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1948

June 30, 2015

HIS WORD for TODAY!

Galatians 1. 10-11

“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Sadly, and predictably, the approval ratings for our President have risen due to the events of the past several weeks. But, I would warn about such approval based on the passage above. Is the intention of such promotional efforts to embrace the disenfranchised to win the approval of human beings or is it to glorify God and win His approval?

When Jesus approached John the Baptizer in the Jordan River to be baptized we find an interesting dynamic. John was popular with the disenfranchised of Israel. His preaching on righteousness and reconciliation as well as his railing against the common authority made friends and enemies. Roman and Jewish leadership, or their representatives, were always within earshot. His words and actions were immediately reported back. But, John was not worried about pleasing men. His focus was on being obedient to God. In his obedience came the opportunity to baptize Jesus, his cousin. He immediately recognized Jesus who had been revealed to him as the Lamb of God who comes to take away the sins of the world. He humbled himself before Jesus and said “I should not baptize you because I am unworthy to even handle your sandals.” Jesus comforted him saying “I must be baptized by you in order to fulfill all righteousness.” Jesus wasn’t looking to win a popularity contest with men by his action. In that moment, very few even knew who He was outside of a man coming to be baptized. Such would not be the case afterward. Jesus sought to please God and to demonstrate His obedience to the path of righteousness which would lead to eternal life. In response, God declared in John’s hearing “This is My Son with whom I AM well-pleased.”

There is a difference between civil and spiritual authority. In both realms compassion can and should exist. But, compassion for the sake of compassion is no different than going to church to go to church. If we are like Pharisees and do things in order to be seen by and before men and thus win their approval or enforce fear-filled obedience then the approval of God will not be found. If we act in compassion to assist others who are suffering that is good but its long-term impact is diminished because there is nothing eternal being planted there. What is the purpose and intention of our compassionate actions? Mighty men, we are bound in truth to a spiritual authority. We must show respect for our civil authority but align ourselves with the Word of God, in Scripture and in Christ, to know and to do what is right before God. Doing what is right before God will always lead to good things for the people we serve. But, if we are doing good things for people without it being born out of a relationship with God then our work will be fruitless in a matter of hours, days or generations.

We are an eternal people and our purpose is eternal. We meet eternity one day at a time knowing that God is with us- Immanuel!
If we walk in any other way than that which glorifies God then we best enjoy the echoes of affirmation from men because that is all we will receive. Even echoes will fade away but the love of God and His good pleasure shall never pass away.

“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 the healing of the United States of American in heart, mind and spirit- toleration does not mean righteous validation but compassion on the broken and outcast so they can seek God and dwell in sin no more
* Continuing to pray for Pakistan and the region suffering under a tremendous heat wave leaving over twelve hundred dead and millions more compromised; Lord break the heat and bring comfort to Your people, Pakistan!
* For wisdom among the world’s leaders as wars and rumors of wars rise up; earthquakes, floods, great winds and fire abound; and civil unrest reaches out across all secular and non-secular lines and to lead God’s people into the truth concerning judgment, the end of days and Jesus’ return for we are moving closer to it each day.
* For those who will lead God’s people into healing truth and reconciling communities of grace
* 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” and the people of the Phillipines
* 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 for jobs, housing and transportation in order to accomplish His purposes for us in the nations

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

* We are being prepared for God’s provision as we seek His purpose for our lives with jobs, housing and transportation in a new venue and are under attack so we know we must be moving closer in our trust in God
* 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, it is for You that we now live. It may bring us into conflict with the powers of the world but we align ourselves with You. Let our witness of faithfulness and and ministry of Your love bear much fruit now and forevermore. In Jesus’ name we pray. AMEN.

1947

June 29, 2015

HIS WORD for Today:

Matthew 4.12-17

“When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, He withdrew to Galilee. Leaving Nazareth, He went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali— to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah: ‘Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles— the people living in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.’ From that time on Jesus began to preach, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.'”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

I can only imagine what Ezekiel must have thought when the presence of God drew near to him in his Babylonian exile by the River Chebar. We know the song “Ezekiel saw the wheel way up in the middle of the air.” It is a fascinating story of balance between faith and reality. I say balance because the wheel within a wheel is emblematic of a gyroscope. Today’s drones might be an image to help grasp the concept of many wheels, fans, propellers whirling simultaneously in order to provide lift and movement. Except this is no drone. This is a massive scale revelation of a moving and present God showing up where He was least expected. His appearance to Ezekiel was from the north. It was assumed that God traveled the same trek to get to Ezekiel as the captives had traveled themselves from Jerusalem to their encampment. He left in the same direction as if pointing out the way to go home.

Both, John the Baptizer and his messianic cousin, Jesus, preached “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” John preached in the wilderness across the Jordan not in Jerusalem. Jesus preached in Capernaum and Galilee not in Jerusalem. Even the woman at the well understood this displacement identity when she said, “We worship on this mountain and you [Jews] worship on that mountain.” What’s in a place? Well, Jesus shared with her that the only place that is of meaning and purpose is the place where God is worshiped in spirit and in truth. Worship is the celebration of where the Kingdom of Heaven has drawn near. It comes to us. It meets us where we are. We can go on a pilgrimage to a holy place where we know God has been and worship there. But, the truth is that God can be worshiped wherever we are because God will come near to us.

