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1901

April 30, 2015

HIS WORD for Today:

Psalm 95.1-7a

“Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before Him with thanksgiving
and extol Him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God,
the great King above all gods. In His hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to Him. The sea is His, for He made it, and His hands formed the dry land. Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for He is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Can the world see your heart for the people of God? The theme for this year as God leads His mighty men in worship, service and praise is that “the truth be seen in the mighty men of 2015.” Our love for God and one another should be apparent. I grew up in the days when it was popular to ask within the church “If you were arrested for being a Christian would there be enough evidence to convict you.” One might have thought of externals such as emblems, jewelry, Bibles, stickers and clothing bearing religious symbols. All of that can be circumstantial evidence. Just because you bear the sign of the fish doesn’t make you a Christian; it could easily be discarded. Even Jesus taught “Many will call ‘Lord, Lord’ but I will know them not.” Why? Because the evidence of love for God and man was lacking. It is the power and presence of love in and through our lives that will speak of our relationship with God.

The psalmist cries out in sermon and song of the greatness of God and the hope for His people’s salvation. He gave them reason to continue to trust in and lean on God. Our God is a mighty God. Those who call upon the name of the Lord and are called by Him see creation and all its wonders and recognize the goodness and greatness of God. We speak of God. We do His works by faith. We point out the Lamb of God to others with the intention of leading them to Christ just as John the Baptizer did. But, do not forget, mighty men, this is the first half of the psalmist plea. The other half was the plea for the people to listen and submit to God lest they lose the blessing opportunity and become lost themselves. There is that evidence in the history of Israel and the world of those events happening, too. His hope was for the turning of their heart, mind and soul from the world to the Kingdom of God and to be the people who would walk in righteousness. It should be our hope, desire and purpose as well.

“Let HIS TRUTH be seen (and heard) in the mighty men of 2015.”

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

* For peace in Baltimore; violence only begats violence but we are called to be peacemakers
* For healing for the loved ones whose family and friends died in the massive earthquake and tremors which followed in Nepal; for the restoring of those who are lost and will be found by the grace of God; for the rebuilding of infrastructure and communities and a return to peace
* For the end of Boko Haram and for the defeat of the terrorist rebels, ISIS, as they have joined forces in bringing death and terror to the innocent; over 400 decomposed bodies in shallow graves found in Nigeria as a result of their terror
* 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 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 on behalf of God’s people and plant the seed of faith, hope and love for a harvest of new life
* For Mission Waco, “No Man’s Land,” Marlin High School and the people of Lebanon
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends; especially the breaking of addiction chains binding them; for needs on my family now that far exceed our ability to handle on our own- we need God’s intervention and His wisdom as we seek to please and honor Him in the next step of our journey of faith

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

* Several hundreds of women and children have been liberated from Boko Haram in Nigeria
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!
* God’s Word declares press into my rest and live as you have never lived before; we press into His finished work for our healing- may it be manifested Lord!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, hear our joy to be in Your presence and to share in Your love. We humbly bow before You in prayer and before others in service in the name of the One for whom we live, serve and pray- Jesus our Lord. AMEN.

1900

April 29, 2015

HIS WORD for Today:

Psalm 95.1-7a

“Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before Him with thanksgiving
and extol Him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God,
the great King above all gods. In His hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to Him. The sea is His, for He made it, and His hands formed the dry land. Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for He is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

The psalmist invites the people to rejoice in who they are supposed to be because they are God’s people. Their history is filled with the works of a mighty God whose mercy and power has sustained them in the face of incredible odds. He is a great God who desire and purpose is to be in relationship with the people of the earth beginning with and working through those who are called by His Name. He is a Great Shepherd and His people are the flock under His care. We know the Psalmist’s Shepherd song from Psalm 23 and the expressions of God’s love for His people. With so much going for them it would seem unthinkable to forsake His way and turn away from the author of so many benefits and blessings.

