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July 31, 2010

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Mark 10. 21

“Jesus looked at him and loved him. ‘One thing you lack,’ He said. ‘Go, sell everything you
have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

Bottom line discipleship- “Come, follow Christ.” Whoever we are, whatever we have, whatever we think, whatever we do all becomes secondary to the bottom line when we are trying to understand the meaning of life. No matter the amount or condition of our lives and the resources supporting them there is nothing unless we have Christ. How do we get Christ? We must put everything to the side including our own ambitions and seek Christ. When Jesus came upon those who would be His disciples He said to them “Come, follow me.” They were not idlers. They were men of industry and accomplishments. They were working men who wanted more in their lives than that their hands could provide. All Jesus needed was for them to surrender their willingness to be productive for the sake of their worldly lives and accept God’s will for their lives. Did they know immediately what that was? For Peter, James, John and Andrew, the promise was to become fishers of men. He changed the subject of their vocation and empowered their learned skills to be productive for the kingdom.

For the rich young man this may have been a problem. We do not know how he had gained his wealth. I presume it was an inheritance as the focus of his question to Christ was “what must I do to inherit eternal life.” He had part of the equation right, though I doubt he knew that. None of us can inherit eternal life unless we become one like Christ as sons [and daughters] of the Most High God, our Heavenly Father. Otherwise we are children of perdition who at best would simply turn into dust at the end of life and at worst would life an eternal death amidst the fire of Hell. We are not even privileged to know how spiritual a question this was that was posed to Jesus. We can safely assume it was a moral question whose answer would have implications upon the rest of his life. Was it the rest of his life on earth or in heaven? We are not sure. We may never know. It wasn’t the point of Peter’s remembrance of the event. What was the point for the rich young man remains the point for everyone who desires to become a mighty man of God. If you desire eternal and abundant living then you must come and follow Christ. He will lead, guide and show you the way, the truth and the life. But, you must be willing to put everything to the side so that nothing interferes with your commitment; so that discipleship is your only desire. It doesn’t mean these things will not be returned to you. It does not mean that you will lose human passion and needs. It does mean that you will see life with clear vision, understand it with true knowledge, act with true vision and live with true purpose. And bottom line, isn’t that what we all truly want in the first place.

PRAYER CONCERNS (share your needs and others in the comment section so that God’s Mighty Men can join prayer forces as intercessors of faith, hope and love)

* For those who will lead God’s people in worship, praise and service this weekend
* For the finding of all the missing children- may their presence be known by more than God
* For Eric Balch and family following a tragic flash fire in his garage leaving his 18 month old
son dead from burns, his 3 year old son in serious condition with burns on his legs and feet:
UPDATE- he remains in medically-induced coma; grafting has been done on his feet and legs
with surgery pending on his hands and arms; he still does not know of his son’s death; his wife
has not begun to truly grieve yet as well in her concern for her husband; we are thankful for
their family and friends who have taken on responsibility for caring for the two daughters and
raising support for this sweet family in their time of tremendous need
* For protection of life in Pakistan amid the monsoons which have already claimed over 800
people
* For the resolution of unrest in the Middle East with Israel, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and
Afghanistan; and the lost American soldier
* For the continued successful containment of the oil leak from the damaged well in the Gulf of
Mexico as capping and well-killing resumes but concern for an abandoned well that was
struck and is now spewing oil into the Gulf
* For the resolution of the continuing violence along the U.S.-Mexico border as the violence
escalates in number and intensity of horror
* For the support and encouragement of those who are seeking employment and the peace of
mind that comes from trusting the process of God’s creation of a new opportunity with the
promise of vocational resurrection in its season
* For peace and joy to abound in this weekend

PRAYER CELEBRATIONS (where we see Him at work in the world):

* For all those who have given of themselves to support the Balch family
* For a successful training

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Lord, revive in us the true purpose and desire for living. Call us again into Your Will and reveal to us the way, the truth and the life in this day as You have in all the days of our lives. AMEN.

July 30, 2010

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Mark 10. 21

“Jesus looked at him and loved him. ‘One thing you lack,’ He said. ‘Go, sell everything you
have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

I love the way Mark set the pace of this story. I can only imagine how Mark must have been influenced by Peter’s telling of this story. Peter’s own life must have spilled into the intimate detail forever a part of the account of the rich young man. Maybe Peter saw some of himself in the young man and saw the nuance of Jesus’ ministry to him. The young man came with boldness and sincerity to inquire of Jesus how he could inherit eternal life. Here was a young man who himself may have inherited his own wealth, or a portion of it, but found his life still incomplete and challenged. Having great riches wasn’t everything he thought it would be and maybe things were slipping away from him. Jesus must have sensed the challenge in this young man. It is obvious that he was open to suggestion as he incorporated Jesus’ correction of “why do you call me good [teacher]” in a later address saying just “teacher.” He was a good man himself and honorable. He was most of all in need. Jesus reached out to the need and loved him. Yes, Peter remembered and shared with Mark that Jesus loved the rich young man.

