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1439

September 30, 2013

Love one another deeply from the heart of Jesus in 2013!

HIS WORD for today:

Isaiah 41.25

“[Says the Lord who appears as a mighty man] I have stirred up one from the north, and He comes- one from the rising sun who calls on My name. He treads on rulers as if they were mortar, as if He were a potter treading the clay.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

Of course, Nebuchadnezzar was not actually from the north since he came from the capital of Babylonia but he would have travelled north over the fertile crescent to descent in Israel. He certainly did not call upon the name of the Lord until after his experience with Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abedneggo at the fiery furnace. Becoming a servant of God opens your life to doing the service of God. Even when it wasn’t our intention to do so we can be used to serve God’s people. God can bring good out of what we have done whether we meant to or not. God prepares us for something in our future which hasn’t been revealed to us yet, especially when we thought we had no purpose at all. Before Nebuchadnezzar knew Yahweh as God, he was the servant of God bringing dire consequences upon the nation of Israel and its capital of Jerusalem. He thought he was serving his own purposes and enjoyed his good fortune for the plunder. But, things did not quite end up as he thought. He believed he was molding the enemy into allies by power and force. He himself was being molded into a servant of God who would see the power and force of God. But, that is another story!

Let me assert the Messianic prophecy also embedded in this word given to Isaiah to be revealed to Israel. Is not our Savior Jesus actually from the house of Joseph of Nazareth? Was not the bulk of His ministry performed in the northern regions of Israel formerly known as the Land of the Ten Tribes? Did he not spend much of His time molding and shaping a group of men who would be leaders of the Church following His resurrection and return to sit at the right hand of God? Did they not believe in the power of the rising sun and the Risen Son? Were they not oriented toward the beginning of the new day and not merely accept the close of the day passed? And if this is true, is it not true also that this prophecy is not just about Jesus as the Christ who would be ruler and savior of Israel and the world? Is it not also about the rise of the followers of Christ who would lead future followers before the very footstool of God which is Jerusalem and before the throne of God in Heaven through Jesus Christ? That would mean that Isaiah’s prophecy was revealed in Jesus Christ far more than in Nebuchadnezzar because Jesus is about life in this world and the next and Nebuchadnezzar was all about this life only! It would also mean that Isaiah’s prophecy remains powerfully true when align ourselves as fellow mighty men to journey with the King of Kings to new Jerusalem and find the Temple of God’s mercy and grace established permanently without end in Him! Be stirred up, mighty men of God. There is hope and life in you which is meant for the world. Hear the Word of God and seek its full application in your life. Remain faithful and obedient to God as was Christ and know the full measure of the stature of righteousness which is given to you by His Holy Spirit. Become the light which overcomes the darkness and find yourself joined together as the terminus of peace and justice that sweeps across the earth with the rising sun and the Risen Son. Do not let anything false abide in you and see the fullness of His healing grace so that your service may bring glory and honor to God in all you say and do.

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 our government and budget to become balanced before the Lord
* For the true will of God to be revealed concerning Syria and Kenya
* For the healing of a nation from recent wounds
* For divine sealing of the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan
* For those who are seeking to put an end to human trafficking that their success would be overwhelming so that the healing may be equally so
* For the violence to stop in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Turkey and North Korea and the open roads for peace be made so that healing may begin and peace rules
* For protection on Christians around the world and the celebration that all life lived in Christ will be blessed with life in the Kingdom- especially in Egypt as riots are violating and destroying Christian churches and their members
* 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 Mission Waco, “No Man’s Land” and the people of Madagascar
* Strength of mind to regularly workout, eat correctly and lose weight in my 57/57 challenge
* For deliverance from cancer in my brother; healing for Lisa’s body, mind and spirit; healing for JoAnn, Betty and Linda; for Mack to receive direction for his life and a trust in God to provide healing of body, mind and soul; for all the concerns lifted up in LG; for co-workers who are believing for deliverance for their daughter

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

* God remains in control and still speaks into our chaos to make sense of our world
* God is manifesting healing in my family and providing wisdom for a challenging decision for each of us (all vocationally-centered) daily

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, we know that we have not done or been all that was meant for our lives. We declare we are a work in progress. But, Lord, we are grateful that You are not done with us yet either. Your purpose still abides for us and with us. May Your Spirit be imparted to us and through us so that Your Will can be known better today in the world than it has ever been! AMEN.

1438

September 29, 2013

Love one another deeply from the heart of Jesus in 2013!

HIS WORD for today:

Isaiah 42.23-24

“Which of you will listen to this or pay close attention in time to come? Who handed Jacob over to become loot, and Israel to the plunderers? Was it not the Lord, against whom we have sinned? For they would not follow His ways; they did not obey His law.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

They say “Hindsight is 20/20.” We ought to be intelligent enough to learn from our mistakes. We ought to be smart enough to understand “Those who fail to learn from their past are doomed to repeat it.” We are surrounded by insightful and pithy statements that capture the truth of what many parents attempt to communicate to their children or teachers to their students or leaders to their followers- “What is it that I said that you do not understand?” Of course, in the context of leadership we certainly understand that we are heard best and listened to most when there is a relationship established between the two entities. No one will listen long to us if we adopt the “Because I told you” attitude. No matter how truthful our words may be or how on target they might have been, very few people enjoy being “bossed” around. However, if there is a relationship established, one of trust and mutual concern, then when the word is spoken or given, it is heard and listened to.

