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2398

July 20, 2017

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

HIS WORD for TODAY

1 John 1.7

“But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Just as God is love so God, too, is in the light. Not only is God in the light and He is the light and the light is in Him. So, John makes his declaration to the fellowship of believers that they must also endeavor to be and remain in the light. Why? Because it is the light of God which radiates healing to our body, mind and spirit. Yes, by the grace of God which raised Jesus from the dead and covers us with righteousness we are radiated to be purified of the disease which sin infects our lives. That disease manifests itself in discord, destruction, demonization and demoralization. Ultimately, it manifests itself in death- the death that separates us totally from the saving grace of God.

As mighty men of God, we would want the light of God which is experienced best by being in right relationship with Jesus as our Christ. If we are in the light of God’s mercy and grace then we become vehicles of healing as well reaching out to touch the world around us. How can we know the light is in us? I believe it comes when the Word of God is known by us in a recognized revelation. By recognized revelation I mean when we actually find the truth of the Word coming alive- our mind receives clarity, our body receives power, our heart receives depth and our spirit receives a greater nearness to God. The more we are in the light the more the light is in us and the more we are like Jesus. Isn’t that what we desire, mighty men of God? Don’t we really want to be like Jesus? He is life perfected having been delivered from the sins of all the world through God’s grace and love. We are being perfected as well as the light of God shines around us, in us and through us. The first step in that journey is the sacrificial offering Jesus made on the cross for us. Accepting His sacrifice for us proves God is waiting on no one to pursue Him. He is pursuing us.

So then, mighty men, we are to pursue others who are family, friends, even our antagonists with the light of God’s love as we have been pursued. That is the second step in our journey. With two steps we are engaged in the walk of faith. Let’s walk together and let the light of God so shine in the world.

“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 protection of our law enforcement officials and wisdom imparted to those who are in law enforcement with mixed agendas
* 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 Netherlands
* 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

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; has given me some relief in my health
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, may the light of Your love burn earnestly in us as we serve Your people 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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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.

2343

November 16, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

1 John 5.14-15

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us— whatever we ask— we know that we have what we asked of Him.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

What I am finding in this season of illness is that simplicity serves us well. John declares that we live our lives according to God’s Will. There are so many opinions and options in the world but there is only one God. His Will is for us and never against us. God does not play games or seek to benefit Himself with His actions. His determination is for our good. It would seem, then, that we have no other option but to seek His Will in all things because it will always be good for us. And staying inside His will at the very heart of our life which is to love God and others as God has loved us is a promise of security in our provision and in our purpose. Of course, there is no better place to seek and understand God’s will than to be immersed in the Word of God. So, mighty men, join with me as we pray in His Word, study in His Word, live in His Word and trust in His Word.

“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 impacted by the powerful earthquakes, aftershocks and tsunami in New Zealand; and the severe fire outbreaks in the southeast US
* For the heart of American citizens to seek God’s will as we transition presidential leadership and to demonstrate respect and restraint; for wisdom for our president-elect as he begins to put his leadership team together to help him lead this nation- may God be included
* For God’s Word of deliverance to ring as clear as a bell so that sin-hardened hearts, minds and ears can hear and respond with gladness for the joy of their salvation
* 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, NECC and the people of Guinea
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends healing, reconciliation and wisdom; 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 neurologist’s decision) and for our healing

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

* The Lord sustains me as I have seen the neurologist and that a lumbar puncture and headache specialist is needed- this is all in God’s Hands!
* 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, Your Will be done and Your Word be alive in us as we commit ourselves to You and Your purpose for our lives today in Jesus Christ our Savior, in whose name we pray, live and worship. AMEN.

2330

October 26, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

1 John 1. 1-5

“‘That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete. This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.'”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

There is no greater joy than to see life advance with fullness, promise and peace. Most every parent wants the lives of their children to be better than their own. We do not want to just pass on a legacy of continuation but a promise of growth. Grace makes us better than we were. Before grace we were stained by sin and limited in our ability to live the life which God had created us for. But, by grace in Christ Jesus we are made new, renewed and improved. We are restored, reshaped and revitalized. We are reconciled with God and the relationship between us and God is no longer broken. There are no missing rungs in the ladder. There are no missing links in the chain. There are no gaps in the bridge. The chasm of sin has been overcome. As mighty men of God we are working to make this world a better place to live by sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. It isn’t limited to building homes, businesses, danger-free zones. We are to do that. But, the purpose is to proclaim the acceptable day of the Lord and the full expression of God’s love. This is our joy and our desire is for this joy to be complete. It is complete not when the job is done but when the work becomes perpetual and continues to work.

Just as in creation when God declared “It is good,” He didn’t mean it was finished. Rather, He meant it was doing what it was supposed to be doing and it would keep doing it for the glory of God. Heaven is going to be like that. Our work is not finished as mighty men of God. A task may be completed but our work, our service, our worship should go on and on. This is why God calls it eternity- it is forever. It is not “one and done.” It is “one and on!” May our joy be complete as we see the next generations moving forward in pursuit of the kingdom leaving behind the good works of faith, hope and love which are themselves bearing seeds of fruitfulness and prosperity for generations to come.

