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1926

May 31, 2015

HIS WORD for Today:

Romans 15.13

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

As we desire to experience restoration in our lives, we must remember our best hope is in God alone. After the past week of flooding rains much property and many lives have been lost. Restoration is a cry from individuals and communities. It is a loud cry because the loss is great and hope seems fleeting. But, the people of the world are flooded with more than water. We must keep this in mind. As the story of Noah and the Ark comes to a close we hear of the rainbow and the promise. The promise given by God is that the world will never be judged by a flood. It doesn’t mean we will not be tested. It means that a flood will never be a tool used by God to condemn and judge whether people are good or evil. I have read and heard many stories shared by others concerning such assertions as the reasons for the recent floods. It is untrue. But, these floods certainly challenge our thinking, our preparation and our response to tragedy in the moment it is happening and in looking forward to our responses when it happens again. How will the mighty men of God react to the tragedies created by the floods and over abundant rain? Just as it is said to fight fire with fire, we must restore flood victims with a flood of goodness, grace and goods. Make a donation of time, talent or tithe to assist those who have suffered loss. And remember, it is not just a literal flood that we must bear in mind. Lives are easily flooded by all kinds of wrongs. It is only by the overflowing abundance of the Holy Spirit and the flood of God’s love that we can be truly restored so that we can rest and have peace.

“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
* Protection, shelter and comfort for those whose lives have been impacted by the recent bout of storms across Texas, Oklahoma and the Midwest and the related flooding
* Blessings over those who are transitioning from graduation to the next leg of their successful journey in life
* 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
* 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 Morocco
* 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, You have provided us with so much. Bless us with Your Holy Spirit so that we know what it is we can do with what it is we have been given in the name of the One for whom we live, serve and pray- Jesus our Lord and the Holy Spirit that makes us one. AMEN.

1925

May 29, 2015

HIS WORD for Today:

Mark 3.1-5

“Another time Jesus went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.” Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent. He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Obedience to Christ is not an indicator of a conditional relationship but of a relationship bound by gratitude and wisdom. Jesus is not a spiritual dictator. He is the Savior of the world, God’s Messiah. His life of obedience to His Heavenly Father is a model for God’s mighty men and how they are to relate to God and to God’s people. God is a God of restoration; bringing His people back into right relationship with Him. Jesus is the Christ and in Him God’s people are reconciled making it possible for God and His people to be one in spirit and in truth.

It is, of course, a matter of faith. Faith is believing what one cannot see and then seeing what seems to be beyond belief. Jesus said to the man with the withered hand “Stretch our your hand.” In obedience, the man stretched out his hand and found it was completely restored. His obedience showed faith in Jesus and faith was put into action and brought healing and restoration to the man. He was restored to his work and his place in the community. He became a man who experienced wholeness through the holiness of Jesus. With God all things are possible for those who call upon His name and live according to His purposes for their lives. So, we live in relationship to God not because we have to but because we have learned and experienced the goodness of God when we do.

Mighty men of God, we have been restored into right relationship with God because Jesus surrendered His life for ours. No greater love is there than this “that a man lay down his life for another.” Jesus proved the efficacy of that truth. He created the right relationship for us so that our hopes and lives and faith could be restored. Now we must rest in Him and allow that truth to live in us and through us. It is not for us alone that Jesus did this. He did this so that we could do it for others. That kind of faith demonstrates true obedience which is not a forced relationship but a relationship that forces the hand of the enemy of God and man to be obedient to the Word of God in us.

“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
* Protection, shelter and comfort for those whose lives have been impacted by the recent bout of storms across Texas, Oklahoma and beyond with a forecast of more rain in the days ahead
* Blessings over those who are transitioning from graduation to the next leg of their successful journey in life
* 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
* 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 Montserrat
* 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, how grateful we are to abide in right relationship with You. Thank You for making it possible for us to be restored to life and to be filled with hope for the future beginning with today in the name of the One for whom we live, serve and pray- Jesus our Lord and the Holy Spirit that makes us one. AMEN.

