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1465

October 31, 2013

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

HIS WORD for Today:

Ephesians 5.25-27

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

Man, am I convicted on this teaching today. It is really a frame of reference and I know there are mightier men than I on this point. Consider Paul’s teaching to the mighty men of Ephesus. They lived in a culture and climate of the world that did not honor the whole of who women were. Instead, they focused only on certain aspects that actually served their needs as men- sexually, intellectually or financially. Do not misunderstand me on this- not all men did and not all men do the wrong thing by woman, with woman and for woman. But, let us maintain Paul’s rubric on the right relationship between husbands and wives. The model used is Christ and the Church. In light of that relationship we must determine our accountability to our wives. The accountability of our relationship to Christ made worthy by God’s grace through Him on the grace and by faith. The accountability of our relationship to our wives being a Christian, or for some a Christ-follower if that language is better suited (remember the original text for Christian which was a term first used in Antioch was literally understand as “little Christ”) and thus as He has done for us we are to do for them. The accountability for our wives as caretakers, models and mentors of preparing the Bride for Christ’ return. It is on this point that I am impacted by the Holy Spirit as I read and study these verses.

Think on this, if you will, as it is what I am thinking on for myself. How am I preparing, supporting, sustaining, encouraging and celebrating my wife in her spiritual formation and growth as a daughter of God and a “bride” for Christ? Am I increasing her? Am I diminishing her? Am I fostering her growth as a child of God and as a testimony to those she serves? Am I hindering her growth and stifling her testimony? Am I inspiring her? Am I inciting her? Am I delighting her? Am I denying her? Do you see the paradigm of our service as men to our wives? Wouldn’t it also be the same with our children? Coworkers? Colleagues? Neighbors? Friends? Enemies? Jesus taught on the demise of those who were stumbling blocks to the little children? Grace will cover even our sins as it applies to consequences which our thoughts and actions may put on the lives of others. But, how much better would it be if we were the servants of faith, hope and love encouraging true growth for the glory of God in 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 our government and budget to become balanced before the Lord; I pray for Jubilee!
* 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* 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 Netherlands Antilles
* My 57/57 challenge; purity of heart, mind, body and soul
* For deliverance from cancer in my brother; healing for Lisa’s body, mind and spirit; healing for JoAnn and Linda; for Mack to receive direction for his life and a trust in God to provide healing of body, mind and soul which leads him to full-time employment and/or a sale of his car; for all the concerns lifted up in LG; for co-workers who are believing for deliverance for their daughter; for the chains to be unbroken for my good friends Tom and Rosalee

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, if it were not for Your Word, Your Spirit that continues to teach us about the depth of that Word and Your Presence which quickens our conscience for righteousness, then we would not be able to enjoy the fullness of our salvation and the opportunity to grow into better mighty men. AMEN.

1464

October 29, 2013

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

HIS WORD for Today:

Ephesians 5.25-27

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

Mighty men, it is by our thoughts and actions that we give our wives the makeover of their lives. When we commit our lives to them in holy matrimony it is the pledge of sacrifice for their future. We are called to surrender all for their well-being. We are to keep them pure by anointing them with the Word of God through praise and worship, love and adoration, peace and understanding. It really doesn’t matter how the world may try to taint them, frustrate them, get them off track and enable them to forget who they are- it is our responsibility to keep them in the circle of righteousness as Christ did for the Church. And still does!

Yes, we are the Church as well. Christ is doing His all to keep us where we are supposed to be because His commitment before God is to us. We are the bride of Christ. We are supposed to keep ourselves holy and pure for Him who is our spiritual husband, the head of the Church and of our own body. What thoughts are we allowing our body to try and communicate to the head? How convincing an argument can we make that would persuade Christ to buy into our diversions, wantonness and fleshly desires? If we act as if there is a separation between flesh and spirit then it is no wonder why we have such a communication problem. When the filter is sin then all communication becomes garbled. It isn’t that Christ isn’t speaking clearly and in a myriad of ways to communicate truth to us and call us back to Himself, He is. It is our own hearing and false understanding, our fear of surrender to the higher power that creates the problem. What do we think we will lose if we give everything to Christ? Do we really believe that He who makes all things new won’t also make all things better and more satisfying?