“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 God’s Word of deliverance to ring as clear as a bell so that sin-hardened hearts, minds and ears can hear and respond with gladness for the joy of their salvation
* For the heart of American citizens to seek God’s will in the upcoming presidential election and to let peace and decorum guide in all the November elections
* 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, NECC and the people of Gabon
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends healing, reconciliation and wisdom; 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 (entering hospice) and my dad; relief from pain for my wife and myself (and I am awaiting the doctor’s final report to determine further treatment) and for our healing

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

* I will receive a call to meet with a neurologist today in Jesus’ name!
* 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 Your work and Your will be done greatly in and through us today as it is still done in and through Jesus Christ our Savior, in whose name we pray, live and worship. AMEN.

2329

October 25, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

1 John 1. 1-5

“‘That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete. This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.'”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Last words? Was John, the beloved disciple and apostle and Elder of the Seven Churches of Asia Minor, peering into what he believed was the end of the age? Are we? Are we seeing such darkness in the world that we take our eyes off the light of the world which is Jesus Christ? We are, as mighty men of God, members of the body of Christ and heirs to the Kingdom of God which is the Kingdom of Light. We are members of the Church whose head is Jesus Christ and thus the continuation of the ministry of the gospel as the royal priesthood of all believers. There has to come a time of transition from one generation to another. The generation of the disciples was coming to an end. John would have been the last surviving disciple and first eye witness to the ministry of Jesus Christ from the calling of the twelve to the commissioning of the eleven before His ascension. Into whose hands was the responsibility of ministry given?

This is who, I believe, John was now truly speaking to- the next generation. Yes, there were generations of followers already at hand. As the Great Commission reached out through the apostles, especially through Paul and Peter, into the expanding world of Jew and Gentile, many were coming to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Many would be leaders of home groups, small churches and powerful movements. Nations would be challenged and ideologies would be confronted. But, in the end there was still “one,” John, who remained. His day of departure was coming. His revelation of the last days was at hand. Was it a signature of the final end time or was it “graduation” day when the next gathering of leaders would be leaned upon instead of being those who leaned on?

And that day continues today, mighty men of God. We continue to lean on Jesus Christ and seek the presence of His Holy Spirit to lead and guide, strengthen and support, encourage and embolden. But, generations now are asking for leadership to lean on as well. And in these darkened day where sin abounds and our awareness of it swells because of our ability to communicate so quickly so, too, must the light of life and truth. It is up to us. We do not have time to delay. We must not hesitate. The power of God is not stoic nor passive. The love of God is passionate and active. It beckons to be released as greatly as its need for release is called for. What are we waiting for. The fullness of God’s mercy and grace is at our command. Regardless of our physical, mental, social, material, financial and even spiritual conditions we must act in faith, with hope and by love to confront the darkness and beat back its horizon until it fades in the growing light of God’s mercy and grace. If we wait for God to do it then it may be too late for us because then we will be seen as those who laid both plowshare and sword to the ground in surrender and thus defeat. We are more than conquerors through Christ. We are witnesses and declarers of the truth of Jesus Christ. We are to be in the world and not of it. We are to go into the world and not wait for it to come to us.

Rise up, mighty men, it is our time!

“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 God’s Word of deliverance to ring as clear as a bell so that sin-hardened hearts, minds and ears can hear and respond with gladness for the joy of their salvation
* For the heart of American citizens to seek God’s will in the upcoming presidential election and to let peace and decorum guide in all the November elections
* 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, NECC and the people of French Polynesia
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends healing, reconciliation and wisdom; 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 (entering hospice) and my dad; relief from pain for my wife and myself (and I am awaiting the doctor’s final report to determine further treatment) and for our healing

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

* I will receive a call to meet with a neurologist today in Jesus’ name!
* 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 the opportunity today bear witness to those who see more darkness than light so they can see more light than darkness through Jesus Christ our Savior, in whose name we pray, live and worship. AMEN.

2328

October 24, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

1 John 1. 1-5

“‘That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete. This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.'”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

