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Hmmm…

March 31, 2016

March 31, 2016

Oh to have the blind faith of Bartimaeus so that even when I cannot see in the world I can still find my way to Jesus and respond to His call when it comes.

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March 30, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Mark 10.49b-50

“So they called to the blind man, ‘Cheer up! On your feet! He (Jesus) is calling you.’ Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Remember the story in Mark 2 about the paralytic man brought to Jesus by four friends. Upon the invitation to heal the man, Jesus was questioned about His authority to forgive sins. Jesus responded “Which is it easier to do? Forgive sins or heal this lame man.” Well, as I am reading and listening to the Spirit speak on this passage in Mark 10, I am wondering “Which is it easier for the man to do? Throw off his cloak and come to Jesus unattended being blind or to have faith enough to inquire of Jesus’ healing authority for his sight.” Imagine the intensity of desire and faith the man possessed to not only out yell the large crowd who wanted to hush his persistent call for Jesus but to make his way through the crowd blindly in order to get to Jesus. It is quite possible, for a storyteller, to reflect on the call of John the Baptizer to the people “Prepare the way of the Lord and make a straight path for Him.” When Jesus called for the man, the crowd may have indeed made a straight path for the man and he was easily able to feel his way to Jesus whom he addressed as “Rabbi.”

What an interesting change of venue and response we would find when Jesus reached Jerusalem. Here in Jericho, the blind wanted to see. The crowd at first stood against him and then they became his virtual guides. Nothing would get in his way to make his request to be healed. But, in Jerusalem, the crowd was able to see clearly the man they called “Son of David, Messiah.” They made a clear path for Him to enter Jerusalem. But, in the end they turned a blind eye to Him and crowded His path all the way to the cross. We can certainly be a fickle lot given half a chance. Do we really know what we think, believe or want? Are we of one mind when everything seems to be going our way and then of another when it seems to be going quite the opposite? But, blind Bartimaeus, was different. He was of one mind when things weren’t going his way (begging for assistance because he was blind) and quite a different mind when Jesus was coming his way. Jesus was not only his only hope He was his true desire.

And Jesus responded to the persistence of this blind man of Jericho. He wanted to see. He didn’t want to live as a blind beggar if he had the chance to be something else. And hearing that Jesus was coming His way, he seized the opportunity to put his faith and hope into determined action. Mighty men, what is it we want to see? What do we think is not clearly in our vision? Do we desire something better for our lives but can’t see any way to effect that change? Have we been virtual beggars on the side of the road hoping for a change- small change? Or will we seize the truth of Jesus still coming our way with the power to save and to heal? Will we be undaunted in our efforts to gain Jesus’ attention and express our bold request believing He is the answer to our need? How badly do we want to be different than we are? How much do we want to see the truth for ourselves instead of just hearing it from someone else? In the days of Joshua, the walls came tumbling down at Jericho and the path to the Promised Land was cleared. Now in the days of Jesus, the scales fell from Bartimaeus’ eyes and the path to the Promised Land was in plain view. What about your day? Today! Carpe Deum! Or will you sit back and let Jesus pass you by once again and surrender to the futility of faithlessness instead of seizing the opportunity for faithfulness?

For Jesus, the path was becoming more and more clear as the people began to see His true power and authority which His faith elicited in others and their faith elicited in themselves by Jesus’ name.

“Let HIM be seen in the mighty men of 2016.”

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

* For protection from all manner of harm and evil which stands against God’s people including violent storms raging through the midwestern states and into the Ohio Valley
* For God’s definitive word on this country’s political agenda and future being transformed into a godly mandate that glorifies God and meets the needs of others instead of man’s agenda leading to the Abomination of Desolation
* For the end of the ISIS regime and the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ into all the nations of the earth
* For the homeless, including the innocent refugees from Syria, and destitute as the season definitely changes and challenges all
* For family and friends battling cancer and dementia at all stages of life and those seeking to be their caregivers and those who are their families
* 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 Namibia
* 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 and comfort to our parents who are struggling with their new realities; freedom for a family member struggling with a current job; wisdom to know truth and relate it adequately; the needs of my coalition

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

* A positive opportunity has presented itself to Lisa but as in all things it is by God’s timing to know more
* A work expectation completion nears and only by the power of God can it be achieved- grateful that it has been lifted; I am believing for a new work assignment for my wife and I that will serve God’s people well; what others mean for harm God is turning to good
* Continuing to survive challenges placed before us at work knowing God has something more in store for us for His glory; abundant harvest now ready to receive the harvesters
* God is preparing us for our next ministry with current conditions
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, may our eyes not only see the truth but the path upon which the truth can be lived in this world in the name of Jesus, our beloved, by whom we live, serve and pray. AMEN.

