Event Calendar

Upcoming Events

Pages

Archives

Categories

Meta

1589

March 31, 2014

YOUR Will be done in the year to come- 2014

HIS WORD for Today:

1 Peter 5.9

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

The mighty men of God have to be overjoyed. While God’s will seemed thwarted in the Garden of Eden it was not. It is a reminder to us all that the road to our fulfillment will more than likely come in a direction or go in one that we did not originally expect. The joy comes that no matter how it started, God’s will shall be done. That is the restoration part. Peter supported the mighty men of the early Church with that word- “God will restore you.” God’s ministry through Jesus Christ was our reconciliation- the restoration of our relationship with the creation on the positive side. Sure, we had one no matter what on the negative side. We knew through the Law the difference sin had made in us and between us and God. But, while there was a difference from our side; God never changed. His vision for our lives remains intact but not without a price on His side. As you can imagine, I doubt that God was thrilled with having to offer His Son as a sacrifice for our sins. But, that is the measure of God’s love. And if His love can work reconciliation in our lives, it certainly could when His love restored His Son to life and to Heaven.

But, God’s will is not only to restore us but to make us strong, firm and steadfast. We will not waver if we truly walk by the faith that has restored, put our hope in the everlasting promise of adoption and love God with all we have. Our restoration comes with its own price. We have to give up the world to grasp the kingdom. The good news is that the Kingdom can be in our midst here in this world. We can restore it; at least, in part. But, it cannot happen if we are unable to stand strong, firm and steadfast. And this we cannot do on our own. Without the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives we will not be able to withstand the attack of the enemy, stand up for truth and bear the brunt of the storms of doubt and division that will rise against God’s mighty men. But, if God restores us and promises even more then we know we shall have the Holy Spirit in and around our lives. God’s will is that we win! He wants you to be more than a survivor and a conqueror. His will is that you dwell with Him forever in His eternal home.

PRAYER CONCERNS: (Needs of God’s mighty men that will be answered out of faith, hope and love)

* For those taking and administrating state assessments this week
* For the recovery of those lost in the Washington landslide and healing for all the survivors
* For the discovery of the Malaysian airliner and the resolution of the mystery of its disappearance; God knows where it is and protect those who are searching for it and now give comfort as news that it most likely crashed into the ocean is released
* For our government and budget to become balanced before the Lord; I pray for Jubilee!; and that our President withdraw the current healthcare plan in favor of one that God will provide as what is best for all His people.
* 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, North Korea and the Ukraine 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 Chile
* For deliverance from cancer and Parkinson’s in my brother; healing for Lisa’s body, mind and spirit; healing for JoAnn, Debbie and Linda; mending of Dallas’ body and restoration for Katelyn; deliverance from cancer in Carrell Dee; for Mack to blessed in the direction he has chosen for his life and a trust in God to provide healing of body, mind and soul which leads him to make his life a glory to God; for all the concerns lifted up in LG; successful brain surgery for Jim Welch scheduled for next week

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

* God is 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, by Your Spirit we will stand firm in our resolve to love one another, stand strong in our witness against the negative voice of the enemy trying to deceive us and others, and we will be steadfast in our commitment to follow You and You alone. Bless our stand today with the renewed outpouring of Your Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.

1588

March 30, 2014

YOUR Will be done in the year to come- 2014

HIS WORD for Today:

1 Peter 5.9

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

How many times have you heard the justification jargon “No pain- no gain.” Did it start with Peter and his encouraging words to the mighty men of the early Church? Was He simply reflecting on the way of the cross which he himself would bear in Rome? It is the seemingly the result of sin coming into the world. That choice has been made for us. And while you may not like the idea of “the many suffering for the mistakes of one,” I would remind you of the One who suffered for the mistakes and errors of the many, of us all! His name is Jesus of Nazareth. He indeed was the Christ, the Suffering Servant of Jeremiah and deutero-Isaiah. Peter was sharing the reality of our lives on earth as men- for all have fallen short of the glory of God; and as Christ followers- for you will be persecuted because of My Name. Peter tells the mighty men of the suffering which we all endure because we live in a sinful world and because we dare to believe and live out the way, truth and life of righteousness in that same world. It was not the will of God that there be suffering for either reality. It is His will that we receive our just reward for our faithfulness to not live in one world, the world of sin, and to live in the other, the Kingdom of Righteousness.