How did he love him? Did he hug him, invite him to dinner, give him presents or accolades? These are things we do to show our affection to others. No, Jesus loved him in an empathetic way by challenging him to be a disciple and find the fulfillment he was seeking in Christ alone.
He loved him with a tough love. It would be tough because the challenge was to sell everything he had inherited, give it to the poor, trust God’s provision for his future and become a Christ-follower. We knew it was tough because the rich young man walked away. He was no longer bold. He was not enthusiastic nor was he filled with curiosity. Mark relayed that his face fell and sadness took him over. When it says “his face fell” it meant grave concern and disappointment. The eyes are the windows of the soul in which the true nature and character of a person can be seen. But with eyes turned down to the ground it is easy to imagine the light of hope had been dimmed. He had lost his shine.

Jesus knew this was the risk of speaking the truth in love. He has spoken it many times to each of us as His followers. How many times have we heard his loving correction in our heart, mind and soul and turned to walk away with the burden of conviction? Are we really any different than the rich young man? We are rich in faith, hope and love not because we earned it but because we have inherited it through the sacrifice He made on our behalf. We are given the keys to the kingdom of Heaven and all its treasures are waiting for us with more to come than we can possibly imagine. Yet, for some it remains an undiscovered country and a fortune beyond their reach. For some, it is a richness that has lost its luster in our own lives with the tabernacle in which it is contained stained and smudged by continual sinfulness. He will speak another truth that is related to this later when He said, “Many will call me Lord, Lord but I will say to them ‘I do not know you.” Dare we put the opportunity that is ours in Christ Jesus to the side? Not and think we can live. Was eternal life an impossibility for this rich young man? Did he lose his opportunity when he walked away? I don’t think so but that will be tomorrow’s story. See you then.

PRAYER CONCERNS (share your needs and others in the comment section so that God’s Mighty Men can join prayer forces as intercessors of faith, hope and love)

* For the finding of the 7 year old missing Oregon boy and his families; for the 2 year old boy
missing in Arizona this weekend and the family he was to be adopted by
* For Eric Balch and family following a tragic flash fire in his garage leaving his 18 month old
son dead from burns, his 3 year old son in serious condition with burns on his legs and feet:
UPDATE- he remains in medically-induced coma; grafting has been done on his feet and legs
with surgery pending on his hands and arms; he still does not know of his son’s death; his wife
has not begun to truly grieve yet as well in her concern for her husband; we are thankful for
their family and friends who have taken on responsibility for caring for the two daughters and
raising support for this sweet family in their time of tremendous need
* For the resolution of unrest in the Middle East with Israel, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and
Afghanistan; and the two lost American soldiers- one dead and one wounded and missing
* For the continued successful containment of the oil leak from the damaged well in the Gulf of
Mexico as capping and well-killing resumes but concern for an abandoned well that was
struck and is now spewing oil into the Gulf
* For the resolution of the continuing violence along the U.S.-Mexico border as the violence
escalates in number and intensity of horror
* For the support and encouragement of those who are seeking employment and the peace of
mind that comes from trusting the process of God’s creation of a new opportunity with the
promise of vocational resurrection in its season
* For peace and joy to abound in this weekend

PRAYER CELEBRATIONS (where we see Him at work in the world):

* For all those who have given of themselves to support the Balch family
* For God’s continuing reminders of forgiveness

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Lord, for the gift we have already received we give You thanks. May we use it wisely and abundantly to bring You glory and honor as we share the truth of Jesus Christ who has loved us mightily. AMEN.

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July 29, 2010

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Mark 10. 21

“Jesus looked at him and loved him. ‘One thing you lack,’ He said. ‘Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

What would you give to get eternal life? We are surrounded by mighty men who are willing to give up everything, including eternal life, in order to get the good life. But, the “good” life is nothing without having a complete life which includes eternal life. How easy it seems that we can sacrifice much for things that will not matter eternally or sacrifice nothing and live empty all our lives. Yes, there is life after death; about that we have studied much. It is the quality of that afterlife that becomes the question. Jesus taught about that in the lesson of dividing the earthly flock and separating the sheep from the goats. Much more can and will be said about that later. But, Jesus also had this life teaching presented again to us today concerning our desire to have a complete life- both good and eternal.