Yet, it would seem that was the case for Israel in the days of the psalmist; and I fear even today. Because we know what follows this call to worship and praise- it is a grim reminder that the people refused to hear, listen and submit to the perfect will of God. The people of his day were no different than those in the days of Moses. In so many ways it would seem to be the same for the people of the world in which we now live. God has not changed. His heart is still for His people. He has proven our worth and value to Him already by sending His own Son into the world to reteach the path of righteousness. His Son has proven how much value and worth we have for the Father by surrendering His own life on the cross on our behalf. Since God is for us then who can stand against us on that day of judgment? Only a pretender, Satan, whose dominion has already been broken in the forgiveness of sins and the defeat of eternal death for all who will believe.

Come, mighty men, and remember all His benefits. Let us sing praises to the name of the Mighty God above whom there is no one else. Let us rejoice in our salvation and the blessings of life which He desires to bestow on us. Let us hear His Word and listen to what the Spirit desires to teach us in that Word. Let us hear the Spirit and listen to its call deep into our lives to walk as those made righteous by the blood of the Lamb. Let us hear the call of the Lamb of God and listen to the voice of the Great Shepherd who knows His own by name and recognize ours is included.

“Let HIS TRUTH be seen (and heard) in the mighty men of 2015.”

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

* For peace in Baltimore; violence only begats violence but we are called to be peacemakers
* For healing for the loved ones whose family and friends died in the massive earthquake and tremors which followed in Nepal; for the restoring of those who are lost and will be found by the grace of God; for the rebuilding of infrastructure and communities and a return to peace
* For the end of Boko Haram and for the defeat of the terrorist rebels, ISIS, as they have joined forces in bringing death and terror to the innocent; over 400 decomposed bodies in shallow graves found in Nigeria as a result of their terror
* 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 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 on behalf of God’s people and plant the seed of faith, hope and love for a harvest of new life
* For Mission Waco, “No Man’s Land,” Marlin High School and the people of Latvia
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends; especially the breaking of addiction chains binding them; for needs on my family now that far exceed our ability to handle on our own- we need God’s intervention and His wisdom as we seek to please and honor Him in the next step of our journey of faith

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

* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!
* God’s Word declares press into my rest and live as you have never lived before; we press into His finished work for our healing- may it be manifested Lord!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, we praise You and listen for Your voice because we so desire to hear our name on Your lips. We know it does not mean our work is done but that You have valued us for good works in righteousness in the name of the One for whom we live, serve and pray- Jesus our Lord. AMEN.

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1899

April 28, 2015

HIS WORD for Today:

Psalm 95.1-7a

“Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before Him with thanksgiving
and extol Him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God,
the great King above all gods. In His hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to Him. The sea is His, for He made it, and His hands formed the dry land. Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for He is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

There is power in the music and melody of God. It has the effect of calming, inspiring and leading even those who do not believe. The music of God is found everywhere. The truth is that you must listen for it to hear it, invite it in to be in harmony with it and then release it in worship whether in lament or in celebration. The rest of verse seven of Psalm 95 is the crux of this worship song “If only you would hear His voice.” The psalmist led the people to a place of hope in the midst of their captivity, exile and despair by focusing first on the music of God. Worship for the psalmist, a mighty man of God, was found in the recognition of His omnipotence (power of all and over all) and His omnipresence (there is no where to be found where the rule and authority of God is not.) How desperately we need to reflect the music of God in today’s world. The world has been rocked by tremendous earthquakes and volcanic eruptions so powerful that the axis of the earth has moved causing changes that impact all life. The world has been rocked by riots, wars and violent subjugation of God’s people with drugs, murder and sexual victimization. The world has been rocked by the power of nature in wind, flood and fire leaving paths of devastation challenges communities to rise up and answer the call to love one another.

We can lament the situations and then give thanks it wasn’t “me.” We can lament the situations and move on hoping that merely changing a space resolves the challenge found in a place. We can lament the situations and become a part of the solutions. But, what the mighty men of God must do most of all is to let the music of God flow freely from His Spirit into ours and then into the world. We must sing the song of hope, restoration, reconciliation, peace, salvation and joy. Joshua and the mighty men of Israel marched around Jericho with song and trumpets and dance. The response was the breaking down of walls and a triumph over the enemy before them. It became a gateway of revelation as to the fulfillment of God’s promise. What barriers confront those in our spheres of influence. We can choose to take up the call to arms as the world desires which pits man against man. Or, we can come before the Lord in worship and praise His name and let His music lead us in paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake.