Peter preaches that after a while when the course of your ministry is complete, He will restore His mighty men. I can’t even imagine the joy the disciples, martyrs and saints have felt when they are received by Jesus in His Kingdom. What they believed to be true and set down as the course of their lives then confirmed by the glory of God in Heaven…WOW! But, restore means more than just life after death and our heavenly reward. For a time until Jesus returns to reclaim the Holy Garden of the Earth and to uproot the weeds of sin and their sower the Devil, restore also means inheritance. Many Jews believed that their “eternal” life was in the future generations of their family, their descendants. When God shared the covenant of promise with Abraham, He spoke of the covenant of generations, his descendants, reveling in the promise of God. We, too, are restored by the gospel of Jesus Christ. For those who have suffered, we suffer with them in heart, mind, soul, spirit and perhaps in body as well. But, we are also restored to life beyond the moment of grief and death of those who have suffered. We are given the promise of joy, peace and much more. How we need that good word while we live in this world. It does sustain us because without the message of resurrection and restoration we would be crushed under the shadow of death as a landslide of hopelessness tumbles down upon us.

PRAYER CONCERNS: (Needs of God’s mighty men that will be answered out of faith, hope and love)

* For those leading God’s people in worship, praise and service this weekend
* For the recovery of those lost in the Washington landslide and healing for all the survivors
* For the discovery of the Malaysian airliner and the resolution of the mystery of its disappearance; God knows where it is and protect those who are searching for it and now give comfort as news that it most likely crashed into the ocean is released
* For our government and budget to become balanced before the Lord; I pray for Jubilee!; and that our President withdraw the current healthcare plan in favor of one that God will provide as what is best for all His people.
* 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, North Korea and the Ukraine 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 Chad
* For deliverance from cancer and Parkinson’s in my brother; healing for Lisa’s body, mind and spirit; healing for JoAnn, Debbie and Linda; for Mack to blessed in the direction he has chosen for his life and a trust in God to provide healing of body, mind and soul which leads him to make his life a glory to God; for all the concerns lifted up in LG; successful brain surgery for Jim Welch scheduled for next week

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

* Lisa had a safe flight to Kentucky and was greeted with good news of a great joy
* God is 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, give us Your eyes so that we can see that we are being restored daily. We will not focus of the shadows of death but the glories of life which we have been given when we first believed. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.

1587

March 28, 2014

YOUR Will be done in the year to come- 2014

HIS WORD for Today:

1 Peter 5.9

“Resist the devil, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Many attempts have been made to identify who bears the identity of “666” as spoken in the Book of Revelation. We all have our personal top ten list. As with many things, that truth will be revealed in time. Yet, the characteristics of the one who will be the Anti-Christ are not unknown to us. The same is true for this admonition of Peter who warns “beware of the devil.” It isn’t capitalized so it stands for anyone who opposes God and God’s people. The nature and character of a devil is equally known to us. Perhaps Peter had a particular devil in mind when he penned this warning. It may have been the Emperor of Rome who ordered the persecution of Christ followers. It may have been a leader of the Judaizers who were enforcing Jewish laws of circumcision and kosher diet on new Christ followers. It could have been a church leader who was a bad shepherd. It could be anyone who brought hardship on the life of the believer because of what they believed. Peter didn’t need to be specific and so he left it open for interpretation and application. Regardless of who the devil may be or in whom he chooses to manifest himself, it is God’s will that we stand firm in our faith and resist the temptations the devil brings to our lives. He, God, has given us instruction for righteousness, the Holy Spirit for our protection and the blood of the Lamb as our blessed assurance. If God did not love us this much then we would know that He has no will for our lives beyond the suffering. We may not know in the moment what God’s will is for our next moment or a career change or the answer to some important decision we are offering in prayer seeking help; but, we do know that God’s will is always for us and never against us because God is not the devil.

