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October 31, 2011

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Acts 28.6

“The people expected him to swell up and suddenly fall dead (from being bitten by a snake) but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

Immediately let the Spirit speak into your spiritual heart and mind, “You are nothing without God.” If you cannot hear the Spirit say it, as it speaks many times in utterances and words we cannot hear nor understand, then say it yourself with confidence, “I am not anything without God.” God had delivered Paul, and those given to him on the voyage to Rome, from the brunt of a perfect storm off the shore of Crete. The Word had been given him that no one would lose their life- no centurion, crew, passenger or slave. While suffering great losses during the storm, not one life was lost. When they shipwrecked on Malta and they made their way onshore, the natives welcomed them. Paul helped with the building of a fire and a snake in a bundle of brush thrown into the fire leapt out and bite Paul on the hand. He did not die from the bite of the snake, obviously venomous by the reaction of the natives. They thought he would die as a punishment from God but when he did not they declared he was a god. Not the God, mind you, but a god. There was and is a difference. But that is not the focus of this lesson today.

The very fact that the natives, and perhaps many who had survived as Paul declared the angel of the Lord had told him, declared that though he was to be as good as dead he lives he must be more than they know. They elevated his status to that of some minor god. But, Paul knew that he was nothing without God. Hardships, trials and tribulations would confront him and those who were nearby as a collateral effect. He knew it would be an attack from the enemy to stop his decision to follow God’s decree to the end. But, as those who were nearby suffered alongside him many times, they also benefitted from the collateral blessing. It was not by Paul but by God. It was not because of Paul, it was because of Christ. So, it is for God’s mighty men even to this day. When we survive a trial, hardship or great challenge it is not because of us but because of God’s love for us. The benefit we receive is not for us alone but for all those given into our care and safekeeping. When we would dare to take credit then the glory would be removed. When we would allow ourselves to be elevated the burden of “success” will weigh us down. Yet, if we remain equally yoked with Christ then not only will we be supported by Him but join in the fullness of the blessing which is ours through Him due to our association with Him in all things and at all times.

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 recovering for the snowstorm in the Northeast where almost 3 million people are
without electricity
* For those displaced, injured or families of those killed, currently numbering nearly 600, in the
7.2 earthquake in Turkey last Sunday; we thank God that survivors have be found
* For the people in Thailand who are dealing still with the continuation of flood waters impacted
by high tides
* For protection on Christians around the world and the celebration that all life lived in Christ
will be blessed with life in the Kingdom
* For the breakthrough of a person hiding behind the stronghold of food addiction
* For justice in His Will to be done long before our agenda of justice is considered
* For the cessation of violence in Mexico: as long we allow drugs to make cost anything it will
cost us everything!
* For the mission teams sent out by the Church into all the world that they remain safe as they
intercede and plant the seed of faith, hope and love
* For all our military personnel of the past and present for the service they render and the
sacrifices they have made and are making for the sake of our country and for the benefit of
others around the world
* For Mission Waco and the people of Azerbaijan

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

* For the end of the NATO mission in Libya and the transition to a peaceful government
* For peace, prosperity and the blessing of healing for Lisa, Sam and their doctor consultations
* For His Word on what and where our ministry is to be: a given word at worship was “restore”

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, we are nothing without You, yet You who made us a little less than heavenly being finds us worthy in mercy and grace. Thank You for saving our lives by giving us to the One who loves us perfectly and made Himself obedient even unto death so that we all might live. AMEN.