If we would only pause to hear the music He sings into our world and into our lives and then allow the music in us to produce the life of God which He has ordained for His believe who will be called by His Name and who will call upon His name which we declare in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior.

“Let HIS TRUTH be seen (and heard) in the mighty men of 2015.”

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

* For those who have been impacted by the dangerous summer storms throughout the southwest and heading to the midwest US
* For healing for the loved ones whose family and friends died in the massive earthquake and tremors which followed in Nepal; for the restoring of those who are lost and will be found by the grace of God; for the rebuilding of infrastructure and communities and a return to peace
* For peace and protection as ISIS forces threaten to overrun Ramadi, Iraq, and draw nearer to Baghdad; and for the families of the Coptic Christians executed by ISIS in Libya
* For the end of Boko Haram and for the defeat of the terrorist rebels, ISIS, as they have joined forces in bringing death and terror to the innocent; over 400 decomposed bodies in shallow graves found in Nigeria as a result of their terror
* 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 Yemen, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Turkey and North Korea and that 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 on behalf of God’s people and plant the seed of faith, hope and love for a harvest of new life
* For Mission Waco, “No Man’s Land,” Marlin High School and the people of Laos
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends; especially the breaking of addiction chains binding them; for needs on my family now that far exceed our ability to handle on our own- we need God’s intervention and His wisdom as we seek to please and honor Him in the next step of our journey of faith

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

* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!
* God’s Word declares press into my rest and live as you have never lived before; we press into His finished work for our healing- may it be manifested Lord!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, sing to us a new song and let the chorus of mighty men everywhere set the captive free in the name of the One for whom we live, serve and pray- Jesus our Lord. AMEN.

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1898

April 27, 2015

HIS WORD for Today:

Psalm 95.7b-11

“Today, if only you would hear his voice, “Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the wilderness, where your ancestors tested me; they tried me, though they had seen what I did. For forty years I was angry with that generation; I said, ‘They are a people whose hearts go astray, and they have not known my ways.’ So I declared on oath in my anger,
‘They shall never enter my rest.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

We dare not entertain a hardness of heart (mind and soul) against God’s plan, purpose and call in our lives. Allowing doubt to exist in our thoughts about whether God is present in our lives and in our world is translated into negative conclusions and actions. The psalmist reminds those who are experiencing the challenge and desperation of exile and captivity to remain faithful. Being faithful means to trust God even when things seem their worst and to seek Him in prayer and in the offering of Christian service wherever we are. But, equally as bad as to stop believing that God is with us so now everyone and everything is against us is to stop being faithful because trusting in God didn’t bring the result we wanted right now.

We have heard how God may answer prayer with a “No” to our request. Perhaps the request didn’t align with God’s plan for our lives. The “no” was a matter of protection and thus a blessing for our welfare. Sometimes God’s answer is “not yet.” We have looked at the perfect timing of God to give us what is needed at the time it is needed to bring glory and honor to God’s name and benefit to God’s people. Remember how Jesus told the disciples they must wait before going to minister to Lazarus and his family. The reports were of a desperate and life-ending situation for Lazarus. But, Jesus said the delay was so that God could be glorified by the Son and the Son glorified by the Father. Hard to embrace that when we see such disasters as the one we know of in Nepal with nearly 4000 dead and many more yet to be accounted for. But, trust we must even in this situation. Success in this world is not the measure of faithfulness. Faithfulness to God, trusting Him in all times seeking Him without end in pray and service and most of all praising Him in spirit and in truth is the measure of our success.

The psalmist reflected the prophets’ teaching as he wrote and sang about God’s desire to bless those who bless Him. There is a peace and prosperity given to those who will endure the world for His sake. The mighty men of God cannot turn away from Him because their prayers were not answered as they desired. Nor can they become blind to His works for His people out of which there is a greater blessing just because His timing does not match ours. God’s mighty men must trust and believe in the goodness and greatness of God at all times and live by faith and not by sight.

“Let HIS TRUTH be seen (and heard) in the mighty men of 2015.”

