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1990

August 31, 2015

HIS WORD for TODAY!

Psalm 119.38-40

“Fulfill your promise to your servant, so that you may be feared. Take away the disgrace I dread, for your laws are good. How I long for your precepts! In your righteousness preserve my life.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Fulfill. Remove. Preserve.

*One other word concerning the plea for God to remove the disgrace others would want to place upon Christ followers: the psalmist speaks in anticipation of what will happen by choosing to be a God fearer. Human nature is fairly predictable because so much is based on opinion and supposition. Jesus alerted His disciples to the fact that they would be persecuted and killed for taking on His name. But, their reward in Heaven far outweighs anything the world can give them. Doing the right thing for the right reason is the blessing of righteousness.

Fulfill. Remove. Preserve.

The psalmist again returns to the promise and plea of preservation. Jesus declared “You are the salt of the earth.” Salt not only adds flavor but it is a preservative. It removes the water from foods so that bacteria have no opportunity to establish a growing community and turn food bad. As mighty men of God we are to be the preservatives of the spiritual community of faith. We add flavor to a world that has been unflavored by sin. Yes, we may think that the world is too full of flavors that tease and tempt the senses. The problem really may be that sin expands the imagination to believe it is tasting something new and good. Actually, it is not. Sin blands out life. Imagine chewing gum that never loses its flavor. You can’t because there isn’t such a thing. Continue to chew on it and soon the flavor is gone. That is what sin does to life. A momentary tempting flavor and then the reality sets in that the flavor is what you want and not actually the gum which serves no good purpose.

Jesus offers a taste of newness to life. It is only new because we have forgotten, or never knew, what the taste of new life is. Remember the woman at the well. She came to draw water. She would continue to draw water because she needed it for her own personal use and to sell at the gate to sustain her meager life. Jesus, on the other hand, offered her living water. It was new life that would never end and could never be replaced. In truth it actually isn’t “new life.” It is life as God intended for life to be in this world as a reflection of life in Heaven. It preserves and maintains the walk of faith in a world gone dry. So dry that it cannot sustain or preserve life.

This is what the psalmist was asking God for when he pled “preserve my life in Your righteousness.” He experienced the flavor of life in the precepts of God’s Word. It wasn’t as laws to be obeyed without question the psalmist found. Rather, it is the rules and experiences of God’s truth being revealed that guided him to still waters, green pastures and ultimately his eternal home with God. The psalmist knew he needed the preserving presence of God to keep sin at bay and life alive. As mighty men of God, we need to remember in all times of our lives to seek out, heed and pass on the Word of God and its preserving truth for life as it is meant to be.

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

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

* For reconciliation among families, friends and nations
* For family and friends battling cancer at all stages of life
* 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 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 Louisville, Kentuckiana and the people of Tonga
* 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 in order to accomplish His purposes for us in the nations and reliable transportation

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

* We continue to anticipate God’s revelation of jobs for us as we are challenged in many ways turning a house into our home- God be merciful!
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, may Your Word be alive in us today as we go into the world to accomplish Your will for the sake of Your name and for the good of others, in Jesus’ name we make this plea of righteousness. AMEN.

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1989

August 30, 2015

HIS WORD for TODAY!

Psalm 119.38-40

“Fulfill your promise to your servant, so that you may be feared. Take away the disgrace I dread, for your laws are good. How I long for your precepts! In your righteousness preserve my life.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Fulfill. Remove. Preserve.

There is no shame in being a mighty man of God. Yet, the world has promoted stigmas about the meaning of being a Christ follower in order to persuade people from stepping into this righteous relationship called Christianity. You know some of them: there is no fun or laughter in being faithful; one strike and you are out; there is no true One God; all work and no play; etc. But, the mighty man of God has learned different about being in tune with God through Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit.

The psalmist pleads with God to not only remember He is God and bound to remember His promise of mercy and grace to His people but also to remove the stain of doubt and disgrace from their minds about being called “ones of God.” We are people of the One True God revealed as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In God there is the perfect relationship construct: leader, trusted follower who is blessed with leadership opportunities and the means to fulfill the leadership role and the followership role. In order to know true success in life one must be a leader and follower. However, we all know there are those false ideas about both positions. Each can be pushed to an extreme which results in undesirable behaviors.