Isn’t this the message of Christ Himself? At His birth, the angels declared Him “Emmanuel,” “God with us.” Jesus came down from Heaven to earth to remind us of our true roots not in the flesh but in the spirit- that’s the truth. Paul told the mighty men of Corinth that we are earthen vessels in which the Spirit of God exists. We have these bodies, such as they are or become, because we live in this world. However, our Spirit comes from God- just ask Adam into whom God breathed His spirit into. Without God we would not have life. Without Christ, we would not have eternal life. So Jesus went out to gather His disciples. He met them where they were. They weren’t necessarily looking for Him but He was looking for them and found them. He drew near to them and so, too, did the Kingdom of Heaven. In the presence of such greatness and honor how should we respond?

“Repent” is the answer. Shepherds fell down and covered their faces in the presence of the Kingdom of God which drew near. Demons cringed asking “What do you want of us, Son of God?”. Pigs fled into the nearest reservoir to drown because the demons would rather have taken their lives than to have them taken by Jesus. They were in a last gasp of control.

“Thanksgiving” is the answer. The one of ten lepers returned to Jesus when he finally realized the Kingdom had drawn near and he had been healed. He gave thanks and worshiped Him. Mary washed Jesus’ feet with expensive oil and her tears out of gratitude for drawing near to her and bringing her peace.

“Witnessing” is the answer. Philip went and told Nathanael to come and see the Messiah. The woman at the well went and told all in her village to come and see. When the Kingdom of God draws near to us we want others to come and share that experience with us. But, Jesus left His disciples not with a “come and see” ministry. Rather, He gave them a “go and tell” mission. Take the Kingdom of Heaven with you and draw near to those who believe that God is far off from their lives and their situation. To those who had lost hope and were separated from family, friends and community, the Kingdom of God can draw near and create family, friends and community. It is here that we see the prophecy of Isaiah come alive as those who lived in darkness and in the shadows of death have seen a great light- it draws near. It is the Kingdom of Heaven where life, joy and peace abide.

It is drawing near again, mighty men of God. It comes near to save those who have need and are open to receiving it. It comes near also to judge and hold accountable all who have been in the realm of the Kingdom’s nearness. Jesus spoke “The Kingdom of God is in your midst.” Now for us, mighty men, the question is not so much where is the Kingdom but how will you respond to the truth that the Kingdom of Heaven has drawn near to you.

“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 the healing of the United States of American in heart, mind and spirit- toleration does not mean righteous validation but compassion on the broken and outcast so they can seek God and dwell in sin no more
* Continuing to pray for Pakistan and the region suffering under a tremendous heat wave leaving over twelve hundred dead and millions more compromised; Lord break the heat and bring comfort to Your people, Pakistan!
* For wisdom among the world’s leaders as wars and rumors of wars rise up; earthquakes, floods, great winds and fire abound; and civil unrest reaches out across all secular and non-secular lines and to lead God’s people into the truth concerning judgment, the end of days and Jesus’ return for we are moving closer to it each day.
* For those who will lead God’s people into healing truth and reconciling communities of grace
* 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” and the people of Peru
* 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 for jobs, housing and transportation in order to accomplish His purposes for us in the nations

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

* We are being prepared for God’s provision as we seek His purpose for our lives with jobs, housing and transportation in a new venue and are under attack so we know we must be moving closer in our trust in God
* 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 drawing near to us in Jesus and for sharing with us the blessing of Your presence in faith, hope and love. May the experience of nearness to You cause us to draw near to others and share the joy which comes from the Lord and the blessing of walking with Him in spirit and in truth. In Jesus’ name we pray. AMEN.

1946

June 28, 2015

HIS WORD for Today:

Matthew 4.12-17

“When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, He withdrew to Galilee. Leaving Nazareth, He went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali— to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah: ‘Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles— the people living in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.’ From that time on Jesus began to preach, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.'”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Generally, when we hear “a light has dawned [turned on]” it means that someone has a new idea or has received inspiration. When John the Baptizer was preaching in the wilderness and speaking against the ruling authority in Jerusalem the beginning of dissatisfaction was seen. Those who had been outcast and condemned as sinners and undesirables flocked to John to hear the word of forgiveness and acceptance by God. They were baptized for the forgiveness of sins and welcomed into a new community of Jewish faith. It was a faith that looked to the coming Kingdom of God instead of turning their eyes away from the Kingdom of man. But, John made no bones about the fact of being a prophet foretelling the coming of the Messiah whose Kingdom of such acceptance and forgiveness would have no end. He knew and believed that the revelation of the Messiah was imminent. This became fact when Jesus met him in the Jordan River and asked to be baptized. John declared, “Behold, the Lamb of God who comes to take away the sins of the world.” No more prophetic statement could he utter than this! And when Jesus was baptized in order to fulfill all righteousness, John heard God declare “This is My Son in whom I AM well pleased.”

But, in a matter of months, the mantel of prophetic responsibility would be passed. John would be arrested and eventually beheaded. Matthew shares with us this moment. It came when Jesus heard of John’s arrest. He quoted from Isaiah “The people living in darkness have seen a great light [the Spirit tells me this is John the Baptizer] and on those dwelling in the land of the shadow of death [those who previously had no hope] a light has dawned.” This light dawning is the coming of age of the Church. To those who had flocked to John it was now apparent that they were without a shepherd. We even know that John sent some of his disciples to Jesus to find out if “Are you the One or should we expect another?” He wanted to know [or was it to inspire] if Jesus would be the new Shepherd of this flock of God’s children seeking the Kingdom of God in their midst. Jesus replied “The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed are those who are not offended by Me [or my Word.]”