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October 30, 2011

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Jeremiah 6.6

“This is what the Lord Almighty says (to the army of Babylon): Cut down the trees and build siege ramps against Jerusalem. This city must be punished; it is filled with oppression.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

I guess this was God’s way of saying “This is going to hurt me a lot more than it is going to hurt you.” The nation of Israel didn’t understand that any better than we did as children when we heard it from our parents as they disciplined us harshly. Yet, as a parent, we certainly understand the full impact of what it takes to say that to our children. We understand the difficulty it brings to our hearts and minds when we have to admit to ourselves there appears to be only two paths to take in guiding our children successfully into their future at this point in time. We could just let them continue on unharnessed and hope they learn from their mistakes before it is too late. We could enforce the consequences of violating the agreement we sought to make between parent and child to inspire compassion and safekeeping. It does not injure us physically to discipline our children (if it did then it wasn’t compassion but anger and you need to seek help). But, it tears at our heart, mind, soul and spirit because we have failed ourselves to guide them in the way that is appropriate and positive. Sometimes, children just have a mind of their own that won’t let them comply until a “point” is made. This is what happened to the nation of Israel in the days of Jeremiah. The prophets before him had shared the Word of the Lord and told them of the consequences of their non-compliance and lack of spiritual submission. The time had come when warnings and urgings and time outs were no longer an option. God allowed the armies of Babylon to enter the Promised Land and lay siege to Jerusalem. In modern terminology, He let down the force field protection and opened Jerusalem to attack. He had already promised they would not be utterly destroyed but they didn’t even understand the measure of mercy that was in that promise.

As God’s mighty men of today, we may need to look at ourselves more closely in times of attack. Before we cry foul, unfair and act apathetically as if no one cares, we may need to ask God what it is that we missed in His Word for us that day and in the days leading up to it. Was it for our own lack of submission? Was it for our non-compliance and disobedience that opened ourselves up to attack? It is not punishment that God allowed Babylon to take hold of Jerusalem and reduce it to rubble and carry off so many into exile. It was a life-teaching moment, a reality check and an opportunity to be better spiritual disciplined so that the enemy has no other recourse but to repent and become obedient to God for righteousness sake in their own lives and not simply servants doing His will without knowing the fruits of their labors.

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 those displaced, injured or families of those killed, currently numbering nearly 600, in the
7.2 earthquake in Turkey last Sunday; we thank God that survivors have be found
* For the people in Thailand who are dealing still with the continuation of flood waters impacted
by high tides
* For protection on Christians around the world and the celebration that all life lived in Christ
will be blessed with life in the Kingdom
* For the breakthrough of a person hiding behind the stronghold of food addiction
* For justice in His Will to be done long before our agenda of justice is considered
* For the cessation of violence in Mexico: as long we allow drugs to make cost anything it will
cost us everything!
* For the mission teams sent out by the Church into all the world that they remain safe as they
intercede and plant the seed of faith, hope and love
* For all our military personnel of the past and present for the service they render and the
sacrifices they have made and are making for the sake of our country and for the benefit of
others around the world
* For Mission Waco and the people of Austria

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

* For the story of “The Mighty Macs”…made me think about the students I am asked to lead
into their successful future and the challenges to overcome to do so
* For peace, prosperity and the blessing of healing for Lisa, Sam and their doctor consultations
* For His Word on what and where our ministry is to be: a given word at worship was “restore”

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, our ears and eyes are wide open to take in Your Word today for the good of our lives and for the betterment of others. As You speak to us, we will listen and obey better today than we have in the past so we do not miss the blessing You desire for us to receive in Jesus’ name. AMEN.

October 29, 2011

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

2 Corinthians 1.4

“Praise God who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

Jesus taught, “the measure you give is the measure you get.” Often we look at that teaching in a reciprocating fashion toward ourselves. We may align it with the Golden Rule “Do unto others as you would have it done to you.” But, the mighty man of God, Paul, proposes a different alignment of thought for the body of Christ. The measure of (comfort, service, hope, peace, compassion, mercy, kindess, etc.) you give is equal to, if not surpassing, the measure you have received from God. Our purpose as mighty men of God in the community of faith is so that we might build up the body of Christ until it reaches it full measure and stature. The full measure and stature of the body of Christ is to sit at the right hand of God the Father. We cannot be satisfied with our labors until we have seen the fulfillment of our hope which is to see the Redeemed of God gathered in peace and prosperity in the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in Heaven. God has provided us with the means and the resources to accomplish that good work. It is ours to do. We are purposed to give to others what we ourselves have received from God not in some conditional agreement with our fellow men- treat me nice and I will treat you nice.
Instead, we must say unconditionally, I treat you with respect, honor, mercy, peace, kindness, compassion, grace and love because that is exactly how God treats me.