PRAYER CONCERNS: (Needs of God’s mighty men that will be answered out of faith, hope and love)

* For those leading God’s people in worship, praise and service this weekend
* For the recovery of those lost in the Washington landslide and healing for all the survivors
* For the discovery of the Malaysian airliner and the resolution of the mystery of its disappearance; God knows where it is and protect those who are searching for it and now give comfort as news that it most likely crashed into the ocean is released
* For our government and budget to become balanced before the Lord; I pray for Jubilee!; and that our President withdraw the current healthcare plan in favor of one that God will provide as what is best for all His people.
* 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, North Korea and the Ukraine 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 the Central African Republic
* For deliverance from cancer and Parkinson’s in my brother; healing for Lisa’s body, mind and spirit; healing for JoAnn, Debbie and Linda; for Mack to blessed in the direction he has chosen for his life and a trust in God to provide healing of body, mind and soul which leads him to make his life a glory to God; for all the concerns lifted up in LG; successful brain surgery for Jim Welch scheduled for next week

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

* God is 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 take comfort in the blessings of life which You have bestowed on us but we do not rest on them. May these blessings be the resources of ministry to help others receive the gospel and be able to resist any devil that confronts, confounds and condemns them. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.

1586

March 27, 2014

YOUR Will be done in the year to come- 2014

HIS WORD for Today:

1 Peter 5.2-3

“Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

God’s will is for all people to be restored into His fold. Jesus is His Great Shepherd. We are His people, the sheep of His pasture (Psalm 100). Jesus taught how the good shepherd goes out to find the one who is lost. David penned the Hymn of a Sheep (Psalm 23). His protection, petition and provision is for our welfare so that we can dwell with Him forever in His heavenly pastures. We may dwell in the midst of wolves who seek our blood and our lives. But, the cross, the rod and staff of a shepherd, not only proves His presence with us but that our lives are protected so we may pass through the valley of the shadow of death.

Sadly, the reality exists that some sheep will go rogue. They will refuse to be found or a part of God’s flock. Some are sadly driven away by bad shepherds. Some are never sought out to be found because of careless shepherds. Some bow up against the shepherd and demand their own way and fall prey to the enemy (or, as in the case of an ornery rooster in my grandmother’s chicken pen, ended up as Sunday dinner.) But, our obstinance does not change God’s will, or desire, for our lives. He is like the father of the prodigal son. Each made their choice and lived with it. The father remained in love for and with his son, both sons. And when the younger son returned, the father’s love was rewarded and his patience was a blessing. Our heavenly Father wants us to come home. He is still shepherding us and guiding us. Yet, He knows ultimately it is a matter of our choice because we are not really sheep but men given a free will. But, His will remains a constant. He wants us to come home and be with Him forever. To prove His position and His will, He even sacrificed His own Son, who was not a sheep but made in the image of God and man represent the ultimate sacrifice of love. He who laid down His life for ours, the shepherd entering into the pit of death even death on a cross, so that we can come home. God’s will is that we will not always be a sheep, but take our turn to be shepherds and find ourselves as friends, sons and daughters of the Most High and brothers and sisters of the King of kings and Lord of lords.

PRAYER CONCERNS: (Needs of God’s mighty men that will be answered out of faith, hope and love)

* For the recovery of those lost in the Washington landslide and healing for all the survivors
* For the discovery of the Malaysian airliner and the resolution of the mystery of its disappearance; God knows where it is and protect those who are searching for it and now give comfort as news that it most likely crashed into the ocean is released
* For our government and budget to become balanced before the Lord; I pray for Jubilee!; and that our President withdraw the current healthcare plan in favor of one that God will provide as what is best for all His people.
* 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, North Korea and the Ukraine 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 the Cayman Islands
* For deliverance from cancer and Parkinson’s in my brother; healing for Lisa’s body, mind and spirit; healing for JoAnn, Debbie and Linda; for Mack to blessed in the direction he has chosen for his life and a trust in God to provide healing of body, mind and soul which leads him to make his life a glory to God; for all the concerns lifted up in LG; successful brain surgery for Jim Welch scheduled for next week

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

* God is 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, thank You for loving us and making Your will known to us in Jesus Christ. May His life be ours and Your will be ours as well. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.

