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Hmmm…

October 30, 2015

October 30, 2015

If you feel your life may be going nowhere, it certainly may be. The problem is not life. The problem really isn’t you. The problem may be who is leading you in your journey to becoming who you are meant to be. Jesus knows that journey from beginning to end to everlasting. It may be time to trust Him to be at the helm, at the lead, at the wheel, at the forefront and rearguard of your heart, mind, body and soul- your life.

Confess yours sins and brokenness to Jesus- He understands. Profess Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior- He rocks!

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2038

HIS WORD for TODAY!

Ephesians 4.22-24

“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Before I leave these passages of scripture, I am compelled to share a truth which all mighty men of God must not only embrace and hold true for themselves but lead other men into a greater level of understanding as to reshaping their lives.

THE TRUTH

We are created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (verse 24) Humankind has spent far too long asking the questions “who am I supposed to be and what am I supposed to do.” For this year, and I guess for every post I have written on this site and others since 2006, I have contemplated how we as men embody the mightiness of God. We are created vessels of varying shapes, sizes, colors and abilities serving two specific purposes.

1) To be the tabernacle of God’s Holy Spirit. We are not meant to stay in one place and be a momentary place of God. We are still sojourning in the wilderness headed to the Promised Land of the Kingdom of God where we will have our final blessing place created by Christ with His own nail-scarred hands, sweat pouring from His thorn-pricked brow and whip-scarred back. He rejoices in the opportunity to build us our home with God where all the tabernacles will be joined together in one holy home of God. His Spirit will dwell in the midst of us in such glory as the universe has never seen and we will be able to look upon Him without fear of death or judgment and rejoice. Until then, we are to carry the Spirit of God given to us for our personalized living and be a beacon of faith, hope and love to all the world.

2) To be the sons (and daughters) of the Most High God. We are His emissaries and missionaries, teachers and deliverers, of the Word of God which is given to us. We, as a people, represent the life and work of Jesus Christ until He returns to earth. He will return when the work in Heaven He is now given is complete. He finished His holy task on earth submitting to the call to be like us and to demonstrate to us how to be like Him. He believed in it so much and loved us so much that He was willing and able to put His life on the line. Okay, actually the cross. Thank God for that because without God Jesus couldn’t have done it and we would not be the beneficiaries of humility and grace- God’s perfect love.

THE LIE

The former way of living is the only way to live. We have been deceived to think that we are trapped in this world and that the only escape is to completely sate our human desires of the flesh or die trying. This is the victimization of the Garden perpetrated by Satan when he said to Eve, knowing Adam was listening, “Surely you will not die for eating an apple.” What did Eve and Adam know about dying? They didn’t even really know how to live yet. They were fledglings of the human experience and innocents. Paul declared “You are being corrupted by the deceitful desires of your life before Christ.” (vs 22) Whether he was addressing Jews under the Law, Christ followers under grace or seekers under self-will the formula was the same. Before Christ we struggled to see the light at the end of the tunnel and substituted lesser lights for the greater light. The lesser lights lead off the path of righteousness and into the consuming darkness. They are the blink of an eye- here and gone.

Consider, mighty men and those who are seeking to be mighty in God, where those lesser lights are still shining in your life. Is there anger? Bitterness? Envy? Strife? Brokenness? Sexual addiction? Drugs? Hedonism? Foul language? Corruption? Infidelity? Time consumed in things that do no satisfy for a lifetime but merely get you from moment to moment in dissatisfaction? Unforgiveness? Irrational thinking? Falsehoods? We each can add to this list but the truth remains the same. The answer is still “yes,” in whole or in part. We are not called to be perfect- that is the lie. The truth is that we are called to participate in the righteousness of God which is to lead others in God’s love, share the hope of God’s favor and live in faith according to God’s promise. The truth is that we are being made holy by the blood of the Lamb anointing the doorways of our lives so that death shall pass us by that we might pass through them to continue our journey to live with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the God of the Universe and beyond. We are also made holy by the indwelling of His Holy Spirit which teaches us what is right and good and empowers us to be and do them both!

“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 family and friends battling cancer at all stages of life and those seeking to be their caregivers
* 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 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, Goodwill and the people of Bolivia
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends healing, reconciliation and wisdom; 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 (this prayer concern is under attack by the enemy but we will not be dismayed)
* For the healing and comfort of the wife of a new friend in Christ and for the husband and family as they support her in this battle for wellness of body as she has in spirit; for comfort in God’s will for healing in Debbie and her family

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

* I do have a job and God will lead me in it and through it so that I may do His will in all things
* God has a plan for our service that will meet and exceed our expectations; He will guide us in the direction we need to go to serve Him and His people best
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, thank You for reminding us today in Your Word and in Your Presence who we truly are and what we can do exceptionally because we are fearfully and wonderfully made in Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Hmmm…

October 29, 2015

October 29, 2015

What is better than the emperor’s new clothes (which never existed)? The clothes given by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords to His brothers and sisters in faith! Call Christ Lord and Savior and be the prince or princess of the Most High God.