Jesus died on the cross so that we might have life and have it abundantly. He will not force it on us, however. We must surrender to Him and become obedient to Him. We must trust Him with all things, every thing, at all times and in all ways. Yes, it may seem to be a constant task of wills. But, when we seek His will for our lives and recognize He is doing the same for us, then the two becoming one will create the spiritual synergy that makes life not only different but better. And, as He is doing for us, we are to be doing for our wives.

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; I pray for Jubilee!
* 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* 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 Netherlands Antilles
* My 57/57 challenge; purity of heart, mind, body and soul
* For deliverance from cancer in my brother; healing for Lisa’s body, mind and spirit; healing for JoAnn and Linda; for Mack to receive direction for his life and a trust in God to provide healing of body, mind and soul which leads him to full-time employment and/or a sale of his car; for all the concerns lifted up in LG; for co-workers who are believing for deliverance for their daughter; for the chains to be unbroken for my good friends Tom and Rosalee

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 may not understand yet what it means to surrender all but we want to learn. We may know what it means and it scares us as does most unknown things but we want to live in peace. Make Yourself known to us today and bring peace, forgiveness and healing into our lives so that we will be holy and acceptable in Your eyes and worthy to be one with You forever. AMEN.

1463

October 28, 2013

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

HIS WORD for Today:

Matthew 26.40,41

“Then He returned to His disciples and found them asleep. ‘Couldn’t you men keep watch with Me for one hour?’ He asked Peter. Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.'”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

After so many years, you would think I would have learned to “watch and pray” better and avoid temptation. We do not need to be in Eden where all things were pristine, pure and perfectly ordered to experience temptation in the presence of God. We do not need to be in garden vineyard on the Mount of Olives looking on Jerusalem with its illumined temple to experience temptation of Jesus. We need only to be alive in this world with one ounce of brokenness, one gram of imperfection, to experience temptation. And with all things considered, since Jesus Himself was also tempted in the garden, we only need to be a man. The difference is that Jesus was fully God first in His life and then fully man. Real men are tempted but they do not succumb to it because they keep watch and pray. Like the watchman in Ezekiel who keeps his post on the city wall with his eye alert to the slightest difference in the world, God’s mighty men are to keep their watch filled with prayer that nothing does change and when it does to sound the alert quickly. But, if we fall asleep on our watch then evil approaches us in our vulnerability as well as in our strength and puts us and those under our care at risk.

Even though we intend to do well in our spirit, until it is truly God’s Spirit then we remain weak and vulnerable. Jesus found His mighty men asleep. It is a term used also for “seeming to be dead.” The ultimate goal of temptation is to rob us of our strength, our potential, our life, our hope, our purpose, God’s glory and our salvation. Temptation wants to take our eye off of the prize and put it back on ourselves- our needs, our false hopes, our wanton expectations. Focusing on self is the root of sin. Instead of “what can I give to life for the glory of God” or “how can I be His servant and obedient to His call in my life,” we see “how can I make myself appear desirous based on my own ‘glory'” or “what can others do for me so my own vision of self is validated.” Our selves are validated by the blood of the Lamb- that should be enough. We will continue to fall into harm’s way because we are sent to the sick and not to the well to do ministry. We must depend fully and solely on God to keep our watch- our service and duty to God through Jesus Christ, and pray for His Spirit to guide us and not our own.

It was this conversation Jesus had with God in that garden vineyard on the Mount of Olives looking at Jerusalem knowing full well what was about to happen. In His prayer He wrestled and then confessed, “Not my will but Thine be done.” Mighty men, if our Lord can be tempted and tempted sorely to deny the cross and save Himself, then we must know that we can be sorely tempted as well. Without Christ we are asleep, dead in the water. With Christ, we will be tempted in this world as He knew His disciples would be tempted as well because they would go into the world in His Name. It is our watch, we must be faithful to it. We must pray often and continually. But, we cannot forget one important factor that distinguishes us from Jesus beside “we are not fully God.” When He left the disciples to go by Himself to pray, He left them together. They were on watch together. They were to be accountable to each other. Each was a watchman for the other. They were there to keep themselves alert and on target. Mighty men, we cannot be left on our own. We must be accountable to others as well for while our Spirit is willing, our flesh remains weak. We do not yet have our glory bodies which come at resurrection. We are still earthen vessels made of flesh that carries the infection of sin. As long as we are in this world, we will be tempted; it is inevitable. But, when we are, we must immediately sound the alarm and cry out “Warning,” turn in prayer to God declaring “Not my will but Thine be done” and reach out to those God has given to us and us to be bound in the strength of numbers of those who are in Christ like us and in flesh like us.