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 those displaced, injured or families of those killed, currently numbering 573, in the 7.2
earthquake in Turkey on Sunday
* For those in the Caribbean and the Yucatan Peninsula who face the fury of Hurricane Rina
* For the people in Thailand who are dealing still with the continuation of flood waters impacted
by high tides
* For protection on Christians around the world and the celebration that all life lived in Christ
will be blessed with life in the Kingdom
* For the breakthrough of a person hiding behind the stronghold of food addiction
* For justice in His Will to be done long before our agenda of justice is considered
* For the cessation of violence in Mexico: as long we allow drugs to make cost anything it will
cost us everything!
* For the mission teams sent out by the Church into all the world that they remain safe as they
intercede and plant the seed of faith, hope and love
* For all our military personnel of the past and present for the service they render and the
sacrifices they have made and are making for the sake of our country and for the benefit of
others around the world
* For Mission Waco and the people of Australia

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

* For peace, prosperity and the blessing of healing for Lisa, Sam and their doctor consultations
* For His Word on what and where our ministry is to be: a given word at worship was “restore”

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, thank You for all You have done for us. Receive our offerings of gratitude as we share with others in like kind. AMEN.

October 28, 2011

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Luke 12.2b

“Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

Jesus taught, “I am the bread of life and the one who seeks me will never go hungry.” Keep this truth in mind. It is a faith truth. It is a truth we commit to each time we sit down and break bread with family, friends and future-friends and invoke the blessing of God in Jesus Christ over the bread and the breaking of it. Jesus is the bread of life- eternal and abundant life. He is the manna from Heaven given to us in proper portion each day with a double blessing of Jesus in preparation for the Sabbath days of our lives. He is the bread that will not mold, grow stale or ever fail to sate our hungering spirits. And the leaven which causes the spiritual dough to rise up is authentic love- agape, God’s love.

Jesus also taught, “The yeast of the Pharisees is hypocrisy.” He is saying that the bread which is the Pharisees is death. Those who seek them will continue to be hungry because it isn’t real bread at all. It looks like bread. It tastes like bread. It even smells and feels like bread. Our mind predicts that when we eat it it will be like real bread. But, it isn’t. It may have a reality consistent to cotton candy. As soon as we touch it it begins to revert to its original nature- sugar. What does the bread of the Pharisees turn back into? It turns into legalism. Legalism is the power one person has over another. They use laws to enforce the belief that someone else has the power over you. The enemy wants to convince you this is God’s will. The enemy declares, “I want to set you free to pursue the desires of your flesh while God wants to control every desire you have and keep you from joy.” That is hypocrisy because it is Satan who wants to control you by using your desires against you. God wants you to be in control of your passions and understand their true nature and purpose which is to serve others and glorify God.

Following the leaning of hypocrisy- you will always be hungry and thirsty and nothing will satisfy it. Following the stability of Christ- you will never go hungry or thirsty and loving others will always satisfy the desire of your life to be free, successful and joyful.

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 those displaced, injured or families of those killed, currently numbering 573, in the 7.2
earthquake in Turkey on Sunday
* For those in the Caribbean and the Yucatan Peninsula who face the fury of Hurricane Rina
* For the people in Thailand who are dealing still with the aftermath of flood waters
* For protection on Christians around the world and the celebration that all life lived in Christ
will be blessed with life in the Kingdom
* For the breakthrough of a person hiding behind the stronghold of food addiction
* For justice in His Will to be done long before our agenda of justice is considered
* For the cessation of violence in Mexico: as long we allow drugs to make cost anything it will
cost us everything!
* For the mission teams sent out by the Church into all the world that they remain safe as they
intercede and plant the seed of faith, hope and love
* For all our military personnel of the past and present for the service they render and the
sacrifices they have made and are making for the sake of our country and for the benefit of
others around the world
* For Mission Waco and the people of Aruba

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

* For peace, prosperity and the blessing of healing for Lisa, Sam and their doctor consultations
* For His Word on what and where our ministry is to be: a given word at worship was “restore”

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, for the bread of faith and the wine of hope set at love’s table for us, we give you thanks. For we know that what we are about to receive will empower us to be at peace and to live in joy. For this bounty we are blessed to be a blessing. Thank you, Father, in Jesus’ name. AMEN.