When the rich young man approached Jesus he confessed a lack which all his riches could not fill. The rich young man recognized there was something he did not have. He had pursued it with his industry and with keeping his human relationships unsullied. I say this because Jesus listed only the commandments that reflected on those relationships which exist between men. Obviously those relationships reflect one’s relationship with God but in the thought of the day living by those six commandments would commend one as living the good life. I believe that is why the rich young man addressed Jesus as “good” teacher. It was a compliment that in the ears of other people would proffer some advantage. It is called “kissing up.” Jesus quickly confronted that conventional wisdom by redirecting him to the feet of God who alone is “good.” If there is any advantage to be had it comes from God alone. How many lessons can be drawn from that but not today.

Do you see? In the midst of one verse placed against the backdrop of the gospel of Jesus we have a rich treasure trove of knowledge and wisdom whose purpose is to do us good. We are rich in Christ Jesus without the hint of financial treasure and wealth. But, even in the midst of knowledge and wisdom there is one thing we lack. Now some might say that the man’s lack was associated with his connection to his wealth. They might declare that he had no sense of charity and true love. A failure to sell all he had and give it to the poor was not only an indicator of his true care for others but also his surrendering of the opportunity to gain eternal life. And in some instances, and for some purposes, I believe that is correct. But, I dare not allow that to become the limit of this lesson. Is there something else to be gleaned from this harvest lesson? Consider for a moment that the rich young man walked away without ever truly knowing what the one thing was that he lacked which would have made him capable of entering into eternal life. What Jesus may have been asking the rich young man was to divest himself of all concerns in this world, to trust God with his livelihood and to learn about what he lacked by following Jesus who would then teach him about the better life which exists beyond the good life.

PRAYER CONCERNS (share your needs and others in the comment section so that God’s Mighty Men can join prayer forces as intercessors of faith, hope and love)

* For the finding of the 7 year old missing Oregon boy and his families; for the 2 year old boy
missing in Arizona this weekend and the family he was to be adopted by; for the tragic
discovery of 8 infant bodies killed and buried by a French couple at two homes
* For Eric Balch and family following a tragic flash fire in his garage leaving his 18 month old
son dead from burns, his 3 year old son in serious condition with burns on his legs and feet
and he suffers from third degree burns on this lower body and arms from his rescue attempts;
pray for the strength of the spirit of this family as they come to terms by faith with this tragedy
* For the resolution of unrest in the Middle East with Israel, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and
Afghanistan; and the two lost American soldiers- one dead and one wounded and missing
* For the continued successful containment of the oil leak from the damaged well in the Gulf of
Mexico as capping and well-killing resumes and new leadership is appointed
* For the resolution of the continuing violence along the U.S.-Mexico border as the violence
escalates in number and intensity of horror
* For the support and encouragement of those who are seeking employment and the peace of
mind that comes from trusting the process of God’s creation of a new opportunity with the
promise of vocational resurrection in its season
* For healing in family and friends

PRAYER CELEBRATIONS (where we see Him at work in the world):

* For all those who have given of themselves to support the Balch family
* For Mack’s safe return home

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Lord, may the barriers to our greater understanding of how to live the better life of Christ be put aside today in the lives of these Your mighty men. AMEN.

July 28, 2010

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Jeremiah 1. 11,12

“The word of the Lord came to me; ‘What do you see, Jeremiah?’ ‘I see the branch of an almond tree,’ I replied. The Lord said to me, ‘You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that My word is fulfilled.’”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

Sometimes I wonder if people miss God speaking to them because they sincerely expect for God to be out of the ordinary. God is a God of the ordinary but I do not think He considers it to be ordinary. As the designer and creator of all things great and small, God has made Himself known to us through all these things. Yes, we know of the pillar of fire, the mighty miracles of deliverance of the nation of Israel, the healing stories and episodic events of Jesus’ life and ministry. But, look closer and you will find that God used ordinary people and blessed them with extraordinary opportunities to exhibit their faith. Even Jesus who came into the world as a human being first being born was known by many as “the son of a carpenter.” But, what is wrong with ordinary? Most of God’s mighty men, the extreme percentage of Christ-followers, are just ordinary men and women, even children, who are very much like one another. God loves each and every one of them with mercy and grace.

