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2395

June 4, 2017

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

HIS WORD for TODAY

Joel 2. 28, 29

“It will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all humankind; your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams and your young men will see visions- even upon your servants, both male and female, I will pour out My Spirit in those days!”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

There cannot be a forgotten generation! We here the call in most churches for the “next” generation. No child should be left behind. But, I would challenge each mighty man to be sure that they are not a part of a left behind generation. We each are a child of God as well as a man of God by faith. Some men we know are newborn into the faith of Jesus Christ. They do not know all they should know; as if any of us do. But, the next generation cannot be bound by age. Rather it should be bound by relationship- our relationship with Jesus Christ our Lord. He, too, is a Son of God. He is the First Son, first born of the born again, the first fruits of the gospel. He sowed the seeds of the gospel into the hearts and minds of many disciples. The seed itself was the Word of God who is none other than Jesus Christ. He was planting Himself into the heart, mind, soul, spirit and lives of each believer and seeker of truth. “He is,” as John declared with the words of Jesus, “the Way, the Truth and the Life.” It causes me to pause and consider that God sent His Son into the world because the world was one generation away from living as a forgotten generation. If He did not intervene into the history of humanity then it quite possibly would have been a silence in Israel, and from Jerusalem, that would have deafened faith.

Indeed, upon the death of Jesus by crucifixion and His burial in a sealed tomb, Satan and his followers rejoiced believing they had seen the end of God’s people. The death of Jesus on the Cross would have been the straw that broke the lion’s back. The Lion of Judah would roar no more. The power of man, empowered by Satan, would rule triumphant albeit for a limited time. And it was limited. It was less than seventy-two hours later that the seed, the Word of God- Jesus, planted into the earth and covered over with the tears of the “then generation” sprouted anew into a living reality that would never be overcome. It was at that moment that the world began moving one step closer to the end of the “next” forgotten generation- the generation of those ruled by Satan! Their time is limited. We are experiencing the birth pangs of the birth of the Bride of Christ and the death pangs of the Enemy of Christ- Satan.

And in those days, God will pour out His Spirit upon the righteous next generation- the age of the Church. And it is a relational generational Church that is empowered by the Spirit of God. It is not bound by human understanding of generation (20-40 years) but an age where sons and daughters will speak the truth in love; the old men will share great dreams of revelation; the young men will be given bold visions and even the servants of the elect, both man and woman, will receive the blessing of the Holy Spirit and find equal opportunity in grace to stand before the Throne of God justified and redeemed and washed by the blood of the Lamb.

It is with this in mind that I challenge the men, and women, of the “now” generation of the Church to take a bold stand to declare the acceptable Day of the Lord, the blessed gift of Salvation which comes God through Christ alone and to make disciples in all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Remember, if it were not for the “now” generation there would be no “next” generation. And in this, we celebrate Immanuel- God with us (NOW). He is not a God that lived only in the past. He is not a God who will exist with us only in the future. He is a God who dwells among His people now through faith- His in us and ours in Him.

“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 weekend
* For the Spirit of rest to swallow up unrest in our heart, mind, soul and spirit and throughout our circle of influence
* 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 Namibia
* 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; wisdom to know the truth and relate it adequately; for guidance in a difficult financial situation

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, in the name of Jesus by whom we pray, live and worship here on earth as it is in Heaven so that we may be more like Heaven here on earth, we open our hearts, mind, spirit and soul to Your overcoming outpouring of the Holy Spirit to make a difference now for the next generation because Your Will endures forever. AMEN.

2394

May 28, 2017

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

HIS WORD for TODAY

John 3.16, 17 (paraphrased)

“For God so loved this world that He gave and sent His only Son to it with the promise that those who would believe in Him would not perish but have everlasting life. This Son, Jesus, came into the world not to condemn it but to bring salvation to it according to God’s purpose and desire!'”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Today, I am wrestling with an image inspired by a conversation I read between a father and his son who have a separation between them that seems impossible to resolve this side of heaven. I share my thoughts with you because someone who will read this may be going through a similar situation in his (or her) life.