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1924

May 28, 2015

HIS WORD for Today:

Mark 3.1-5

“Another time Jesus went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.” Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent. He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

The defense of our lives rests on Jesus Christ. If God is for us then nothing can defeat us (rob us of our promise) and nothing can separate us from His love. In the face of the enemy and his accusations, Jesus is our representative before God and all the world. He has promised to be with us to the close of the age and in eternity beyond. He taught that the Spirit of God and His Kingdom is in the midst of us. We are kingdom dwellers because we are joint heirs of that Kingdom and blessed with the awakening of our true spiritual selves by the very Spirit of God. We can rest assured that we will be restored to life. This means that as we rest in Him we will be renewed, revitalized and reborn into the newness of life. And how we need that truth to bear into our lives; sometimes on a daily basis!

In today’s passage, Jesus gives those who were in synagogue with Him the opportunity to speak the truth and bring true rest and restoration to the man with a withered hand. Jesus didn’t need their words or affirmation to accomplish the good He could do for the man. Jesus could not only heal the body; He could save the soul. The man was probably resigned to living with the withered hand. He did not let it deter him from believing in God and worshiping Him in spirit and in truth. He had accepted his lot in life. It doesn’t mean he liked it. I have no doubt the stigma of his withered hand carried with it unforgiven sin- his or that of generations before. It is what he had been raised with. But, he did not let it stop him from coming before the presence of God even in the midst of his enemies. When Jesus asked those gathered there if good could be done on the Sabbath they remained silent. It spoke volumes against them. They did not mind scorning the man in public or in private. Those words may have been echoing in those hallowed halls and out into the community in which they lived. But, now their silence spoke even more loudly. When given the opportunity to do they rested from the acceptable labor. Instead of encouraging, they discouraged even if it was by saying nothing at all.

Mighty men, we must speak the truth in love. We cannot rest on the past if we are to experience restoration in the present day and for the days to come. The word is still needed. We must do good, save lives and worship the Lord our God continually. If we are to enjoy our rest, we must rest on Jesus. If we are to be restored we must be agents of restoration ourselves. Our witness and testimony of being one in Christ opens the doors for others to witness the same in their own lives. Jesus will do it for others whether we are a part or not. But, if we refuse to participate in the good which can be done then it will speak against us and nothing can defend us at that point.

“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)

* Protection, shelter and comfort for those whose lives have been impacted by the recent bout of storms across Texas, Oklahoma and beyond with a forecast of more rain in the days ahead
* Blessings over those who are transitioning from graduation to the next leg of their successful journey in life
* 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
* 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 Montenegro
* 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, be in the words we speak today as we bear witness to our restoration and the hope for others to be restored as well in the name of the One for whom we live, serve and pray- Jesus our Lord and the Holy Spirit that makes us one. AMEN.

1923

May 27, 2015

HIS WORD for Today:

Mark 3.1-5

“Another time Jesus went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.” Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent. He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

The word that has been given to me and my wife as we consider our next leg of the journey of faith is “rest.” I have been given seven keys to help me stay focused in this time of transition; one of which I have already shared “Peace that surpasses all understanding.” Another key is “Sabbath rest.” We must embrace our Sabbath rest if we are to remain in the center of God’s will and receive the fullness of His mercy and grace. While I am still praying for wisdom concerning the meaning of our Sabbath rest, I find in this passage of scripture a part of that knowledge and wisdom I seek. The word that caught my attention was “restore.” In order for us to be restored to peace, wholeness, healing and prosperity in the Spirit we must rest. We know the scripture “Be still and know that I am God.” Being still is difficult at times because the world is such a busy place. We busy ourselves with work and thoughts of so many tasks that need to be addressed. It all can easily build up as a swelling wave and come crashing down on us. We are swept away out of control. We must stay focused on what is important and rest assured in our trust of God’s plan for our lives.