1585

March 26, 2014

YOUR Will be done in the year to come- 2014

HIS WORD for Today:

1 Peter 5.2-3

“Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

God had a plan for Peter’s life from before he was born. Peter was to be a leader of leaders and a mighty man of God. According to the world, he was to be a fisherman alongside his father and cousins there in Capernaum. But, according to God, he was to become a “fisher of men,” and more distinctly a shepherd. It is in Peter’s life that we can see the tremendous love Jesus had for His disciples. Even though Jesus would know the next steps in Peter’s life if he surrendered to His Father’s will, He never lost sight of where Peter was in every moment of His life. We know of the great story of reconciliation Jesus offered Peter by the lakeside after His crucifixion and resurrection. In echo of the three failures to own Jesus as His Christ and friend, Jesus offered Peter three moments in a similar early hour of the morning to profess his undying and unfailing love. Jesus knew the heart of Peter was troubled. Jesus knew his mind was overwhelmed with personal disappointment. Jesus also knew the depth of his spirit and his affection for God. It would be possible, perhaps not likely, that Peter could obey his own will and accept words of forgiveness from Jesus and refuse the opportunity to continue in service to the King of Kings. Life can be devastating that way. If we are willing to allow it to be, it can be future-threatening.

But, through Jesus Christ, Peter’s future and ours is secure. Nothing can separate us from the love and mercy of our Mighty God who is mighty to save. God’s will for our lives is life. Life in service to Him in this world amid all circumstances over which we may have some choice or not and in the next where choices disappear and joy comes in the morning. It is with a renewed heart and a right spirit that Peter addresses the leaders of the Church who are called by the name of Jesus. He speaks to them of God’s will for their lives. His will is that they, too, shepherd the people of God just as Jesus had commissioned him. He stresses, however, that the mighty man of God must be willing, not motivated by a wordly need to serve, but rather humbled to believe that God sees in him the gift of grace for leadership, discipleship and sacrifice. God has a “will” for everyone’s life. His Holy Spirit cultivates the giftedness of each person to serve. They must, however, decide why they will use their gift. Will it be for their own benefit or because they feel they have to? Or will they do it because it is a part of that awesome relationship with Jesus Christ who has reconciled a wandering life and brought it back to the stability of righteousness for the sake of God and others?

PRAYER CONCERNS: (Needs of God’s mighty men that will be answered out of faith, hope and love)

* For the recovery of those lost in the Washington landslide and healing for all the survivors
* For the discovery of the Malaysian airliner and the resolution of the mystery of its disappearance; God knows where it is and protect those who are searching for it and now give comfort as news that it most likely crashed into the ocean is released
* For our government and budget to become balanced before the Lord; I pray for Jubilee!; and that our President withdraw the current healthcare plan in favor of one that God will provide as what is best for all His people.
* 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, North Korea and the Ukraine 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 the Cape Verde Islands
* For deliverance from cancer and Parkinson’s in my brother; healing for Lisa’s body, mind and spirit; healing for JoAnn, Debbie and Linda; for Mack to blessed in the direction he has chosen for his life and a trust in God to provide healing of body, mind and soul which leads him to make his life a glory to God; for all the concerns lifted up in LG; successful brain surgery for Jim Welch scheduled for next week

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

* God is 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 giftedness which lives in these mighty men be surrendered in love, hope and faith to serve others for Your glory. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.

1584

March 25, 2014

YOUR Will be done in the year to come- 2014

HIS WORD for Today:

1 Peter 4.16-19

“However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Remember, God’s will is not that any should suffer but that all should experience good in their lives and do good in the lives of others. But, suffering happens. It happens because sin was released out of the rebellion of Satan against God and bore bitter fruit. It wasn’t the fruit, mind you, that was bitter. Instead it was the consequence of disobedience to God that would leave a bitter taste in the mouths of Adam and Eve. Their fall to earth wasn’t nearly as dramatic as Satan’s when he was cast down from Heaven. They didn’t have far to go. They were made from the dust of the earth. Was that dirt already the carrier of sin like a microbe? Some scientists say that every human being carries the presence of cancer. It takes some kind of catalyst outside of the body to spur its growth. I would hate to think that is true. If it is true and God created us, then that same cell structure or bit of DNA must also have a good effect. Of course, all our studies and technology haven’t really isolated it. But, when it does, perhaps the cure for cancer is stimulating it in a different way, change its nature, restore its purpose and promote it doing good instead of evil; to save life instead of destroy it.