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

* For those who have been impacted by the dangerous summer storms throughout the southwest and heading to the midwest US
* For healing for the loved ones whose family and friends died in the massive earthquake and tremors which followed in Nepal; for the restoring of those who are lost and will be found by the grace of God; for the rebuilding of infrastructure and communities and a return to peace
* For peace and protection as ISIS forces threaten to overrun Ramadi, Iraq, and draw nearer to Baghdad; and for the families of the Coptic Christians executed by ISIS in Libya
* For the end of Boko Haram and for the defeat of the terrorist rebels, ISIS, as they have joined forces in bringing death and terror to the innocent and now in Kenya
* 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 Yemen, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Turkey and North Korea and that 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 on behalf of God’s people and plant the seed of faith, hope and love for a harvest of new life
* For Mission Waco, “No Man’s Land,” Marlin High School and the people of Kyrgyzstan
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends; especially the breaking of addiction chains binding them; for needs on my family now that far exceed our ability to handle on our own- we need God’s intervention and His wisdom as we seek to please and honor Him in the next step of our journey of faith

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

* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!
* God’s Word declares press into my rest and live as you have never lived before

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, into Your Hands we commit our lives in the name of the One for whom we live, serve and pray- Jesus our Lord. AMEN.

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1897

April 26, 2015

HIS WORD for Today:

Psalm 95.7b-11

“Today, if only you would hear his voice, “Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the wilderness, where your ancestors tested me; they tried me, though they had seen what I did. For forty years I was angry with that generation; I said, ‘They are a people whose hearts go astray, and they have not known my ways.’ So I declared on oath in my anger,
‘They shall never enter my rest.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

The awful truth, mighty men of God, is that many people in our spheres of influence will not listen when they hear the Word of God spoken in words or in actions. They have ears to hear but will not hear. They have eyes to see and will not see. They have minds to think but will not dare believe. They have spirits yearning for wholeness but will settle for far less and in some instances be turned in the opposite direction and become so negative that the light of truth will fade into the depth of despair. Oh that all the people of the world past, present and future would accept the gift of grace that has been given to them in Jesus Christ who died on the cross to put to death the penalty of all sin. How I pray they would accept the Chiefest of High Priests who revealed in the renting of the Veil of the Holy of Holies that there was nothing there but empty hope as empty as the tomb in which He would be sought for three days after He was buried. Jesus was and is and will forever be the true Ark of the Covenant in whom there is no guile. The Law and the Prophets, the Gospel and the Revelation are fulfilled in Him. They have been made complete by the work which He has done at the Cross. Yes, the work of our salvation and our hope is finished in Christ Jesus. He is now building up for us our rightful place in Heaven so that when He returns there will be a place for all those who hear His Word and listen to it with joyful obedience. There will be a place for those who will see God in the midst of their lives and declare “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” There will be a place for those who are challenged by the truths of God’s creativity on a daily basis and seek out the deeper truth which exists in it and put to work for the welfare of others the truth which has been revealed. There will be a place for those who feel the burning in the heart and soul of an overwhelming love they cannot contain and become a ever flowing fountain of faith, hope and love of living water that cannot run dry and will supply the hunger and thirst for righteousness of those who will confess “I need God.”

But, because many will not believe and receive the truth that is only in Jesus Christ does not mean that we will not continue to bear witness to the truth that we know in our ears, eyes, minds, hearts, souls. Remember the Word of Isaiah which the mighty man Paul shared with those in Corinth:

“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived” —
the things God has prepared for those who love him—
these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.”

We must commit ourselves to the works of God completed in us and for us. Ours is not to decide who shall live nor who shall die. Ours is to serve the Lord our God with gladness, perseverance, seizing all hope and releasing all holds so that His Spirit which is alive in us and for us can move across the face of the deep and provide far better than we to meet the needs of those who will open themselves to God. Many may choose to be lost but not because we did not seek even the one who was lost but could be found.

“Let HIS TRUTH be seen (and heard) in the mighty men of 2015.”

