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As people return to town, schools start up again, and we all go back to our routines, there is always the very real danger of missing the forest through the trees. All of the pieces of our lives do not summarize the total meaning of our lives. We may have a new set of classes to take, or certain assignments at work, or new relational challenges or opportunities, but that is not our life. Our lives are something more than that -- indeed we are more than that, but we will only remember the truth about who we are in the presence of God. Ironically, the specifics of our lives become more unclear when we focus solely on them. Instead, when we are clear about our hearts home in the presence of Jesus -- when that is what we focus on -- the other things become clearer too.

Consider this exhortation in Colossians 3: "Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God."

Your life is hidden, in God. This means when you are unsure about anything in your life, or if things seem unclear, go and find God. Scrutinizing the details of our lives does not usually bring wisdom, but spending time in the secret place with God always will.

This weekend I asked our whole community to seriously consider the kind of giving you want to do this year. I am encouraging everyone who can to take at least one full day this week to pray and fast. I will be doing it too, as I consider how I can grow in my own giving. Please pray first for yourself, asking God what part you should play. Then please pray for the budget as a whole. A lot of faith will be needed to reach the goal we have set, and thousands of people will be served if we can reach it. I am praying that we will use our freedom to shame the devil, glorify God and serve the world.

Press in to Jesus, set your minds on Him.