So, we God out of relationship with man? No! He did not give the Law so that He could march around Heaven and earth saying “See, I told you so. If you would just do what I say then you wouldn’t have these problems.” He gave the Law because man was weak in their own relationship with themselves at the faith and trust level. Sin introduced into our hearts and minds “seeing is believing” and then interpreted it with a resounding “right now.” Building a relationship takes time. We can all give an immediate word. No, the problem existed that man had a difficult time being in relationship with God. Man is more comfortable with giving order than taking them. We are more prone to wander than wonder. Israel based their understanding of living before God based on what they saw of other nations whose God was not Yahweh. They begged for God to act in a manner that suited them instead of being suited to act in a manner that pleased God. And, I might dare say, in a manner that actually worked in securing a peaceful and prosperous and promising life. They begged for a king, judges, and laws. They rejected the wisdom and shepherding of God’s servants from Moses to today. They pleaded to be bound by a covenant of law believing that a few standards of accomplishment could be satisfied that would please God to give them what they wanted. A king they could rule. A judge they could court. A law they could interpret. A God they could cajole. Except, it never does work that way.

But, mighty men, have you learned from your past mistakes? Are you caught in the cycle of the error of your ways. Do you not hear and do you not understand that the pursuit of righteousness fits you with the suit of spiritual armor that is suited to you and for you? The only time we can have it our way is when our way is God’s way. Jesus Christ lived in Israel to demonstrate how living God’s way actually works. Even in death, His death, we have something to learn from and live by. Do you think that His consequence was because of sin since the end result of sin is suffering and death? No, His consequence of death was life- righteousness, having been proved by God in faithful and fateful obedience. So which of you will pay close attention to the lessons of the past- their and yours, and come to God in time? Which of you will listen to the truth of God’s Word and the surety of His Promise and repent, turn your eyes upon Jesus and follow Him all the days of your life? Or are you satisfied with just being another page in the history book of life that fades away over time?

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 true will of God to be revealed concerning Syria and Kenya
* For the healing of a nation from recent wounds
* For divine sealing of the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan
* For those who are seeking to put an end to human trafficking that their success would be overwhelming so that the healing may be equally so
* For the violence to stop in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Turkey and North Korea and the open roads for peace be made so that healing may begin and peace rules
* For protection on Christians around the world and the celebration that all life lived in Christ will be blessed with life in the Kingdom- especially in Egypt as riots are violating and destroying Christian churches and their members
* 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 Mission Waco, “No Man’s Land” and the people of Macedonia
* Strength of mind to regularly workout, eat correctly and lose weight in my 57/57 challenge
* For deliverance from cancer in my brother; healing for Lisa’s body, mind and spirit; healing for JoAnn, Betty and Linda; for Mack to receive direction for his life and a trust in God to provide healing of body, mind and soul; for all the concerns lifted up in LG; for co-workers who are believing for deliverance for their daughter

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

* God remains in control and still speaks into our chaos to make sense of our world
* God is manifesting healing in my family and providing wisdom for a challenging decision for each of us (all vocationally-centered) daily

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, do not tire of revealing Yourself to us and showing us the truth about our lives. May our eyes be open and our hearing be clear so that we may see and believe, hear and understand Your perfect will for our lives! AMEN.

1437

September 27, 2013

Love one another deeply from the heart of Jesus in 2013!

HIS WORD for today:

Isaiah 42.17

“[Says the Lord who marches out like a mighty man] But those whose trust is in idols, who say to images ‘You are our gods’ – you will be turned back in utter shame.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

In the preamble to the covenant of the Law, which we know as ‘The Ten Commandments,’ the people of God are told that if they truly follow God and lean on Him with their whole heart, mind, soul and strength they will not have any need or desire for lesser gods. In fact, they will not even need to surround themselves with images meant to capture and define the essence, nature and being of God. Idolatry is one of the greatest aberrations of a life of faith committed to serving God and God alone. Those whose lives are dependent on relationships with idols of any kind find themselves in direct opposition to the will and nature of God. Mighty men of God must be careful in the presentation of their own faith and faith walk not to lean too much on images as being the objects of their affection in the faith. We should honor and respect the cross, the Bible, the pictures of Jesus. But, to put them in such a place as if they are the objects of our attention instead of being the vehicles which help us draw closer to God puts even our own testimony at risk.

But, we must be honest in our presentation of walking in righteousness with God and before God as to what these idols are in the world.