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Hmmm…

March 30, 2016

The greatest joy in life is found in serving others and making their lives better just as Jesus has served us and made our lives eternal!

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2162

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Mark 10.42-45

“Jesus called them together and said, ‘You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you! Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.'”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Talking about a pot running over this gospel declaration would fit the bill. We have a parallel discourse in chapter 9, if you remember, when Mark tells of us Jesus’ additional teaching on the impending events which will include His death and resurrection. Immediately following was a discussion among the disciples about a “secret” talk. Jesus knew what it was about because He knew their hearts and mind. He redirected their thinking, regardless of their intent for the conversation, to being more tolerant and accepting of all who wanted to come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior. Their purpose was to be a servant to everyone. Now with Mark’s third rendition of Jesus’ declaration of impending death and resurrection we have two disciples being bold enough, or stupid enough, to engage Jesus about their heavenly future.

1) We must see that their bold question is an actual affirmation that Jesus is the Son of God who will be sitting at the right hand of God. They may be looking at His declaration of His own earthly end as a signal of their own. In Luke we hear the penitent thief asking the crucified Jesus to remember him when he comes to His kingdom. Jesus affirmed his confession with the promise of Paradise. Here, we have James and John (not at the urging of their mother of their mother) seeking their place in Paradise with Jesus. It wasn’t enough to just be with Jesus in the heavenly places but to have places of authority. Jesus tells them that appointed places are for those who have been prepared for them by God. While it may be interesting to surmise who may actually sit there now it should be satisfying to be in Heaven instead of worrying about where in Heaven one is.

2) We must see the other disciples’ reactions to the “bold” two as being equally bold. Whether it was a “how dare you ask such a thing in light of what He told us previously” or “what makes you think you are better than the rest of us” indignation, the response of Jesus would have been the same. He told them “you can drink the cup I drink from (the blessing of the new covenant in His blood which leads through the cross) and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with (the blessing of the Holy Spirit as God’s confirmation of their ministry to all the world).” But, anything more than that belongs to God just as was the course of Jesus’ life as God’s suffering servant for the sake of our salvation. Interesting that the disciples were already looking for rewards in Heaven before their service was complete on earth. All things are in the hands of God and by His will. Would a promise of prominence in Heaven become an incentive to do more on earth or to settle for what they had already accomplished in their short time with Jesus?

3) We must clearly hear the message for all disciples which Jesus spoke. He has already told us what we will have if we follow Him- prosperity of a loving community, trials and persecutions for being faithful and the promised blessing of eternal life with Him in Heaven. We are called not to take on “lordship” as if we are to rule over others because we walk with Jesus. Instead, we are to take on the roles of servants of those who are seeking salvation and slaves to our colleagues. This is a strong word but a fitting job description for today’s disciples of Christ. We are to lead in serving others and one another as we have been served by Jesus Christ. This sounds identical to the greatest command which we know is “Love God and one another; follow my commands to do all things in love as you yourselves have been loved.”

I guess the question for us in light of this teaching is “What are we following Jesus for? Privilege for “who you know” or opportunity to “share God’s love as we have been loved out of death into life?” This, mighty men of God, is where our boldness should be determined.

“Let HIM be seen in the mighty men of 2016.”

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

* For protection from all manner of harm and evil which stands against God’s people
* For God’s definitive word on this country’s political agenda and future being transformed into a godly mandate that glorifies God and meets the needs of others instead of man’s agenda leading to the Abomination of Desolation
* For the end of the ISIS regime and the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ into all the nations of the earth
* For the homeless, including the innocent refugees from Syria, and destitute as the season definitely changes and challenges all
* For family and friends battling cancer and dementia at all stages of life and those seeking to be their caregivers and those who are their families
* 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 Myanmar
* 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 and comfort to our parents who are struggling with their new realities; freedom for a family member struggling with a current job; wisdom to know truth and relate it adequately; the needs of my coalition

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

* A positive opportunity has presented itself to Lisa but as in all things it is by God’s timing to know more
* A work expectation completion nears and only by the power of God can it be achieved; I am believing for a new work assignment for my wife and I that will serve God’s people well; what others mean for harm God is turning to good
* Continuing to survive challenges placed before us at work knowing God has something more in store for us for His glory; abundant harvest now ready to receive the harvesters
* God is preparing us for our next ministry with current conditions
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, by the power of Your Word and Your Spirit may we seize all opportunities to be bold in love to win others to Christ in the name of Jesus, our beloved, by whom we live, serve and pray. AMEN.