As the psalmist refutes in faith the accusations of his accusers by calling on God to be his refuge and strength, he addresses his trust by confessing the laws (the ways and means of God) are good. Good does not mean simply “morally right.” Good also indicates “mutually and beneficially purposeful.” The laws of God serve a divine purpose throughout all of creation. Even those who believe they are beyond the Law of God will ultimately face the consequence of such disgraceful thinking and behavior. No one is beyond the Law of God- not even God Himself. He is not beyond it because He is the Law of righteousness, love and faith. He is bound by its purpose and its goal which is to reveal the glory of living in the light of truth.

Mighty men, regardless of what others may say against you for your faith commitment or against God, trust in the Lord. Call out to Him in your times of trial and confrontation. His Word is your word. His Way is your way. His heart is your heart. His Spirit is your spirit. Though the enemy may speak against you, you are not alone. God hears, keeps His promise and will honor your decision to be “one of God and one with 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 be leading God’s people in worship, praise and service this weekend
* For family and friends battling cancer at all stages of life
* 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 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 Louisville, Kentuckiana and the people of Tokelau Islands
* 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 in order to accomplish His purposes for us in the nations and reliable transportation

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

* We are anticipating God’s revelation of jobs for us as we are challenged in many ways turning a house into our home- God be merciful!
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, may Your Word be strong in us as we will hear others declare there is no God. As we choose Your Way and Your purpose give us the ability and the wisdom to answer the doubts of others with the truth of Your Word, in Jesus’ name we ask. AMEN.

1988

August 28, 2015

HIS WORD for TODAY!

Psalm 119.38-40

Fulfill your promise to your servant, so that you may be feared. Take away the disgrace I dread, for your laws are good. How I long for your precepts! In your righteousness preserve my life.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Fulfill. Remove. Preserve.

We are called to live our lives in public. While Jesus taught His disciples that there are times in prayer when they must go into a quiet place, He never encouraged them to be a secret disciple. Remember His teaching in the Sermon on the Mount about a city set on a hill? It was His instruction that His followers are indeed the light of the world. A city set on a hill is never intended to be hidden. Its presence on the hilltop is to be visible. It is an allusion to Jerusalem itself with the lighted temple visible by night and gleaming alabaster and gold to be seen in the day. It can also be tied to the presence of God with the Hebrews as they left Egypt and journeyed toward the Promised Land. The Lord Himself led them as a pillar of light both day and night. Our commitment to follow God should be obvious to everyone.

The plea of the psalmist who was learning to be righteous in the face of many challenges was for God to fulfill His promise so that all people would know his walk was with a mighty God. Yes, he did not strike a bargain with God to gain some advantage for himself. Instead, his advantage was being known as one who walked with God. If He is for us then no one could stand against us. Our hope is in God. Whether blessing or discipline, the promise of God is to make of each of us a mighty man of faith and faithfulness. The same is then extended to the community of mighty men where two or more are gathered. Since God is a God of covenant then there will always be two sides of His promise. From the very first, the relationship of righteousness was established: “I will be your God and you will be my people.”

When we speak the truth to God of our relationship with Him by saying “fulfill Your promise,” we know it is to speak of our confidence for provision, protection and prosperity. What is eternal in our lives can only be from God and no one else. Regardless of the attempts of the enemy to defeat in the spirit or in the flesh, our trust in the promise of God to be our God will overcome them. The truth is that God listens.

1) He listened for Adam and Eve in the Garden after they fell prey to the lies of the enemy. He knew they had trespassed His command. He wanted to know if they were still willing to be in relationship with Him.

2) He heard the cries of the Hebrew children in Egypt and sent them Moses to lead them out of bondage and into His promised land.

3) He heard David’s repentance and submission to God’s will following his tryst with Bathsheba and the death of their firstborn son.

4) He heard Jesus in the Garden, on the Cross and many other places and added the blessing of life to them all.