1) They can be people. We have movie idols, rock stars, business moguls, academic gurus and experts of all kinds. We have sports heroes, military heroes and the like. We have mentors and role models. But, to elevate them as if they give our lives meaning and purpose is to actually lower them to the status of idols and opposed to God. Only God can truly give our lives meaning and purpose and in the person of Jesus Christ we see the most perfect example of what it means to live by faith, walk by faith and serve by faith. But, where even Jesus declared that He and the Father were One, He dared not claim equality with God only the sameness by faith and in love which is ours as well.

2) Objects and images are also idols. What else do we look upon to satisfy our needs and lead us to believe that our earthly lives, even our spiritual lives, are enhanced and fulfilled by gazing up, holding and putting in places of prominence. This is where pornography raises its ugly head because it takes away the true essence and nature and beauty of a person and reduces them to the level of slaves and non-entities whose only purpose is to please and satisfy our carnal desires. These carnal desires are not a focus on God or our godly, spiritual nature. They can easily overwhelm the one who participates in it and supplant a right relationship with both man (and woman and child) and God.

3) What are you willing to die for? If it is anything beyond the lives of others and the glory of God then that which you desire to protect and preserve may also be placed in the category of idol and false images. These objects cannot truly define, refine or promote who we are at a spiritual level. It is not wrong to have nice things nor even in abundance but when they consume our time, energy and resources as if they are our life-givers then they are dangerous to our spiritual selves and our right relationships.

I cannot help but hear Jesus, as Matthew records it, saying “Many will say ‘Lord, Lord’ but I will not recognize them and I will know them not. Depart from me because you practice lawlessness.” (Matthew 7.21-23) Mighty men of God, guard yourselves and assess what does have your attention, what drives your life to fulfillment and to whom have your given your full and partial allegiance. You have been clothed in righteousness through the mercy and grace of God. Why would you want to exchange it for the rags of shame and despair?

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 true will of God to be revealed concerning Syria and Kenya
* For the healing of a nation from recent wounds
* For divine sealing of the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan
* For those who are seeking to put an end to human trafficking that their success would be overwhelming so that the healing may be equally so
* For the violence to stop in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Turkey and North Korea and the open roads for peace be made so that healing may begin and peace rules
* For protection on Christians around the world and the celebration that all life lived in Christ will be blessed with life in the Kingdom- especially in Egypt as riots are violating and destroying Christian churches and their members
* 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 Mission Waco, “No Man’s Land” and the people of Macau
* Strength of mind to regularly workout, eat correctly and lose weight in my 57/57 challenge
* For deliverance from cancer in my brother; healing for Lisa’s body, mind and spirit; healing for JoAnn, Betty and Linda; for Mack to receive direction for his life and a trust in God to provide healing of body, mind and soul; for all the concerns lifted up in LG; for co-workers who are believing for deliverance for their daughter

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

* God remains in control and still speaks into our chaos to make sense of our world
* God is manifesting healing in my family and providing wisdom for a challenging decision for each of us (all vocationally-centered) daily

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, You alone are our God. In You alone we trust. Forgive us when our desire for wholeness and fulfillment leads us to accept a lesser standard of respect and honor for ourselves and others. Wash us clean again and reclothe us in righteousness for Your Name’s sake! AMEN.

1436

September 26, 2013

Love one another deeply from the heart of Jesus in 2013!

HIS WORD for today:

Isaiah 42.16

“[Says the Lord who marches out like a mighty man] I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn darkness into light for them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

There are none so blind as those who refuse to see! Isaiah will later espouse the truth of God concerning the coming Christ saying “the people who have dwelt in darkness have seen a great light.” Paul was blinded by the light of Christ and restored by the same glory. God was not speaking of those who were medically blind with some visual impairment. God was speaking of those whose own lives had blinded them to the truth or who had been blinded to the truth by false leaders and teachers and shepherds. God’s people, and the rest of the world, was being sold a bill of goods that had no depth of quality and a lack of productability. They were being convinced there was nothing to do save themselves so any life with God was impossible no matter what. They based this idea on what was happening in a world that was infested and infected by sin. Without a hope for a divine future they were lead to pursue the “best” life this world could offer. Or worse, lead to just give up on life altogether. They lost sight of the might of God which abhorred the law and enjoyed grace. They lost sight of the interventions of God on behalf of His people as He had delivered them time and again out of one captivity or another. They were returning to the ways of their forefathers who begged to be led back into Egypt because in the wilderness it seemed they had nothing but that was worse than having less than nothing which is what they had before. “A people without vision perish.”