We might consider that preceding statement to be extraordinary in and of itself. Yet, if I remember that all things to God are very much the same. He has blessed them and called them good. There are things which man has done with those blessings to reduce their “good” factor and that would be extraordinarily sad. But, God has a plan of restoration for that as well when it is entrusted back into His caring and loving hands. So, when God confirmed Jeremiah’s call using ordinary, common every day objects such as an almond branch (which the word ‘watching’ sounds very much like) and the boiling pot tilted to the north (the very direction the enemy of Israel would come from), it was not lost on him. He saw God very much a part of his everyday life. He considered each event as a possible revelation of God and a conveyor of truth and direction for his life and the nation of Israel. In fact, the playing field was leveled so that no one would be left out of the opportunity to know God and feel the power of His will.

As God’s mighty men go through their day today, they must stay alert and aware to the places, times and events which God can use to make Himself, His Will and His Call, known. They will consider that all things, all people and all opportunities still belong to God as are useful and good to proclaim His Word of mercy and grace.

PRAYER CONCERNS (share your needs and others in the comment section so that God’s Mighty Men can join prayer forces as intercessors of faith, hope and love)

* For the finding of the 7 year old missing Oregon boy and his families; for the 2 year old boy
missing in Arizona this weekend and the family he was to be adopted by
* For Eric Balch and family following a tragic flash fire in his garage leaving his 18 month old
son dead from burns, his 3 year old son in serious condition with burns on his legs and feet
and he suffers from third degree burns on this lower body and arms from his rescue attempts;
pray for the strength of the spirit of this family as they come to terms by faith with this tragedy
* For the resolution of unrest in the Middle East with Israel, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and
Afghanistan; and the two lost American soldiers- one dead and one wounded and missing
* For the continued successful containment of the oil leak from the damaged well in the Gulf of
Mexico as capping and well-killing resumes and new leadership is appointed
* For the resolution of the continuing violence along the U.S.-Mexico border as the violence
escalates in number and intensity of horror
* For the support and encouragement of those who are seeking employment and the peace of
mind that comes from trusting the process of God’s creation of a new opportunity with the
promise of vocational resurrection in its season
* For healing in family and friends

PRAYER CELEBRATIONS (where we see Him at work in the world):

* For all those who have given of themselves to support the Balch family
* For the rain of plenty and hummingbirds

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Lord, in Your graciousness there is even an opportunity for the least of us to be found worthy. Great and small become markers more used by men to keep others in “their place.” But, You, o Lord, have made a place for all of us with You through Your Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ, and we thank You. AMEN.

July 27, 2010

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Joshua 3. 5

“Joshua told the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things
among you.’”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

They say you incorporate into your dreams elements of the last thing you were thinking about before you fall asleep. How many of us do not fall asleep in confidence, assurance or peace? I think of all the people in third world countries and even in developing countries who go to bed at night amidst the discomfort of heat, cold, hunger, dampness and fear. Their dreams must leave them with the desire to not fall asleep. What about those who are caught in the throes of wars and battles whether between nations or gangs or families? Their dreams must be fraught with anxiety so great that they barely sleep at all so that they will not fall into that REM stage where dreaming occurs. Not everyone has pleasant dreams and not everyone’s tomorrow is anticipated as amazing.

Joshua was preparing the Hebrew people he had been leading since the death of Moses to enter the Promised Land. The only thing that stood between them and Canaan was the Jordan River and themselves. God was ready to be their true bridge of faith so that they would be able to cross over. Of course, we know that God made it possible for the people to follow the Ark across the Jordan whose waters had been held back so they could walk on dry land. I think we may forget that God not only parted the Red Sea and the Jordan River but that He made the ground beneath those waters dry and solid. Very few of those who would cross the Jordan remembered walking across the bed of the Red Sea. The rest were only privileged to hear the story of how God delivered them safely from the Egyptian pursuers. In his preparation, he must have shared the deliverance stories to embolden the people. Around their campfires on the night of the third day the order was given to be on watch for the Ark of the Covenant. When they saw it they were to move into place and follow. What a night that must have been for those people. Some may have been barely able to sleep with great anticipation. Others would have slept with confidence knowing God would not fail them.

As God’s mighty men we are to prepare ourselves for the next day, too. Each day is new and an adventure into the Promised Land of faith, hope and love. We are to consecrate ourselves so that we can receive the opportunity of the amazing things God is going to do among us. We should be able to rest in confidence and dream amazing dreams of the glory of God which is going to be revealed throughout the following day of our service to His people.

