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April 14, 2017

April 14, 2017

Jesus truly gave His all on the cross so that we can receive all of Him in spirit and in truth and live authentic lives.

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2392

Let us be the BEST we have ever been as 2017 mighty men!

HIS WORD for TODAY as we reach the Good Friday of Holy Week

Matthew 27.50

“And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.'”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

The crucifixion was never meant to be a sight to behold. There those who stayed at the cross because of their great love for Jesus. There were those who stayed at the cross to make sure those who were crucified that day died before dusk. There were others there who stayed at the cross who were cemented in bitterness that Jesus was ever born and ever came to Jerusalem. There was one who stayed at the cross so that we would never have to die an eternal death and His name is Jesus.

Think on two things for a moment. One is the horrific beating and scourging that Jesus submitted to. His body was literally torn to shreds. His lose of blood was unimaginable. Yet, those who are blood donors know that only real blood can be transfused to supply another life with much needed blood. In truth, Jesus bled out the blessing of life so that all who would be believe would be saved by the blood of the Lamb of God. He gave His all to that we all might be saved. And when the Roman soldier pierced His side to see if He was truly dead the last remaining drop of blood spilled out. Jesus left it all on the field of faith.

Think also of this. As Jesus took His last breath He called out to His Heavenly Father “It is finished. Into Your Hands I commit My Spirit.” Not only did Jesus die a physical death but He totally emptied Himself of all Life. He held nothing back but gave His spiritual being up for us as well. He surrendered all of His Spirit to God so that His Spirit could become ours when we confess His as Lord and Savior. We cannot live forever with an artificial spirit. Many try to extend life and overcome obstacles with artificial spirits such as drugs, alcohol or other addictive things. But, only by the Spirit of Christ can we live forever.

Yes, Jesus gave His all for all of us. He offered His life, bodily and spiritually, so that we might live in the fullness of life. This is the gift of Easter offered on Good Friday. Without this Good Friday gift there could be no Resurrection blessing which comes from God alone. Mighty men, have we surrendered our all? I know I haven’t and am convicted by this writing as well. It is time for us all to have a Good Friday so that we can enjoy the Best Sunday.

“Let us be the best we have ever been as 2017 mighty men.”

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

* For those leading God’s people in worship this Easter weekend
* For the peace that is in this Holy Week to reign supreme in the midst of the challenges presented by those who wish to speak through violence such as the ISIS attacks on the Church in Egypt
* For wisdom among the world’s leaders as tensions in Syria have escalated and is demanding a global response; 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, NECC, our new small group and the people of Mexico
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends healing, reconciliation and wisdom- especially for Tom Jensen; for needs of my family now that far exceed our ability to handle on our own and comfort to our parents who are committed to their new realities; wisdom to know the truth and relate it adequately; for guidance in a difficult financial situation; relief from pain for my wife and myself and for the strengthening of our relationship with one another and God; courage and healing for a family member battling several issues

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

* We have a loving God who speaks to us in all seasons of life reminding us we should do the same to Him
* God continues to provide prosperity at 5226 as I trust Him in so doing and give thanks praying for sufficient and proficient employees and the wisdom to meld a team spirit by staying humble before God and co-workers
* God is preparing me for our next ministry with current conditions to learn to walk more humbly and in peace
* 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 give ourselves in the name of Jesus by whom we pray, live and worship here on earth as it is in Heaven. AMEN.

Hmmm…

April 10, 2017

April 10, 2017

Through all the circumstances of our lives Christ has been preparing us for the moments we find ourselves in at every step. Stay focused on your purpose, your relationship and His truth which helps us to live faithfully in those moments whether we understand them or not. Jesus is our way, our truth and our life.

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2391

Let us be the BEST we have ever been as 2017 mighty men!