Through Isaiah, God was restoring the vision of the people who had eyes to see and desired to see even if what they saw was personally revealing and painful. God was restoring the vision of the people who had ears to hear even if what they heard was personally convicting and begged condemnation. God was restoring the vision of the people who had a heart for God even if it had long grown cold and dead in their bodies. God was restoring the vision of the people who had accepted a broken spirit as normal and a healed spirit as an impossible reality. All God wanted was for someone to believe, receive and press forward. He wanted someone who would dare to walk unfamiliar paths following a shepherd-priest-king out of the wilderness of Sin and into the Promised Land of God. God was proclaiming His divine affection for His people who had forsaken Him while He had never yet forsaken them. He just wanted them to want to be loved and His love would pour down like rain from Heaven to fill the empty and dry places in their lives, bringing green pastures to barren wildernesses and abundance where the cupboards had been bare.

Will we trust Him again? Are we not walking again in times that seem strangely familiar to those which God had found His own people, Israel, time and time again? But, there is a hope! There is a mighty man of God who is shepherd-priest-king for us all. His name is Jesus! Believe you can see and you will see. Believe you can hear and you will hear. Believe you can be loved and you will be loved. Believe you are free and you will be set free. God’s word is true and righteous altogether. His covenant of love and grace is pure and without end. He stands before your enemies and declares eternal victory. As Paul sang loudly before the mighty men of Corinth “Death where is your victory. Death where is your sting. Death has been overcome by the victory of Jesus Christ our Lord.”

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 true will of God to be revealed concerning Syria and Kenya
* For the healing of a nation from recent wounds
* For divine sealing of the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan
* For those who are seeking to put an end to human trafficking that their success would be overwhelming so that the healing may be equally so
* For the violence to stop in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Turkey and North Korea and the open roads for peace be made so that healing may begin and peace rules
* For protection on Christians around the world and the celebration that all life lived in Christ will be blessed with life in the Kingdom- especially in Egypt as riots are violating and destroying Christian churches and their members
* 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 Mission Waco, “No Man’s Land” and the people of Luxembourg
* Strength of mind to regularly workout, eat correctly and lose weight in my 57/57 challenge
* For deliverance from cancer in my brother; healing for Lisa’s body, mind and spirit; healing for JoAnn, Betty and Linda; for Mack to receive direction for his life and a trust in God to provide healing of body, mind and soul; for all the concerns lifted up in LG; for co-workers who are believing for deliverance for their daughter

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

* God remains in control and still speaks into our chaos to make sense of our world
* God is manifesting healing in my family and providing wisdom for a challenging decision for each of us (all vocationally-centered) daily

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, we see, we hear, we feel, we believe that Jesus is our Lord, our Shepherd, our Priest, our King. Thank you for the blessing of life which is now ours that can never be taken away because Your mercy and grace is sufficient and all-powerful in Jesus’ name! AMEN.

1435

September 25, 2013

Love one another deeply from the heart of Jesus in 2013!

HIS WORD for today:

Isaiah 42.15

“[Says the Lord who marches out like a mighty man] I will lay waste the mountains and hills and dry up all their vegetation; I will turn rivers into islands and dry up pools.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

For the prophet, extreme language was not uncommon. I am not speaking of “extreme language” as we understand it by today’s terminology but as in the broad spectrum of actions and defining realities. We hear in contemporary praise and worship music “as far as the east is from the west.” That is the prophetic “extreme language” I am refering to. If we see the picture in a linear fashion the east and the west move from a specific point out in opposite directions which never meet. The image comes to mind of the “wideness of God’s mercy as it was extended through Jesus Christ on the cross.” His arms extending wide to the east and the west in order to take in all people figuratively speaking. But, if we see the picture in a cyclical fashion then the understanding standing changes so that the extension becomes a circle reaching out far and coming back to itself. One of Einstein’s understandings of the universe is that it is expanding but will reach a point where it will begin to bend and turn back to itself. It is an image not of a drawing in but a return to its origin. Indeed, God’s love is like that for all His children. It draws them into a return to their point of origin which is God Himself. How far He will let His children go has sadly not been realized yet but the fact remains that many are bending their wills due to His great love and are finding themselves returning to God as the source of their life in this world and in the next. That, my mighty men friends, is extreme and extremely awesome.

Bear this understanding of prophetic “extreme language” as you contemplate HIS WORD for Today. In the world, the destruction of mountains and hills might draw the image of earthquakes changing the face of the earth. But, these words were also used to describe powers, principalities, governments and their leaders in greater and lesser extents. When the judgment and revitalization of the world begins on that, as yet, unrevealed day, it will strike first at the heart and seat of government and its leaders, including the institutions of religion. Those who have built themselves up, as did the people of Babel build up a tower in order to achieve equal status with God, will find themselves torn down and reduced to their essential elements. Their prowess and survival is built on earthly manifestations. Global, national and local powers and principalities will all be impacted.

Additionally, God will dry up “all their vegetation.” We have seen the devastation of grass, forest and prairie fires swallowing flora, fauna and dwellings from the east to the west and parts inbetween. That destruction is extreme and leaves few survivors in its wake. Equally, the vegetation represents the production of those powers and principalities which are meant for the people they serve but which truly only serve themselves and their interests. Without the means and resources for survival the playing field is leveled. All become as one before the “mighty man who is the Lord marching out before all the world.”