Hmmm…

March 29, 2016

March 29, 2016

We are promised abundant and eternal life as a blessing for being a follower of Christ. It is not a condition for being a disciple as if it were an incentive or signing bonus but a statement of fact. We know it isn’t made conditional because there is a promise to that those who decide to follow Christ will also experience hardships and persecutions in their desire to promote the gospel for the glory of God and the opportunity to inform everyone that Jesus died for their sins and they can enjoy His blessings of life if they would believe in Him.

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HIS WORD for TODAY:

Mark 10.13b-14

“‘Truly I tell you,’ Jesus replied, ‘no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for Me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.'”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

No investment, no return. From a financial standpoint we certainly understand this principle. It is a spiritual principle, too. When the rich young ruler came to Jesus with the question of what else do I need in order to inherit eternal life he was hoping for a “this world” answer. He got one but it wasn’t what he expected. Jesus answer was twofold: follow My commands on how to treat those around you (we know it would have lead to the conclusion of ‘love one another’) and invest all your worldly goods into the ministry for the poor so that being divested of the world you can trust only me. This answer was too great a challenge for the young man because he was very rich.

Then Jesus answered Peter’s question “If a rich man can’t make it to heaven then what chance is there? Look, we have left everything for you.” Ah, the face of prosperity looks into the mirror as we gaze for our own reflection. Jesus responds no one who has divested themselves of the world will fail to receive abundant blessings. It is as if Jesus is saying “It make look like you do not have much at this time being itinerant preachers wandering through the land depending on the kindness of others but you will see blessings that far exceed anything you have experienced before.”

1) You may have to look back to the story of Job to understand the first blessing Jesus mentions. Remember that Job lost almost everything in his life- fields, house, children, property and livestock. At the end of the Book of Job you will read how it was all restored to him and exponentially so. It may well be that Jesus is speaking to the new definition of community and family which He made clear in His “those who do the will of My Heavenly Father- they are my mother, brothers, sisters and family.” The truth is that investing into the life of Jesus as a way of living fully and completely in God’s will does expand one’s relationship circle in both property and person. It isn’t socialism, to be sure, but the spiritual community of the Body of Christ. The disciples who give up what they have to pursue serving Christ in this world gain an entire growing community established in faith, hope and love. They will never be a stranger nor without sufficient resource as long as they walk the walk of faith and talk the talk of the gospel.

2) And certainly we cannot ignore the blessing of eternal life. If we resign ourselves to living for and in this world alone then we have sold ourselves far sort of our providence and divine provision. Those who declare fealty to Christ become joint heirs in the Kingdom of God. Their oneness with Christ is to become eternal with Him in a house not made by human hands. Jesus’ life and death and resurrection proved the promise that death will not become a deterrent to experiencing the presence of God for all eternity. We can live forever as citizens of the Kingdom of God. But, if we are merely citizens of the world then we shall surely die without hope of resurrection. Resurrection is being blessed with the eternal life of peace, love and joy. There is another life after death which is actually perpetual death and that is reserved for those who refuse to humble themselves, confess their sins, profess that Jesus is their Christ, take up their cross and follow Him. In other words- a living hell.

3) But, in true teaching fashion which Mark is wont to present, there is a “central” truth which every disciple must come to terms with. The common vernacular of our day would have declared this truth as “no pain, no gain.” Yes, Jesus warned, promised and bestowed hope on the reality that being a follower of His would include persecutions and executions to the extreme. It almost was a rallying cry of the early church that to suffer in the body was to glory in the spirit. Even the Apostle Paul would write of “dying to self to live in Christ.” Who among us have experienced that kind of faithful allegiance and followership? Who of us has put it all on the line for the sake of the gospel. Yes, we love to hear of expanded families and supportive communities along with the secured promise of eternal (and abundant) life. But, we must deal with the reality that following Christ is a faith risk lifestyle. We will be at odds with others because not everyone will be a believer in God and seek to live according to His Word. But, standing confidently in faith, hope and love with Christ by our side will see us through what David called “the valley of the shadow of death in the presence of my enemies and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever.”

“Let HIM be seen in the mighty men of 2016.”