HIS WORD for TODAY as we begin Holy Week

Matthew 20.20-23

“Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of Him. ‘What is it you want?’ He asked. She said, ‘Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.’ ‘You don’t know what you are asking,’ Jesus replied and turned to the brothers and asked them. ‘Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?’ ‘We can,’ they answered. Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from My cup, but to sit at My right or left in Heaven is not for Me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by My Father.'”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Are we accepting the preparation by God for our future on earth as it will be in Heaven? Jesus had been preparing the disciples for their moment in His final Passover celebration until He would return to them in the fullness of God’s time. We know, as we read through the scriptures of all the events preceding and during and following His crucifixion, that it would seem they were not prepared; such as-

1. Judas betrayed Jesus to the Temple leadership. But, if Judas had not been exposed to the power of the Messiah then He would not have had the confidence to do what Jesus said he must do and to do it quickly. Yes, he took his own life as he realized that Jesus was truly not going to overtake the religious-political power and was going to lay down His own life for the salvation of others. Overthrowing cannot have its ultimate power to change if the change does not happen first in spirit and in truth.

2. Peter denied Jesus three times during those early morning hours in which Jesus was tried by both Jewish and Roman leadership leading to His being brutalized and ultimately crucified. But, if Peter had not been prepared to continue to seek God’s forgiveness and hold fast to his deep relationship with Jesus then Jesus’ appearance to Him and the others after the crucifixion would not have its fullest impact. Yes, he fell back to his default behavior of finding his peace while fishing. But, that was only the physical expression of dealing with grief. His mind, undoubtedly, did not wander far from deep thoughts of Jesus who called him out of the fishing for fish mentality to the fishing for men reality. If Peter had not felt the emptiness of his past life he would not be able to truly embrace the fullness of his future life.

3. The disciples hid in fear of being put to death as well. But, if they had not hid then who knows what would have happened as the sheep without a shepherd would be scattered. Only Thomas wandered from their hiding place as he dealt with grief in his own way. But, he knew where they were and when word came to him that Jesus had appeared to those who hid together he came too. If the disciples had not been molded into a team then the establishment of the church in its missionary function would have been more difficult. They were men whose only team identity was Jesus. Jesus prepared them to be together so that when they would be scattered in the Great Commission it would be with a living Christ and resurrected Shepherd.

Mighty men, troubled times may be impacting your life. In fact, because the world is tainted by sin perpetrated by Satan’s desire to defeat God’s people, troubled times will continue to be a part of our living experience. But, we have been prepared to deal with these times by a Savior who calls us to a greater purpose, by a Savior who is our faithful and unending friend and by a Savior who gives reality to the Body of Christ- the Church where all believers can gather in the presence of the risen Lord. Keep focused on these truths and when He appears to you in His resurrection life will be more easily lived in the midst of chaos with the peace that endures forever in spirit and in truth.

“Let us be the best we have ever been as 2017 mighty men.”

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

* For the peace that is in this Holy Week to reign supreme in the midst of the challenges presented by those who wish to speak through violence such as the ISIS attacks on the Church in Egypt
* For wisdom among the world’s leaders as tensions in Syria have escalated and is demanding a global response; 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, NECC, our new small group and the people of Mayotte
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends healing, reconciliation and wisdom- especially for Tom Jensen; for needs of my family now that far exceed our ability to handle on our own and comfort to our parents who are committed to their new realities; wisdom to know the truth and relate it adequately; for guidance in a difficult financial situation; relief from pain for my wife and myself and for the strengthening of our relationship with one another and God; courage and healing for a family member battling several issues

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

* We have a loving God who speaks to us in all seasons of life reminding us we should do the same to Him
* God continues to provide prosperity at 5226 as I trust Him in so doing and give thanks praying for sufficient and proficient employees and the wisdom to meld a team spirit by staying humble before God and co-workers
* God is preparing me for our next ministry with current conditions to learn to walk more humbly and in peace
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, we come to You seeking meaning, purpose, truth and life. You have answered us in the name of Jesus by whom we pray, live and worship here on earth as it is in Heaven. AMEN.

Hmmm…

April 9, 2017

April 9, 2017

What are we asking for of Jesus when it comes to our future? Are we willing to follow Christ all the way to Jerusalem and Golgatha? Or we far enough for a taste of new wine without giving away too much of ourselves?