5) He hears us as well when we speak the truth of His loving promise to be our 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 be leading God’s people in worship, praise and service this weekend
* For family and friends battling cancer at all stages of life
* 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 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 Louisville, Kentuckiana and the people of Togo
* 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 in order to accomplish His purposes for us in the nations and reliable transportation

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

* We are anticipating God’s revelation of jobs for us as we are challenged in many ways turning a house into our home- God be merciful!
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, incline Your ear to us, we pray, and fulfill Your promise of blessing and life in us and through us today, in Jesus’ name we ask. AMEN.

1987

August 27, 2015

HIS WORD for TODAY!

Psalm 119.38-40

“Fulfill your promise to your servant, so that you may be feared. Take away the disgrace I dread, for your laws are good. How I long for your precepts! In your righteousness preserve my life.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

We have just reviewed the five stages of a spiritual journey seizing the opportunity to glean from disaster and challenges the opportunity to grow stronger in the Lord. We can add to those stages the plea of a righteous man for the preservation of God which comes out of the teaching of the ways of God. The psalmist always leans into the promise of God’s faithfulness to deliver His people out of those dark times in their lives. David faced many such times as a shepherd of his (earthly) father’s flocks and as leader of his (heavenly) Father’s people. Being a leader of men is no easy task. Attempting to lead on one’s own volition and ability, insight and intellect, will result in only short-term success and eternal failure. However, living according to the precepts and promises found in God’s Word, will help move one out of short-term successes and failures into eternal life which is abundant and prosperous.

It is this that the psalmist alludes to after the five lessons of teach, give, direct, turn and preserve. He speaks of the knowledge of God’s promise to fulfill His Word in the lives of His people, removal of the penalty of sin and disgrace and finally of the manifestation of true preservation for which all righteous and mighty men long. This is the leaning into the promise of God that the Holy Spirit speaks of. It is actually the recognition of the righteous to be immersed in the presence of a mighty God who is faithful and sure not only in His Promises but in the fulfillment of them. Mighty men, not only should we be ready and able to learn from times of trials and tribulations but we must be cognizant always of the abiding presence and promise of God. He is for us and not against us. He is against sin and the progenitor of lies, Satan. He is against the disease of faithlessness and unrighteousness which attack and infect His people. He is against all things which would seek to separate His people from His presence and His love.

Bearing this in mind, I will enjoy going deeper into the threefold plea which the psalmist offers for the strengthening of the resolve of mighty men in times of trouble as well as in times of peace: fulfill, remove and preserve. Trust in God’s promise and abide in His word regardless of the time of your life and you will find peace in the presence of God.

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

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

* For sensibility and compassion among our politicians as the election season continues to gear up
* For family and friends battling cancer at all stages of life
* 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 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 Louisville, Kentuckiana and the people of Timor Leste
* 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 in order to accomplish His purposes for us in the nations and reliable transportation

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

* We are anticipating God’s revelation of jobs for us
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, how good it is to know You are with us in all the times of our lives. While there are times we wish you were not, which holds us accountable, we count on you in the times when we so need You and wonder if You are there. Be a mighty presence in our lives today and always, in Jesus’ name we ask. AMEN.

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1986

August 24, 2015

HIS WORD for TODAY!

Psalm 119.33-37

“Teach me, Lord, the way of Your decrees, that I may follow it to the end. Give me understanding, so that I may keep Your law and obey it with all my heart. Direct me in the path of Your commands, for there I find delight. Turn my heart toward Your statutes and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to Your word.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Teach. Give. Direct. Turn. Preserve.

Five stages of our spiritual journey are given here. Mastering each one begins not with any other effort on our part except to ask God to move us through them. David, the King of Israel and the author of many of the psalms, was a good man. If he were not so then God would have chosen another to be king over Israel to lead two kingdoms (north and south) to become as one again. But, what God found in David that was most important was a willing and trusting spirit. David knew that he couldn’t live his life to the fullest unless God was his first priority. When David put himself above all else, however, he experienced what every man will come to know- disaster. But, if disaster has any value it is first to be “a teacher of the truth of God’s will for our lives.” Next, it will be “a giver of understanding to see God at work in the midst of disaster.” Then, we must allow it to “direct us in the paths of God’s righteousness at all times.” Then, we must exercise wisdom and allow it “to turn us from the direction this disaster will lead us into and put us on the right path out of it.” Lastly, we must have faith that in all seasons God will “preserve us so that all is not lost.”

