Chapel service is always about equipping the saints to be saints in the yard, in their cell, in their hearts. Today we discussed a diagram of the three R's that make up The Eternal Triangle (apologies to jazz buffs that know that's a title of a Sonny Rollins tune...)
The bottom two corners of the triangle are Religion and Rebellion, both common choices of people looking for a place to belong. The top of the triangle is Relationship which is the real cure for the alienation we feel and try to solve in a group setting, or a tribe mentality. Jesus said Eternal Life is in knowing Our Father(personally) and Jesus Christ whom the Father sent. John 17:3
Part of this knowing is of course belief. Hebrews 11:6 "But without faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." Jesus straight about how to diligently seek connection with Our Father.
Matthew 6:6 "But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut the door, pray to your Father who is IN the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly."
We all admitted to knowing about the door in the context of, "Knock and it shall be opened to you." (Matthew 7:7) but were a little surprised too see the instruction to close the door behind us when we entered the secret place to pray. Folks who meditate might see a reference to shut the world out and tune into the Divine Presence, I wouldn't say they were wrong. We drew a picture of a door with a handle in the center of our triangle to reinforce the concept of going in and coming out of a secret place to sit with the Lord.
And then the Holy Ghost took over the chalk board. There is no other way to explain it because as I went to write 'door' next to my poor illustration, the word came out Adore and we were given a key as to how to activate our time in the prayer closet. "The Lord is Holy and enthroned in praise." Psalm 22:3 We come into the secret place to worship, even silently, as individuals, we come to adore Him and a reward of being in Divine Presence is the divine attributes, the fruits of the Spirit, begin to root in us.
Love blooms, joy blossoms, peace spreads its fragrance, longsuffering strengthens our stalk, kindness gives leaf, goodness grows, faithfulness ripens, gentleness deepens its root and self control transforms us into saints, witnesses, and ministers of reconciliation.
In John 15:15 Jesus calls us friends. Let that sink in for a minute. We are friends of God. Friends do things together; they enjoy each other's company, they make plans, have adventures, they develop trust through experience, and they share the good, and the bad, together. Friends spend time together, and friend, as the Master of Eternity, time is one thing God has plenty of to share with you and I.