How appropriate, mighty men of God, that the Lamb of God becomes the Mighty Shepherd of God’s people. It is appropriate because we are lambs of God who now must become shepherds of God’s people. The identification of the lost sheep and those who are showing themselves to be false shepherds has become apparent in recent days. Our Supreme Court has now fully demonstrated they are not the SUPREME COURT! While fully operating as a governmental agency of civil rights they have demonstrated the extreme of their identity as “state separate from state.” Yes, compassion and equality of their civil rights may have been the correct course of action. Even their statement that religious entities and people have the right to continue to teach their own view of marriage shows that they are now separate from the Church. Where is the voice of those crying in the Wilderness “Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” Should it not be dawning on the Church that those living in darkness have seen a great light but the light at the moment streams from Washington D.C. and not from the Church itself? Are we looking at the wrong “city set on a hill”? Jerusalem has failed. Rome has failed. Washington D.C. has failed. The Church cannot fail!

Our light and our inspiration is Jesus Christ! He is the inspired, God-breathed and wholly incarnate Word of God living still on earth. The hill of Calvary still overshadows Mount Zion. It will continue to do so until Jesus returns to take His rightful place in the City of God, David’s throne, with the earth as His footstool. But, we [the called of God] will not be under His foot because we are not of the earth but on the earth only. It is Satan, who is in the earth and thus of it, who will be under His foot and crushed as God foretold when He cursed Satan and rebuked Adam and Eve. The day is coming, mighty men of God, when this truth is going to be fulfilled. Is the light dawning on you? Are you being inspired to speak up for the truth? Give thanks for a moment for this decision by the Supreme Court which gives the Church the opportunity to now have a public voice that says we can teach the message of marriage as “one man and one woman.” Does it not meet the expectation of scripture, Old Testament and New, for what defines our relationship with God? The Supreme Court does not speak with spiritual authority; it is merely the voice of civil authority. The Church cannot speak with a voice of civil authority because righteousness cannot be legislated. It must speak with spiritual authority which no power can silence. Calvary proved that and the Church is its living proof. Stand up for what is right, mighty men. Kneel for what is right, mighty men. Speak for what is right, mighty men. Be what is right, mighty men. For we are a people who have lived in darkness and the prophetic Word of God has been a great light. But, now a greater light has dawned on those who have lived in the shadow of death. It is the light of our salvation, Jesus Christ, which should now be most evident in our lives. It is through that light that salvation shall dawn on those who are still living in darkness and dwelling in the shadows of death.

“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 the healing of the United States of American in heart, mind and spirit- toleration does not mean righteous validation but compassion on the broken and outcast so they can seek God and dwell in sin no more
* For the cessation of terroristic violence as the means of making a point and the pursuit of peace to make peace
* Continuing to pray for Pakistan and the region suffering under a tremendous heat wave leaving over twelve hundred dead and millions more compromised; Lord break the heat and bring comfort to Your people, Pakistan!
* For wisdom among the world’s leaders as wars and rumors of wars rise up; earthquakes, floods, great winds and fire abound; and civil unrest reaches out across all secular and non-secular lines and to lead God’s people into the truth concerning judgment, the end of days and Jesus’ return for we are moving closer to it each day.
* For those who will lead God’s people into healing truth and reconciling communities of grace
* 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” and the people of Paraguay
* 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 for jobs, housing and transportation in order to accomplish His purposes for us in the nations

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

* We are being prepared for God’s provision as we seek His purpose for our lives with jobs, housing and transportation in a new venue and are under attack so we know we must be moving closer in our trust in God
* 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, may Your light so shine among men through these mighty men so that the truth of faith and righteousness can not only be seen but inspire others to live in the Light of the World as well. In Jesus’ name we pray. AMEN.

1945

June 26, 2015

HIS WORD for Today:

Matthew 4.12-17

“When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, He withdrew to Galilee. Leaving Nazareth, He went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali— to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah: ‘Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles— the people living in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.’ From that time on Jesus began to preach, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.'”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Well, mighty men, here is a prophetic image for each of us. We are to be as spiritual flashlights in a dark world. While we are in the light [of day] we can be easily seen and our testimony is more readily visible. However, when we are in places of darkness the light that is in us must be released so that it is seen. We are like flashlights ready to beam with the Light of the World. But, having the parts of this flashlight at a functional level serves no good purpose unless we flip the switch. Until we are in the “on” position there is no light; only the possibility of light. Jesus is in the world. Forgiveness and salvation belong to everyone. However, until it is accessed by making the right connect the power to bring light into the darkness remains silent.