We need to look no further than the story of Job to discover the value of “preserving truth.” I am not speaking of preserving truth as if it was an endangered species but rather the truth that preserves. Job was under attack by Satan because he was a righteous man. Satan has little need to attack unrighteous people because they are already submitting to the will of sin. Satan’s hope is to turn the righteous from God and the light of His truth into the dark world of lies. Satan destroyed and took away the treasures of Job’s life of family and property. Yet, Job persevered in faith. Amidst the council of his “good” friends who often told him to give up on God, Job hung on to believing that all things would work together for good.

As mighty men of God we, too, must share that same belief. God will preserve us and keep us from ultimate harm. He showed us this will of His in His Son Jesus the Christ. He would not stop His death on the cross because it meant life for all those who would believe that Jesus was the Christ. But, He preserved His spirit of life and thus restored Him into the fullness of His righteousness to sit at God’s right hand for all eternity. That promise is given to all who follow Christ. Our spirit of life shall be preserved in the midst of all tragedies up to and including death. In our preservation and restoration we shall attain our place in Heaven just as Christ promised. He told His disciples that He was going away to build us a place in His Father’s house and then return to take us to be with Him forever.

So, when we are in the midst of disaster and challenge, hold on to faith. God will keep you, preserve you and restore you into the fullness of righteousness reserved just for 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 wisdom among the world’s markets as China’s economy continues to plunge
* For family and friends battling cancer at all stages of life
* 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 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 Louisville, Kentuckiana and the people of Thailand
* 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 in order to accomplish His purposes for us in the nations and reliable transportation

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

* We have made it to Louisville and everything is moved into the house with only a little damage and now we are anticipating God’s revelation of jobs for us
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, we put our lives into Your hands for safekeeping. In Your hands we know that nothing shall wrestle us away from the hold of Your love on us. Let us extend that embracing truth into the lives of others today in our words and our deeds as we go in Jesus’ name. AMEN.

1985

August 17, 2015

HIS WORD for TODAY!

Psalm 119.33-37

“Teach me, Lord, the way of Your decrees, that I may follow it to the end. Give me understanding, so that I may keep Your law and obey it with all my heart. Direct me in the path of Your commands, for there I find delight. Turn my heart toward Your statutes and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to Your word.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Teach. Give. Direct. Turn. Preserve.

Five stages of our spiritual journey are given here. Mastering each one begins not with any other effort on our part except to ask God to move us through them. David, the King of Israel and the author of many of the psalms, was a good man. If he were not so then God would have chosen another to be king over Israel to lead two kingdoms (north and south) to become as one again. But, what God found in David that was most important was a willing and trusting spirit. David knew that he couldn’t live his life to the fullest unless God was his first priority. When David put himself above all else, however, he experienced what every man will come to know- disaster. But, if disaster has any value it is first to be “a teacher of the truth of God’s will for our lives.” Next, it will be “a giver of understanding to see God at work in the midst of disaster.” Then, we must allow it to “direct us in the paths of God’s righteousness.” Then we must exercise wisdom and allow it “to turn us from the direction this disaster will lead us and put us on the right path.”