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

* For protection and comfort as terrorism continues to mar the face of humanity now with a hijacking
* For God’s definitive word on this country’s political agenda and future being transformed into a godly mandate that glorifies God and meets the needs of others instead of man’s agenda leading to the Abomination of Desolation
* For the end of the ISIS regime and the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ into all the nations of the earth
* For the homeless, including the innocent refugees from Syria, and destitute as the season definitely changes and challenges all
* For family and friends battling cancer and dementia at all stages of life and those seeking to be their caregivers and those who are their families
* 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 Mozambique
* 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 and comfort to our parents who are struggling with their new realities; freedom for a family member struggling with a current job; wisdom to know truth and relate it adequately; the needs of my coalition

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

* A positive opportunity has presented itself to Lisa
* A work expectation completion nears and only by the power of God can it be achieved; I am believing for a new work assignment for my wife and I that will serve God’s people well; what others mean for harm God is turning to good
* Continuing to survive challenges placed before us at work knowing God has something more in store for us for His glory; abundant harvest now ready to receive the harvesters
* God is preparing us for our next ministry with current conditions
* 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 faith be or strength and the incentive to show our courage to be disciples of the gospel in the name of Jesus, our beloved, by whom we live, serve and pray. AMEN.

Hmmm…

March 28, 2016

March 28, 2016

We are all children of God worthy of love and praise and His presence. Make every effort to bring God’s blessing to rest on His children and enjoy the blessing that has been given to you as you share it with them.

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HIS WORD for TODAY:

Mark 10.13b-14

“…but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, He was indignant. He said to them, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.'”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

In the King James translation of this passage Jesus says “Suffer the little children unto me.” It is more than allow the children to come into the presence of Jesus but make the effort of doing all the disciples could to see that the children are able to do so. There is no age limit as to who can receive the Kingdom of God. God cares about all His children from young to old. In the thinking of the Sadducees, who did not believe in life after death, the hope of “eternal” life was based on creating a legacy that would be passed on from generation to generation. It would be important to honor and protect the children who were committed to their care. But, Jesus was concerned for more than mere legacies. The blessings of the Kingdom belong to those who share them. Children want to receive. What they truly want to receive is love and acceptance.

The problem in every age is the definition of what it means to love. Is it tolerance? Is it spoiling? Is it endurance? Is it building up their identity in the presence of God and teaching them the ways of the Lord so that they will not wander far from it? I smile at the image of Tim Allen in “Santa Clause” as children flock to him wherever he goes. They sense something in him that said “someone knows and cares.” The children, and their parents, must have sensed that in Jesus. Who doesn’t want their children to be blessed and have a life that exceeds their own? So, Jesus welcomed those who wanted their children to be blessed.

The question for us as mighty men is certainly about how we are sharing the blessings of God given to us with His children. Regardless of the age of a person, they are a child of God worthy of His presence, His love and His blessing. It is on those who believe that Jesus is the Christ so not hinder them from receiving that blessing but to empower the opportunity by making clear lanes for them to get to God. Isn’t that what Jesus has done for us?

“Let HIM be seen in the mighty men of 2016.”

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

* For protection and comfort as terrorism continues to mar the face of humanity
* For God’s definitive word on this country’s political agenda and future being transformed into a godly mandate that glorifies God and meets the needs of others instead of man’s agenda leading to the Abomination of Desolation
* For the end of the ISIS regime and the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ into all the nations of the earth
* For the homeless, including the innocent refugees from Syria, and destitute as the season definitely changes and challenges all
* For family and friends battling cancer and dementia at all stages of life and those seeking to be their caregivers and those who are their families
* 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 Morocco
* 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 and comfort to our parents who are struggling with their new realities; freedom for a family member struggling with a current job; wisdom to know truth and relate it adequately; the needs of my coalition

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

* A positive opportunity has presented itself to Lisa
* A work expectation completion nears and only by the power of God can it be achieved; I am believing for a new work assignment for my wife and I that will serve God’s people well; what others mean for harm God is turning to good
* Continuing to survive challenges placed before us at work knowing God has something more in store for us for His glory; abundant harvest now ready to receive the harvesters
* God is preparing us for our next ministry with current conditions
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, Your children are glad to be welcomed in your Presence to receive the outpouring of Your heart and the indwelling of Your love in the name of Jesus, our beloved, by whom we live, serve and pray. AMEN.

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Hmmm…

March 27, 2016

March 27, 2016

There are some days when this is all we need to know… Jesus is alive just as He said it would be. God has raised Him to life with His powerful love and brings hope to our lives by raising our hopes to a guaranteed promise. Believe in Him who believes in you and enjoy the thrill of hope fulfilled.

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2159

Today is EASTER… God’s revelation of eternal life to a world that feared ceaseless death. The power of His love overcomes all things proved by raising His Son from the dead sealing the promise of our life with Him if we would accept His proof as truth!