Imagine telling God that you are just fine and attempts to stay in touch with you is “just silly stuff.” Do we dare believe that God really responds to our contention that there is no need to stay in touch with us? Can we afford to allow this contention become contentious? The problem, you see, is not with God. It is a human problem and a spiritual concern. The manifestation of such a problem and concern does indeed have mortal contemporary affect as well, I think, as it does a spiritual eternal effect. Do we dare believe that we can go to a different Heaven than the one God inhabits? Do we think that we are granted a place of separation in Heaven from those against whom we contend? Or from whom we hold contentious feelings and thoughts?

I am glad to worship a God, our Heavenly Father, who does not lose sight of us. I am glad to be in relationship with a God, my Heavenly Father, who continues to make His presence known to me for my sake even if I dared to entertain the thought that I don’t need Him as a constant in my life. Now, I know that Satan, the ultimate fallen angel, does entertain this thought and practices this reality. He has determined for himself that he neither needs God nor any reminders of God’s presence. Fortunately, for us, God does remind him of His presence. Even His Son, Jesus, went into the Devil’s lair and preached the opportunity of freedom from the spiritual bondage which Satan entangled them- or believed he had. And Satan needs God or else there would be no tension to use in influencing humanity to believe in him. Satan’s greatest weapon is to play off the reality that there is a God and that God doesn’t have power nor concern. If there was no God there would be no Satan. Oh, indeed, Satan needs the reality of God and God’s persistence of grace and the hope of both redemption and salvation. Oh, how we need that as well. If there was no God then we would not exist. And if we did exist, and there was no God, there would be little hope for a life of true meaning and purpose. We would have to settle for less.

Thank you, o Theophilus, for allowing me to weave through these thoughts. Why would I settle for less than redemption, reconciliation, salvation and grace? Why would I find it beneficial to keep my father, earthly and heavenly, at a distance and go so far as to push him or Him further away? Perhaps it would be, as it may for this son and father I am praying for, that to keep a distance allows one and the other from dealing with the real issues that separate them from each other. We all will have to deal with these issues at one time or another. How much better to do it now with the Spirit of grace and truth which leads to physical and spiritual healing than to stand before the Throne of God and the Judgment Seat of the Lamb and bear the consequences of defying the Spirit which has been at work all along to effect and affect our lives for peace, love and joy!

“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 weekend
* 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 Myanmar
* 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; wisdom to know the truth and relate it adequately; for guidance in a difficult financial situation

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 so that we may be more like Heaven on earth. AMEN.

2393

May 21, 2017

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

HIS WORD for TODAY

Revelation 21.3-5b

“And I heard a loud voice from the throne of Heaven saying ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among His people and He will dwell with them. They will be His people and He will be their God for He Himself is with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain- for the old order of things will have [forever] passed away.’ And He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!'”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

It has been five weeks since I have been able to focus long enough to share what God has put on my heart and in my head to offer to those who might take the time to read and let God lead. I muster my faith and strength to make it to work each day. It continues to be a trial out of which I am supposed to be learning something more about myself and my relation with others. I make it home most evenings so exhausted and hurting that it takes more energy to rest than it seemed to work. It certainly has challenged priorities and I freely admit that one of those has suffered and I from it- sharing the Word which God has given me each day. It is not that I do not read His Word. I begin each day there, then pray and worship on my way to work with the intention to be a blessing to God and a help to others. I have been blessed with a godly wife, family and friends who continue to pray and support me as I go through each day believing an answer to my situation will present itself. Some days are far more difficult than others.