Jesus asked those in the temple on that Sabbath “Which is it lawful on the Sabbath to do: to do good or evil; to save life or kill?” Those in the temple, especially those who were against Jesus, did not answer. Notice the man did not pursue Jesus to be healed. He was in the synagogue to worship God as was the law so to do. He was honoring the Sabbath. But, Jesus saw the man and beckoned him to stretch out his hand. When the man did his hand was restored. He receive the blessing of restoration by entering into the Sabbath rest. While I do not think that Sabbath rest happens only on the day of Jewish Sabbath, the seventh day of the week, nor on the first day of the week which is our Christian day of worship, I do believe there is truth in our time of worship and to rest in God. It is a time to put our cares and worries aside and simply fall into the arms of Jesus to give thanks and praise to Him who has saved us and restored us in mercy and grace.

“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)

* Protection, shelter and comfort for those whose lives have been impacted by the recent bout of storms across Texas, Oklahoma and beyond
* Blessings over those who are transitioning from graduation to the next leg of their successful journey in life
* 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
* 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 Mongolia
* 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 rest in You and trust in Your will for our lives in the name of the One for whom we live, serve and pray- Jesus our Lord and the Holy Spirit that makes us one. AMEN.

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1922

May 26, 2015

HIS WORD for Today:

Luke 15.28-32

“The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’ “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Our response to what was lost being found is to celebrate. The older brother’s response was far from celebrating; it was debilitating. He robbed himself of joy and allowed bitterness to enter in. How many in the Church shake their heads in wonder, or is it dismay, when they hear the tragic story of sin’s ruin in someone’s life and confess the tragedy saying “Save for the grace of God there go I!” But, how many of them stand back when that same person then shares their testimony of how Christ saved them from their sins and restored their lives. I know some who just can’t bear that truth. The truth is that we have all been saved from the tragedy which sin brings into the world and into our lives. Yes, we may still suffer in this world but it is not unto eternal death. Life in this world can be hard as witnessed by the most recent days of violent storms across our nation. Lives have been lost but lives have been found which were thought to be lost. There is much rejoicing at having found that which was lost. Equally, there is sadness at losing life and property because of those same tragedies. But, the balance is faith.

As the older son heard the news of the celebration of his younger brother coming to his senses and returning home humbled and grateful, he lost his mind. I believe it was because he lived by works and not by grace. He viewed the world by entitlement and not by faith. He lost his way as his brother found his. They were two sides of the same coin. Just as the coin which was lost by the woman who then cleaned her house until it was found. When it was found she called her friends and neighbors together to celebrate. It was a great day. It causes me to remember the coin which was presented to Jesus by the teachers of the Law with a question. They asked, “What do you say, Jesus of Nazareth? Should we pay taxes to Caesar?” Jesus answered simply with a question, “Whose face do you see on this coin?” The replied, “Caesar.” “Then,” He said, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” In that moment there was both celebration and debilitation. The followers of Jesus cheered and the enemies of Jesus jeered. In one moment their argument was debilitated and in the next their bitterness was even more motivated.

Strange, is it not, the our lives are much like the coin? One side of our lives is in the world and we experience the sadness of it. The other side of our lives is in the kingdom and we experience the truth of it which is to worship and celebrate the goodness of God in the midst of the tragedy of the world. The world is not a bad place. It is a place where bad things happen. But, in the kingdom of God there is goodness and righteousness and cause to celebrate. So, it seems we need to be circulated in the world taking the goodness with us. The older son lay flat while the younger stood upright. The older lost sight of the Kingdom while the younger became a vision of being in the world and not of it. Which son are we? The tragedy of our lives may not be as great as someone else’s and for that we should give thanks. But, the true tragedy should not be lost on us. The consequence of sin is death, eternal death. We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and deserve to die. Yet, because of Jesus we have received what we do not deserve- grace! That would be and is cause to celebrate!

“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)

* Protection, shelter and comfort for those whose lives have been impacted by the recent bout of storms across Texas, Oklahoma and beyond
* Blessings over those who are transitioning from graduation to the next leg of their successful journey in life
* 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
* 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 Monaco
* 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 lift up those whose lives have been traumatized in the recent storms of life and their aftermath. We pray for healing and celebration of the truth which is ours in the name of the One for whom we live, serve and pray- Jesus our Lord and the Holy Spirit that makes us one. AMEN.