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; I pray for Jubilee!
* 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* 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 Netherlands
* My 57/57 challenge; purity of heart, mind, body and soul
* For deliverance from cancer in my brother; healing for Lisa’s body, mind and spirit; healing for JoAnn and Linda; for Mack to receive direction for his life and a trust in God to provide healing of body, mind and soul which leads him to full-time employment and/or a sale of his car; for all the concerns lifted up in LG; for co-workers who are believing for deliverance for their daughter; for the chains to be unbroken for my good friends Tom and Rosalee

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, where I have failed even now I seek forgiveness. For those who are hurt by my failures I pray for healing. For the strengthening of my resolve to be humble before You I ask now that my example will be a guide to others who fail as I have and a warning to others of what can happen so they can “Keep Watch and Pray.” AMEN.

1462

October 27, 2013

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

HIS WORD for Today:

Psalm 118.27

“The Lord is God, and He has made His light to shine upon us. With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession up to the horns of the altar.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

Did you know that the University of Alabama withdrew the privileges of certain campus organizations to keep their reserved football seats because they left before the previous game was over? It is true. If you are going to be a Tide fan you must stay to the end of the game, win or lose, or suffer a consequence. Now, I am curious if the school administration would have been so hard on those college students if it was a blowout loss they were suffering instead of the blowout win they were inflicting. Regardless of that argument, bear the illustration in mind and transpose the concept to Jesus’ “triumphant” entry into Jerusalem six days before His arrest, judgment and execution. Can’t see it? Am I speaking of how the disciples fled and hid in the upper room where they celebrated the Passover with Jesus instead of going all the way with Him to the Temple, to the Court and to the Cross? Perhaps. But, in light of His WORD for today, I am considering what the scene might have looked like if these who lined the streets with boughs of palms and rang out their praises singing “Hosanna!” What if they had carried those palms and continued to lay their garments before Him beyond the gated walls until He came to the Temple steps fully accompanied by disciples, their entourage of family and friends and the crowds of people who had come from near and far to celebrate the Passover season in Jerusalem? What if they had gone all the way with Jesus? What if their songs of praise for the Son of David, Son of Man and Son of God had filled the Temple courts in such an overwhelming worship that the Temple leaders would have had no options but to stand in faith before the world and God declaring Jesus as Messiah? What if they never left His side for six days and followed Him everywhere in the cleansing of the Temple, to His teaching in the streets to His healings and His respite in Bethany and the Garden? What if they were there in the Upper Room, the Garden of Decision, the Temple court, the Via de la Rosa and Calvary? Would it have made a difference? Would the picture be the same? No, it would not have been, but the result wouldn’t have been different either- we would have still have salvation through the Christ! Maybe Jesus would not have died and maybe He would have. Maybe His disciples would not have bailed, Judas would not have betrayed Him nor Peter deny Him and then again maybe they would. Maybe Jesus as the King of all Israel, all the world and all the Universe would have been hailed as King of Kings and Lord of Lords and Chief High Priest with the authority of Heaven and Earth would have simply commuted all sins. I do not know and some may consider it blasphemous to even consider it. Yet, what I do know is that the declaration of God through Isaiah as we read it today did not happen. Jesus went on His own, essentially alone save for God, so that we would never be alone but always in the company of God and our spiritual family. Should it have been different? God only knows. Could it be different? I believe the answer is clearly “Yes!” Will it be different today? I pray that the answer with be just as clear “Yes! We will never let one of God’s people be left alone, on their own, without His Word or ours that says healing and peace and joy and comfort.

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 our government and budget to become balanced before the Lord; I pray for Jubilee!
* 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* 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 Nepal
* 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 and Linda; for Mack to receive direction for his life and a trust in God to provide healing of body, mind and soul which leads him to full-time employment and/or a sale of his car; for all the concerns lifted up in LG; for co-workers who are believing for deliverance for their daughter; for the chains to be unbroken for my good friends Tom and Rosalee

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 are never left alone. You have determined to be with us until the close of the age of the Church and beyond. May our presence be the same for others as it is Yours with us. AMEN.