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 healing for the loved ones whose family and friends died in the massive earthquake and tremors which followed in Nepal; for the restoring of those who are lost and will be found by the grace of God; for the rebuilding of infrastructure and communities and a return to peace
* For peace and resolution in Baltimore
* For peace and protection as ISIS forces threaten to overrun Ramadi, Iraq, and draw nearer to Baghdad; and for the families of the Coptic Christians executed by ISIS in Libya
* For the end of Boko Haram and for the defeat of the terrorist rebels, ISIS, as they have joined forces in bringing death and terror to the innocent and now in Kenya
* 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 Yemen, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Turkey and North Korea and that 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 on behalf of God’s people and plant the seed of faith, hope and love for a harvest of new life
* For Mission Waco, “No Man’s Land,” Marlin High School and the people of Kuwait
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends; especially the breaking of addiction chains binding them; for needs on my family now that far exceed our ability to handle on our own- we need God’s intervention and His wisdom as we seek to please and honor Him in the next step of our journey of faith

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

* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!
* God’s Word declares press into my rest and live as you have never lived before

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, move mightily in us so that through our testimony today in word and in deed others may know of the hope that is for them in the name of the One for whom we live, serve and pray- Jesus our Lord. AMEN.

1896

April 24, 2015

HIS WORD for Today:

Psalm 95.7b-11

“Today, if only you would hear his voice, “Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the wilderness, where your ancestors tested me; they tried me, though they had seen what I did. For forty years I was angry with that generation; I said, ‘They are a people whose hearts go astray, and they have not known my ways.’ So I declared on oath in my anger,
‘They shall never enter my rest.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

“Let those who have ears to hear, hear.” This call was an important element in Jesus’ teachings about life in the kingdom. We have been fearfully and wonderfully made. Our bodies are made up of many parts and each with a particular purpose. As these parts work together for a greater purpose God is revealed and praised. That particular purpose is for our lives to bring glory to God and God to the people. Of course, without a clear mind the body is limited in its function and in its opportunity to be all it was meant to be. That is why Paul taught that Jesus is the head of the body, the Church. Each member has a particular purpose within the body of Christ and as the myriad parts of that Body work together to accomplish its particular purpose then God is glorified and the people and empowered for even greater work that fulfills the purpose given to it by God.

Having said that, I offer this which was revealed to me in HIS WORD for today: our ears are given to us with the purpose of hearing the Word of God. Jeremiah declared to the leadership left in Jerusalem following the exile: just listen to what God is saying! It isn’t as if God is not speaking. He speaks all the time to His people. He loves talking to them and having conversations with them. He even appreciates those fierce monologues we sometimes offer as we are confronted by challenges that seem to ask more of us than we are able to give. But, God has a Word for that. That Word if first and foremost- Jesus the Christ. But, He has given us other words: the witness of Scripture, the counsel of the Holy Spirit, the advice of friends and the prayers of the faithful. The problem is not that God doesn’t speak. No, the problem is that we refuse to listen to God and act upon its call in our lives. Israel refused and the writings of the Old Testament bear witness to the consequences of that refusal. But, it also gives testimony concerning those who did hear the Word, listened to it and heeded its teaching and command and call.

Mighty men of God, believe in your hearing ability for the Word of God. It is a joy and a challenge. It is an opportunity for hope and encouragement. It is a roadmap and a destination. It is the invitation to be alive and to live for God alone in Jesus Christ. Believe and hear. Hear and listen. Listen and obey. Obey and bear witness. Bear witness and have faith. Have faith and know joy. If God is the author of it, then we must rejoice in it.

“Let HIS TRUTH be seen (and heard) in the mighty men of 2015.”

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 peace and resolution in Baltimore
* For peace and protection as ISIS forces threaten to overrun Ramadi, Iraq, and draw nearer to Baghdad; and for the families of the Coptic Christians executed by ISIS in Libya
* For the end of Boko Haram and for the defeat of the terrorist rebels, ISIS, as they have joined forces in bringing death and terror to the innocent and now in Kenya
* 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 Yemen, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Turkey and North Korea and that 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 on behalf of God’s people and plant the seed of faith, hope and love for a harvest of new life
* For Mission Waco, “No Man’s Land,” Marlin High School and the people of Kosovo
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends; especially the breaking of addiction chains binding them; for needs on my family now that far exceed our ability to handle on our own- we need God’s intervention and His wisdom as we seek to please and honor Him in the next step of our journey of faith

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

* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!
* God’s Word declares press into my rest and live as you have never lived before

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, thank You for speaking to us in the name of the One for whom we live, serve and pray- Jesus our Lord. We will listen to what He says to us today and share it with others to the glory of the One True God. AMEN.