It is time, past time, for the mighty men of God to flip the switch and let the light of the world, the peace that surpasses all understanding, the blessing of righteousness, the bread of the world, the blood of the lamb, the Sabbath rest, the Holy Spirit wisdom and the joy of the Lord which is our strength shine into the darkness. When it does, the darkness will flee. It will flee but not without a battle. But, faith is the victory that overcomes the world and the darkness. We will be scarred by the fray just as Jesus was but not without promise of eternal healing and peace. It is our witness and testimony that Jesus is our Lord and desires to be their Lord that lets His light so shine among men. (Matthew 5.16)

“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 the cessation of terroristic violence as the means of making a point and the pursuit of peace to make peace
* Continuing to pray for Pakistan and the region suffering under a tremendous heat wave leaving over a thousand dead and millions more compromised; Lord break the heat and bring comfort to Your people, Pakistan!
* For wisdom among the world’s leaders as wars and rumors of wars rise up; earthquakes, floods, great winds and fire abound; and civil unrest reaches out across all secular and non-secular lines and to lead God’s people into the truth concerning judgment, the end of days and Jesus’ return for we are moving closer to it each day.
* For those who will lead God’s people into healing truth and reconciling communities of grace
* 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” and the people of Papua New Guinea
* 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 for jobs, housing and transportation in order to accomplish His purposes for us in the nations

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

* We are being prepared for God’s provision as we seek His purpose for our lives with jobs, housing and transportation in a new venue and are under attack so we know we must be moving closer in our trust in God
* 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, as we make ourselves available to the work of Your Holy Spirit, flip the switch on us so that we will burn brightly with the Light of the World into the darkness of life which surrounds us. Victory is ours, O Lord, because You are the victory, the power, the glory and the Kingdom forever. In Jesus’ name we pray. AMEN.

1944

June 25, 2015

HIS WORD for Today:

Matthew 4.12-17

“When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, He withdrew to Galilee. Leaving Nazareth, He went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali— to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah: ‘Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles— the people living in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.’ From that time on Jesus began to preach, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.'”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Jesus is the Light of the World. In Him are all things revealed. I was opening the curtains in our living room to let the morning light filter in. The room was very dark until that moment and this scripture based on Isaiah’s prophecy immediately came into my mind. I thought of Ezekiel’s visit in the Spirit to the temple in Jerusalem. He saw in the dark places of the temple priests and elders engaged in filthy behavior. They were hidden in the darkness. Their backs were against the wall shielding them from the morning light. Their fallen behavior had translated into a fallen culture and ultimately into a destroyed temple at the hands of Babylon.

We need the light of Jesus! His light is like a double-edged sword. On the one hand it is a protection against the enemy because they must shield their eyes against it and become vulnerable. There is no place to hide in the bright light. Their weaknesses become apparent. As do ours when our sins are brought to light by the presence of the Holy Spirit. But, being brought to light by a loving God, our sins can be forgiven and the transformation to new life can begin.

On the other hand, the light is a destruction force. It is a laser pinpointing the places of pain and suffering. Bringing its energy to bear on them those places are obliterated and that same light can then bring healing. Yes, I said it is a destructive force but as you can see it is positively destructive removing what it evil so that the good can return.

When Babylon destroyed the temple, the evil that existed in it had no place to hide. It was revealed to all the world not only by the eye but by the understanding of its presence. It was revealed as well by the Spirit of God moving out of the temple to dwell on the Mount of Olives to the east until the new temple could be built. Only then would the spirit of God return and fill the temple with the glorious presence of God Almighty. The same is true in our own lives. If we continue to dwell in our darkness the blessing of God is removed from our immediate presence. We are not condemned but held accountable for our actions. But, from the Mount of Olives came the Son of God and Man, Jesus Christ. He entered into the temple and then to Calvary. At His crucifixion, the temple curtain was torn in pieces and the the Holy of Holies was revealed to the entire world. Confessing our sins to Jesus and professing Him as Lord of our lives allows the glory of God to be restored in our heart, mind and soul. We can become whole again.

“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)

* Continuing to pray for Pakistan and the region suffering under a tremendous heat wave leaving over a thousand dead and millions more compromised; Lord break the heat and bring comfort to Your people, Pakistan!
* For wisdom among the world’s leaders as wars and rumors of wars rise up; earthquakes, floods, great winds and fire abound; and civil unrest reaches out across all secular and non-secular lines and to lead God’s people into the truth concerning judgment, the end of days and Jesus’ return for we are moving closer to it each day.
* For those who will lead God’s people into healing truth and reconciling communities of grace
* 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” and the people of Panama
* 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 for jobs, housing and transportation in order to accomplish His purposes for us in the nations

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

* We are believing for God’s provision as we seek His purpose for our lives with jobs, housing and transportation in a new venue and are under attack so we know we must be moving closer in our trust in God
* 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, may Your light so shine in us as our heart, mind and soul are filled with Your glory and Your grace. In Jesus’ name we pray. AMEN.

1943

June 24, 2015

HIS WORD for Today:

John 11.25-27

“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that You are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Without question Mary and Martha, sisters of Lazarus, believed that Jesus was the “safe place” in their lives. They had turned to Him before and now with Lazarus laying on his death bed, they did so again. They sent word to Jesus, “Come!” And Jesus came in God’s perfect timing. When He arrived Lazarus was already dead. But, Jesus had told His disciples that what He was doing would glorify God. His trust in His own safe place, God, allowed Him to be a vehicle of mercy, grace and miraculous healing. At His plea to God, Lazarus was raised from the dead. But, it is the conversation with Martha that speaks even more to the point of defeating the enemy of God and relationships.

Without question, relationships were at stake in the story of Lazarus being raised from the dead. Mary and Martha were losing their brother to death. Their trust was put into the person of Jesus the Christ, the Messiah who had come. Even their own relationship as sisters was being challenged. The disciples and Jesus were being drawn into an even more intense learning experience. The community which surrounded them all was impacted by what was going on between them all. God and humankind walking in the path of righteousness was now more visible than ever before. This would be one of those pivotal moments in spiritual history. And who was standing in the center of it all? Jesus, the gospel I AM!