See also the same understandings for rivers which become islands. Just the other day in Pakistan, an earthquake changed the course of a river and created an island. Rivers have long been seen as the sustainers of life flowing in their season to deliver silt for farmland, water for irrigation, fish for food and a means of transporting goods from one place to another. The prophet speaks of rivers flowing from the throne of God along which grow trees of every kind whose season of fruitbearing never ends. But, what happens when water becomes land and land becomes water. What was exists no more and what exists is barren and isolated. Those resources of earth which we count on so heavily will cease to exist, man will become an island dependant on the rivers of God alone for their sustenance. The judgment is so extreme that even the last vestiges of hope, the pools that remain will evaporate under the heat of His judgment and the Son of His Salvation.

Suddenly, the extreme is truly revealed in a fashion that becomes virtually undeniable. It is a truth that has always existed. God and man can live together in faith, hope and love but man can never be God and God can never be man except in Jesus Christ alone. In Him we have our hope and salvation regardless of the worldly condition in which we might find ourselves. In Him we are one with God. Without Him we are as good as lightyears away from Him. It may sound extreme, unfathomable, perhaps even unreasonable to the unbeliever. But, for the mighty God nothing is too great, too vast, too extreme to escape the presence and the power of God. Thank God, no problem is too big for God to handle and no person is too small to escape His caring and searching eye. Praise God with me- the Extreme 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 the true will of God to be revealed concerning Syria and Kenya
* For the healing of a nation from recent wounds
* For divine sealing of the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan
* For those who are seeking to put an end to human trafficking that their success would be overwhelming so that the healing may be equally so
* For the violence to stop in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Turkey and North Korea and the open roads for peace be made so that healing may begin and peace rules
* For protection on Christians around the world and the celebration that all life lived in Christ will be blessed with life in the Kingdom- especially in Egypt as riots are violating and destroying Christian churches and their members
* 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 Mission Waco, “No Man’s Land” and the people of Lithuania
* Strength of mind to regularly workout, eat correctly and lose weight in my 57/57 challenge
* For deliverance from cancer in my brother; healing for Lisa’s body, mind and spirit; healing for JoAnn, Betty and Linda; for Mack to receive direction for his life and a trust in God to provide healing of body, mind and soul; for all the concerns lifted up in LG; for co-workers who are believing for deliverance for their daughter

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

* God remains in control and still speaks into our chaos to make sense of our world
* God is manifesting healing in my family and providing wisdom for a challenging decision for each of us (all vocationally-centered) daily

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, You alone are the Extreme- extremely good, loving, awesome in power and mighty in mercy. No matter where we are You are not only there but have been there before us. Thank you, God, for being there with us and here with us! AMEN.

1434

September 24, 2013

Love one another deeply from the heart of Jesus in 2013!

HIS WORD for today:

Isaiah 42.14

“[Says the Lord who marches out like a mighty man] For a long time I have kept silent. I have been quiet and held myself back. But now, like a woman in childbirth, I cry out, I gasp and pant.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

It is verses such as this one that causes me to smile at those who want to personify God as a male. Are we so weak in our imagination that we cannot conceive of a God who embodies the knowledge of males and females? Indeed, we know from the first that God created humanity, male and female, in His image- He created them. It didn’t take long, however, for the male dominance opinion to take over and we receive an addendum explanation that God silenced Adam into a deep sleep, anesthetized by the Holy Spirit, while surgery was done to remove a rib from Adam’s side around which God would create woman who came from man. If indeed this is how God chose to create “us” in His image then I am good with that but man should consider the consequences and full effect of that means of creation. If woman is from man then we should treat them with far greater respect and honor than we do. For from Adam may have sprung Eve but all people, including males, after that came from Eve. We owe our lives to the process which God created to bring other human beings into the world. With that in mind, we hear God now cry out as if He himself is giving birth to a new life. The process and the pain is not lost on Him. Our agony, grief and suffering as well as our joy, hope and love are experienced first in Him who is first in us. Or is He?

If God is truly first in us then how can we so easily disrespect life? God has remained “silent” because He intended for mighty men to speak for Him. God has revealed Himself to us with the sole purpose that we would be His revelation before all the world. Israel was seen as the missionary light to the world, for the entire world. They were not to be a people unto themselves while the rest of the world fell into despair and chaos. God created His people out of that very chaos and called them to be a separate people in the sense of rising above the chaos in order to show the true peace and love of God. When Christ gave command to His followers to make disciples of all nations, He meant throughout the entire world. He did not mean that the Church should cloister itself and become inbred in its faith. Faith, like love, is not faith unless it is shared and its creative presence brings new life to bear in the world.