1921

May 25, 2015

HIS WORD for Today:

Luke 15.28-32

“The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’ “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

The Holy Spirit continues to press my thinking deeper into this new understanding for me of the “lost son” parable. Strange how I have focused (is it because of prior teachings?) on the lost son being the one who went into the world and lost all he had received from the father. But, I never really considered him lost. In my spirit I believed that the father knew where the son was all the time. Yes, he did not intervene in his demise but he knew his condition nonetheless. Why didn’t he intervene? Could it have been because he, too, was at peace and filled with trust just as I spoke of yesterday as a key to true understanding? He trusted in the way and work of God which had been entrusted to his son. He was at peace believing that in all things God would work for God in those who put their trust in Him and lived according to His purpose for their lives. He also knew the nature and character of his son and that within him existed the Spirit of God yearning to be released by a confession of futility to make his (the son) own way in the world a success. He had a peace and awareness of trust in both God and man through the Word of God.

So, in reality, the [younger] son was not lost to the father. The father hoped and prayed that the son would find himself. Lo and behold, the son did find himself and returned to the father willing to be a servant/slave so he could be “at home” with the father. Now I see the contrast drawn between the younger and the older. We would say the older was wise and faithful. He did not ask for what was not yet legally his as the father was still alive. But, by his own admission, he was also committed to be a servant/slave of the father. Strange to have this idea looming in his mind when he was, in fact, a son with full rights and privileges to the entire estate. The father withheld nothing from him and said “All that I have is yours already.” The younger son traded his “freedom” for slavery. The older son traded his “freedom” for slavery, too. This is a parable of redemption which had to be recognized and received in all its glory. Both sons had the opportunity to be redeemed. For one, the younger, it was realized. For the other, the older, it remained lost.

The question for me, and hopefully for you- mighty men, is why? Why would the older son have been so misguided that he would end up being lost himself? Is it because he was lost already? The very fact that he believed he had to earn his way through life is an indicator, I believe. It is an archetype of “legalism.” The older son was bound to earning his freedom but it was already his. The younger son believed he had lost his sonship in humiliation and degradation and was appealing to the grace of the father to accept him as a servant/slave. Legalism threw the older son into bondage. Grace drew the younger into freedom.

I have been looking to find the Jesus in this story. It has been easy to see God the Father in this story. His nature and character is plastered all over this mosaic of redemption. I couldn’t see, but wanted to, Jesus as the younger son simply because He is the first of all men. But, biblically speaking, in the world Adam was the first man and in him all men found sin. Jesus, on the other hand, is the one who came into the world to bring freedom to God’s children from the slavery of sin and sinful thinking. As in Adam all men die so in Christ all shall live. Jesus gave up all his riches to live in the very wallow of the world. Yet, in His desire to become servant to all and thus the least, He found grace in abundance as the key to overcoming death and separation from God. He was restored to His place with the Father in the Father’s household. But, those who live by the law will die by the law. What a warning to those of God’s people who continue to dwell in such slavery believing that fulfilling the requirements of the law means freedom. The older son surrendered his freedom to the bitter end of the law. In truth, the older son remains lost until he finds his own truth concerning the love and grace of the father which was always his.

The truth is ours by grace!

“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)

* Blessings on those who will lead the people of God in worship, praise and service remembering Memorial Day (USA)
* Blessings over those who are transitioning from graduation to the next leg of their successful journey in life
* 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
* 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 Moldova
* 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, by Your grace in and in Your love we have our freedom. We come to serve You not to gain our freedom in the world but to freely serve others so they can be free in the name of the One for whom we live, serve and pray- Jesus our Lord and the Holy Spirit that makes us one. AMEN.