Yes, mighty men of God, that third enemy of God and relationships “I” is defeated by the gospel “I AM.” Jesus asked Martha, “Do you believe that I AM the resurrection and the life? Do you believe that I AM the Messiah, the Christ of God, who is to come into the world.” She responded humbly I believe wanting for her brother to live again in her time knowing he would live in the time of the Messiah yet to come. She was living in the “already but not yet.” So do we! In all of these situations mentioned, it is the “I” that needs to stand in the middle of the enemy in order for the enemy to be kept at bay and put away. Remember how I was reminded about the “i” in sin being a reminder that when the focus is on “i” there is going to be a problem? Well, keeping the proper perspective means that the “i” which represents the human person is not the same as the “I” which is Jesus Christ. The lower case I am using is akin to the lower case “g” used in the commandment “You shall have no other gods before Me.” There are lots of little gods but only ONE GOD! Equally, there are lots of little “i”s, or little ones, in the world but there is only ONE and He is Jesus Christ. Doesn’t the name Christian, meaning little ones in Christ, now take on great meaning? We are transformed in Christ from being little ones in the world caught in sin to little ones of Christ bound to the kingdom of God.

The greatest enemy of God in our lives is me, myself and i. But, when the gospel “I AM” is put in the middle of sin the enemy is defeated and transformed. See the crosses on Calvary? There are three of them and the greatest of these is the One bearing the One of God. What the enemies of God hoped was to crucify the man of God with the intention of silencing the Word of God. But, the One of God declared, “Father, forgive them for they do not understand what they are doing.” It is because the Son of God, the incarnate “I AM” or for this lesson the “I,” stands in the midst of sin and though He was without sin took on the cross to break it and sin’s hold on the ones of God. The ones who would believe that Jesus is the ONE Son of the ONE true God would not perish in eternal death but live with eternal life! At the cross, the temptation of proving He was a man of God by taking Himself off the cross was defeated by the evidence of the penitent thief who said “Don’t you see we deserve to die but He is innocent.” For that Jesus granted him the gift of His presence in Paradise. It is granted to us as well when we replace our “i” in sin with the “I” of Christ. He rises above sin. It could not bind Him. It would not defeat Him. It would become obedient to Him. He rebuked sin and its purveyor, Satan with his demon angels, in the name of the I AM.

And for those who are struggling against the enemy confess yourself to Christ and receive Him into your heart, mind and soul. Let the Spirit of God in you cry out to the Spirit of God which is great and be One in Him. Put Christ at the center of all things in your life and you will live. In truth, the enemy is already defeated and those who have Christ at the center of their lives know this and rejoice- serving and worshiping Him in faith, hope and love.

“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)

* Continuing to pray for Pakistan and the region suffering under a tremendous heat wave leaving hundreds dead and thousands more compromised; Lord break the heat and bring comfort to Your people, Pakistan!
* For wisdom among the world’s leaders as wars and rumors of wars rise up; earthquakes, floods, great winds and fire abound; and civil unrest reaches out across all secular and non-secular lines and to lead God’s people into the truth concerning judgment, the end of days and Jesus’ return for we are moving closer to it each day.
* For those who will lead God’s people into healing truth and reconciling communities of grace
* 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, La Vega High School and the people of Palestine (the country)
* 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 for jobs, housing and transportation in order to accomplish His purposes for us in the nations

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

* Had a blessed day with my oldest and her fiance for a belated Happy Father’s Day and heard from my youngest on her birthday
* We are believing for God’s provision as we seek His purpose for our lives with jobs, housing and transportation in a new venue and are under attack so we know we must be moving closer in our trust in God
* 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, continue to dwell in each of us as we seek to live as One in Him who is our resurrection and our life. May the word of the defeat of the enemy be on our lips and through our works for Your glory and Your name. In the name of the One for whom we live, serve and pray- Jesus our Lord and the Holy Spirit that makes us one, I pray. AMEN.

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1942

June 23, 2015

HIS WORD for Today:

Genesis 4.2b-9

“Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

There is so much in God’s Word which the Spirit is revealing to me concerning this subject of the three enemies of God and relationships. No sooner do I start recording what I am being shown that something more is revealed. My intention was to focus on the “I AM” revelation of God to Moses. There can only be one “I” in our relationship to God, man and self. God showed that to Moses in the words of definition as to the nature and character of God Himself. We may say “What’s in a name?” We know the power a name has for better or for worse. Name-calling is a matter of control. Moses wanted to have confidence when he approached Pharaoh with God’s request to “Let my people go.” That confidence, he believed, would come in declaring the Name of the Lord. God shared that spiritually intimate piece of information by saying “I AM that I AM.” Even today, mighty men, our most poignant questions concerning God and relationships are answered with “I AM.” I did not say “I am” as some worldly declaration but “I AM” which is the spiritual affirmation of the singular truth which will start and finish all conversations of this world.