The music group “The Byrds” released a song that would become a mainstay of the time entitled “Turn, Turn, Turn.” Of course, we know its lyrics are from the writing of Solomon recorded in Ecclesiastes. It has been a mainstay for generations. While we still have the opportunity to make changes in our lives, we should do so. Sin wants to lure us into a sense of false security following the original lie espoused by Satan in the Garden “Surely you will not die, will you?” Yes, God’s grace in the Garden didn’t strike down Adam and Eve for their transgression. They did not immediately die but they were as good as dead because living outside of the Garden had a time limit. But, in the grace of God’s mercy through Jesus Christ our sentence of death which comes as the consequence of dwelling in the disaster of sin now has a time limit as well. We may die physically but the spirit which lives in us is set free to well in the midst of God forever just as the Kingdom of God dwells in our midst here on earth. Upon our confession of sin and failure to live up to the standard of God’s Word, we begin the process of turning in the right direction. Disaster can be happening as that warning signal of God’s love telling us to make a change. Take Jonah, for example. His decision to turn from the Word of God to preach to Nineveh met with the disastrous sea voyage in the midst of a great storm which got him thrown overboard and swallowed by a great fish only to be vomited up on a beach. Even when he decided to accept the challenge of preaching to Nineveh, he did so begrudgingly. When they turned from their evil ways, he got upset. We do not know the end of Jonah but in that story it ended with God’s concern for people and that He turned from the direction He could have gone in destroying them to saving them.

The same is true for us. The challenges and disasters that come against us in this world must be taken as invitations to lean more fully into God’s presence. He is our rock, shield, fortress and help in times of trouble. When Solomon penned the words of wisdom in Ecclesiastes he spoke of the seasons of life which turn from one to another. They march forward without our permission as if they have a mind of their own. But, it is up to each of us to decide how we will conduct ourselves in those seasons of life. Will we just live mindlessly and aimlessly through them all and accept whatever happens? Or will we turn away from haphazard living and walk fully in the will of God to claim that which He has promised of value?

“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 a safe and uneventful journey to Louisville with trailer, dogs, cats and ourselves
* For family and friends battling cancer at all stages of life
* 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 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 Louisville, Kentuckiana and the people of Tanzania
* 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 in order to accomplish His purposes for us in the nations and reliable transportation

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

* We have made day one of our two day drive to Louisville but sleep is at a premium and we need reenergizing to make it the rest of the way.
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, we turn to You today and seek that which You have to give which is eternal, profitable and useful to further Your Kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven. In Jesus’ name we pray. AMEN.

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1984

August 16, 2015

HIS WORD for TODAY!

Psalm 119.33-37

“Teach me, Lord, the way of Your decrees, that I may follow it to the end. Give me understanding, so that I may keep Your law and obey it with all my heart. Direct me in the path of Your commands, for there I find delight. Turn my heart toward Your statutes and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to Your word.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Teach. Give. Direct. Turn. Preserve.

Five stages of our spiritual journey are given here. Mastering each one begins not with any other effort on our part except to ask God to move us through them. David, the King of Israel and the author of many of the psalms, was a good man. If he were not so then God would have chosen another to be king over Israel to lead two kingdoms (north and south) to become as one again. But, what God found in David that was most important was a willing and trusting spirit. David knew that he couldn’t live his life to the fullest unless God was his first priority. When David put himself above all else, however, he experienced what every man will come to know- disaster. But, if disaster has any value it is first to be “a teacher of the truth of God’s will for our lives.” Next, it will be “a giver of understanding to see God at work in the midst of disaster.” Then, we must allow it to “direct us in the paths of God’s righteousness.”

We do have freewill as created beings. Freewill is a gift from God. It is not without its consequences, however. We can choose for ourselves what we will say and what we will do. God’s revelations give us the direction needed to stay the course for the most successful and abundant living possible in this world before and after the Fall. As I was driving the first leg of our journey to our new home in Louisville, I continued to pray for God’s direction for my life and life’s work. I was pulling a near, if not over, the weight limit for my vehicle but sometimes you do what you have to do. What I quickly remembered from one of my father’s first highway driving lessons was the benefit of drafting behind eighteen wheelers. Putting yourself in the right position lessens air friction and allows the car to use less gas per mile. In the wrong position and you get caught in the cavitation of the air flowing around the big rig and you actually use more gas. What an amazing lesson I relearned today. Carrying such a heavy load was going to tax my vehicle. But, falling behind a big rig who was carrying a bigger load actually made mine less troublesome. I tried passing a truck for a few miles and hour faster but it didn’t last long. I couldn’t maintain my momentum and was directed by common sense back behind the truck. I was fortunate, and should say “blessed,” to have followed two big rigs for almost two-thirds of the first leg from Waco to Little Rock. I could tell the difference when I was in tandem and when I was on my own.