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2037

HIS WORD for TODAY!

Ephesians 4.22-24

“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

In Ephesians 6, we read where Paul describes what we truly put on as the indicator of our new self- the whole armor of God. I recently shared a series of reflections concerning how God revealed to me that we not only put on the whole armor but the “under” armor as well. We must be well-dressed mighty men for God. But, to continue from yesterday’s Word, I am not forgetting that what Paul is directing the mighty men of Ephesus to embrace is the correct spiritual attitude which is the indicator of the new self. The spiritual dress not only shows that we are God’s people but that God’s people have a purpose in this world which is to be righteous and holy. In all we do, regardless of our worldly apparel, what must be most visible is how we conduct ourselves in the world. We are righteous and holy- created in the image of God. Because of Jesus Christ and our faith in Him we are refitted and refreshed, retooled and reschooled, reconciled and redeemed. In Him, we are the righteousness of God in whom there is no guile or falsehood. In Him, we are holy, set apart and capable of doing good, being right with God and man and made perfect through the Holy Spirit starting from the inside out so that on the day of Judgment and prayerfully many days before that we will not be found on the outside looking in!

“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 family and friends battling cancer at all stages of life and those seeking to be their caregivers
* 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 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, Goodwill and the people of Bolivia
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends healing, reconciliation and wisdom; 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 (this prayer concern is under attack by the enemy but we will not be dismayed)
* For the healing and comfort of the wife of a new friend in Christ and for the husband and family as they support her in this battle for wellness of body as she has in spirit; for comfort in God’s will for healing in Debbie

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

* Izzy’s here!
* I do have a job and God will lead me in it and through it so that I may do His will in all things
* God has a plan for our service that will meet and exceed our expectations; He will guide us in the direction we need to go to serve Him and His people best
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, thank You for loving us so much that You would make us new with the real possibility to be holy and righteousness and worthy servants of Yours in Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Hmmm…

October 28, 2015

October 28, 2015

It is true, “clothes make the man.” Now what they make the man depends on the clothes! Are we dressed to impress the world? Are we dressed to serve the world as we have been created and called to be by God and empowered to do by the Holy Spirit freely given by Jesus Christ? If we are dressed for spiritual success the opinion of the world only matters if it is to praise our Lord!

Post tags:

2036

HIS WORD for TODAY!

Ephesians 4.22-24

“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Do you believe it…”Clothes make the man”? Paul may have been dealing with some Christ followers, nearly Christ followers and some Judaizers who believed this as he wrote to the mighty men in Ephesus. As a former Pharisee, he was certainly aware of the image created by one’s apparel with long, flowing robes; great phylacteries; rings on their fingers and bells on their toes. Ah, yes, look at me for I am blessed and highly favored because I say I am with God. And then, what about the rest of us blue collar and outcast of the world. Is God any less with them? I think the temple leaders missed a huge part of the point of Jesus’ declaration “in three days I will build up the temple which will be torn down so that not one stone will be left standing.” In their thinking, the destruction of the temple was impossible because it was a mighty edifice and beautifully adorned. Surely, God is in this place. But, what took them decades to build up and far longer to put in place, Jesus was going to see done in three days and it would last forever because it would not be a house constructed by human hands but one eternal in the heavens. And, God will surely be in that place!

And what was Jesus left with? Stripped down to His loin cloth, the Romans cast lots for His robe. His sandals had been cast aside in order to nail His feet to the cross. His body battered, bruised and covered with the stripes of cats o’nine tails was exposed for all to see. His head adorned with a crown of thorns crushed into his brow allowing blood to easily and quickly flow from His face and anoint His body with the blood of the Lamb. He was not a sight of loveliness but it was a sight of the glory of God because He bore His cross with dignity, faith and love. This was His true adornment etched in the hearts and mind of humanity forever.

Yes, Paul spoke of what we put on and what we put off in the imagery of our worldly clothes or heaven’s finery. Our old nature needed to be put off. He was not speaking of merely keeping the old thinking and actions and desires at bay. He was talking about changing one’s appearance from who he had been to who he had become. And it wasn’t really about the clothes but the attitudes and purposes of old lives as opposed to the new life given in Christ. If we changed our clothes but not our way of life we merely soil the new clothes until they become the bitter and useless rags discarded into the trash. And the imagery of the trashy remains was visible and on some days pungent in the Valley of Hinnom just beyond the walls of Jerusalem. Paul remembered. Paul also saw other Hinnoms in the world where the outcast and destitute gathered in the slums, ghettos and back alleys of every city he brought the gospel of Jesus Christ into.