PRAYER CONCERNS (share your needs and others in the comment section so that God’s Mighty Men can join prayer forces as intercessors of faith, hope and love)

* For the finding of the 7 year old missing Oregon boy and his families; for the 2 year old boy
missing in Arizona this weekend and the family he was to be adopted by
* For Eric Balch and family following a tragic flash fire in his garage leaving his 18 month old
son dead from burns, his 3 year old son in serious condition with burns on his legs and feet
and he suffers from third degree burns on this lower body and arms from his rescue attempts;
pray for the strength of the spirit of this family as they come to terms by faith with this tragedy
* For the resolution of unrest in the Middle East with Israel, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and
Afghanistan; and the two lost American soldiers- one dead and one wounded and missing
* For those suffering from floodwaters in Iowa, Chicago and the northeast as well as searing
heat and humidity
* For the continued successful containment of the oil leak from the damaged well in the Gulf of
Mexico as capping and well-killing resumes and new leadership is appointed
* For the resolution of the continuing violence along the U.S.-Mexico border as the violence
escalates in number and intensity of horror
* For the support and encouragement of those who are seeking employment and the peace of
mind that comes from trusting the process of God’s creation of a new opportunity with the
promise of vocational resurrection in its season
* For healing in family and friends

PRAYER CELEBRATIONS (where we see Him at work in the world):

* For the amazing things God will be doing among us today
* For the rain of plenty

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Lord, we have put to rest the night and our yesterday. We rise in confident anticipation of the works of Your Hands and the Glory of Your Presence which will happen in us, through us and all around us. Come, Lord Jesus, Your mercy is what our dreams are made of. Your grace is what makes our day complete. AMEN.

July 26, 2010

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Psalm 22. 17,18

“I can count all My bones; people stare and gloat over Me. They divide My garments among
them and cast lots for My clothing.’”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

As the coach looked at his young team of overachievers before the biggest game of their lives one by one, he searched for the right words to assist them one more time. Eagerly and without fear his team focused their attention on the coach with ears wide open to receive the last command before entering the field of battle. The coach saw the desire in his players and they in him. Finally he spoke, “To do what they say can’t be done you must leave nothing behind on the sideline. Everything you have and everything you are must go with you and be left on the field. If you give it all, no one can say you didn’t try to win; they will know you are true victors.” One young man, the oldest on the team, held out his helmet and proclaimed, “Okay boys, if you got keys let me have’m. I’m gonna get my dad to drive on the field for the best offensive and defensive line that team will ever face.” Everyone started laughing which faded to chanting, “Leave nuthin’ behind. Leave nuthin’ behind.”

Of the many foreshadowing scriptures prophesying the birth, life ministry, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, I believe Psalm 22 stands out for me. As David glimpsed into the foretaste of glory divine revealed by God to the man who would be king, he gained the benchmark for his own life- “leave nuthin’ behind.” This is exactly what the King of Kings and Messiah would example with His own life. He pushed His earthly life to the limit of capacity. He was nothing but broken skin and weary bones. Yet His Spirit remained strong. They say that the sense of hearing is the last to go and he heard the gloating of others who claimed victory in their defeat while others cast lots for His clothing. Stripped, whipped and nailed to a cross in shame and agony, this mighty man of God, God’s only Son turned up His hands and offered all that He had left, His Spirit, on the battlefield for life. He dangled the keys of the kingdom for His Dad to use in driving the best line the enemy would ever see onto the field. He was a true victor. David understood the challenge and followed it himself in good times and in challenging times. Will the mighty men of God do so today as well chanting “Leave nuthin’ behind.”

PRAYER CONCERNS (share your needs and others in the comment section so that God’s Mighty Men can join prayer forces as intercessors of faith, hope and love)

* For the victory waiting to be grasped by the hands of the faithful
* For Eric Balch and family following a tragic flash fire in his garage leaving his 18 month old
son dead from burns, his 3 year old son in serious condition with burns on his legs and feet
and he suffers from third degree burns on this lower body and arms from his rescue attempts;
pray for the strength of the spirit of this family as they come to terms by faith with this tragedy
* For the resolution of unrest in the Middle East with Israel, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and
Afghanistan; and the two lost American soldiers- one dead and one wounded and missing
* For those suffering from floodwaters in Iowa, Chicago and the northeast as well as searing
heat and humidity
* For the continued successful containment of the oil leak from the damaged well in the Gulf of
Mexico as capping and well-killing resumes
* For the resolution of the continuing violence along the U.S.-Mexico border as the violence
escalates in number and intensity of horror; especially today with the finding of 51 buried
bodies
* For the support and encouragement of those who are seeking employment and the peace of
mind that comes from trusting the process of God’s creation of a new opportunity with the
promise of vocational resurrection in its season
* For healing in family and friends

PRAYER CELEBRATIONS (where we see Him at work in the world):

* For the opportunity to view some of God’s wonders in the past and to anticipate His revealing
of wonders today for the future
* For Gary A’s return to ministry in Lindale, TX; and all new church starts seeking to reach
those not embracing the gift of salvation which is theirs in Christ Jesus

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Lord, for the Word of Inspiration, our Lord Jesus Christ, we give thanks. May we sieze the opportunity to give our best to the Master in serving the Master’s children today. AMEN.