1461

October 25, 2013

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

HIS WORD for Today:

Psalm 118,24

“This is the day which the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

The New King James Version translates this verse of HIS Word in the imperative. Mighty men, you have got to love it this way. I learned it, as probably did many of you, as “Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” If we are truly mighty men exercising faith in God and His grace to all people, then we recognize that we truly have no other option that to rejoice and be glad in the fact that this is not a random day. It is not a “free” day absolved of responsibilities and opportunities to serve the Lord with gladness and His people with mercy. It is not an optional day which can be excused and set the side as if we are setting it in reserve for a time when we are running short of time to do other things we put off as well. No, God declared He is doing a new thing when He spoke to and through Isaiah. That meant the day was new. It had never existed before. It did not carry the weight and burdens of the past. It carried the joy and expectancy of the future. This day is but a moment in eternity. That eternity has been promised to us in Jesus Christ. We not only should rejoice and be glad in this new thing and this new day. We WILL rejoice and be glad in it to the point of overwhelming! Now get out there and have a great, good and God day. AMEN.
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 our government and budget to become balanced before the Lord; I pray for Jubilee!
* 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* 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 Nauru
* 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 and Linda; for Mack to receive direction for his life and a trust in God to provide healing of body, mind and soul which leads him to full-time employment and/or a sale of his car; 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 behold all things which You have made new. We will rejoice among Your people with gladness and praise to inspire them to see and grasp what You have done for them. Thank you for a new day because Lord knows we need it. AMEN.

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1460

October 24, 2013

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

HIS WORD for Today:

Isaiah 43.26-28

“Review the past for me; let us argue the matter together- state the case for your innocence. Your first father sinned; those I sent to teach you rebelled against me. So I disgraced the dignitaries of your temple; I consigned Jacob to destruction and Israel to scorn.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

In spite of our sins, our failure to walk in righteousness at all times, God still loves us and by His grace extends mercy and life to us so that we may continue to journey toward Him in His Kingdom in Heaven which will one day be the New Earth. It is not a license to sin further, we do not need such a license for freewill and the enemy still exist on this earth. We do not need permission to sin because we sin on our own volition due to the evil that has tainted the human body, mind and spirit. But, the soul belongs to God. Satan can have leeway in most matters, it appears, but in this matter there is no discussion. Imagine, if you will, the seat of God in your own life which is the soul. It is there. Before you were fashioned in the womb, by what means and for whatever purpose or lack of purpose, you were still on God’s radar. It is a part of the creation process which is recreated daily when male and female unite intimately. Imagine if the world had this understanding of intimacy; it is not imaginary but real. It is a part of creation’s DNA that when a new life is conceived it includes the seat of God’s presence- the soul. Sadly, sin in the world, whether the sin of the parents by omission or commission or sin of others and becomes adopted as normal behavior in the child, covers up the soul like the heavy curtain that once hung in the Temple in Jerusalem. Hidden behind the curtain the children of God could not see it and lost sight of it. Those who were privileged to step behind the veil did not respect nor honor, with a few exceptions to be sure. But, overall, the presence of God was not a powerful force for those who could not see it or would not see it. Imagine then that upon the death of Jesus as that covering was torn away exposing the world to the loving presence of God that the covering would then be removed in a same way for all who will believe in Jesus as the Christ, God’s Son, and call upon Him in faith to be their Lord and Savior. We cannot hide God and God cannot be hidden! God is alive and well on His throne and desires to inhabit the one in your own life so that you may know His justice and mercy and lovingkindness. In the end, God has the final word. How much better for our lives when that final word, that final answer, that final declaration of “Welcome home” is already being lived on earth as it is in Heaven. And it can be if you will see God in your own heart, mind, spirit and soul.

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; I pray for Jubilee!
* 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* 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 Nauru
* 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 and Linda; for Mack to receive direction for his life and a trust in God to provide healing of body, mind and soul which leads him to full-time employment and/or a sale of his car; 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, as You abide in us, let us abide in You. We open our lives- our heart, mind, spirit and soul, to You. Help our eyes be open to see You here. May each breath we take be filled with the breath of recreation in Your Holy Spirit that thrills both body and soul. May the words of our mouths, the meditations of our heart and the works of our hands be acceptable to You today. AMEN.