So, I gather myself today with the Word of God which was shared with the Church first to the people of God under his direction. In the body he was bound as a prisoner on Patmos. In Spirit and in Truth he was free to be carried to Heaven to see the future and then returned to earth to scribe what was revealed so that they and we can embrace it. Some of the Revelation is difficult to understand because of the cryptic, theatric and contextual language. But, the Word which was given from the Throne of Heaven in today’s reading is not difficult and is most welcome. “Behold, I am making all things new.” What a day that will be. How many of us pray for newness to come on us in our here and now? Yep, most every hand is raised. But, that is not the reality for everyone, including myself. At least it isn’t yet. But, there will be a day coming what all things will be made new. It is that Day of the Lord which is eternal in the heavens. Those who declare that Jesus is Lord and accept, as well as profess, Him as Savior and Son of God will know that newness which will never been challenged, will never change and will remain a reality forever. God has promised it, Jesus has sealed the promise with His own blood and the Holy Spirit continues to remind us of it day after day- especially on those difficult days.

So, I accept the truth of God’s Word. Life in this world is not always going to be easy. That is a truth many can attest to. But, Jesus has made it possible for us to know that God is always with us, never apart from us and forever for us. And if God is with us and for us then nothing can separate us nor stand victorious over us as if God is defeated. God will never be defeated. He is the victor already over life in spirit and in truth. I am glad to share that God desires to make us new. He only asks that we renew our thoughts and actions daily to expose the promise of His love, mercy and grace to a world that has not yet accepted the newness which is theirs in Christ Jesus!

So, whether sick or well, poor or rich, weak or strength, weary or confident or on the paradigm of other realities in this world- God is still with us and giving us the opportunity to let it be known we are still with Him. We need no evidence to present other than the Word of God in our lives not bound by any situation other than the empty cross and the empty grave.

“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 weekend
* 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 Myanmar
* 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; wisdom to know the truth and relate it adequately; for guidance in a difficult financial situation

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.

2392

April 14, 2017

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.

2391

April 10, 2017

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.

2390

April 9, 2017

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.

2389

March 17, 2017

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

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Colossians 3.5-10

“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in the knowledge of the image of its Creator.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

As we strive to be the mighty men of God we know we are engaged in a battle of wills- will we or won’t we. Alone and by our own efforts we will try, our victory will be for a time but we will fall back into the practices and promises of the flesh. But, as we are bound to Christ and His Spirit dwells in us, we will find a strength of character and the promise of forgiveness which will lead us to eternal victory. In this world, we still feel the burden of shame and guilt. It can cause our eyes to see judgment when we see Jesus. But, in the kingdom of God on earth as it is in Heaven we see the compassion and mercy that is ours.

It is in this compassion and mercy that we find ourselves being renewed and made over in His image. We regain our stature of boldness and confidence which comes only from joining with Christ in the walk of faith. Yes, we will still need to kneel in prayer seeking renewed and continued forgiveness. But, the hand of God is on us not to hold us down but to lift us up. The is the same hand we are to offer one another. As mighty men of God, our image is one of offering forgiveness in Jesus Christ to others. Our image is one of seeking reconciliation. Our image is one of declaring the acceptable day of the Lord, making straight paths and walking humbly before God.

“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 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, NECC, our new small group and the people of Mauritania
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends healing, reconciliation and wisdom- especially for Tom Jensen; for a new job placement that aligns with God’s purpose intended for me not to be in struggle; 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 truth and relate it adequately; for guidance in a difficult financial situation; physical and mental healing of my stepmother and my dad; 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, may we always feel your hand upon us in love and mercy. May our walk be as one whose hand is extended to others for their uplifting in the name of Jesus by whom we pray, live and worship here on earth as it is in Heaven. AMEN.

2388

March 10, 2017

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

HIS WORD for TODAY:

1 John 4.4

“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome those whose spirit is of the world, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

This is our rock solid claim to the future- that the One who is in us, Jesus Christ, is far greater than the one who is in the world, Satan. But we have invited Jesus into our heart, mind and soul and He has not turned down the invitation. He has made us to be as one with Him because His spirit is in us. That means our faith future started the day we asked Him to be Lord of our Lives. We do not need to wait until tomorrow because it became a part of our today. And for all those who are still looking for tomorrow when all things will be made right and can be made new their tomorrow can start today as well. Instead of pursuing the future, we need only to live it today.

