A conversation is not a command. In the Bible, there are many times when God commanded someone to do or not to do something. For example in Genesis 2, the Lord commanded the man saying from any tree of the garden you may eat freely but from the tree of the knowledge you shall not eat. A command is when there is no request for input or feedback.

A conversation is not a monologue. A monologue is like a lecture; when someone speaks to you and there is no room for your input or feedback. The sermon on the Mount was a monologue.

So, then what is a conversation? A conversation comes from two Latin root words that mean “to take turns together.” If human conversations can facilitate deep connections and exchanges between humans, how much more will our conversations with God serve to deepen our relationship with Him. The ultimate goal of the art of conversation is that we grow closer and more intimate with Him and each other.

In His Name,

Pastor Jo Ann Angelo

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My life was radically transformed in high school; after I gave my heart to the Lord. I was never the same after that day. I began seeing everything differently. I specifically remember one day during soccer practice I was up to shoot and I suppose my passion doubled into my soccer game, because this kick had speed and accuracy like I have never shot before. “Bam!” This kick was a real “she shoots, she scores” moment. I will never forget the goalies face and her response. “Jesus! Are you trying to kill me?!” Shocked, I paused and looked at her. I had a heightened awareness now of His name. It was no longer a fairytale story I had heard. He was real to me. I remember saying to her, “why did you take the Lord's name in vain?” She was probably as confused as I was at this phrase, but that moment stuck with me. The ringing in my ears for days repeated, “why would she use His name like that? If only she knew who he really is?”

I know we have all heard from the time we were kids not to take the Lord's name in vain. I did not by any means grow up in a Christian home and I still knew not to take the Lord's name “in vain.” Although, I still don’t say “Oh my God” or “Jesus” as a word to curse something; Jesus is the exact opposite of a curse, he is the curse breaker: I believe that scripture in Exodus where Moses says not to take the Lord's name in vain is more than just saying OMG.

Let's read Ex 20 :7 Amp “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain [that is, irreverently, in false affirmations or in ways that impugn the character of God]; for the Lord will not hold guiltless nor leave unpunished the one who [a]takes His name in vain [disregarding its reverence and its power].

Now read that again! I love how the Amplified Bible words this, “irreverently, in false affirmation, or in ways that impugn the character of God.” Wow, could it be that taking the Lord's name in vain could be more than just saying OMG? Have you ever ended a prayer with “in Jesus name” yet doubted or didn't trust Him with it? Could it be in vain by using God's name to justify complacency or sin? Is it in vain when someone praises God with their lips but their hearts are far from him? What about being idle in our pursuit after him yet acting like we're passionate to others? Have you ever asked “why would they use His name like that; if they only knew who he really is” not because of what was said but because of what was done!

Here is the truth: when we come to Him and give our lives to Him, we take on His name. We are grafted in to be co-heirs with Jesus. We bear His name, just like when we are born we take on the name of our parents. We now take on our Fathers name. We carry Him with us wherever we go and we have the opportunity to magnify the character of God by the way we are living our lives. What a humbling privilege and honor to have bare His name.

I would like us to seek out and ask God and ourselves “how we are carrying His name?” Are we bringing honor and glory to His name? The question I want to ask you today is: Are we giving honor to the name we carry? Or are we taking his name in vain? As David said, “examine me and see if there is any wicked way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:24.

I feel like it always comes down to Love God and to Love people. Let's be those who won't bear his name in vain because we know who He really is.

In His Name,

Pastor Jenn Cupicha

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