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October 27, 2011

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Hosea 2.14

“Therefore I am now going to allure her (Israel); I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

How many times have you thought “Oh, how I long for the good old days.” When you stop to think about it it would only work if you could take the knowledge you have gained in all the succeeding years back with you. If I could go back, the only thing I would ask God to let me have is the depth of my faith to know that I should have sought Him in all things. I know my life would have been different. It doesn’t mean it would be easier. It would be different. I cannot go back to overcome past mistakes or undo regrets of things done and undone. That part of my history, and that of all mighty men, is gone and forgotten in the history-mind of God. The blood of Jesus has covered that past and keeps the door open to my future, and all of ours. The choice now is to accept the invitation to walk through the door now and press into the kingdom forever.

God declared to Hosea one of those “go back in time” events which would come over Israel. God’s love for His people cannot be dispassionate. He wants for them to be restored and renewed. Their past cannot be undone but God’s presence (which is the same yesterday, today and forever) is not. He will call His people to trust Him again just as He did when He called Abraham into the wilderness, the captives out of Egypt into the Sinai and out of bondage in Babylon back to Jerusalem. The restoration will be complete because His people will humble themselves knowing that the lessons from history must finally pay off- God loves us and wants us to live with Him forever. We must trust in Him in all things and at all times leaving the rest to God.

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 displaced, injured or families of those killed, currently numbering 573, in the 7.2
earthquake in Turkey on Sunday
* For those in the Caribbean and the Yucatan Peninsula who face the fury of Hurricane Rina
* For the people in Thailand who are dealing still with the aftermath of flood waters
* For protection on Christians around the world and the celebration that all life lived in Christ
will be blessed with life in the Kingdom
* For the breakthrough of a person hiding behind the stronghold of food addiction
* For justice in His Will to be done long before our agenda of justice is considered
* For the cessation of violence in Mexico: as long we allow drugs to make cost anything it will
cost us everything!
* For the mission teams sent out by the Church into all the world that they remain safe as they
intercede and plant the seed of faith, hope and love
* For all our military personnel of the past and present for the service they render and the
sacrifices they have made and are making for the sake of our country and for the benefit of
others around the world
* For Mission Waco and the people of Armenia

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

* For peace, prosperity and the blessing of healing for Lisa, Sam
* For His Word on what and where our ministry is to be: a given word at worship was “restore”

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, thank You for undoing our past and giving us a life that will last forever to serve You alone in faith, hope and love. AMEN.

October 26, 2011

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

2 Samuel 9.13

“And Mephibosheth lives in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the king’s table, and he was crippled in both feet.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

David was moved to this act of kindness because of his affection for Jonathan who had befriended him when Jonathan’s father, Saul, had made himself an enemy of David. It did not matter to him that this young man was crippled in both feet. One who was crippled was looked down upon by the leaders of Israel as it was a sign of a terrible sin. Strange, however, how certain accommodations were made to those who had influence such as Jonathan, the son of King Saul. If it had been anyone else’s son, someone not of influence, this child would have been hidden from public view for fear that others would blame the problem on the parents or grandparents up to ten generations. But, this did not impact David’s thinking. He was motivated by honor and love. It was a shepherd’s heart that reached out to this lamb of God and bring him into the fold. He treated him as if he were David’s own son and gave him the privileges of being a son of a king even though he was handicapped. He did not see the handicap. He saw the face of Jonathan and was grateful for the opportunity to return the favor of kindness.