1459

October 23, 2013

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

HIS WORD for Today:

Isaiah 43.26-28

“Review the past for me; let us argue the matter together- state the case for your innocence. Your first father sinned; those I sent to teach you rebelled against me. So I disgraced the dignitaries of your temple; I consigned Jacob to destruction and Israel to scorn.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

God does not need to, nor will He, wrestle control from our hands. We must voluntarily offer Him the wheel and allow Him to be the driving force of our lives. Trust me, mighty men of God and many of you know this, God has the power to do all things. But, in order to show the wonder of His craftsmanship, He must trust the plan He has set in motion. He measures His success by one victory. Are there defeats along the way? Are there destructive events and loss of life in the journey? Jesus did not promise that discipleship would be any easier for the Church than it was for our spiritual ancestors of Israel. But, God does celebrate life one victory at a time. He celebrated one when His son was obedient to the call to bring salvation to all humanity and accepted the cross and the grave. He celebrates each time another of His children accept Jesus Christ into his or her life. He celebrates when acts of mercy, kindness and beneficence is offered in the name of Jesus for the glory of God and the welfare of others. God loves a celebration. But, He recognizes the hollowness of a contrived victory. False obedience and fake humility are not becoming nor are they truly effective. So, God remains obedient to His decision to bless us with freewill. He protects that right for us just as we must continue to defend our constitutional rights as citizens of this country and in all places where democracy has been put in effect. That does not mean He leaves us to our decision to live as if there were no consequences. God lives in a cause and effect reality as do we. There is no other option in life. We can live in denial and lie to ourselves and others but that does not change our reality, only its perception. Trust me, perception is not everything nor is it all others make it out to be.

So, when God confronted Israel and Judah, the split kingdoms of a divided nation, in the days of Isaiah, He was hoping to inspire them to make a different choice. He did not, and does not, want to see His children suffer because they must live in the midst of consequences for their actions and for the environment in which they live because their forebearers made certain unrighteous decisions. He spoke plainly to them and called them into accountability. He knew that if they accepted the accountability and repented they would again see the blessing promised to them through Abraham’s faith and obedience to God. He knew, too, that if they didn’t life as they knew it would continue to change in a downward spiral until generations would be lost and the word of God would become a mere moment in history in their lives. Today, mighty men, God confronts the New Israel, the Church, and its divided kingdoms with the same word given to Isaiah. We have the record of their consequences. Do we want the same for ourselves and our children? God will act as God is supposed to act and it will be all the better if we will act as we are supposed to act- 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 our government and budget to become balanced before the Lord; I pray for Jubilee!
* 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* 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 Namibia
* 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 and Linda; for Mack to receive direction for his life and a trust in God to provide healing of body, mind and soul which leads him to full-time employment and/or a sale of his car; 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, fall afresh on us today. Renew and anoint each mighty man today with Your Holy Spirit as they decide to renew their covenant relationship and strengthen it toward You. AMEN.

1458

October 22, 2013

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

HIS WORD for Today:

Isaiah 43.26-28

“Review the past for me; let us argue the matter together- state the case for your innocence. Your first father sinned; those I sent to teach you rebelled against me. So I disgraced the dignitaries of your temple; I consigned Jacob to destruction and Israel to scorn.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

I am sure there are other such stories and I should look for them, but until I find them I remain struck by the story of a Prussian king who was visiting a maximum security prison. Each prisoner he walked by called out his innocence and injustice. He continued his inspection down into the lower keeps of the castle prison until he finally came to the very bottom where the worst criminals would be found. Each one he heard saying the same thing. Except for one man whose face could barely be seen in the dark illuminated by torchlight. He said, “I am guilty. I deserve my sentence. Do not trouble yourself by staying here any longer.” The looked at the man in his decrepit state and ordered his release. The guards murmured to themselves as to the reason and purpose of this pardon to which the king replied, “I believe the man. He seems to be the only one honest here and thus deserving of his freedom”

Are we not like this man as mighty men of God? We recognized our sorry state in sin. It was not our choice to be born into a world covered by sin. We did not have the choice of parentage nor the baggage, good or bad, that went with them on this journey. We did not have a choice of the information we learned in our early age. We were not blessed with the wisdom to discern fully what was truth. God was with us and His Holy Spirit would be speaking into us as much as our young minds could grasp. What we wanted was the truth. It is a part of our soul and spiritual being that is innate. And one day the gospel was presented to us. The truth known through Jesus Christ was revealed to us and offered to us as a free gift. It was then we learned that we were not innocent but guilty; we were sinners who had fallen short of the glory of God. But, we also learned that once we were fallen we could rise up again in the arms of Christ who stretched them out from the cross being wounded for our transgressions and killed for our indiscretions. We cried out, “I am guilty and deserve to die because of my sin for I know now the wages of sin is death.” But, in response, God responds, “I have before me a truthful man who deserves to live because I say so. His life is in my hands. I will determine his ultimate fate and see him as I see My own Son whom I raised from the pit of hell to sit at my right hand.”