How do we do that?

1. Walk by faith and not by sight. There is no falsehood in the Word and presence of God. We may not see what is coming next but we know the One who holds our future in His Hand. He has already provided for our needs and welfare beginning with our salvation and then our ministry.

2. Stay focused on God’s Word. His Word is the truth and that truth continues to set us free. In His Word we will find the instructions for a successful life, the means of living it out day by day and the promise of fulfillment which comes be walking in His Word as well as walking it out in the world.

3) We never believe we are alone. Jesus promised His disciples that as He was going to be with the Father the Holy Spirit would come to dwell among them. The Holy Spirit would work in them to help perfect and protect them. The Holy Spirit would work through them to accomplish the “greater things will you do than I have done.” Satan, on the other hand, wants to convince us that we are alienated and isolated beyond the reach of God. There is no place where God cannot reach us in this world. His Holy Spirit is our comforter, our guide and our promise.

Keep this truth alive in your heart, soul and mind, mighty men. Proclaim the day of the Lord today and always. As you do that then you will experience the abundance of life as God has purposed and promised.

“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 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, NECC, our new small group and the people of Martinique
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends healing, reconciliation and wisdom- especially for Tom Jensen; for a new job placement that aligns with God’s purpose intended for me not to be in struggle; 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 truth and relate it adequately; for guidance in a difficult financial situation; physical and mental healing of my stepmother and my dad; 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, thank You for not only sharing the promise of new life but making good on it in the name of Jesus by whom we pray, live and worship here on earth as it is in Heaven. AMEN.

2387

February 26, 2017

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

HIS WORD for TODAY:

1 John 4.9

“This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

His name is “Immanuel” which means “God with us.” And the elder John declared this truth in today’s Word as he said “This is how God showed His love among us.” How many people do you know who ask “Where is God?” Generally, the question is asked when bad things are happening to “good” people such as a failed marriage, the death of a loved one, persistent illness or the loss of a job. The faulty reasoning behind this question is “wherever God is there is never trouble or disasters.” This is the tendency of thinking God is near or far from us as if we are the center of all live and thinking. However, when such situations arise we need to put God at the center and ask ourselves “Where are we?” How close to God do we stay? Or are we like the wandering lamb or the prodigal son who venture out beyond where we think God is. We do this for our own benefit and not for the glory of God.

But, in truth, Jesus Christ, Immanuel, is the abiding presence of God in the world. This is how God’s love is shown among us. I am not speaking of merely between us but in the midst of us. God is an ever-present help in times of trouble. His love endures forever. But, without a true relationship with God which is based on being close to the God who is always close to us then the depth of sin and sorrow can sink to the level of Hell which is the ultimate separation from God. And this world is not Hell. It certainly may feel like it from time to time but that is only when we find ourselves far from God. It is not because God is not with us. He is always with us and this we know because Jesus came into the world not only to walk with us but to die for us so that we might live with Him forever.

Jesus, Immanuel, the Christ and Messiah, is our guarantee of a God who is never far from us regardless of the situation in which we find ourselves. And if we will admit and confess that God is with us in times that are good or bad then we will find the strength, courage, wisdom and humility to live in and through that situation. As long as we are citizens of the world there will always be trouble because sin still roams the earth like a roaring lion ready to devour those who are weak. And if we are far from God then we indeed are weak. But, if we recognize that God is not only with us but near to us then in our moment of weakness His strength will prevail. And in those times when we are strong and we say that God is with us then in our moment of strength we become a blessing to others and a glory to God. Recognize, mighty men, that if in our times of strength we take the credit instead of giving it to God then we fall into weakness called arrogance and conceit. Fortunately, God’s love is with us even then waiting to bring healing and wisdom upon our confession of wrong actions and/or thinking and our profession of faith that Jesus alone is the Christ and the deliverer of the sinner to become a saint.