Are you getting the picture? Spiritually speaking, Jesus carried the biggest load uphill ahead of us. Others tried to add to His burdens with criticism, doubts and unbelief. But, sin is sin. He was carrying them as well. He directs us to take up our cross and follow Him. It is only our cross that we are asked to carry. The sin of one person is too heavy for any person to carry. In fact, we can’t do it, no matter how mighty a man we might think we are. Our sin, left to carry on our own, leads only to death. But, when we follow the direction of Jesus to “take up your cross and follow me,” He leads us up the hill of Calvary and makes it easier for us to bear the sting of death with Him. He takes the sting and the defeat and turns it into pangs of self-consciousness and pleas for forgiveness and victory over death leading to eternal life. He leads us to the top of the hill and there asks us to see Him for who He truly is. The penitent thief is us and in his confession of belief there is the prize of paradise. He is counted as righteous. So, too, are we, when we take Jesus’ direction. We find our burden is lighter and the journey easier. It doesn’t mean it is easy or winsome. But, it is lighter, easier and possible. In the end we get home. We make it. Jesus is there ahead of us leading us all the way. Take His lead. Follow His direction and the disasters and challenges we face in life make more sense as we do each and every day.

“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 a safe and uneventful journey to Louisville with trailer, dogs, cats and ourselves
* For family and friends battling cancer at all stages of life
* 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 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 Louisville, Kentuckiana and the people of Tajikistan
* 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 in order to accomplish His purposes for us in the nations and reliable transportation

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

* Our preparation for moving continues and we are getting ready for loading the needed trailer that will take our remaining possessions to our new home where God will reveal our purpose and service
* The forecast of rain in Louisville has been moved one day after our unloading instead of the day of our unloading!
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, we accept Your direction through Your Spirit and Your Word. Both are for our lives- to improve them and to fulfill them. As we follow You, lead us in the paths of righteousness for Your Name’s sake. In Jesus’ name we pray. AMEN.

1983

August 14, 2015

HIS WORD for TODAY!

Psalm 119.33-37

“Teach me, Lord, the way of Your decrees, that I may follow it to the end. Give me understanding, so that I may keep Your law and obey it with all my heart. Direct me in the path of Your commands, for there I find delight. Turn my heart toward Your statutes and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things;preserve my life according to Your word.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Teach. Give. Direct. Turn. Preserve.

Five stages of our spiritual journey are given here. Mastering each one begins not with any other effort on our part except to ask God to move us through them. David, the King of Israel and the author of many of the psalms, was a good man. If he were not so then God would have chosen another to be king over Israel to lead two kingdoms (north and south) to become as one again. But, what God found in David that was most important was a willing and trusting spirit. David knew that he couldn’t live his life to the fullest unless God was his first priority. When David put himself above all else, however, he experienced what every man will come to know- disaster. But, if disaster has any value it is first to be “a teacher of the truth of God’s will for our lives.” Next, it will be “a giver of understanding to see God at work in the midst of disaster.”

Even this morning as we were leaving the hotel to go back to our nearly empty house, I witnessed the blessing of God. The night before “our” parking space had been taken when we left to go back to the house to take care of our pets before retiring at the hotel. We were achy and sore from two laborious days loading the semi-trailer in searing Texas heat. Even the addition of a few extra steps seemed like a punishment. Yet, this morning as we collected ourselves to go to the house, we were greeted by the hotel sprinkler system at work. Where our car would have been parked was soaked with spraying water. I would have been doused and the driver seat would have been soaked as well. Thank you, God, for showing me to trust the process even when I forget there is a process in motion.

God has a process in motion for the salvation of our lives. It is at work within us even before we were aware of it. Sin is the ultimate disaster of human life. Its consequence is death. Not just physical death as we experience in this world and the process of dying, nor emotional or psychological death which comes in the transition of life in various stages. No, the consequence of sin is eternal death which is beyond the reach of God to any creature. Why is it beyond the reach of God? Because those in eternal death are not reaching out for God. They may ask in the “heat” of the moment for God. They may even bicker with God about fault and blame. But, ultimately, the reaching out for God that is needed to be beyond the reach of eternal death is true repentance.