Okay, I am no doctor nor am I a scientist. But, I am a mighty man of God who is a spiritual cancer survivor like most every other mighty man on the face of the earth. What I know is that I was born into a world where sin has been a cancer within the human community and the family of God. It lurks, as Peter would describe, like a prowling lion waiting to devour its next victim. Some men may need less prompting to excite this sin-cancer in their lives than others. But, as God’s Word declares, “All have sinned (and I assume until Jesus returns- all will sin) and fallen short of the glory of God.” How wonderful it is to know that we have been remade, exposed to the Light of Life, given a changed nature, and the very person who has been wronged and has done wrong can now do right and be made righteous. The cure for sin-cancer is Jesus Christ. And when suffering happens in our lives, especially that which is the product of persecution for being a Christ follower, we simply need to give thanks that the cancer of the world can no longer consume nor turn us from the love and grace of God. It does raise issue that we need to give all our relationships a heavy dose of Christotherapy so that we can all be sin-cancer free. When we take care of those nearest to us then the Word of Healing, which is the gospel of Jesus Christ, can spread across the earth and in repentance the lives once dead will be alive.

PRAYER CONCERNS: (Needs of God’s mighty men that will be answered out of faith, hope and love)

* For the recovery of those lost in the Washington landslide and healing for all the survivors
* For the discovery of the Malaysian airliner and the resolution of the mystery of its disappearance; God knows where it is and protect those who are searching for it.
* For our government and budget to become balanced before the Lord; I pray for Jubilee!; and that our President withdraw the current healthcare plan in favor of one that God will provide as what is best for all His people.
* 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, North Korea and the Ukraine 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 Canada
* For deliverance from cancer and Parkinson’s in my brother; healing for Lisa’s body, mind and spirit; healing for JoAnn, Debbie and Linda; for Mack to blessed in the direction he has chosen for his life and a trust in God to provide healing of body, mind and soul which leads him to make his life a glory to God; for all the concerns lifted up in LG; successful brain surgery for Jim Welch is back on the table with successful heart surgery

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

* India is delivered from polio
* God is 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 submit ourselves to Christ therapy and find ourselves renewed and alive in Him. May that new life bear the fruit of righteousness to feed a world that is hungering and thirsting for righteousness. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.

1583

March 24, 2014

YOUR Will be done in the year to come- 2014

HIS WORD for Today:

1 Peter 4.16-19

“However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Yes, I know that many times when we hear “It is God’s will,” it seems to apply to a time of suffering in our lives believing that such an appeal will bring comfort and aid. Truth is there is a lot of suffering in the world and in our lives. The world is tainted with sin which leads to sorrowing which leads to straying which leads to suffering. It is not God’s will that we should suffer, however. God doesn’t will the death of anyone; nor does He inflict injury and sickness on anyone. Does it happen? Yes, sadly, injury and sickness are a part of the world because sin is a part of the world. I do not know if there would have been sickness or injury in the Garden of Eden without Satan introducing sin into it. I do not know if there would have been no such thing. I know that Jesus declares that Heaven, the New Jerusalem, will be a place where there is no more sickness, sorrow, crying and dying. But, honestly that wasn’t the Garden of Eden. What I do think is that whether there was or wasn’t wouldn’t have mattered as long as Adam and Eve stay oriented toward God in all things.

Apply that bit of truth to the suffering we do experience in the world. Peter speaks of the suffering in the body as it applies to persecution for being a Christ follower. Sickness and disease, death and dying, are all overcome by believing in Jesus as the Christ. If we are to suffer, it is because we live in the world. Now, we live in the world not to escape from sickness and disease but to help others endure it in their lives until the day of our true deliverance into the fullness of the Kingdom of Heaven which will dwell on earth for all believers. So, if we are chosen to suffer (at the hands of others because of their disbelief and hatred for ours or because Satan is trying to convince us as he did Job), then we must rejoice in the suffering. I am not speaking of being glad that you are suffering but rather that you have chosen to believe in God knowing the peril it can put you in alongside the freedom it will give to you. It is not God’s will that you suffer in any way. God is gratified that you have chosen to still believe in Him. He may give you immediate relief and healing. He may continue to support you so that your life in distress because a powerful testimony for others. But, I can tell you this- His will is for your eternal life. To that end and for that choice, Jesus died on the cross in obedience to God’s will; He who did not withhold suffering even from His own Son so that you and I might live with Them forever.