July 25, 2010

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Psalm 119. 81,82

“My soul faints with longing for Your salvation, but I have put my hope in Your word. My eyes
fail, looking for Your promise; I say, ‘When will You comfort me?’”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

Doesn’t this passage seem odd when we recognize who wrote it? David is the author. David who remained faithful to his father’s wishes as he stayed home to tend sheep while his brothers went off to combat Philistines. David who obeyed his father to love the Lord his God and to honor him at all times and in taking bread to his brothers at the battlefront couldn’t stomach what Goliath was dishing out and slew him with a stone. David who obeyed his heavenly Father’s wishes and accepted the call to shepherd a nation. David who trusted God, knew God’s salvation and benefitted from God’s promise of comfort, rest and peace. David who sang to his sheep the praise hymn we number Psalm 23. This same David who now speaks of fainting, longing, hoping, failing, looking and wondering seems to be at odds with himself far more than he is with God. Or does it seem odd at all?

There is a time in every mighty man of God’s life, if not several, when we share the same “at odds with ourselves” as David. The fallenness of the world in which we live appears to spiral so far out of control that we even feel as if the swell of the water is falling out beneath us. Swimming against the vortex of waters bursting through a dam or staring down the barrel of an enemies’ rifle or watching the temperature rise in unstoppable heat or uncovering mass graves of innocent men, women and children might become too much to bear even for a Christ-follower. Swarmed by temptations in a world that is built on pleasing itself before considering humility before God might turn a God-fearer to weakness like David. He stopped seeking God for a moment and sought instead to believe there was an emptiness in himself that was not yet filled. The world is a mighty powerful place but God is mightier yet. While we have our salvation, our strength, our hope, our success, our promise and our comfort through Jesus Christ our Lord, we should not stop longing, hoping, looking and desiring their fulfillment in our lives and through us to others. What we have in Christ is enough but we should never cease to explore, discover and claim the height, depth, and breadth of all that is ours. Be seekers of the Word of Life and let its quest be your guiding desire in serving the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.

PRAYER CONCERNS (share your needs and others in the comment section so that God’s Mighty Men can join prayer forces as intercessors of faith, hope and love)

* For those who will lead God’s people in worship, praise and service
* For Eric Balch and family following a tragic flash fire in his garage leaving his 18 month old
son dead from burns, his 3 year old son in serious condition with burns on his legs and feet
and he suffers from third degree burns on this lower body and arms from his rescue attempts;
pray for the strength of the spirit of this family as they come to terms by faith with this tragedy
* For the resolution of unrest in the Middle East with Israel, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and
Afghanistan; and the two lost American soldiers now assumed dead
* For those suffering from floodwaters in Iowa, Chicago and the northeast as well as searing
heat and humidity
* For the continued successful containment of the oil leak from the damaged well in the Gulf of
Mexico as capping and well-killing resumes
* For the resolution of the continuing violence along the U.S.-Mexico border as the violence
escalates in number and intensity of horror; especially today with the finding of 51 buried
bodies
* For the support and encouragement of those who are seeking employment and the peace of
mind that comes from trusting the process of God’s creation of a new opportunity with the
promise of vocational resurrection in its season
* For healing in family and friends

PRAYER CELEBRATIONS (where we see Him at work in the world):

* For the opportunity to view some of God’s wonders in the past and to anticipate His revealing
of wonders today for the future
* For Gary A’s return to ministry in Lindale, TX; and all new church starts seeking to reach
those not embracing the gift of salvation which is theirs in Christ Jesus

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Lord, for the All the You are and for the All You desire us to be we give You thanks. Open our eyes and the heart’s desire to discover the vastness of Your mercy and grace believing that we can do far greater things in this world as Your Son promised. AMEN.