As God’s mighty men, whose face do we see when we look at someone whom life has been unkind to? How do we view the handicapped, the downtrodden, the outcast and the unfortunate? Do we see the face of Jesus in them? Are we motivated by the need to return kindness to the One who befriended us in our time of pursuit by the enemy named Satan? It would seem to me that we, too, were handicapped by sin running through the veins of our heart, mind and spirit until Jesus put the hand of mercy and grace upon our lives. If it were not for the grace of God in, through and over our lives, it could well be one of us or all of us who would be on the outside of community and fellowship, hidden in the darkness and called unclean. Give thanks to God for the blessing of His Son who has restored us to our rightful place in the kingdom, calls us Favored and now empowers us to do the same for others.

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 displaced, injured or families of those killed, currently numbering 355, in the 7.2
earthquake in Turkey on Sunday
* For those in the Caribbean and the Yucatan Peninsula who face the fury of Hurricane Rina
* For the people in Thailand who are dealing still with the aftermath of flood waters
* For protection on Christians around the world and the celebration that all life lived in Christ
will be blessed with life in the Kingdom
* For the breakthrough of a person hiding behind the stronghold of food addiction
* For justice in His Will to be done long before our agenda of justice is considered
* For the cessation of violence in Mexico: as long we allow drugs to make cost anything it will
cost us everything!
* For the mission teams sent out by the Church into all the world that they remain safe as they
intercede and plant the seed of faith, hope and love
* For all our military personnel of the past and present for the service they render and the
sacrifices they have made and are making for the sake of our country and for the benefit of
others around the world
* For Mission Waco and the people of Argentina

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

* For peace, prosperity and the blessing of healing for Lisa, Sam
* For His Word on what and where our ministry is to be: a given word at worship was “restore”

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, keep our eyes wide open to the reality of Your mercy and grace. May Your Holy Spirit whisper words of wisdom to remind us of who we have become and the opportunity it affords to extend mercy and grace to others. AMEN.

October 25, 2011

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

1 Kings 3.11

“Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth or the death of your enemies but to do justice, I will do what you have asked.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

Listen closely and I will tell you the key to long life, wealth and protection from your enemies. You must first have faith that there is a God. Since God is the creator, sustainer and provider of all blessings for health, wealth and security you must believe in the One True God and have no others before Him. You must believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the One True God and surrender your life to His passion for living because He laid down His life for yours so that you might have life and have it abundantly. Finally, you must ask God for wisdom in all things. Wisdom is the discernment of truth and the most effective means of bringing the truth to light in all situations. James 1.5 declares, “If anyone among you lacks wisdom, ask God for it and He who abundantly provides will meet your request.” If you have wisdom and use it to guide your daily walk and talk with God then everything else will be provided for you in abundance.

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 displaced, injured or families of those killed, currently numbering 355, in the 7.2
earthquake in Turkey on Sunday
* For positive efforts for democracy in Libya to increase; and peace rule in light of Ghadafi’s
death
* For those in the Caribbean and the Yucatan Peninsula who face the fury of Hurricane Rina
* For the people in Thailand who are dealing still with the aftermath of flood waters
* For protection on Christians around the world and the celebration that all life lived in Christ
will be blessed with life in the Kingdom
* For the breakthrough of a person hiding behind the stronghold of food addiction
* For justice in His Will to be done long before our agenda of justice is considered
* For the cessation of violence in Mexico: as long we allow drugs to make cost anything it will
cost us everything!
* For the mission teams sent out by the Church into all the world that they remain safe as they
intercede and plant the seed of faith, hope and love
* For all our military personnel of the past and present for the service they render and the
sacrifices they have made and are making for the sake of our country and for the benefit of
others around the world
* For Mission Waco and the people of Antigua and Barbuda

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

* For peace, prosperity and the blessing of healing for Lisa, Sam
* For His Word on what and where our ministry is to be: a given word at worship was “restore”

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, our lives are Yours. Our resources are Yours. Grant us wisdom today to put all things to use for good and to honor Your Name above all others. AMEN.