PRAYER CONCERNS: (Needs of God’s mighty men that will be answered out of faith, hope and love)

* For the recovery of those lost in the Washington landslide and healing for all the survivors
* For the discovery of the Malaysian airliner and the resolution of the mystery of its disappearance; God knows where it is and protect those who are searching for it.
* For our government and budget to become balanced before the Lord; I pray for Jubilee!; and that our President withdraw the current healthcare plan in favor of one that God will provide as what is best for all His people.
* 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, North Korea and the Ukraine 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 Cameroon
* For deliverance from cancer and Parkinson’s in my brother; healing for Lisa’s body, mind and spirit; healing for JoAnn, Debbie and Linda; for Mack to blessed in the direction he has chosen for his life and a trust in God to provide healing of body, mind and soul which leads him to make his life a glory to God; for all the concerns lifted up in LG; successful brain surgery for Jim Welch is back on the table with successful heart surgery

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

* India is delivered from polio
* God is 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 encouraged that You have not asked anything of us that You have not experienced, too, in Jesus Christ. We rejoice that nothing will separate us from You in life or in death or in suffering. AMEN.

1582

March 23, 2014

YOUR Will be done in the year to come- 2014

HIS WORD for Today:

1 Peter 2.18-21

“Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

I have no doubt there are many lessons the Holy Spirit can teach us out of this word alone. Today, I want to share one that helps to answer my question about “what is God’s will for my life.” His answer is “You should follow Christ’s steps.” When Jesus was transfigured before Peter, James and John, God declared “This is My Son, listen to Him.” What is listening if it is not following directions? Jesus three years of ministry was a living classroom and spiritual laboratory meant to teach His followers, especially His disciples (by the way ‘disciple’ means ‘student’) how to meet God’s will in their own lives. The disciples had been chosen by God, spoken into by God’s Holy Spirit to awaken their desire for the answer to ‘our’ question, and then exposed to the Master Teacher so their curiousity could be sated. And, it was important that Jesus get them to literally engage in the learning process by sharing His daily walk. What do we see upon a cursory examination of Jesus’ walk. Well, we know He didn’t always walk. He rode in fishing boats and even on a donkey. We don’t know the itenerary of every day from the gospels, so He may have ridden in a wagon or cart or on a horse, too. Though, I would doubt He rode a horse for fear that some would see the Militant Messiah many hoped for. So, what do we see in His walk, meaning work or purpose of His life? He preached the gospel wherever He went and cared for all those who had needs, great and small. He prayed when He was tired, frustrated and needing assurance. He spoke honestly to everyone. He declined praise but loved to see God at work through His life. He had a sense of urgency and responded appropriately. I cannot say He responded immediately because He intentionally delayed going to Lazarus when he fell sick and died. But, we have plenty of lessons and examples of how we should walk in a similar fashion. It wasn’t limited to being a preacher, a pastor, a teacher, a prophet, a healer or a Messiah. Instead, He presented all the skills and resources which each of these professions needed and showed how they could be done. He even turned away the title of “Good.” So, it wasn’t even about being perfect or well-educated that would lead to being successful in His work. But, it was about staying in tune with the Holy Spirit; that same Spirit which He gave to us so that in all of our professions we can do His will and His work to an even greater extreme than He was able to in His time on earth.

So, what is God’s will for our lives? It seems to share the word and do the work of Jesus where we are, as who we are, wherever we are, whenever we are not sleeping and all for the glory of God.

PRAYER CONCERNS: (Needs of God’s mighty men that will be answered out of faith, hope and love)

* For those who will lead God’s people in worship, praise and service this weekend.
* For the discovery of the Malaysian airliner and the resolution of the mystery of its disappearance; God knows where it is and protect those who are searching for it.
* For our government and budget to become balanced before the Lord; I pray for Jubilee!; and that our President withdraw the current healthcare plan in favor of one that God will provide as what is best for all His people.
* 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, North Korea and the Ukraine 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 Cambodia
* For deliverance from cancer and Parkinson’s in my brother; healing for Lisa’s body, mind and spirit; healing for JoAnn, Debbie and Linda; for Mack to blessed in the direction he has chosen for his life and a trust in God to provide healing of body, mind and soul which leads him to make his life a glory to God; for all the concerns lifted up in LG; successful brain surgery for Jim Welch is back on the table with successful heart surgery

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

* Katelyn and newborn son are well; God’s will to be revealed
* God is 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 words of our mouths, the meditations of our hearts and the works of our lives be acceptable to You and of good profit to all those whom we serve in Jesus’ name. AMEN.