But, beware, all peoples of the world including His mighty men. God’s silence will not last forever. His patience with our silence as a Church who cannot find its voice among the nations will run out. He will bring this new life to bear in the world Himself as if He were giving birth. He will triumph over the enemy once and for all whether we join with Him or not. His hope is eternal but His patience will know its limit. His patience is not limited by the wickedness which perverts the world with death, disease, hate, bitterness and ignorance or immorality. His patience is bound by His tolerance and support of His people. But, if they refuse to act against the enemy especially now when they have received the power of grace and its full effect of God’s love empowered by the personalized blessing of His Holy Spirit, then they will have made themselves enemies of God and He will cry out.

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 true will of God to be revealed concerning Syria and Kenya
* For the healing of a nation from recent wounds
* For divine sealing of the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan
* For those who are seeking to put an end to human trafficking that their success would be overwhelming so that the healing may be equally so
* For the violence to stop in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Turkey and North Korea and the open roads for peace be made so that healing may begin and peace rules
* For protection on Christians around the world and the celebration that all life lived in Christ will be blessed with life in the Kingdom- especially in Egypt as riots are violating and destroying Christian churches and their members
* 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 Mission Waco, “No Man’s Land” and the people of Liechenstein
* Strength of mind to regularly workout, eat correctly and lose weight in my 57/57 challenge
* For deliverance from cancer in my brother; healing for Lisa’s body, mind and spirit; healing for JoAnn, Betty and Linda; for Mack to receive direction for his life and a trust in God to provide healing of body, mind and soul; for all the concerns lifted up in LG; for co-workers who are believing for deliverance for their daughter

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

* God remains in control and still speaks into our chaos to make sense of our world
* God is manifesting healing in my family and providing wisdom for a challenging decision for each of us (all vocationally-centered) daily

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, we cry out to You of our lack of ability to bring love to its full effect. Revive us again and hear our voices of truth speak against the wrong, our voices of love speak against the hate, our hope against the despair. May our praises bring peace into our world even if it sounds like a woman in travail. May the life You want to be born in this world come! AMEN.

1433

September 23, 2013

Love one another deeply from the heart of Jesus in 2013!

HIS WORD for today:

Isaiah 42.13

“The Lord will march out like a mighty man, like a warrior He will stir up His zeal; with a shout He will raise the battle cry and will triumph over His enemies.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

It would be interesting to have been among the nation of Israel as they marched around the walls of Jericho shouting to the Lord in the presence of those who manned the walls. It would be powerful to hear a people united raising a holy roar and then with a trumpet blast rise up in a leap of faith. It would be awesome to have soared in the air with the anticipation that when our feet touched down the walls of Jericho would fall as well. If all our battles could be won as easily as that! What God can do the mind of man cannot fully fathom. The depth of His resolve and the breadth of His might exceeds what earthly man can do. But, it cannot exceed what His mighty men can do because He is a part of it. Where earthly man is left with limited resources and resorts to mass violence to overcome his enemies (see the Nairobi mall incident, for example), the mighty man of God needs only to march out with God and give a mighty shout to bring triumph over his enemies (see David versus Goliath.) The expectations do not change (triumph over an enemy) but the perception of action certainly did change. How many of Israel’s battles were won against incredible odds and with no actual fighting or limited action? The conquest of Canaan is defined by such battles. The greatest weapon of warfare (spiritual or otherwise) is faith.

On the day of earthly conquest, it will be a battle of faith. How we have such a difficult time imagining what that day will be like. We readily grab concepts of all the military conquests and devastating weapons, real or imagined, when it comes to deciding what Armeggedon will look like. In fact, the enemy may certainly roll out all the weapons of the world available to him against the forces of God. But, it will be the Lamb of God with victory emblazoned on His thighs who will right out in front of God’s mighty men before the enemy. With a mighty shout of praise for God and disdain for Satan, the enemy will fall into the pit of Hell and drown in the lake of eternal fiery torment. If He calls us to have the faith of God enough to fill a thimble and move mountains, can we not imagine what a universe worth of faith can do to a pitiful enemy whose rebellion of God had already been put down once and now for all? Take heart, mighty men of God- our God reigns. His power is undefeatable. His mighty is indefatiguable. His will is unsurpassable. His love in insurmountable. His victory is complete. Our salvation is sure. Instead of acting like what we think the world defines as a mighty man, live like what faith has shown us is a mighty man. His name is Jesus and He is our Christ, the Son of the Living 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 the true will of God to be revealed concerning Syria and Kenya
* For the protection of life and property in Taiwan in the brunt of Typhoon Usagi
* For divine sealing of the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan
* For those who are seeking to put an end to human trafficking that their success would be overwhelming so that the healing may be equally so
* For the violence to stop in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Turkey and North Korea and the open roads for peace be made so that healing may begin and peace rules
* For protection on Christians around the world and the celebration that all life lived in Christ will be blessed with life in the Kingdom- especially in Egypt as riots are violating and destroying Christian churches and their members
* 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 Mission Waco, “No Man’s Land” and the people of Libya
* Strength of mind to regularly workout, eat correctly and lose weight in my 57/57 challenge
* For deliverance from cancer in my brother; healing for Lisa’s body, mind and spirit; healing for JoAnn, Betty and Linda; for Mack to receive direction for his life and a trust in God to provide healing of body, mind and soul; for all the concerns lifted up in LG; for co-workers who are believing for deliverance for their daughter

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

* God remains in control and still speaks into our chaos to make sense of our world
* God is manifesting healing in my family and providing wisdom for a challenging decision for each of us (all vocationally-centered) daily

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, empower the whole armor of God which we put on today. By its presence alone, emblazoned by Your Holy Spirit, we shall be victorious against the enemy. He cannot withstand the power of Your Word which is our praise. AMEN.