How does this relate to the story of Cain and Abel? The Spirit showed me our backward thinking which leads us to stand in opposition to God and others. When God requires accountability for our actions in relation to Himself and others how often do we pass the buck? We blame the situation on others. Adam ratted out Eve and Eve ratted out the Serpent. God knew the story but desired for us to accept our part in the problem. Adam and Eve did not accept responsibility but trusted in blaming others for their shameful condition. We see it even more poignantly in Cain’s response to God’s query of the murder of Abel saying “‘Am I’ my brother’s keeper?” We are just the opposite of God. He is divine, we are human. He is infinite, we are finite. He is responsible, we are irresponsible. He is without sin, we are sinners before we even start. He accepts the challenge to make things right for His people, including Cain, and we spend more time trying to make things right for ourselves. Yes, Cain’s reply was a guilty “How should I know?” He knew. He knew, just as Adam and Eve knew what they had done and become was wrong and so different from what God desired. It was another way of blaming God for the situation. David wrote (Psalm 69) “God, you know of my sins.” How dangerous it is to think that God is to blame for our problems. He has warned us and given us wisdom to know better and His Spirit to put the truth into action. If the Spirit obeys God’s word to create and sustain, then our spoken spirit-word should be able to defend and prosper. It does mean we put God at the center of who we are and what we are to become. But, when we are the ones passing judgment on others for our errors then we have put ourselves in the place of God. Can you imagine putting ourselves on the Judgment Seat and God as our footstool?

This is the backwards thinking employed by the enemy of God. It is dangerous thinking and leads only to greater hardship, despair and ultimately condemnation. But, thank God, there is a solution to the problem and I can’t wait to share with you tomorrow what He has shown me concerning this great enemy of God and relationships. Thank you, Jesus!

“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 wisdom among the world’s leaders as wars and rumors of wars rise up; earthquakes, floods, great winds and fire abound; and civil unrest reaches out across all secular and non-secular lines and to lead God’s people into the truth concerning judgment, the end of days and Jesus’ return for we are moving closer to it each day.
* For those who will lead God’s people into healing truth and reconciling communities of grace
* 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 Pakistan
* 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 for jobs, housing and transportation in order to accomplish His purposes for us in the nations

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

* We are believing for God’s provision as we seek His purpose for our lives with jobs, housing and transportation in a new venue and are under attack so we know we must be moving closer in our trust in God
* 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 are the Great I AM. You are the reason for our existence and the hope for our life with you in Heaven and on earth. Open our eyes wider so that we can see the deeper truth of our need for You in all things. Let that truth live in us so that blame and shame can be replaced by the name of the Lord in whom we trust and believe. In the name of the One for whom we live, serve and pray- Jesus our Lord and the Holy Spirit that makes us one, I pray. AMEN.

1941

June 22, 2015

HIS WORD for Today:

Genesis 4.2b-9

“Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

God is so good. Mighty men of God, how we must remember how good God is. When Adam and Eve put themselves ahead of the Word and brought the curse to bear on their lives, God instead forgave them and gave them accountability and consequence that was intense but not life-ending. In their sin, they bore their own shame but they were not shamed by God. Instead, He delivered them out of the path of unrighteousness for His Name’s sake. They could not return to the Garden. Truth be told, the Garden was lost to them and to us. It is not found even today as a literal place. It doesn’t matter that we do not know where Eden is because even if we did we could not enter it either. That is because we, too, are sinners after the order of Adam. As in one man, Adam, who died, so we must all die. But, are we talking about the physical death? Things of this world, with a few exceptions, die. It is the way of the world. If it were not so then Jesus would not have had to die on the cross for our sake. So, too, when Cain killed Abel out of jealousy because he perceived his lack of value before God in comparison to Abel’s worthy sacrifice, God acted on behalf of life. Cain was spared death as a penalty for his sin with a mark being placed on him that would be recognized by all. He would go on to live in a safe place (as I hinted on Friday). While I do not know what that sign might have been it spoke a universal language among all peoples (and dare I say demons) that Cain still belonged to God. Could it have been none other than the mark of the Lamb? It certainly wasn’t the mark of the beast!

And that is why today I begin with the goodness of God as I share this teaching on the third enemy of God and relationships. That unholy trinity I revealed to you included “me” which declared all attention should be on me as if “I” am the center of everyone’s universe, including God. It also included “myself” which declared that “I” have internal workings and needs that should be met in order to calm a disquieted and restless spirit. That spirit turns to the things of the world to satisfy its hunger and thirst. These are things that truly cannot satisfy the ultimate hunger of man. They fall into the great abyss carved out by sin in our lives. They are like, as it was alluded to in the movie “Fireproof,” parasites that feed on the living and the dead. They are consumers and of life and not producers. That brings me to the third enemy of God and relationships which is “I.” Yes, I cannot escape that visual representation and reminder that “I” is at the center of the word “sin.” My sixth grade Sunday School teacher introduced us to this truth and I haven’t forgotten it. If I had paid more attention to its danger zone warning perhaps I, and others with me in the I-dom, would fare much better in this world. It may be difficult to differentiate “I” from me and myself. That is the point, I think. Just as the Holy Trinity is three persons but one being that ought to be distinguishable and indistinguishable from each other, so is the unholy trinity.

How is “I” different from “me” and “myself”? Let me put it this way and pray it is sufficient. “Me” wants the universe at all levels to focus on “me.” “Myself” wants all things to serve its insatiable needs in order to gain validation. “I” becomes the replacement of God as if God no longer exists. That ought to be sufficient enough to cause loss of breath and consciousness. When I am it then God isn’t an option. Of course, God is an option because no matter what “I” think I am thinking incorrectly because I do not understand the nature and character of God in relationship to me. This is how Satan turned Eve and how Eve turned Adam. But, none could turn God! Why? Because God cannot sin. He cannot be other than who God is. On the marquee of a local Methodist church it proclaims “Nothing is impossible for God.” We know it quotes the scriptural support for those whose lives seems so far out of control that not even God could help. But, nothing is impossible for God. Do you know why? Because only one thing is impossible for God and that is to sin.