1581

March 21, 2014

YOUR Will be done in the year to come- 2014

HIS WORD for Today:

1 Peter 2.18-21

“Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

I just love God. His Word is so full that I am not sure we can take it all in. Just when we believe we have grasped its truth in our lives, the Holy Spirit wants to remind us of another teaching, apply it to what we know and reveal something more. The Holy Spirit of God is “Xtreme!” What am I speaking of? Remember when Jesus was in the Upper Room to celebrate the Passover preceding His arrest and how He spoke to His disciples of the transformation of their relationship? Passover was like a graduation dinner on their behalf. Granted it is one dinner I could probably have done without knowing what was about to follow. Or would I? During that meal or perhaps on the way to the Garden or even in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus shared with His disciples that they were no longer servants or slaves, the word could be synonymous, but friends. He said they were friends because they now knew the full measure of His life and purpose on earth and in their own lives. I hadn’t thought about the disciples being servants or slaves of Jesus. We think of Jesus’ teaching about His service to them and to others. But, going quickly in my mind through many of the stories, they were in the servant role. But, now their service role had changed from “being chosen” to choosing. The disciples would now be confronted with the real choice of following Jesus because their journey would be one of great faith. They waffled at first- Judas betraying Him and then killing himself, Peter denying Jesus three times before morning, the disciples hiding out in the Upper Room for fear of the Temple rulers, Peter and John hesitating before consenting to go with Mary to the empty tomb, Thomas who was a doubter until he could have his way of “seeing is believing,” and then even those disciples who still had doubts on the mount in Galilee just as Jesus was ascending into Heaven. But, their legacy is our history and our inspiration as mighty men of God. And we, too, consider ourselves willing servants of Jesus Christ choosing to follow Him who chose to love us to the Xtreme!

Now that you have the background of where I was in this thought process, look at the Word for Today and read “Servants, in reverent fear of God submit yourself to all your masters- good, bad or indifferent.” Follow with yesterday’s revelation of just being conscious of God and actually doing good works as Christ had done and see some more of the truth about our transformation as mighty men of God. Even if we have not yet discovered the change from servant to servant friend and we are merely aware of God, faintly believing, live our lives in reverent fear of God. Do you know what reverent fear of God is? It is a deep and abiding awareness of God expressed in sacred worship on definitive holy ground daring to believe that without God there is no true life and living. It doesn’t mean you understand it all or even have a slippery grasp on that truth but that you dare to believe it. And in that worship, expressed in obedience to our worldly masters, we are building spiritual default thinking. As that default thinking grows so, too, will our relationship with God grow until we see His glory expressed perfectly in Jesus Christ. It is then that we will choose to live out our chosenness and find the relationship of spiritual kinship and friendship with Jesus Christ. Then we choose more service and freer worship, greater joy and abundant peace, true live and everlasting love.

So, if you are struggling in life with your relationship with God and with others, I invite you to get back to a more focused and disciplined worship of God and just get in tune with believing God, His choosing you because He loves you and finding your choice of God because of that love. Serve Him. Let Him serve you. And I guarantee you will find what you thought you had lost- the awesome relationship with God in Jesus Christ by His Holy Spirit.

PRAYER CONCERNS: (Needs of God’s mighty men that will be answered out of faith, hope and love)

* For those who will lead God’s people in worship, praise and service this weekend.
* For the discovery of the Malaysian airliner and the resolution of the mystery of its disappearance; God knows where it is and is leading others to finding it.
* For our government and budget to become balanced before the Lord; I pray for Jubilee!; and that our President withdraw the current healthcare plan in favor of one that God will provide as what is best for all His people.
* 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, North Korea and the Ukraine 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 Burundi
* For deliverance from cancer and Parkinson’s in my brother; healing for Lisa’s body, mind and spirit; healing for JoAnn, Debbie and Linda; for Mack to blessed in the direction he has chosen for his life and a trust in God to provide healing of body, mind and soul which leads him to make his life a glory to God; for all the concerns lifted up in LG; successful brain surgery for Jim Welch is back on the table with successful heart surgery

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

* Katelyn and newborn son are well; God’s will to be revealed
* God is 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, bless the ground upon which these mighty men of Yours walk today so that in its holiness they may be restored to the right relationship which you offer to them as servant, friend and son. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Post tags: , ,