We are free men, mighty men of God. We are free to choose how we shall live our lives just as all men are free to choose. But, we are free choose life in truth and blessing not by the standards of this world but by the Kingdom of God in which we are now free citizens for eternity. This world is no longer our home. We have been set free from the keeps of sin and given the keys to the Kingdom. But, do not go there alone. Share the good news of a great joy which can only be understood when we confess the truth about ourselves and profess the truth about Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

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; I pray for Jubilee!
* 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* 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 Myanmar
* 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 and Linda; for Mack to receive direction for his life and a trust in God to provide healing of body, mind and soul which leads him to full-time employment and/or a sale of his car; 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 are still stained by poor decisions where we put ourselves before Your will and way; but we know we are blessed by Your mercy and grace. Forgive us this day our sins, debts, and transgressions and give to us the daily bread of truth, wisdom and favor. AMEN.

1457

October 21, 2013

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

HIS WORD for Today:

Isaiah 43.22, 25

“Yet, you have not called on Me, Jacob. You have not wearied Me for yourselves, Israel. I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions, for My own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

I wonder if God does not speak to His children with exasperation. After God has demonstrated His power to save and His heart to save, why don’t we just exhaust all our efforts to pursue Him until we are exhausted from the chase. Maybe thinking of it in that way brings to your mind as it did to mine that we are so tired of our earthly efforts there seems to be little left for our spiritual efforts. Therein lies the problem, mighty men. When we pursue and put all, or the majority of, our efforts into earthly things that cannot satisfy how can we feel happy and energized? But, when we do what is the will and work of God which rises out of a desire to love others and see their lives improved, God does not fail to provide for us the joy of our salvation. That joy has to be great! It feels good to pursue the things of God and to share His Word with others. We may be exhausted but it is an honest exhaustion that rises out of completing a sense of purpose and value. When it comes to earthly things, we have to add value to it to make it worth our while. We trouble ourselves with a euphoria of imagination thinking we will make a difference when we haven’t moved a grain of sand much less a mountain. But, our Lord declared that with faith, even faith as small as a mustard seed, we can move mountains, make a difference and find satisfaction in our lives we didn’t think possible.

Come on, mighty men, we have experienced this spiritual reality in part. We were amazed just as were the seventy two whom Jesus sent out with the blessing of His Spirit to preach the good news and to heal the broken and wounded. They did what they were asked to do because they didn’t know any different and they had a desire to do whatever Jesus would ask of them. Because they went out believing they were power and effective, mighty men. They returned expending much energy but came back with even more energy. They generated energy by sharing in the work of God. But, if they had seen it as their own efforts instead of the Spirit working in and through them, they would not have experienced the same results. Perhaps God will continue to wait and work in our world until we finally come to Him exhausting all our efforts to make our lives worth something only to find the ultimate truth that God alone is what makes our lives valuable. You know how it feels when you try to teach your children something that will make their lives better but they just don’t get it because they are bent on doing things their own way. You finally speak in exasperation, “Because I said so!” God may have spoken that way from time to time with Israel and with us, but the day is coming when He will not do so. Instead, He will separate the sheep from the goats, those who strive after the Good Shepherd and those who strive after the Enemy, and say calmly and with sorrow- “I know you not, depart from my sight and be seen nevermore.” Remember, “what does it profit a man if he gains the entire world but forfeits his soul.” Jesus knew. We know. What will we do about it?

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; I pray for Jubilee!
* 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* 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 Mozambique
* 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 and Linda; for Mack to receive direction for his life and a trust in God to provide healing of body, mind and soul which leads him to full-time employment and/or a sale of his car; 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, for extending grace to us and working Your wonders, great and small, around us and in us, we are thankful. May our thanksgiving turn into efforts today to share the good news of a great joy that Jesus is Lord. AMEN.