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July 24, 2010

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Hebrews 11. 1,2

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the
ancients were commended for.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

The strength of God’s mighty men is the simple confession that they could not do what they do on their own. It leads me to consider the following- if we can do it on our own without consideration of God are we being faithful. Many Christ-followers are blessed with an ability to do things vocationally and avocationally. Put them in a certain situation and they will probably succeed on their own. Of course, there might be a level of competence to be considered as I certainly do not believe we are expert in all things. However, we are functional. But, is God looking only for functional? We marvel at the works of His hands on a daily basis but if He was reduced in our lives to only a function is He truly God any longer? It is a marvel how God is able to provide for our lives when we fail to see any available resource. Consider the parting of the Red Sea. With their backs against the “sea” wall and Pharaoh’s army riding vengefully toward them from the west, Moses called on the Hebrews to believe. Where there seemed to be no avenue of escape, Moses trusted God to provide the way, the truth and the life as He promised. We know, of course, what happened. The waters parted and the breath of God dried the sea floor enough for the two million plus people with the belongings they carried with them and the animals they were herding along to reach the far side before Pharoah could reach them. In all the plagues, Pharaoh remained unconvinced that God had ultimate power. Even in the presence of death, the death of his own son, Pharaoh refused to submit to God’s power. Gods were only pedestrian in the mind of Pharaoh. Gods were only functional and when they no longer served a purpose they were replaced. That is the ways and means of men without God. If it doesn’t work, do something else. And some men will continue to seek other explanations in the natural world for supernatural events. And some men will continue to seek other options for success in their lives other than obedience to God.

This cannot be the ways and means of God’s mighty men, however. We shall be commended for standing firm in our hope that God will provide when no hope of provision exists before us. We shall continue to believe in eternal life even when the throes of death writhe about us. We will continue to serve a Savior whose life in the flesh is not visible to us except in spirit and in truth. Even when others propose alternative explanations to what we know, see and believe and turn something into nothing, we will hold fast to the One alone who turned nothing into something. For those who believe that when all else fails there is still something more they can do other than confess and believe in God, there will be something more but they will not like it. For those who know that without God there is nothing truly more to be done, God will not fail and what follows will be better than anything humanly imaginable. God’s mighty men do more than just have faith. They put faith into action stepping out when there seems to be no next step. They cast all their lot into vastness of the world without seeing the means of getting a return. They speak even when it seems no one is listening. They listen when no one is speaking. They love without fear of being hated. They reject hate for fear of not being loved. The live without compromise. They serve in consensus. They share the faith in a living God who has never failed to act according to His Word and His Promise.

PRAYER CONCERNS (share your needs and others in the comment section so that God’s Mighty Men can join prayer forces as intercessors of faith, hope and love)

* For those who will lead God’s people in worship, praise and service
* For Eric Balch and family following a tragic flash fire in his garage leaving his 18 month old
son dead from burns, his 3 year old son in serious condition with burns on his legs and feet
and he suffers from third degree burns on this lower body and arms from his rescue attempts;
pray for the strength of the spirit of this family as they come to terms by faith with this tragedy
* For the resolution of unrest in the Middle East with Israel, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and
Afghanistan
* For the continued successful containment of the oil leak from the damaged well in the Gulf of
Mexico as another tropical storm enters the area placing operations at risk
* For the resolution of the continuing violence along the U.S.-Mexico border as the violence
escalates in number and intensity of horror; especially today with the finding of 38 buried
bodies
* For the support and encouragement of those who are seeking employment and the peace of
mind that comes from trusting the process of God’s creation of a new opportunity with the
promise of vocational resurrection in its season
* For Mack’s safe flight to Texas

PRAYER CELEBRATIONS (where we see Him at work in the world):

* For the opportunity to view some of God’s wonders in the past and to anticipate His revealing
of wonders today for the future
* For the community of family, friends and colleagues of Eric Balch who are responding to their
season of need

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Lord, sometimes it isn’t easy Lord but You have promised it will never be impossible if we are with You. We give thanks that it will always be this way as we serve You with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. AMEN.

July 22, 2010

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Jude .19

“These are the [type of] men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have
the Spirit.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

God’s mighty men are set apart by God for mighty works. God’s mighty men are different than other men because their mighty works are for God. The modern church is not much different from the early church. It is populated by a variety of people. Intentionally or not, there are some who draw attention away from God and onto themselves. Some mean well and desire to do good as a means of proving their value and worth. Others are just mean and desire to harvest from the works of others whatever good they can glean for themselves. The great majority of people in churches have found the necessity of God to be great. Freed from the burden of their sin by the loving gift of God delivered through Jesus Christ, they are able to become the vehicles of healing and compassion by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. How wonderful it would be that the majority would be the highlight of our day. Yet, it would seem that those whose intentions are false and impure great a dark spot whose presence draws the attention from the glory which belongs to God.

In the Epistle of Jude, we see how this truth is borne out. His original purpose was to provide a word of inspiration about salvation. He instead found it necessary, however, to draw attention to a problem which existed in their midst. The problem was created by a collected few whose purpose was to distort the means by which salvation was gained. They were the bad apples and spreading their rottenness throughout the local church. Their discontent with their own lives was creating a negative tone that was breaking down the body of Christ instead of building it up. Yet, his call to service remained one of compassion. Instead of attacking the evil, he invited each Christ-follower to be strong in the faith which brought them to the salvation which was theirs in Christ Jesus. They were to do the good works of love and show how they were different. Their witness would make the difference by overcoming evil with good. And so it should be today.