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2390

Let us be the BEST we have ever been as 2017 mighty men!

HIS WORD for TODAY as we begin Holy Week

Matthew 20.20-23

“Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of Him. ‘What is it you want?’ He asked. She said, ‘Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.’ ‘You don’t know what you are asking,’ Jesus replied and turned to the brothers and asked them. ‘Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?’ ‘We can,’ they answered. Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from My cup, but to sit at My right or left in Heaven is not for Me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by My Father.'”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

On the road to Jerusalem, perhaps with the temple gleaming in the distance visible for all to see, we hear the Passion prediction from Jesus a third time. What an interesting lesson is taught to the disciples inspired by the mother of the Sons of Thunder- James and John. We, too, might miss the fullest meaning of Jesus’ response if we were standing on their side of the cross of Calvary. There is no Golgotha visible to the disciples from that vantage point. There is, however, the hope of the Passover which said “Next year in Jerusalem.” Many followers of Jesus, including the disciples, and well as His naysayers, saw the opportunity for an overthrow of the Old Covenant way of living. It wasn’t just any Jerusalem they saw gladly or feared. It was the Messianic Jerusalem where Israel would be justified, the Messiah glorified and the Kingdom of God on earth amplified before all the world. Under the leadership of the Messianic King, Prophet and Priest, Israel would be truly invincible and all nations would bow down in fealty and fear. Jesus was going to make their history forgotten and their future a reality. And it would be so, just not the way they imagined.

But, standing on this side of the Cross with the Resurrection truth a reality, we can better see what Jesus was trying to teach His disciples and the generations of believers to follow. It is significant for me that Jesus speaks of “the cup” as His cup. The cup would be visible in the Last Supper as they would celebrate the Passover meal. The cup was undeniable as Jesus points out Judas as the betrayer because they would share the dipping of the bread into the cup at the same time. The cup was spilled as the Roman soldier lifted a sponge dipped in wine vinegar to Jesus’ lips to slake His thirst. Yes, the disciples and His followers would indeed drink the cup of Christ symbolizing the Advent of Passover as well as its Epiphany yet to come. For Jesus says “I will not drink from this cup again until I drink it new with you in the Kingdom to come.” How wonderful would it be if two thousand years ago the Kingdom of Christ climaxed with a claim to earthly power and the institution of the Church overtook the Temple? The disciples would rule in power, dominion and authority much like the knights of the Arthur and the round table. But, while the cup of sacrifice and death could be shared by the disciples (and many would know exactly that) the Kingdom of God positions belonged to God’s choice alone. Only Christ would die for the forgiveness of all men’s sins. He, in essence, took our cup and drank it all Himself just as our Heavenly Father had determined for our salvation.

And so begins our journey in this Passover 2017. It begins with Jesus taking it all in only to find that God’s promise of salvation and new life would be realized as He gave it all away.

“Let us be the best we have ever been as 2017 mighty men.”

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

* For those leading God’s people in worship, praise and service this weekend
* For wisdom among the world’s leaders as tensions in Syria have escalated and is demanding a global response; 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, NECC, our new small group and the people of Mauritius
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends healing, reconciliation and wisdom- especially for Tom Jensen; for needs of my family now that far exceed our ability to handle on our own and comfort to our parents who are committed to their new realities; wisdom to know the truth and relate it adequately; for guidance in a difficult financial situation; relief from pain for my wife and myself and for the strengthening of our relationship with one another and God; courage and healing for a family member battling several issues

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

* We have a loving God who speaks to us in all seasons of life reminding us we should do the same to Him
* God continues to provide prosperity at 5226 as I trust Him in so doing and give thanks praying for sufficient and proficient employees and the wisdom to meld a team spirit by staying humble before God and co-workers
* God is preparing me for our next ministry with current conditions to learn to walk more humbly and in peace
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, as we come into this season of remembrance of how our eternal life came to be let us drink it all in so that we can give it all away so that others will come to know their eternal life as well in the name of Jesus by whom we pray, live and worship here on earth as it is in Heaven. AMEN.