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1895

April 23, 2015

HIS WORD for Today:

Psalm 95.7b-11

“Today, if only you would hear his voice, “Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the wilderness, where your ancestors tested me; they tried me, though they had seen what I did. For forty years I was angry with that generation; I said, ‘They are a people whose hearts go astray, and they have not known my ways.’ So I declared on oath in my anger,
‘They shall never enter my rest.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Trusting in God to provide for our lives, offering to Him our own hopes and dreams, is not putting God to the test. God knows our hearts and mind. He is omniscient, all-knowing; nothing is hidden from Him. Even in the Garden of Eden after Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit of knowledge of good and evil when they hid themselves God knew where they were. His call for them was not a game of “Hide and Seek.” He call was to the hearts and mind, a quickening of the conscience, of Adam and Eve. He wanted to know if they knew where they were and whose they were.

As the psalmist rehearses the history of the Hebrews when they were in transition from Egypt to the Promised Land, he speaks of where they tested and tried God. Their putting God to the test was a matter of disobedience. They had seen how God had acted on their behalf in being delivered from Egypt through mighty works and wonders. They had seen the events at Mt. Sinai with the giving of the Covenant of the Law and the consequence for those who refused to be patient for God’s revelation who instead fashioned a backward glance to their exile captivity. In Meribah and Massah, they complained in their challenging situation that God no longer cared. They were not really looking for relief but blame. They tried God’s patience and put His mercy and grace on question.

As mighty men of God we must continue to be patient and trusting. We must not give up our faith and belief in God. Our time in transition may seem without end and we may be hungering and thirsting for knowledge, wisdom and revelation. But, God knows the plan He has for us and how it must be worked out in order for us to be ready for when the time is right. Our rehearsal of the history of the exiles should inform us that God does and will provide for our needs. He is aware of our desires and our attempts to balance them with His Word calling us into right relationship and right service. He wants us to press into His completed work for our lives. He has gone before us and will never leave us. He has given us His Holy Spirit to sustain us and train us in the kind of thinking and living needed to move into the next stage of our journey toward the true fullness of time when we all shall stand before the throne of God to be welcomed in in the name of Jesus our Lord.

Do not test the Lord with your lack of faith and belief. His patient will not endure forever. But, rather, trust in Him in every season of life and live under the shelter of His wing. He knows and sees us and the road before us. He will guide us in spirit and in truth to where we are to serve Him next and best. Receive His blessing and be the blessing you were created to be.

“Let HIS TRUTH be seen (and heard) in the mighty men of 2015.”

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

* For peace and resolution in Baltimore
* For peace and protection as ISIS forces threaten to overrun Ramadi, Iraq, and draw nearer to Baghdad; and for the families of the Coptic Christians executed by ISIS in Libya
* For the end of Boko Haram and for the defeat of the terrorist rebels, ISIS, as they have joined forces in bringing death and terror to the innocent and now in Kenya
* 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 Yemen, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Turkey and North Korea and that 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 on behalf of God’s people and plant the seed of faith, hope and love for a harvest of new life
* For Mission Waco, “No Man’s Land,” Marlin High School and the people of the Republic of Korea
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends; especially the breaking of addiction chains binding them; for needs on my family now that far exceed our ability to handle on our own- we need God’s intervention and His wisdom as we seek to please and honor Him in the next step of our journey of faith

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

* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!
* God’s Word declares press into my rest and live as you have never lived before

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, we believe in You and trust in Your Word which declares there is a righteous plan for our lives. Shape us and move us, try us and test us, give us what is needed to wait and to go in the name of the One for whom we live, serve and pray- Jesus our Lord. AMEN.

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1894

April 22, 2015

HIS WORD for Today:

Psalm 95.7b-11

“Today, if only you would hear his voice, “Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the wilderness, where your ancestors tested me; they tried me, though they had seen what I did. For forty years I was angry with that generation; I said, ‘They are a people whose hearts go astray, and they have not known my ways.’ So I declared on oath in my anger,
‘They shall never enter my rest.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

I give thanks to God for giving me His Word to challenge my mind and beckon me to dig deeper into it to discover the plan for my life. He has called me to read, study and pray over the writing to the Hebrews. Hebrews, the New Testament book, is written to the exiled people of the New Testament world- Christ followers. They include a number of races and ethnicities but they all shared two things in common: 1) all had sinned and fallen short of the glory of God as it was revealed in Jesus Christ, and 2) they all recognized that without Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior in their lives there was no hope for the day they were living in nor the days ahead of them.