God is not in the world for Himself and has created all things in order that we might serve Him. God is love and created all things because He loves to do it and loves to love. God is not about being the center of the universe because He is the universe. His spirit exists in all that exists. He is not in one fixed place so that all eyes, or is that all “I”s, are on Him. He is that He is. Or as He revealed to Moses on the mountain through a burning bush “I AM that I AM.” But man, on the other hand, is not God no matter how godly he may be. He certainly can be seen as a god and thus an inferior representation who should never be and can never be equal with God. Be wary, mighty men, when you speak too much of yourself for better or worse and your life’s speech is consumed with an abundance of “I.” You cannot do all things. You cannot be in all places. You cannot be all people to all people. Do not be deceived. You are not God nor were you ever intended to be. Just be yourself as God has created you and purposed you and leave the “I” to 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 will lead God’s people into healing truth and reconciling communities of grace
* 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 Pakistan
* 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 for jobs, housing and transportation in order to accomplish His purposes for us in the nations

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

* We are believing for God’s provision as we seek His purpose for our lives with jobs, housing and transportation in a new venue and are under attack so we know we must be moving closer in our trust in God
* 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, as You are in me and invite me to be in You, let peace abide and love abound so that we all are in the balance of faith, hope and love by Your grace. In the name of the One for whom we live, serve and pray- Jesus our Lord and the Holy Spirit that makes us one, I pray. AMEN.

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1940

June 21, 2015

HIS WORD for Today:

Matthew 6.9-13

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

I just saw an article on celebrities who do not believe in God. We know there are people, too many, who do not believe in any god. We know those who declare themselves to be agnostic or atheistic. We know there are many, too many, who believe in false gods or other “divine” beings who are not the One True God- the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Jesus Christ and a whole host of others but that will embrace the Christian and Jewish tradition. I even had a short conversation concerning God as a feminine entity to which I replied, “God has no gender but Jesus called Him Father and identified Himself as the Father’s Son.” I dare say that the beliefs and attitudes toward fathers is rooted in our spiritual understanding of God as our heavenly Father whom we are called to worship (and that means serve as well) in spirit and in truth.

Yes, I will confess to my moments of not being the best father in the world. I will confess that I come from a long line of men who weren’t the best fathers they could have been for better or for worse. I will confess that while we fail because we are sinners and fall miserably short of OUR Father’s intent and expectation, it doesn’t mean that we are condemned by God for being inadequate dads. Scripture is full of examples of deficient dads. But, those same men are also lauded for positive attributes which do align with the will and purpose of God. Being less than perfect doesn’t make us a bad dad and does not determine our children will be bad children. But, I would ask for us to consider that bad dads and bad children may fall in line with a bad understanding of who God truly is and how we are supposed to relate to God and one another. Jesus taught a lesson to the Scribes and Pharisees which lauded good fathers, and that would mean He believed they had the possibility of being good dads, and defined who bad dads were- those who gave their children bad or false gifts.

I have no doubt this falls in line with the lessons I have been experiencing and sharing concerning the “three enemies of God and relationship.” Bad dads are consumed with themselves and their own personal welfare at the expense of others- especially those who they should have positive relationships. I believe that is why we have so many unhappy and troubled children, young and old. The lack of sacrificial dads does do damage to families and communities. We are not perfect but we are not immediately disqualified either. Being a faulty dad is just a sign of being a dad who is a sinner. But, in Jesus Christ, we are forgiven dads. That means we are worthy of love, favor and attention. It also means we are to continue to make efforts of being good dads who give our children good gifts. And by good gifts, I do not mean lavish and earthly gifts because you cannot buy love. I mean that you give value and worth and dignity to your children. You honor them by honoring God. You honor God by honoring your children. Jesus had this relationship with God and God’s people. He loved them as He knew He was loved by His Father. His Father was sacrificial even though it meant Jesus was the sacrifice. He knew God loved Him and us so much that He was willing to give that which had the most value to Him for us.

As Jesus thought about how to teach His disciples the best way to pray, He knew He had to start with loving His Father. Prayer is merely the petition to the loving Father to do the Father-thing. If we, as mighty men, embrace our children’s petitions as prayers instead of demands, we might respond differently to them and image a right relationship with God in the process.

Dads, give your children the best possible gift today you can give. I know it is Father’s Day and gifts come to you and hopefully they come without a desire for reciprocation and conditions. But, honor God by honoring your children- pray with them to God and seek His blessing of goodness on their lives, worship with them and invite them to embrace an act of serving others as the evidence of true love and finally, spend time with them in just being with them for a time of listening and honoring their thoughts and concerns.

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

[For the reader, I would invite you to see God’s use of the safe zone in the story of Cain and Abel.]

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

* For fathers, for those who need to step up as fathers and for OUR FATHER who art in Heaven- hallowed be His Name
* For those who will lead God’s people in worship, praise and service this weekend as we celebrate Father’s Day in honor of those who have provided life-honoring and God-honoring leadership to God’s children
* 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,” and the people of Oman
* 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 for jobs, housing and transportation in order to accomplish His purposes for us in the nations

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

* For my father and my Father!
* We are believing for God’s provision as we seek His purpose for our lives with jobs, housing and transportation in a new venue and are under attack so we know we must be moving closer in our trust in God
* 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 being a good, loving, providing, compassionate, involved, engaged and sacrificial Dad. In the name of the One for whom we live, serve and pray- Jesus our Lord and the Holy Spirit that makes us one, I pray gratefully. AMEN.