In the story of the rich young ruler, Jesus taught such a sad situation. When asked “What else must I do to inherit eternal life,” Jesus answered “Go and sell all you have and give it to the poor. Then you can come and follow me.” The rich young ruler was very rich. His life was deeply seeded in his wealth and all the opportunities it provided to him. The story ends with “He was sorrowful and turned to walk away.” Repentance is “turning to walk to God.” To think of the number of people who will refuse to accept the understanding of this truth is biblically staggering as I read it in the Book of Revelation. Fully four-fifths of the human population that ever was will reject Jesus as the Christ even in the midst of signs and wonders. We face the shadows of this disaster daily. In the prayer Jesus taught His disciples it says “give us this day our daily bread.” He wasn’t talking about food to eat, necessarily, but more about the Word of God which is the understanding of truth. Death, in all its forms, is at work in and around our lives daily. We need the gift of understanding to be able to hold fast to the gospel of truth which is life for us all.

Only in this truth that Jesus is offering to us salvation and doing so with legal restrictions will we have eternal life. But, just because Jesus is offering it doesn’t mean we have it. We must also grasp the truth He is giving and allow it to become a major part of who we are as mighty men. As our understanding of the gospel grows into a Christ-like lifestyle then our cup of life’s blessing begins to overflow and we can offer the abundance to others. Our task is to offer. We cannot make anyone accept it. It is like scattering seed as Jesus taught in the parable of the Sower. It will fall on all types of soil and bear whatever fruit the soil will allow. We share the gospel to the whole world. It may or may not take but that is not our concern. Ours is to receive and share. And in the midst of life’s disasters, we certainly can experience the opportunity to do both. Doing so for the glory of God is not only our purpose but our God-given responsibility.

“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 a safe and uneventful journey to Louisville with trailer, dogs, cats and ourselves
* For family and friends battling cancer at all stages of life
* 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 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 Louisville, Kentuckiana and the people of Syria
* 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 in order to accomplish His purposes for us in the nations and reliable transportation

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

* Our preparation for moving continues and we are getting ready for loading the needed trailer that will take our remaining possessions to our new home where God will reveal our purpose and service
* The forecast of rain in Louisville has been moved one day after our unloading instead of the day of our unloading!
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, give us today our daily bread of Your Word of understanding. We will receive the blessing gratefully, sow it willingly and share its fruit with others gladly in the hope that they will receive it as we did and live. In Jesus’ name we pray. AMEN.

1982

August 12, 2015

HIS WORD for TODAY!

Psalm 119.33-37

Teach me, Lord, the way of Your decrees, that I may follow it to the end. Give me understanding, so that I may keep Your law and obey it with all my heart. Direct me in the path of Your commands, for there I find delight. Turn my heart toward Your statutes and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things;preserve my life according to Your word.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Teach. Give. Direct. Turn. Preserve.

Five stages of our spiritual journey are given here. Mastering each one begins not with any other effort on our part except to ask God to move us through them. David, the King of Israel and the author of many of the psalms, was a good man. If he were not so then God would have chosen another to be king over Israel to lead two kingdoms (north and south) to become as one again. But, what God found in David that was most important was a willing and trusting spirit. David knew that he couldn’t live his life to the fullest unless God was his first priority. When David put himself above all else, however, he experienced what every man will come to know- disaster. But, if disaster has any value it is first to be “a teacher of the truth of God’s will for our lives.”

I do not mean that God’s will is for disaster to come into our lives. This is the furthest from the truth of God’s desire and purpose. Disaster comes into our world when the influence of sin is not held at bay. It is impossible for any human being to be in control of sin on their own volition and effort. We see the power of temptation and sin even in the Garden of Eden with Adam, Eve and the Serpent. Yes, it is true that God could have prevented the Serpent from exercising his wiles weaving lies into the fabric of Adam and Eve’s lives. Yet, God’s purpose was to give humanity the gift of His Spirit and the opportunity of freewill. If man, by the Spirit, used freewill to deny the demonic opportunity presented to him then sin would have been crushed at that moment. But, man chose another destiny and we all must travel that journey until the close of the age.