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1920

May 24, 2015

HIS WORD for Today:

Luke 15.28-32

“The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’ “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

What is the purpose of a key? Is it not to unlock a door, gate or even an understanding that was previously unavailable for passage? As I travel to work each day, I celebrate the day with God and spend time in communion. Granted it is untraditional but no less effectual. In my time, I have been given seven keys to use as reminders of God’s presence in my life and His desire for my life. One of them is “Peace that surpasses all understanding.” Don’t we all have those moments where we lack the wisdom and understanding to handle a situation which confronts us? I know I see them all the time. I also now see God’s working in them and through them for the benefit of His children. Having a peace with God indicates having a trust for God. Equally, trusting in God give us peace from God. It is a great key; one that I wish I could go back and give to the older son. He lacked peace in his life which was made evident by his disparaging attitude toward his father and his found brother. He also lacked trust in God because he did not understand his own relationship with both of his fathers- earthly and heavenly. The key here to understanding is the relationship of peace and trust.

When I heard that the older was blessed by the younger son’s request for “my share of the estate,” I knew it was a prophetic word. Little did I realize that it was a key to understanding further what Jesus was teaching in the parable of the lost son. One son was lost and found- the younger. One son was lost and never even knew it- the older. How I pray that the older found his peace and trust restored as well as his relationship with his father and his brother. But, that was not the purpose of Jesus’ teaching in this parable. It is our purpose to recognize the real blessing of our relationship with God made new in Jesus Christ. Our relationship changed because of Christ. In John’s gospel we hear Jesus declare to His disciples, “I no longer think of you as slaves but friends. Slaves do not know the mind (will) of their master. But, you do know because you have seen Him in me.” The older son, though blessed with his portion of the estate upon the request of his brother, continued to think of himself as a slave in relationship to his father. He did not grasp the fullness of what was given him. In fact, he did not grasp the fullness of the reiteration of the father who said in the hope of reconciling him “You have always been with me and everything I have is yours!” The older son left the celebration of new life still enslaved to his old way of thinking. He denied himself the opportunity to be renewed and restored. He would never have to ask for his portion because he already had it. It was in his grasp if he would trust in his father’s words and be at peace with the love his father had shown both of his sons. It was there for the asking.

Mighty men, have the peace that surpasses all understanding. We cannot fathom the fullness of God’s mercy and love. However, we must trust God in all things. We must trust in His desire to be in right relationship with us through the forgiveness of our sins. We must be at peace with His desire to freely give us everything we need to live our life to the fullest. That fullness is the measure and stature of Christ which knows how to bow low in loving service to others and to rise up in glorious praise of the God of our salvation. We are not slaves but friends and brothers of Christ, the living Son of the living God who lives in us by the living Holy Spirit. In Them we have life and have it abundantly if we would put our faith and trust in Them and receive Their perfect peace that surpasses all understanding and gives us the wisdom and knowledge to know we are in right relationship with Them by mercy and grace.

“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)

* Blessings on those who will lead the people of God in worship, praise and service remembering the Day of Pentecost and Memorial Day (USA)
* Blessings over those who are transitioning from graduation to the next leg of their successful journey in life
* 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
* 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 Mexico
* 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)

* Because of previous sinus surgery, I was able to make it through wisdom tooth extraction; God directed us to see “Where Hope Grows” and illustrated the direction of our move
* 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, our Father, receive our surrender to Your Will for our lives so that we might grow in the right relationship that comes through faith in the name of the One for whom we live, serve and pray- Jesus our Lord and the Holy Spirit that makes us one. AMEN.