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Mark 10.5-9

“‘It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,’ Jesus replied. ‘But at the beginning of creation God made [man in His image] them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So there are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.'”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

It is Easter Sunday. It is Resurrection Sunday. Today, the Christian world verifies the truth of the power of God’s love as He raised Jesus from the dead. That truth bears fruit to all believers which springs up as eternal life in His presence. We are enjoying the fruits of His labor of love. It did not come without sacrifice even on the part of God. God sacrificed His Only begotten Son to the horrific death of crucifixion so that those who would believe Jesus is the Messiah and receive the blessing of eternal forgiveness upon their profession of faith will live forever with Him in the Kingdom of God. Easter is the story of ultimate reconciliation. This was the earthly ministry of Jesus- reconciliation. Reconciliation is bringing two parties who were separated from each other together and make them as one.

Max Lucado wrote “There is a definite difference between betrayal and betrothal. Betrayal is the forsaking of a promise. Betrothal is the promise to live as one forever.” Jesus, the Bridegroom, and the Church, the Bride, are betrothed. The beginning of Jesus’ earthly life started with a betrothal of two unlikely people, Mary and Joseph. It was because of Mary’s innocent faith in a loving God in the midst of her desperate situation that she was chosen by God to bear His Son in her womb. It was because of Joseph’s strength of faith in God that moved him to remain betrothed to Mary when the world would have cried out “betrayal.” Even at the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry we see the drama between betrayal and betrothal played out in Judas, Peter and even Thomas the doubter. Two were reconciled and one suffered under the burden of guilt, shame and unrepentance. It was the power of love that brought Peter and Thomas back to right relationship. Not their love, mind you, but the love of Jesus. It was something that Judas would not allow himself to experience. He believed his betrayal called off all ties to his betrothed.

In one dark moment on the cross, Jesus was tempted by the weight of our sin to consider that God has abandoned Him and, in essence, betrayed Him. This is what sin can do to a man and a woman. Sin wants to declare that God has abandoned them and left them with no hope. In that state of hopelessness they lose sight of their betrothed. Oh, that we would think our betrothed is just our spouse. Yet, Easter has proven the prophetic truth of much more. If our betrothed is only our spouse then we have missed the full beauty of our relationship. When we marry we declare the reconciliation of those who were betrayed by Satan with the betrothal of Jesus Christ. It was because of His devotion to His Bride, the Church, that He left His father and mother and committed Himself fully to His Bride. He laid down His life for Her so that She might live, unblemished and sanctified by His own blood, and has gone to prepare a place for them to dwell in a honeymoon that will never end.

Yes, divorce was allowed because of the hardness of our hearts. But, it was never God who divorced us but we who divorced Him. When we took on the living of life by our own efforts and terms, we dismissed God’s hold on us. We betrayed our betrothed. He already had committed Himself to us. And He has been faithful to His love for us since that first unholy day. But, Easter declares our reconciliation. The Bride can return and the Bridegroom can once again take her into His arms just as God intended from the first.

Mighty men, there is life in the celebration of Easter. It is the life of reunification, the restatement of our vows to put aside the betrayal of sin and take on the joy of being united with God in Jesus Christ whose love for us has no end.

“Let HIM be seen in the mighty men of 2016.”

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 on this Holy Weekend beginning with Good Friday and concluding with Resurrection Sunday
* For protection and comfort as terrorism continues to mar the face of humanity
* For God’s definitive word on this country’s political agenda and future being transformed into a godly mandate that glorifies God and meets the needs of others instead of man’s agenda leading to the Abomination of Desolation
* For the end of the ISIS regime and the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ into all the nations of the earth
* For the homeless, including the innocent refugees from Syria, and destitute as the season definitely changes and challenges all
* For family and friends battling cancer and dementia at all stages of life and those seeking to be their caregivers and those who are their families
* 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 Montserrat
* 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 and comfort to our parents who are struggling with their new realities; freedom for a family member struggling with a current job; wisdom to know truth and relate it adequately; the needs of my coalition

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

* A work expectation has been lifted for a time; I am believing for a new work assignment for my wife and I that will serve God’s people well; what others mean for harm God is turning to good
* Continuing to survive challenges placed before us at work knowing God has something more in store for us for His glory; abundant harvest now ready to receive the harvesters
* God is preparing us for our next ministry with current conditions
* 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 made it possible for us to come back to You and live with You forever in the name of Jesus, our beloved, by whom we live, serve and pray. AMEN.

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