PRAYER CONCERNS (share your needs and others in the comment section so that God’s Mighty Men can join prayer forces as intercessors of faith, hope and love)

* For Eric Balch and family following a tragic flash fire in his garage leaving his 18 month old
son dead from burns, his 3 year old son in serious condition with burns on his legs and feet
and he suffers from third degree burns on this lower body and arms from his rescue attempts;
pray for the strength of the spirit of this family as they come to terms by faith with this tragedy
* For the resolution of unrest in the Middle East with Israel, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and
Afghanistan
* For the continued successful containment of the oil leak from the damaged well in the Gulf of
Mexico as another tropical storm enters the area placing operations at risk
* For the resolution of the continuing violence along the U.S.-Mexico border as the violence
escalates in number and intensity of horror
* For the support and encouragement of those who are seeking employment and the peace of
mind that comes from trusting the process of God’s creation of a new opportunity with the
promise of vocational resurrection in its season
* For the family of the California teen whose body was found yesterday a victim of homicide on
her way home from summer school last week

PRAYER CELEBRATIONS (where we see Him at work in the world):

* For the witness of a mighty Church
* For the discovery of a mighty star

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Lord, in the midst of a darkness whose purpose is to consume others there is the light of hope which is ours. May that light so shine among men that Your Glory may be complete through each of these, Your mighty men . AMEN.

July 20, 2010

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

1 Samuel 22. 2

“And all those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him [David],
and he became their leader. About four hundred men were with him.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

God’s mighty men come from every corner of the world. Their walks in life have taken them through a myriad of experiences high and low. They have suffered much. None are perfect, yet God calls them His own. A look at the twelve disciples would leave any manager wondering what Jesus was thinking when He chose them. Yet, for Jesus it wasn’t as much a matter of who the men were but who they would become. So it was for David as he continued to move through Judea eluding Saul. He escaped to a cave in Adullam. There he found himself surrounded by four hundred men including his brothers, his father’s household and many others who were not happy about the fate and course of their lives. These men wearied of Saul’s leadership and drew strength from David’s courage and his faithfulness to God. The numbers would continue to grow until at last a nation would follow him.

Jesus calls us to be His mighty men. He knows of our trials and tribulations, our discontentment and distress. He knows of our indebtedness in sin. Yet, He does not stare in dismay and judgment at who we have been. Instead, He looks ahead into our future. He knows our enemy is not of this world. He pursues God wherever the Word leads Him. We are called to follow Him and seek our future, too. Our future is in Christ alone. Do not discount yourselves because of your past and current situation. Christ hasn’t. He died to put the past to rest. He lives to draw us closer to our restful future. If we are to be His mighty men, then we must seek Him out where He shall be found until our numbers grow and the Church as One will follow Him.

PRAYER CONCERNS (share your needs and others in the comment section so that God’s Mighty Men can join prayer forces as intercessors of faith, hope and love)

* For Eric Balch and family following a tragic flash fire in his garage leaving his 18 month old
son dead from burns, his 4 year old son in serious condition with burns on his legs and feet
and he suffers from third degree burns on this lower body and arms from his rescue attempts
and is in a medically induced coma in a Dallas hospital
* For the resolution of unrest in the Middle East with Israel, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and
Afghanistan
* For the continued successful containment of the oil leak from the damaged well in the Gulf of
Mexico and and lessons learned to provide attention needed to older and unused wells
throughout the Gulf; for the protection of flora and fauna in and along the coast
* For the resolution of the continuing violence along the U.S.-Mexico border as the violence
escalates in number and intensity of horror
* For the support and encouragement of those who are seeking employment and the peace of
mind that comes from trusting the process of God’s creation of a new opportunity with the
promise of vocational resurrection in its season
* Mack’s safe journey home

PRAYER CELEBRATIONS (where we see Him at work in the world):

* For the witness of a mighty Church
* The joy and healing which flowers bring
* The Mighty Men Jubilee is going to be completed this summer

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Lord, You who accepts us as we are and calls us to who we can be again draw us near and bless us with hope. We reach out as mighty men in training, disciples of Your Son Jesus the Christ, to take hold of that certain future that awaits the faithful. Guard and guide us today as we seek to do Your Will and stand strong against the enemy in a mighty witness of faith, hope and love. AMEN.

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