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August 27, 2017

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


” As He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him.  And a great storm developed on the sea so that the waves began to swamp the boat. But He was asleep.  So they came and woke Him up saying, “Lord, save us! We are about to die!” But He said to them, “Why are you cowardly, you people of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it was dead calm.  And the men were amazed and said, “What sort of person is this? Even the winds and the sea obey Him!”  (Matthew 8. 23-27)


Mighty men, why should we be surprised what God can do?  Whether we are apprehensive, anxious, fearful or at peace it seems our minds have the most difficult time fathoming the measure of God’s power, mercy and grace.  As often as we may repeat the promise of John 3.16 “For God so loved the world that He gave to us His only begotten Son in order that eternal life might be realized by all those who would believe in Him.”  God “so” loved the world.  You know what “so” means in this context.  As children, we often responded to such questions as “how much do you love me” with stretched out arms and a strenuous “sooooooo much.”  Jesus loved us “so” much, even though we were not yet born, that He stretched out His arms on the cross and declared with His willing sacrifice “so much.”  What power of will and strength of faith it must have taken for God and Jesus to demonstrate such desire as to save each one of us from the legacy and finality of death without mercy and grace!  If God in Christ and through Christ can do such a thing then why do we wonder and marvel at what else they can do because of their faith, hope and love for us and in us and through us and our faith in them.  Remember, mighty men, it takes only the faith as small as a mustard seed on our part to affect the blessing of such mercy and grace into our lives.

Equally so, it only takes that same kind and level of faith to impact the world in which we live.  It should be no more surprising to us, mighty men, that this is the truth than for us to believe in the God who has saved us.  This is the God who created the universe, the world and the life upon this earth out of chaos and nothingness.  If He can order the chaos into the awesomeness we experience today then He can certainly continue to act for His glory and on our behalf for the sake of our life on earth and for eternal peace in Heaven yet to come.  

And what of response to the movement and work of God toward us.  If we believe that Jesus was indeed the Christ and is Christ for us today then why do we marvel or question what else can be done?  It is not enough, mighty men, to be satisfied with our salvation.  Our salvation means nothing if we are not putting such faith as it takes to believe in Jesus the Christ into action!  Yes, as the Apostle Paul declared, “faith without works is dead.”  He did not teach that we needed works to be saved.  Rather, that because we are made new and actually improved then we, being akin to Christ who is the head of the Body- the Church and each of us members of that same body can do great things.  Jesus promised this to His disciples as He bestowed the blessing of the Holy Spirit upon them.  As they went out to preach the gospel and performed miracles bearing the Spirit as a cloak it should be no less moving when that same Spirit then became a part of the fabric of their lives at Pentecost.  It was no longer upon them.  It dwelt in them and they became as one just as Jesus was one with the Spirit as the Christ.

What does this say?  I believe it behooves us to center our attention upon whom we have become- ones in Christ.  We ought not center our attention upon ourselves in isolation in the world.  We are not alone.  Christ has made it possible for us to dwell as Immanuel- God with us.  With the power of God in us, around us and working through us we, too, can do great things.  It should not cause us to wonder or dwell forever in marvel.  It is meant to become our default reality as mighty men of God.  Practice the peace.  Practice the power.  Put into action the faith that has been given us so that God can be known personally to all those who are in our spheres of influence.

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 those who have been, are and will be impacted by Tropical Storm Harvey as rain and flooding persist for days to come
* For the victims and the families of the victims of this latest rash of killings across the world that they may have peace and comfort in their time of grief
* For Louisville, Kentuckiana, Goodwill, NECC (and their service to the education community of 31 campuses)  and the people of Norway
* 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 mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually; wisdom to know the truth and relate it adequately; for guidance in a difficult financial situation and wise counsel in seeking the proper doctor to diagnose my condition

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 us 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, You have already poured out Your Spirit upon and into our lives.  We pause now in reflection to allow that Spirit to become as active in us  in the name of Jesus by whom we pray, live and worship here on earth as it is in Heaven as it was in Jesus who is our Christ. AMEN.

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