1432

September 22, 2013

Love one another deeply from the heart of Jesus in 2013!

HIS WORD for today:

John 7.37-39a

“On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.’By this he meant the Holy Spirit.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

When last I posted, I celebrated the good news of five aquifers discovered in northern Kenya which will bring great assistance in meeting the needs of the citizens in that area. Today, I return to post bearing in mind the tragedy of gangland terrorism that has befallen Nairobi with the killing and hostage holding in a popular mall. The Al-Shabaab group, an offshoot of Al-Quida, is claiming responsibility in retaliation for the disruption of their organization in southern Kenya. As these groups gain in popularity and power, it will cause many to consider their ultimate motivation and end result. As mighty men of God, we know their motivation is cowardice and ignorance (no matter how “well planned” their attack may seem). Their inability to promote mutually beneficial efforts to support all parties concerned shows a lack of knowledge and wisdom. They believe they are left with only primordial “screams” as their greatest weapon. Their end result is not the death and manipulation of the status quo regardless of how many deaths may be wrought. Their end result will be burning in hell because their actions are without the humility and grace of Christ. The same can be said for all terrorists in my opinion. I pray for their salvation to be realized and their arms to be laid aside. I pray they turn to Christ and find the unending provision He can bring to their needs. I pray they will humble themselves, surrender to just authority and become peacemakers.

How does this tie to my last post? The rivers of living water which brings fruitful life to everything they touch is indeed the rivers of God’s Holy Spirit flowing freely from His throne of justice, righteousness and love. Just as aquifers were found in Northern Kenya which will supply water for drinking, bathing and irrigation; so must the spiritual aquifers of life be found flowing throughout Kenya and all the world that will restore peace and hope and life. They will be found by those who seek Christ and ask Him to be their Lord and Savior. They will be found by those who make the ways, words and thoughts of Christ their own. They will be found by those turn their arms into plowshares and promote a harvest of life for all people. Join with me in prayer for those weak men without Christ who fake their strength as a cover for their cowardice and abuse others instead of serving them in faith, hope and love.

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 true will of God to be revealed concerning Syria and Kenya
* For the protection of life and property in Taiwan in the brunt of Typhoon Usagi
* For divine sealing of the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan
* For those who are seeking to put an end to human trafficking that their success would be overwhelming so that the healing may be equally so
* For the violence to stop in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Turkey and North Korea and the open roads for peace be made so that healing may begin and peace rules
* For protection on Christians around the world and the celebration that all life lived in Christ will be blessed with life in the Kingdom- especially in Egypt as riots are violating and destroying Christian churches and their members
* 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 Mission Waco, “No Man’s Land” and the people of Liberia
* Strength of mind to regularly workout, eat correctly and lose weight in my 57/57 challenge
* For deliverance from cancer in my brother; healing for Lisa’s body, mind and spirit; healing for Betty and Linda; for Mack to receive direction for his life and a trust in God to provide healing of body, mind and soul; for all the concerns lifted up in LG; for co-workers who are believing for deliverance for their daughter

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

* Pleasant week in Kentucky for my step-daughter’s wedding
* God remains in control and still speaks into our chaos to make sense of our world
* God is manifesting healing in my family and providing wisdom for a challenging decision for each of us (all vocationally-centered) daily

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, may the Word of Peace which is Christ rise above the echoes of gunshots and wails of the wounded. Let life be restored and the enemy surrender to the truth of all life- You alone are God. AMEN.

1431

September 12, 2013

Love one another deeply from the heart of Jesus in 2013!

HIS WORD for today:

John 7.37-39a

“On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.’By this he meant the Holy Spirit.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

Did you see the good news that was reported for the people of northern Kenya. This is a nation of over 41 million people. Nearly one half of their population has been for generations a thirsty people lacking sufficient water supply to support a community much less a nation. Several Christian organizations and those supported by the United Nations have been drilling water wells to assist in providing aide to the people. This has been a dire situation obviously complicated by drought which has resulted in countless civil wars over resources and rights. The faith of the Body of Christ committed to drilling these wells and providing assistance to a thirsting and hungry people has been rewarded as now five aquifers have been discovered, two verified. This is good news! Below their very feet was not pockets of water but rivers of living water flowing with fresh, life-sustaining hope.