1456

October 20, 2013

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

HIS WORD for Today:

Isaiah 43.22, 25

“Yet, you have not called on Me, Jacob. You have not wearied Me for yourselves, Israel. I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions, for My own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

Trust me, when I am following the lead of His Spirit as to which passages to focus on in HIS Word for Today. Remember, this is a sharing of what God is having me see for myself today. I am commissioned to share it with others because His Word is perfect and I am not. My life is still encircled with transgressions, debts and sins because I am not perfect in the flesh. I reach out to grasp the Spirit and the righteousness which Christ has made available to us all. I am like the Apostle Paul in this regard for “where I should be strong I am weak and where I am weak I should be more like Christ.” I should surrender all my strength and become weak so that in my weakness Christ can live in me most fully and effectively. Bearing that reminder in my own life, I know that I am not retelling the complete passage only two verses which for me today truly connect. The other verses are not fluff as God does not need to expand His Word to complete a prerequisite standard like a high school term paper. Rather, these verses become the framework which holds all the rest together.

The verses before which connected the previous teaching with this one simply declares that this “new thing” which God has done in the wilderness is obvious to the wild beasts at the earthly level. They feast from the fat of the land and drink from the flowing springs of eternal waters. But, what about us? We are so confused that we interpret the earthly benefit as a lack of spiritual opportunity and turn away. We are like the woman at the well who came only to draw water and take it back to sell in order to support a wounded and broken life. Yet, it was at this very well of living water that she found the Christ who, if she would just believe, would give her everlasting life, if she would just receive it. But, you say, the well did not change. You see the well as only a hole in the ground dug past the water table so that in season and out of season it may have water to sustain life. You, then, are like the disciples who went into the town where the woman was from, perhaps even passing her on the road, and used your money to purchase food and drink. In the meantime, that woman whom you may have shunned because she was a woman, and a Samaritan woman at that, went to the well to find life because hers did not find support in bread and water alone but by her industry. What industry did the disciples have except for the work of Christ and the blessings offered to their own coffers because of the gratitude of others. They lived off of the fruit from the seeds they had not sown.

Mighty men, do you see it yet? Is the supernatural realm visible to your eyes in this vignette? When the disciples returned from the woman’s town they bore only the physical. Where were the townspeople who could have been following them back to see Jesus based on their testimony? Instead, they saw only a well, a Samaritan woman and the Master who put Himself at risk by being seen alone with her who had a reputation easily learned at the city gate. Perhaps their own eye had considered her as well, not as a child of God but a woman of the world who could serve them, too, saving them the trip into town. But, Jesus did not see this woman just as she was with the burden she carried with each step of her life, doubled over as she carried buckets of water back to town to make it for one more step and one more day until she died. Instead, Jesus was doing a “new thing” in her life. She was no secret to Him and certainly no slave. She was a daughter of God and His sister in faith. Why would He desire to allow her to live in spiritual, emotional, physical, relational and sinful squalor? Why would He not want to redeem her, blot out her transgressions and remember her sins no more? His desire was for her healing and restoration, for the salvation of her life and for her joy. She left her buckets behind at the well and sprinted to town to share the good news which had been denied to her and to the town by the disciples who sought only to sate their hunger and thirst. And when they offered the same to Jesus, He would declare “I have food you know nothing about. My food is to do the will of My Father who sent me. Look the fields are ripe with harvest. I have sent you into the world to reap what you did not sow and have not worked for.”

Do you see now, mighty men? With eyes fixed on seeing God in His Word there is so much more to the story of grace and righteousness and their effect on our lives and those around that is not written but can be seen. Seek and you will find. Ask and it will be given to you. Knock and the door of His storehouse will be opened to you. And you, even you, shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Do not try to live there alone or on your own.

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 and throughout the coming week
* For our government and budget to become balanced before the Lord; I pray for Jubilee!
* 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 Morocco
* 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 and Linda; for Mack to receive direction for his life and a trust in God to provide healing of body, mind and soul which leads him to full-time employment and/or a sale of his car; 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, for all the You are, not just for all You have been, and for all that You have promised to be in the days ahead for Your sake and ours, we give You thanks. May the bounty of this word not only supply us for today but challenge us for tomorrow. AMEN.

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