So, God did not will the disaster just as God does not will the death of anyone. God’s purpose is the truth of love. True love seeks life lived to its God-given fullness. In Christ, upon our belief that He is not only the Son of God but our Lord and Savior, has given us life eternal and abundant. But, into every day a little “rain” must fall. Sin exists in our world and because of it disaster happens. It happens when it is allowed by God for our instruction in humility. It happens when it is invited by our own weakness leading us to choose something other than God’s will. It happens when it’s presence and influence is ignored by mighty men as if it is someone else’s problem.

Yet, in the midst of this “disaster” God still exists. Disaster, up to and including physical death, is not an end. God’s grace and love can transform disaster into a means to an end. What is that end? It is the end of pain, suffering, sorrow, dying, death, hunger, thirst, poverty, disease, war and all afflictions whose desire is to separate man from God. The end of eternal death has already been given in Christ through His saving grace. The end of inability to combat the other afflictions has already been given by the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

This is where the teaching comes in. We must become students of the Word of God and followers of the Way of Christ. He, too, suffered the disaster of sin and the transformation of grace. Be a mighty man as He was and continues to be and you will find the truth living powerfully in 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 cooler weather in Waco as we begin to load to move on Wednesday and Thursday
* For family and friends battling cancer at all stages of life
* 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 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 Louisville, Kentuckiana and the people of Swaziland
* 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 in order to accomplish His purposes for us in the nations and reliable transportation

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

* Our preparation for moving continues and we are getting ready for loading the truck this week that will take our possessions to our new home where God will reveal our purpose and service
* The forecast of rain in Louisville has been moved one day after our unloading instead of the day of our unloading!
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, teach us by whatever means necessary to know how to grasp the truth and let its hold on us be eternal. In Jesus’ name we pray. AMEN.

1981

August 11, 2015

HIS WORD for TODAY!

Psalm 119.33-37

“Teach me, Lord, the way of Your decrees, that I may follow it to the end. Give me understanding, so that I may keep Your law and obey it with all my heart. Direct me in the path of Your commands, for there I find delight. Turn my heart toward Your statutes and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things;preserve my life according to Your word.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Teach. Give. Direct. Turn. Preserve.

Five stages of our spiritual journey are given here. Mastering each one begins not with any other effort on our part except to ask God to move us through them. David was a good man. If he were not so then God would have chosen another to be king over Israel and led two kingdoms (north and south) to become as one again. But, what God found in David that was most important was a willing and trusting spirit. David knew that he couldn’t live his life to the fullest unless God was his first priority. When David put himself above all else he experienced what every man will come to know and that is disaster. But, if disaster has any value it is to be

* a teacher of the truth of God’s will for our lives,
* a giver of wisdom to make better decisions in our lives in future situations,
* a director of thought which gives consideration to the proper priority of God first in all things,
* a turner of hearts to seek first the Kingdom of God and all its benefits instead of things of this world which pass away, and
* a preserver of life to demonstrate God’s unfailing love and desire for us to live with Him forever.

As the old saying offers “That which does not kill us makes us stronger,” we can certainly put our trust in the Lord our God who can work good with all things which are given to Him. Offer all of who you are into His hands and allow the Master Craftsman to mold you into that which has great value and worth.

“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 cooler weather in Waco as we begin to load to move on Wednesday and Thursday and no rain on the following Wednesday as we move into our new home in Louisville
* For family and friends battling cancer at all stages of life
* 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 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 Louisville, Kentuckiana and the people of Suriname
* 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 in order to accomplish His purposes for us in the nations and reliable transportation

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

* Our preparation for moving continues and we are getting ready for loading the truck this week that will take our possessions to our new home where God will reveal our purpose and service
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, into Your hands we commit our lives, our spirit, our heart, our soul, our mind and our strength. Make of us what is needed to accomplish Your good will and work in this world. In Jesus’ name we pray. AMEN.

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