We need a similar hope today, might men of God. We are like a people in exile. We await the fullness of time when God will call us home to be with Him where He is in Heaven. Jesus promised His disciples that we was going away in order to prepare their place in Heaven. If He was going away it meant only that He was coming back. He was not leaving nor forsaking. He was going so that He could come again in the fullness of time, glory and grace. But, as you look back over the recent studies from Jeremiah 29 you will see God’s promise was to restore His people, those who called upon His Name and were glad to be called by His Name. Isn’t that us? Are we not called by His Name? Do we not call upon His Name? Are we not waiting for His return? Are we not making our homes and businesses in the land where we find ourselves and live as faithful people? If we are then we have entered into God’s sabbath-rest and the rest is still to come.

Give thanks today, mighty men of God, for His rest and the rest of His-tory. The truth is that it is our story, too!

“Let HIS TRUTH be seen (and heard) in the mighty men of 2015.”

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

* For peace and protection as ISIS forces threaten to overrun Ramadi, Iraq, and draw nearer to Baghdad; and for the families of the Coptic Christians executed by ISIS in Libya
* For the end of Boko Haram and for the defeat of the terrorist rebels, ISIS, as they have joined forces in bringing death and terror to the innocent and now in Kenya
* 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 Yemen, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Turkey and North Korea and that 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 on behalf of God’s people and plant the seed of faith, hope and love for a harvest of new life
* For Mission Waco, “No Man’s Land,” Marlin High School and the people of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends; especially the breaking of addiction chains binding them; for needs on my family now that far exceed our ability to handle on our own- we need God’s intervention and His wisdom as we seek to please and honor Him in the next step of our journey of faith

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

* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!
* God’s Word declares press into my rest and live as you have never lived before

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, thank You for the rest you have given us and the rest of what we do not deserve but will receive by faith in the name of the One for whom we live, serve and pray- Jesus our Lord. AMEN.

1893

April 21, 2015

HIS WORD for Today:

Jeremiah 29.12-14

“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

What is holding us captive, mighty men? What is enticing and tempting us to forsake our hold on God and grasp something else that would provide seemingly immediate relief? The key people in Jeremiah’s Israel were taken away into exile and would dwell in the land of Babylon for seventy years. In the days of Moses, the people of Israel had lived in Egypt for four hundred years. They would be desert nomads for forty more years. Even today, many of the people of God are in financial, physical, emotion, philosophical, educational, relational and/or spiritual captivity. Remember, the basic function of sin is to put the future of one’s life into the hands of human determination instead of in God’s hand of salvation. We must trust the Lord our God who knows the purpose of our lives, their function and the plan He has for us to rejoice and be glad in it. His purpose is for us to do good and receive blessings of mercy, peace and prosperity. He has a glorious future in mind for us.

Interestingly enough, we do not have to wrestle that reality from the hands of God. He offers it freely to us as we believe and take on the name and truth of His Son, Jesus the Christ. Why can He offer it so easily? What keeps us from taking such blessing lightly? I believe it is that what He offers to us has come with a price of love. The reminder of that love is Christ. What God offers to us is given by the hand of Jesus. As we take what is offered we ought to see the wounds of crucifixion visible to us. They are healed by the glory of God but forever a reminder to us that we are worthy to be called sons and daughters of the most High. We are worthy to be redeemed from the throes of sin. We are worthy to be resurrected in life and in death to live with Him and Them forever.

All He asks is that we surrender our hold on life. We hold on to it tightly as if once given it will never be returned. It is here that we need to see the cross as well. Jesus surrendered His life and look what He got in return. The cross and the grave could not hold Him either and they had to release their presumed hold. Jesus was too glorified to be contained. Our lives can be the same. We may still be in a journey of holding on to ourselves. We hold ourselves captive when we have been set free. Release your hold, mighty men, and give yourselves into the awesome hands of God who is bringing you out of captivity and setting you new in the Kingdom of Heaven being revealed on earth as members of the body of Christ. Death cannot hold you, nor can any captivity hold you back from the love of God. As it has been said before, “Let go and let God.”