October 24, 2011

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Romans 4.17b

“He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed- the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

Our God is an awesome God. He gives life to the dead who are literally dead, including His Son. What a blessing we receive for our God who through His only begotten Son has made it possible for us to have life abundantly and eternally. We need only to accept the invitation to believe in Him and to walk the path of humility and service as Jesus did. But, God has added the dimension of grace which no other religion or faith can. When His Son died on the cross, He put an end to the living death that we are shrouded with. In the forgiveness of sins, God raises us from the dead and calls us to be sons of the Most High God. It isn’t just a title of relationship but a conferring of the blessing of our spiritual inheritance. We are not sons in name only but sons in the name of Jesus. Abraham was a firsthand witness of the blessing of God. He saw the miracle of life born in Sarah when it was not possible. God called it into being though it had not happened yet. Equally, He calls us into eternal life and in permanent residence with Him in the heavens even though we are not there yet. Because Abraham was a mighty man of God and believed mightily in Him, we are blessed to know this same God as the God of fulfilled promises and hope. Trust in the Lord your God and lean not upon the understandings of your own heart. This is our God who calls things into being though we cannot see them yet except by faith.

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 displaced, injured or families of those killed, currently numbering 264, in the 7.2
earthquake in Turkey on Sunday
* For positive efforts for democracy in Libya to increase; and peace rule in light of Ghadafi’s
death
* For the people of Greece as rioting ramps up; for the battles between Turkey and Iraq cease
and the way for peace be chosen
* For a parting of the waters in Thailand which are in abundance and for the places of drought
around the world where water is in lack
* For protection on Christians around the world and the celebration that all life lived in Christ
will be blessed with life in the Kingdom
* For the breakthrough of a person hiding behind the stronghold of food addiction
* For justice in His Will to be done long before our agenda of justice is considered
* For the cessation of violence in Mexico: as long we allow drugs to make cost anything it will
cost us everything!
* For the mission teams sent out by the Church into all the world that they remain safe as they
intercede and plant the seed of faith, hope and love
* For all our military personnel of the past and present for the service they render and the
sacrifices they have made and are making for the sake of our country and for the benefit of
others around the world
* For Mission Waco and the people of Anguilla

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

* For peace, prosperity and the blessing of healing for Lisa
* For His Word on what and where our ministry is to be: a given word at worship was “restore”

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, for the height, depth and breadth of life which You have provided us through Your Son and our Savior, we are truly thankful. Bless our words and actions today as we share the fullness of this life with others so that our joy may be complete. AMEN.

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October 23, 2011

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Mark 4.12

“Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

“They” say to ‘keep your friends close but your enemies closer.’ It might make you wander where your family members fit in. Are they friends or enemies or is there a separate category for them altogether? Of course, the intention of that statement is that you need to keep a close eye on those whose purpose is to oppose and depose you in your life and/or life’s endeavors. By having them in proximity to you there is the hope that awareness of you to them will show the true colors you fly as mighty men of God. Equally so, how close they are to you will allow you to see who else they are so you will know where, when and how to minister to them so they are no longer enemies. The only ones Jesus did not want close to Him, His disciples or those who desired to follow Him were the demons. He cast them far off back into the pits of Hell where their master writhed in anguish knowing his failure. He has no friends but cannot stand his enemies. But, how does that apply to His Word for us today?

It is a matter of approachability. Sometimes our own family members can act like enemies to us. The invocation of their will over us can be enticingly strong. We do not want to disappoint our family because they are, or should be, our friends. We love them even when they are unlovable which, at times, we show with disdain or worse. It is at that point we become more like enemies than friends. It is there that we must remember to draw nearer to them so they no longer approach us. If the distance between us increases then we will lose sight of our true relationship with them and they with us. Enmity will grow between us and become a tenuous tether that is the bond which binds us instead of love. As God’s mighty men we must love our enemies because we are aware that God has loved us, too, when we were His enemy due to our bondage to sin.