1919

May 22, 2015

HIS WORD for Today:

Luke 15.11-12

“Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

As mighty men of God we must remember that our Heavenly Father is willing to give us what we ask in the name of Jesus. This, of course, begs the understanding that whatever we ask in the name of Jesus that will be given us is worthy of the one whose name it bears. Much like the “things” of this world generally bear brand names (and often we are paying for the name more than the quality of the product). When we pray to receive from God, we pray in the name of Jesus for what God has in store for us that bears His name. We are, after all, Christians- ones in Christ. Are the things we ask for from the “Jesus” warehouse? Is it being manufactured for us just as the place He went to Heaven to build for us so that we could be with Him forever and ever? We are made joint heirs in the Kingdom of God because of the anointing of our lives in the blood of the Lamb. We are not merely guests or visitors or sojourners like the Wise Men from afar who bore three special gifts to give to the Christ-child whom they sought. They came because they wanted to see what God was doing in and for the world, their world. Once seeing and adoring Him; yes, even worshiping Him, they returned to their own homes to share the Good News of a great joy. But, when we get to Heaven we will see that we are permanent residents and actually have been since our profession of faith. What we are now are guests, visitors and sojourners in this world. We are on a quest and mission to share the Good News of a Great Joy into all the world as we journey on our way home in Heaven. That means we are asking “our Father who art in Heaven” to provision us for the quest and the journey. Our prayers are akin to those signs we see college students waving at sporting events saying “Send money.” Yes, we are asking for our share of the estate.

But, the difference between us and the lost son is that we are asking for provision for the ministry we are to impart. We should not be asking for ourselves alone as did the lost son. That is why he was lost. He was looking for something he didn’t have. He thought he would find it in the world and used all his resources to not only find it but own it for himself exclusively. Sadly, what we need for our lives to have their true meaning and purpose cannot be found in the world. It can only be found, as the lost son discovered, in the Father. When he came to his senses, he realized that even those who were servants to his father were better provisioned and more aware of themselves because of his favor and love. He had lost everything in his life at that point except for the memory of his father’s graciousness. That grace even allowed the lost son to become lost enough to be found. The father knew of his investment in prayer, praise and continuity in the Word of God in his son. He believed the son would find what he was looking for. The father invested what was his into his son so that the son would know what was truly his was his father. So, when we ask for what we want, should I say “need,” from the Father, we should be balancing our understanding between want and need with who we are in the eyes and heart of God. It is there that we find that we are like Christ to Him. He, being the good father and the greatest Father, would not deny us anything we need to do what we are called and empowered to do. God is good all the time and all the time God is good. In Jesus’ name we find both God and good and the time of our lives.

“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)

* Blessings on those who will lead the people of God in worship, praise and service remembering the Day of Pentecost and Memorial Day (USA)
* Blessings over those who are transitioning from graduation to the next leg of their successful journey in life
* 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
* 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 Mayotte
* 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, thank You for investing in us Yourself so that we will never wander from the joy of Your Word which is our strength in the name of the One for whom we live, serve and pray- Jesus our Lord. AMEN.

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Memorial Day (USA)

May 22, 2015
3:00 pm
May 25, 2015

On this day, many throughout the world pause to remember and give thanks for those brave men and women who served the cause of freedom and liberty for all as members of the United States of America military. Their lives were given so that ours might have the opportunity to make of this world a place of peace, prosperity and positive purpose.

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Pentecost Sunday

May 22, 2015
3:00 pm
May 24, 2015

This is the day in the life of the Church when it went on fire for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 50 days after Passover, the celebration of the first fruits of the harvest were consecrated to the fullness of the harvest when it would be gathered in. So it was with the Church of Jesus Christ as the Eleven received the indwelling of the Holy Spirit as Christ promised to them who waited in Jerusalem following His ascension to Heaven. The Holy Spirit did not descend on them as a dove which we know happened to Jesus upon His baptism by John in the Jordan. No, it came with a mighty rush of wind, the breath of God, and danced around them as the licking flames of a holy fire purifying and consecrating them for their service to the King of Kings. They were the first members inducted into the royal priesthood of all believers. It was not meant to be an exclusive group. Rather, it was meant to be an inclusive group in which all believers in Jesus as the Christ were to be gathered. Each one with the blessing of the Holy Spirit and the empowering of their gifts, talents and abilities to become vehicles, tools and oracles of God’s Holy Word which is Jesus Christ Himself. On that day, the disciples began to preach the gospel in the languages of all those who had gathered in Jerusalem for Pentecost. Many heard and many believed and received the blessing themselves. Oh what a glorious day!

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