1580

March 20, 2014

YOUR Will be done in the year to come- 2014

HIS WORD for Today:

1 Peter 2.18-21

“Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

I have read and prayed over this Word many times and the Spirit leads me to focus on the two “extremes.” We should be extreme in our faith. Jesus told John the Elder in Revelation that the mighty men in Laodicea that He wished they would be hot or cold instead of lukewarm in their works. As mighty men today, the will of God would then seem to say to us the same. We are to be men of conviction that is vital, visible and viable. If we were this then it would be easy for the world to understand who we are and what we believe. But, if we couch our lives in the muddled gray of inconsistency, incongruity and virtual invisibility then we don’t look any different than a great majority of people in the world. We are supposed to be different from the world. But, in our difference from the world as followers of Christ we are still to be in the world as a living testimony and place of worship. It would seem to me, as I consider another Revelation image of the sheep and the goats which are divided by Christ the Shepherd one from another, that those who are extreme for God will be among the sheep and those who are extreme against God will be among the goats. Sheep will be gathered into the green pastures of Heaven to drink from the still waters and know the fullest blessing of living with the shepherd all the days of their eternal lives. Goats will be condemned to the fiery pit of hell immersed in the Lake of Anguishing Fire separated forever from the mercy of God. But, what about those who are just just? I dare say the word of Christ in the Sermon on the Mount may give us the key to their fate, “Many will say Lord, Lord, we did many things in your name but I will say to them ‘I know you not.'” Those in the middle, who are just just, would seem to be gathered with the goats.

Why would this be true? Peter draws the distinction between those who are conscious of God and those who are doing good for God. He says it is one thing to be conscious of God and suffer, even if it is a wrong and undeserved suffering. I wonder if people really know if someone is “conscious” of God. Not many of us are mind readers. Even “good intentions” are the pavers on the road to Hell so the “I think they might be a Christian because I have never seen them do anything wrong” isn’t of help here. God is visible in His works for and through His people, those who are called by His name and live according to His purpose. Those who suffer because they are doing the good works of God in bringing visible and tangible evidence of faith in God can move mountains be they of sin, poverty, disease, disability, disenfranchisement, ignorance, abuse, neglect, bondage and sadly much more; they will be recognized. Their suffering may be in the shared brokenness of those they serve. Their suffering may be as a penalty inflicted by those who do not want God to be visibile and tangible. Their suffering may be because they put the lives of others before their own even in their own resources for life. But in all of this the world will see Christ who did the same even to the extreme of taking on the burden of the cross to the point of death and beyond so that once and for all the threat of the grave as the consequence of our sin would be eliminated.

Remember, mighty men, our end is not the grave. Rather, our end is the grace of Almighty God whose delight is the reconciliation of those who will call upon His Name and commit their lives to His Way. Not to just be conscious and aware of “there is a God.” Instead, they are working daily with the power and presence of God who is in the midst of them. Living and dying for others with little regard for self is extreme. Mighty men are to be Xtreme (X is the symbol for Christ.)

PRAYER CONCERNS: (Needs of God’s mighty men that will be answered out of faith, hope and love)

* For safety and wisdom to those who are returning from or beginning Spring Break this week
* For the discovery of the Malaysian airliner and the resolution of the mystery of its disappearance; God knows where it is and is leading others to finding it.
* For our government and budget to become balanced before the Lord; I pray for Jubilee!; and that our President withdraw the current healthcare plan in favor of one that God will provide as what is best for all His people.
* 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, North Korea and the Ukraine 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 Burkina Faso
* For deliverance from cancer and Parkinson’s in my brother; healing for Lisa’s body, mind and spirit; healing for JoAnn, Debbie and Linda; for Mack to blessed in the direction he has chosen for his life and a trust in God to provide healing of body, mind and soul which leads him to make his life a glory to God; for all the concerns lifted up in LG; for co-workers who are believing for deliverance for their daughter and complete healing for her unborn child; for deliverance from someone who wants to rule over me and is setting me up in their mind that I am someone they must rule over instead of collaborate with; successful brain surgery for Jim Welch is back on the table with successful heart surgery

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

* God is 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, bless the work these do for the glory of Your Name and for the welfare of those they will serve. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.

Newer Posts »