Of course, the work does not end there. The discovery of this tremendous resource is of benefit to the people but now comes the needed maintaining of this resource. Leadership must be in place that will fairly and equitably oversee these operations. The leadership of the Church does not end but is propelled to a greater level of accountability. It is with this in mind that I ask the mighty men of God to pray for the ultimate river of living water to flow through Kenya. It is one that does not run underground but through the lives of God’s people there and everywhere. When Jesus declared to those who were gathered near Him on the last day of one of the Feast of the Tabernacles, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and I will grant him rivers of living water,” He was speaking of the presence of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our greatest resource and Jesus Christ is our greatest provider. He speaks to the Father of us all and asks for the true provision and protection of our lives. In the giving of the Holy Spirit so that it may flow freely through out lives, Jesus has committed Himself to the fulfillment of His promise to bring the children back to the presence of the Father. As prodigal children, for we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, we are welcomed into the Father’s presence with open arms. He pours out His blessing on us and restores us to life as if it were new once again.

It is awesome that God has made available real water to His people in Kenya. It is even more awesome that He is releasing rivers of living water to them as well. Pray for the workers and missionaries, doctors and teachers, administrators and officials who will now shape the pathway of opportunity to deliver this free resource freely to their people. It would be far too easy for those who are not of God, co-heirs with the Son in the Kingdom, to sieze upon this opportunity and use it for their own benefit bringing shame upon themselves and killing injury to the hopes and lives of many. Pray that God pour out His flood of living water to wash over Kenya anointing His people there for good and restoring them to 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 true will of God to be revealed concerning Syria
* For divine sealing of the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan
* For those who are seeking to put an end to human trafficking that their success would be overwhelming so that the healing may be equally so
* For the violence to stop in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Turkey and North Korea and the open roads for peace be made so that healing may begin and peace rules
* For protection on Christians around the world and the celebration that all life lived in Christ will be blessed with life in the Kingdom- especially in Egypt as riots are violating and destroying Christian churches and their members
* 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 Mission Waco, “No Man’s Land” and the people of Lesotho
* Strength of mind to regularly workout, eat correctly and lose weight in my 57/57 challenge
* For deliverance from cancer in my brother; healing for Lisa’s body, mind and spirit; healing for Betty and Linda; for Mack to receive direction for his life and a trust in God to provide healing of body, mind and soul; for all the concerns lifted up in LG; for co-workers who are believing for deliverance for their daughter; for Mallory and Drew as they prepare for their wedding and wedded life in two days

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

* 5 aquifers have been found under northern Kenya bringing fresh water to millions of thirsting people
* God remains in control and still speaks into our chaos to make sense of our world
* God is manifesting healing in my family and providing wisdom for a challenging decision for each of us (all vocationally-centered) daily

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, Your provision is sufficient to meet all our needs- body, mind and soul. Hear our prayers on behalf of the people of Kenya as we celebrate and contemplate this mighty blessing which You have revealed to them. May You get all the praise, glory and honor. AMEN.

1430

September 11, 2013

In the early morning work hours of September 11, 2001, the skyline of America was forever changed. Yet, in spite of those changes the vision of America did not. We remain a land of the free and the home of the brave. We are far more than an institution which could be shut down by tragedy and terrorist attacks. We are a living, breathing organism consisting of a myriad of people with goals, dreams and aspirations for the future connected by one golden thread of truth- liberty. Yes, 2,977 people lost their lives that day in New York City, Washington DC and Shanksville, Pennsylvania either victims, first responders or as attackers. We are aware of the loss that many felt that day as a nation and a world were shaken when jetliners and buildings fell to the ground. Many in our school were not old enough to know the impact of those events. Yet, your world changed without you asking. But, this is America where we have been given rights, privilege and responsibilities in order to ordain and establish a purpose and way of life that shall not be deterred. We pause today to remember the lives lost on 9/11 with a moment of silence. It will not be an empty silence, however. Let your minds consider the freedom and liberty you have and at what cost. Let your mind wander across the files of your imagination and access the path your future will take and do not let anyone bring you down with their own agendas. Let your mind renew a commitment to not only say “I am an American, but add ‘with pride and with sorrow.'” Pride because we continue to lead the world toward liberty, freedom and justice for all. Sorrow because with the pursuit of these opportunities comes the reality that some, if not many, will be asked to lay down their lives to honor that reality and make it come true; even the innocent as were so many on that morning simply remembered as 9/11. God bless America. May she remain strong against all odds.

PRAYER: God, You are the author of our true liberty, freedom and justice for all. You have written in on our hearts and in our minds so that we shall not forget nor wander far from it. It is a covenant You have sealed with the Blood of the Lamb, Your own Son, as an atonement for all of our sins. On this day of memory called 9/11, we pause to reflect upon the lives lost, the lives touched and the lives changed because of the events of that day. We ask for your blessing and your forgiveness; for your peace and your presence; for your guidance and your wisdom; for your healing and revealing. Continue to bless this nation, its citizens, its defenders and those whom it serves around the world. In Jesus’ name I ask, AMEN.

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