“Let HIS TRUTH be seen (and heard) in the mighty men of 2015.”

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

* For peace and protection as ISIS forces threaten to overrun Ramadi, Iraq, and draw nearer to Baghdad; and for the families of the Coptic Christians executed by ISIS in Libya
* For the end of Boko Haram and for the defeat of the terrorist rebels, ISIS, as they have joined forces in bringing death and terror to the innocent and now in Kenya
* 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 Yemen, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Turkey and North Korea and that 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 on behalf of God’s people and plant the seed of faith, hope and love for a harvest of new life
* For Mission Waco, “No Man’s Land,” Marlin High School and the people of the Kiribati
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends; especially the breaking of addiction chains binding them; for needs on my family now that far exceed our ability to handle on our own- we need God’s intervention and His wisdom for a vocational decision

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

* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!
* One family member’s surgery was successful but much healing remains in God’s hands; praises given for the journey ahead and the scriptural support that we walk by faith and not by sight

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, we open our hands to You to say we no longer hold on to the world but reach out to the life You freely offer in the name of the One for whom we live, serve and pray- Jesus our Lord. AMEN.

1892

April 19, 2015

HIS WORD for Today:

Jeremiah 29.12-14

“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

To follow up on the fullness of time we must recognize the reciprocity of using the time given wisely. As God was speaking to those who were in exile, He also is speaking to us. He told those in exile to be settled as a people and live there as they would have lived in Israel and Jerusalem. They were to build homes, have families, do the work given to them and give thanks to God for His goodness. The people needed to do their work, their normal routine, and trust that God would be doing His. Their exile had become a part of their restoration. Their exile occurred because of the faithlessness of the leadership in the temple. But, God was working to make things right and new.

How is it in our temple? Remember, mighty men of God, our bodies are temples in which the Spirit of God dwells. We must allow the true High Priest, Jesus Christ, have dominion in us and over us. He is to be the leader and head of our body. It is His righteousness that is to define us and guide us. He alone makes us the righteousness of God. It is not by our works or words that we are the righteousness of God. It is by our faith in Jesus Christ and our acceptance of Him as our Lord and Savior. There are times when we will feel as if we are in exile; as if we are displaced and put upon by all kinds of hardships and sickening consequences. We must endure and press into God more and more. We must confess our need for Him in our lives. We are something because we have been created by God. But, we are nothing of enduring value if we are not recreated in Jesus Christ.

As the remnant dwelt in Babylonian exile, God was not only remaking them into a strong and vibrant people but He was making a place for them to return to and dwell in prosperity. God was working the works of faith. He was believing in the people who believed in Him. Because of their faith, He was able to do a great thing. He can do that great thing in us also, if we will have faith and believe in what Jesus has done for us and will continue to do in us for the glory of God.

“Let HIS TRUTH be seen (and heard) in the mighty men of 2015.”

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

* For those who have been impacted by a large earthquake in Taiwan
* For peace and protection as ISIS forces threaten to overrun Ramadi, Iraq, and draw nearer to Baghdad; and for the families of the Coptic Christians executed by ISIS in Libya
* For the end of Boko Haram and for the defeat of the terrorist rebels, ISIS, as they have joined forces in bringing death and terror to the innocent and now in Kenya
* 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 Yemen, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Turkey and North Korea and that 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 on behalf of God’s people and plant the seed of faith, hope and love for a harvest of new life
* For Mission Waco, “No Man’s Land,” Marlin High School and the people of the Kenya
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends; especially the breaking of addiction chains binding them; for needs on my family now that far exceed our ability to handle on our own- we need God’s intervention and His wisdom for a vocational decision

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

* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!
* One family member’s surgery was successful but much healing remains in God’s hands; praises given for the journey ahead and the scriptural support that we walk by faith and not by sight

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, remake us and transform us beginning with the renewal of our minds so that our heart will be strengthened and our spirit be vibrant to accomplish Your good work and will today in the name of the One for whom we live, serve and pray- Jesus our Lord. AMEN.

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