It is in and through Christ alone, the essence of God’s love, that we can have life and have it abundantly. This is the way that God desires it for all His children beginning with Christ and continuing through you and me. And when we model that wisdom and right relationship it becomes possible for others to see it and come to desire it for themselves. And when they do, then God will not be far off but a very present help in times of trouble as well as that presence of joy in times of peace.

“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 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, NECC and the people of Malta
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends healing, reconciliation and wisdom- especially for Tom Jensen; for a new job placement that aligns with God’s purpose intended for me not to be in struggle; 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 truth and relate it adequately; for guidance in a difficult financial situation; physical and mental healing of my stepmother and my dad; 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, thank You for never being far from us and allowing us to draw near to You without fear or dread in the name of Jesus by whom we pray, live and worship here on earth as it is in Heaven. AMEN.

2386

February 13, 2017

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

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Isaiah 49.7

“This is what the Lord says— the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel— to Him who was despised and abhorred by the nation, to the servant of rulers: ‘Kings will see You and stand up, princes will see and bow down, because of the Lord, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen You.'”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Isaiah had gone into the temple to pray and seek the comfort of God’s presence in a time of grief for himself and a nation upon the death of King Uzziah. It was a difficult time for everyone in the transition of leadership. The history of Israel’s kings had more low points in it than high. I can only imagine a “what’s next” mentality was on the heart, mind and spirit of all those in Israel. Little did Isaiah know when he entered the temple to offer sacrifices and petitions that what he was seeking was about to happen. He wanted the presence of God to be real and transforming. What he received was the real presence of God. That vision was transforming changing “a man with unclean lips among a people of unclean lips” into a prophet of God for Israel and all the world.

Powerfully, the transformation included the prophetic description of the Messiah who was yet to come. The prophets of God were purposeful in their work because they laid the foundation of faith upon which the Messiah would build His community of faith- the Church. In each of the prophets we can see an inkling of what was yet to come. Each one had received from God their share of the truth. They called the people into accountability and then gave them the opportunity to choose wisely to follow God. They gave them the consequences of deciding for or against following God. The depictions of those consequences left little to the imagination- it was black and white. In God there is no gray.

And for us, mighty men, there is the same truth and reality when we go into our place of prayer. We must be like Isaiah and seek the presence and the comfort of God. We must be ready to experience it and have no doubts. Jesus has shown us that we can access the Father in Heaven and He will be revealed to us. He will be revealed by the Holy Spirit of God. We will be given the truth that is needed for our lives so that we can continue to be transformed into the fullness of being the mighty men of God. We may feel unworthy but God has chosen us just as He chose the prophets and just as He chose His own Son to come into the world that we might know this truth about God and ourselves.

Isaiah gave us the truth of the coming Messiah at whose name every knee will bow and every tongue confess saying “He is Lord.” His name is Jesus and there is no other. There is no use in seeking any truth apart from God. We must be honest in our petition before God and wait upon His word for all of our situations. We must cover them with the prayer of faith and faithfulness. He will answer. He has already answered us and that answer waits for us to hear it and listen to it.

“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 a spirit of cooperation and collaboration between all people and those who lead them
* 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, NECC and the people of Mali
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends healing, reconciliation and wisdom- especially for Tom Jensen; for a new job placement that aligns with God’s purpose intended for me not to be in struggle; 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 truth and relate it adequately; for guidance in a difficult financial situation; physical and mental healing of my stepmother and my dad; relief from pain for my wife and myself (as I wait for the next series of tests and work through another bout of rough days) 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 before You in this time of prayer and reflection to receive the truth we each need. We commit ourselves to not lead You by our desires but to be led by You in Your desire for our lives. We will walk by faith and faithfulness in the name of Jesus by whom we pray, live and worship here on earth as it is in Heaven. AMEN.

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