Worldly clothes do not truly make the man. Only God can make a man. The world and its enemy may seek to remake the man in a sinful make-over with the hope of disguising his true identity. As mighty men we were never wolves in sheep’s clothing. We were children of God covered over by the filth, stench and hopelessness of sin. That changed when Jesus entered into the world. Those lives, the sacred buildings of God’s presence, that were torn down so that not one stone would be left standing, were rebuilt by the power of God’s love in the resurrection. The outpouring of His atoning blood and the blessing of His Holy Spirit transforms and remakes the man with a holy and righteous make-over which the enemy cannot do anything about. Off with the old, mighty men, and on with the new!

“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 family and friends battling cancer at all stages of life and those seeking to be their caregivers
* 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 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, Goodwill and the people of Bhutan
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends healing, reconciliation and wisdom; 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 (this prayer concern is under attack by the enemy but we will not be dismayed)
* For the healing and comfort of the wife of a new friend in Christ and for the husband and family as they support her in this battle for wellness of body as she has in spirit; for comfort in God’s will for healing in Debbie

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

* Izzy’s on her way!
* I do have a job and God will lead me in it and through it so that I may do His will in all things
* God has a plan for our service that will meet and exceed our expectations; He will guide us in the direction we need to go to serve Him and His people best
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, clothe us from the inside out so that we may be properly attired today to share the good news of great joy in Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Hmmm…

October 27, 2015

October 27, 2015

The only way we can win the battle of our fleshly existence and human will is to accept the victory that has been won for us and in us by Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. He not only showed the people of the world and their enemy, Satan, that one can be spiritual toward God and live as a human being, but made it possible for those who will follow Him to be able to do so with the blessing of the Holy Spirit of God- His gift to us for eternal life.

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2035

HIS WORD for TODAY!

Ephesians 4.20,21

“That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in Him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

How, then, should we be living in these days. We know they are full of trouble, tragedy and challenge. We can see the evil at work in the world seeking to deceive men about the truth of God and themselves. We can see the good at work in the world, too, seeking to glorify God and bring peace to men in the truth of God for each of us. We do battle between our two natures- flesh and spirit. We are not alone in the battle because Jesus, our Christ, battled it as well. He felt the burden of it as He contemplated the will of God and the struggle of the flesh to survive at all cost. But, we know that Jesus Christ won the battle and shares the victory with those who will believe and seek to live out the life we modeled for us.

This is what Paul was speaking of when he said “there is a life you heard about which is Christ (divine nature and being), taught in His Spirit according to the truth that was in Jesus (human nature under the influence of God.) We have always known and believed that Jesus Christ was fully God and fully man. The two natures can, do and will exist in one person. The story of humankind has been littered with the episodes of this battle of truth. Satan, our enemy, wants us to believe that we can live with these two natures but always with the call of the flesh as the guiding priority. But, the flesh cannot transform God nor change His image and will to fit our own. Ultimately, living in this way will cause us to hate one and love the other. As mighty men of God, we know the Word teaches that we cannot live this way as we cannot serve two masters.

But, Jesus, in His obedience to God and His desire to please His Heavenly Father, demonstrated that living in the world keeping God as the true priority opens up the journey toward successful living. The presence and mercy of God can transform the flesh (human will) to meet the call and expectations of God. In truth, living for God makes living in the body the next best thing to Heaven itself. It creates the true perspective of living in a broken world. It sees the hurt but discovers the healing joy. There is peace knowing that when we die to the flesh we live in Christ. Yes, we live in the body of Christ, the gathering of believers for the common purpose of serving God. But, more than that we live in the reality of the Christ whose purpose is to redeem the world and give the opportunity for all of God’s children to believe, receive and become new creations full of life as it was meant to be to the highest calibre.

Consider this today, mighty men, as I will in all my words and works in the world. Am I proclaiming my “self,” the human me, or am I declaring “God,” the me in Christ!