1939

June 19, 2015

HIS WORD for Today:

Matthew 5. 21-22; 27-28; Romans 12.2

“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

Likewise, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

And the truth is that we all have feelings, emotions, anxieties and spiritual turmoils living within us sometimes to the boiling point or danger zone. We are supposed to have feelings and emotions. They are a part of our created self. But, without keeping them all in proper balance with the Word and Presence of God they become the ruler of our words and actions. Unbridled thoughts, feelings and emotions become the visible and tangible evidence of who were are not supposed to be. Mighty men of God, we must stay in the safety zone. Yes, we need to be concerned for our “selves,” but we must do so keeping in mind of what God desires for our inner person. He has shown us in His Word, in Scripture and Incarnation, what is His desire is for us and for us to be.

The safety zone is where we take our joys and sorrows before the throne of God seeking the anointing of His righteousness and the blessing of His Holy Spirit. It doesn’t mean we do not make mistakes, we are human. It does mean that we do not let our mistakes dominate our daily lives. That is why we need to go to the safety zone of prayer and praise to the One True God who loves us in spite of ourselves. In His righteousness, we receive what we do not deserve- grace and abundant forgiveness which makes renewed living possible. In His Holy Spirit, we are renewed and transformed not in our externals first but in our inward self. Ezekiel proclaimed God’s promise to the humble and repentant “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” God knows the external of our lives are merely the reflections of who we think we are and what we think about in our heart, mind and spirit. So many times we are conflicted, as Paul said, “I do not do what is good and what is wrong I continue to do.” Paul knew what was right and good but the sin nature bound in pleasing the legal expectations of God and man brings each person into the danger zone.

The danger zone is like the dead zone scientists talk about in the oceans. It is where conditions exist that oxygen is insufficient for all life to flourish. In essence the “breath” is taken away. Man exists because the ruach of God lives in him. Without it we would only be external, the dust of the earth. We could have shape and form but still not be alive as Lazarus was in the tomb before Jesus arrived. But, in prayer and faith exercising the righteousness of God through the Holy Spirit, the breath of God was put back into Lazarus and he lived though he was dead. Is this not where we should be? Is this not the safety zone? The dead zone is where the breath and life of God is refused. We become so full of ourselves there is no room for God. We must offer up all that we think we are and surrender it to God. If we give all to God then we are open to the indwelling of His Holy Spirit. Our heart is restored to a living entity and our spirit is made right. What we know of ourselves in God is returned to us and what we know of ourselves in the world is tempered and transformed. Sure, we may need to do this often because we do not do it very well to begin with. That is okay because God, remember, is very aware of our intentions. He knows when they are good and when they are not and acts accordingly.

This is where I can refer back to the Garden of Eden and the fall of Adam and Eve from their innocence. When their eyes were opened to the reality that they were naked their point of view immediately was drawn to the external. They had no idea until then they were different from God. What difference was there to know until Satan tempted their ego with an alternative view? Immediately they hid themselves and bore the weight of shame. They wanted to protect themselves from whatever would come next. What came next was God. Even though He called out for them it was not because He had no idea where they were. What God wanted was confession and repentance. What God gave was forgiveness and accountability. Adam and Eve were living in the safety zone because all they knew was God. Satan introduced them to the danger zone by awakening the moral conscience of good and evil. Some may say they then knew right and wrong and they go hand in hand. But, God’s response was to move Adam and Eve back into the safety zone. He got them to begin to see that there was two realities- a moral agent and an immoral agent; God and Satan. Even then, God declared that Satan and immorality would exist only for a while. He defined for them what would be the safe zone and the danger zone. He knew the intention of their actions was not so much in disobedience but in innocent failure. Now they had the polarities of life to judge for themselves what was right and wrong. As long as they followed God’s lead and turned to Him when they made mistakes they would be in the safety zone. If they did not do this, then their heart and mind and spirit would be burdened with guilt and shame. They would begin to live more in the danger zone- one foot in the grave, you might say.

Of course, as mighty men of God, we know this truth as well. In sin, we have one foot in the grave and Satan pulling mightily. In grace, we have One who has set us free from the bondage of sin. He invites us to dwell in the safety zone of grace, righteousness and forgiveness. It is a gift of love from the Father above who still desires to dwell with Him forever in peace and hope fulfilled. It comes by surrendering one’s self to God and loving one another instead of one’s self being the enemy of God and loving only one’s self and expecting others to love your self above all else.

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

[For the reader, I would invite you to see God’s use of the safe zone in the story of Cain and Abel.]

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 as we celebrate Father’s Day in honor of those who have provided life-honoring and God-honoring leadership to God’s children
* 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 Norway
* 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 for jobs, housing and transportation in order to accomplish His purposes for us in the nations

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

* We are believing for God’s provision as we seek His purpose for our lives with jobs, housing and transportation in a new venue and are under attack so we know we must be moving closer in our trust in God
* 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, while being a disciple of Christ is promised to us as not always walking and serving in safety, harm awaits, we know we dwell in Your safe zone and shall live with You forever. Grant us the indwelling of Your breath of life and Your Holy Spirit so that we can create the awareness of Your safe zone for others so that we can live forever together in faith, hope and love. In the name of the One for whom we live, serve and pray- Jesus our Lord and the Holy Spirit that makes us one, I pray. AMEN.

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