It is also a matter of approachability to the nearness of the Kingdom. For some, even the Kingdom of God appears to have enemy status. It challenges the worldly conventional wisdom that says to satisfy your own needs because no one else will. Those who follow God’s will are our true family, friends and colleagues in ministry. Their status is not bound by flesh and blood except that of Jesus Christ who drew near to us so that we might draw near to Him. So, it seems to me that we need to remember that we must: 1) keep our friends close, 2) keep our enemies closer, and 3) keep our family closest. To do this God’s mighty men ought to work to move friends (those close but not that close based on conditional relationships) into family status. To do this God’s mighty men must pour out their love, Christ’s love, on their enemies unconditionally in order to move them into family status. To do this God’s mighty men must recognize and foster that family relationship with God as His son’s and daughters so that there can be no distance between us now and for ever.

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 those displaced, injured or families of those killed in the 7.2 earthquake in Turkey this
morning
* For positive efforts for democracy in Libya to increase; and peace rule in light of Ghadafi’s
death
* For the people of Greece as rioting ramps up; for the battles between Turkey and Iraq cease
and the way for peace be chosen
* For a parting of the waters in Thailand which are in abundance and for the places of drought
around the world where water is in lack
* For protection on Christians around the world and the celebration that all life lived in Christ
will be blessed with life in the Kingdom
* For the breakthrough of a person hiding behind the stronghold of food addiction
* For justice in His Will to be done long before our agenda of justice is considered
* For the cessation of violence in Mexico: as long we allow drugs to make cost anything it will
cost us everything!
* For the mission teams sent out by the Church into all the world that they remain safe as they
intercede and plant the seed of faith, hope and love
* For all our military personnel of the past and present for the service they render and the
sacrifices they have made and are making for the sake of our country and for the benefit of
others around the world
* For Mission Waco and the people of Angola

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

* For peace, prosperity and the blessing of healing for Lisa
* For His Word on what and where our ministry is to be: a given word at worship was “restore”

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, thank You for restoring our status as members of the Holy Family and calling us beloved. AMEN.

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October 22, 2011

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Psalm 149.6

“May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hands.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

How many times do you have to read this verse of scripture before you are comfortable with the bi-polarity it espouses. On the one side you have God’s mighty men praising God with great fervor. On the other side you have God’s mighty men praising God with their voices wielding a double-edged sword in their hands to strike down their enemies. Does it mean that we are called to go out and eradicate the enemy in the name of God or does it mean that we praise God because our task is to totally wipe out the enemy? Some may see two sides of the same coin and use it to justify their intentions to do harm to enemies or those who are perceived as enemies.

I see the balance each side provides to the other. If our mouths are filled with the praise of God we will be humble in victory and lead by the Spirit in all our ventures. If we are to wield a double-edged sword in battle, then we must be armed with desire to make the movement complete so that death is merciful and swift. We are called to be black and white in our decisions to follow and act according to God’s Word. We are called to be hot or cold concerning our commitment to be mighty men of God. We cannot have mumbling mouths or dull edges. Our efforts must be full and powerful or not at all. We cannot protect the innocent and weak or defeat the guilty and strong if God is not in us and our resources are poor. To say it in another way, “We must be deft in our faith as mighty men of God or else we are daft.”.

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 positive efforts for democracy in Libya to increase as the siege of Ghadafi is at an end
* For the people of Greece as rioting ramps up; for the battles between Turkey and Iraq cease
and the way for peace be chosen
* For a parting of the waters in Thailand which are in abundance and for the places of drought
around the world where water is in lack
* For protection on Christians around the world and the celebration that all life lived in Christ
will be blessed with life in the Kingdom
* For the breakthrough of a person hiding behind the stronghold of food addiction
* For justice in His Will to be done long before our agenda of justice is considered
* For the cessation of violence in Mexico: as long we allow drugs to make cost anything it will
cost us everything!
* For the mission teams sent out by the Church into all the world that they remain safe as they
intercede and plant the seed of faith, hope and love
* For all our military personnel of the past and present for the service they render and the
sacrifices they have made and are making for the sake of our country and for the benefit of
others around the world
* For Mission Waco and the people of Andorra

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

* For peace, prosperity and the blessing of healing for Lisa
* For His Word on what and where our ministry is to be: a given word at worship was “restore”

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, may Your Word be complete in us and through us that Your Will be done. AMEN.

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