“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 impacted by a large earthquake in Afghanistan
* For family and friends battling cancer at all stages of life and those seeking to be their caregivers
* 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 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 Bermuda
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends healing, reconciliation and wisdom; 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 (this prayer concern is under attack by the enemy but we will not be dismayed)
* For the healing and comfort of the wife of a new friend in Christ and for the husband and family as they support her in this battle for wellness of body as she has in spirit; for comfort in God’s will for healing in Debbie

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

* I do have a job and God will lead me in it and through it so that I may do His will in all things
* God has a plan for our service that will meet and exceed our expectations; He will guide us in the direction we need to go to serve Him and His people best
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, while we still struggle at times in the flesh let our battle be in the Spirit that makes us all one in Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Hmmm…

October 26, 2015

October 26, 2015

Don’t ever forget that you are one of those great works of the Lord. I know sometimes we wonder but God does not. He has blessed your greatest by anointing you with the life of His Son, Jesus Christ. Accept your greatness in Him and His blessing of love which heals, forgives and guides through through each day.

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2034

HIS WORD for TODAY!

Psalm 111.2,10

“Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all who follow His precepts have good understanding.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Precepts are laws, rules and regulations. As mighty men we must be mindful that as we live in the world governed by precepts established by men we must maintain the priority of righteousness- God’s precepts. God’s precepts are the litmus test for our obedience to appropriate relationships and activities in this world. They are a guide which we can follow confidently. Remember, this world is not our permanent home. We dwell in the Kingdom of God on earth because we are followers of Christ and joint heirs by faith in His sacrifice on our behalf. But, while we sojourn in this world we must live as if we are already dwelling in the fullness of the Kingdom which is to come. We have been given insight into what that life and this life looks like.

1) Covenant of faith: There have always been rules since the beginning. The first was “you can eat of all the fruit of the garden except for one.” That forbidden fruit continues to tempt even the mightiest of men. It is too easy to say it was an “apple.” What it was was a precept from God put into a physical form. The precept was a covenant of faith which defined man as created and thus the benefactor of all the creator, God, had made. In that covenant, Adam was made mindful of this truth even being made a steward of creation. To walk by faith and not by sight is the evidence of commitment between man and God.

2) Greatest of Precepts: Jesus identified the greatest among all precepts as “love God with all your being and your neighbor as yourself.” To live faithful to this call to love beyond measure actually empowers the person to maintain the covenant. Love is the evidence of God’s true purpose and intent for our lives. It certainly can be manifested in many ways but if it is not love, as the Apostle Paul taught, then it doesn’t amount to much at all. If there is no true love there is only pain, hurt, suffering and death.

3) Ten Commandments: How easy is it to fall into the the “thou shalt not” pit of thinking. God again was identifying for His children that they were not God. The laws given first to Moses at Sinai were descriptors of the life of righteousness. If you lived according to the covenant of faith and the precepts of love then our lives would be able to follow this checklist of “done that.” But, we can’t do that because we all have sinned and fallen short of the glorious intention of God for our lives. The weight of the Ten Commandments is not to enslave us but to humble us and point us to the need for God’s faith, hope and love manifested in forgiveness.

4) Jesus Christ: We have the Word of God in His Law and Covenant revelation. We have the precepts of love and the test cases of obedience throughout the Old Testament. But, what we didn’t have was the proof that it could be done. If we all fall short then what is the use of getting back up? But, in Jesus Christ, we have the witness of what a life of righteousness looks like up close and personal. In Him we hear the words of comfort and challenge. Through Him we hear the words of forgiveness and hope. By Him we hear the words of acceptance and freedom. If it were not for Jesus then we would not be able to understand the true precepts of God’s will and accept the benefit of them. But, we do have Christ. In Him we have life, love and hope. In our awe and reverence for God, “the fear of the Lord,” we are well on our way to being wise enough to say “yes” to Jesus and His call to come and join Him in the life of a lifetime.

“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 impacted by a large earthquake in Afghanistan
* For safety of those impacted by the blending of two storm systems including the remnants of Hurricane Patricia
* For clarity and transparency of actions and intentions as Russia enters the Middle East fray militarily in Syria on an opposing side of the United States
* For safety of Syrian refugees as they seek a new and safer home and peace in Syria so they may return to their homes; and wisdom and compassion for the nations to which they are moving
* For family and friends battling cancer at all stages of life and those seeking to be their caregivers
* 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 Benin
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends healing, reconciliation and wisdom; 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 (this prayer concern is under attack by the enemy but we will not be dismayed)
* For the healing and comfort of the wife of a new friend in Christ and for the husband and family as they support her in this battle for wellness of body as she has in spirit; for comfort in God’s will for healing in Debbie

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

* I do have a job and God will led me in it and through it so that I may do His will in all things
* God has a plan for our service that will meet and exceed our expectations; He will guide us in the direction we need to go to serve Him and His people best
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, by Your will and way we choose to live today to be all that we can be not on our own but by walking with You in Jesus’ name. AMEN.

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