We are hearing from the beloved apostle, John, in this writing. He may have been the last of the fourteen apostles alive at the time of this writing. He was given charge for the care of Mary, the mother of Jesus, as one of Jesus’ dying wishes. He was arrested and sent to Patmos which was a prison island for the criminally insane for his work as the elder of the seven churches of Asia Minor. He would not stop speaking about Jesus and proclaiming both the gospel of grace and the judgment of the world which was at hand. I am led to consider all of this as I read this part of John’s writing to the Church because he speaks of “eye” witnesses. He was not addresses with the power of the testimony of the Church. The eyewitnesses to Jesus’ life, death and resurrection were dwindling in numbers if, in fact, not now down to one- him. But, the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ was evident throughout the commissioned ministry of Christ to those disciples and apostles into all the world beginning in Jerusalem and continuing on to all nations. Jewish leadership in Jerusalem had attempted to silence the gospel and drove it into the territory beyond their borders. Judaizers had tried to silence, or at least compromise it, wherever Jewish populations had gathered in distant lands. Heretics and leaders of other religions had tried to corrupt and destroy it because it was withstanding the challenges of logic and lies to change lives in the name of Jesus and leave the mark of hope through so many believers. Even the power and threat of Rome could not keep its power and influence at bay. Without doubt the desire of Paul to carry the gospel to Spain and beyond was accomplished by those who were a witness to his ministry. Christianity was a world religion of righteous relationship with the resurrected Jesus.

No, John was not bearing witness with the claims of the original band of believers as he wrote this letter to the Church. He was including the next generations of believers whose experience by faith with Jesus Christ was fueling the fire of passion to help others receive their salvation. He was and is including the mighty men of today. It is our testimony that is being fanned into the fire of glory and the hope of transformation leading future generations to become a part of the greatest story ever told. The community of faith, the body of Christ, continues to grow and make its mark on the world. The wages of sin remains death but blessings of grace remains eternal life. The scope of the gospel impact increases and beats back the darkness of doubt and despair with the light of the world- Jesus Christ. It is happening because God has the power, ability and authority to work good out of all situations in our lives so that we can see how awesome He is. He cannot be defeated. He is victorious over the threat of death and death itself. God’s love can be refused by others but it cannot be stopped. The day is coming when the tide of grace will be so strong that Satan and evil will be swept away into the Lake of Fire and there dwell eternally in the misery of their own making. And even there I cannot help but consider that the blazing fire of judgment which is the other side of the coin of God’s grace will keep the illumination of accountability bright so that they will see their sin and the penalty of their refusal forever. There will be no darkness- all will be brought to light.

The choice for the mighty men of God (men, women and children) is whether to dwell in the light of God’s glory and grace or in the light of His inescapable judgment.

“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 God’s Word of deliverance to ring as clear as a bell so that sin-hardened hearts, minds and ears can hear and respond with gladness for the joy of their salvation
* For the heart of American citizens to seek God’s will in the upcoming presidential election and to let peace and decorum guide in all the November elections
* 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, NECC and the people of French Guiana
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends healing, reconciliation and wisdom; 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 (entering hospice) and my dad; relief from pain for my wife and myself (and I am awaiting the doctor’s final report to determine further treatment) and for our healing

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

* 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 seek the light of life and faith through Jesus Christ our Savior, in whose name we pray, live and worship and to dwell in it forever. We confess our sins and profess our desire to be one with You forever serving the gospel of Jesus in Your world today so that others may see, believe and come to life with us as well. AMEN.

2327

October 23, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

1 John 1. 1-5

“‘That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete. This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.'”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Imagine the best hamburger that would suit your taste. Mull it over in your mind. You can begin to smell it. Your mouth begins to water as you taste it. It is almost as if your hands reach out to take it and bring it to your mouth and before you can take a bite you have already swallowed it. You are filled with delight.

Did it work? Is your imagination that good? Are you still lingering with a hunger for that burger and know exactly where to go and get it? Heck, watching “Diners, Drive Ins and Dives,” I have seen plenty of burgers that I would love to go and taste. I am not there but my mind has certainly created a pathway for me to almost be there.

Now, I want you to think about God. Imagine all the goodness you can muster that is beneficial, no entitlement or spoiled-minded, for you and others. God is the creator and sustainer of that goodness and is so willing to provide it to you as a blessing to enrich your lives so you can serve others. We are called to use those blessings to help the body of Christ (those who are already a part of the body by the profession of faith that Jesus is the Christ and entered into newness of life through baptism by water and Spirit as well as those who will come to make that same profession) grow into full maturity. We love to consider all those good things about God because we, for the most part, know that God is good and would have no ill-will in Him against us. We learned to pray at dinner “God is good. God is great.” Yes, that is the God we all want to be next to and have on our side.

But, wait. In this world, and we can and should blame it on the sinfestation caused by selfish ambition and blind foolishness, not everything is good. Yet, it happens. God is aware of it. God is aware of all things. God knows it before it happens. God knows the series of events and infinite possibilities of choices we each can make. He knows the consequences of those choices. We barely do. So, if God is good then why are bad things happening to good people. We can excuse, and should we, bad things happening to bad people. But, we struggle when good things happen to bad people. What is up with this?

John provides an insight. In God there is no darkness- no evil intent, no guile, no malice, no sin. God uses each event presented to Him by each one of us as that opportunity to strengthen us, call us back to spiritual and righteous accountability. Most of all He is calling us back to authentic living. He does not want us to pretend like we know what we are doing. We are guessing most of the time anyway. And these “dark and bad things” which are happening in the world can actually be seen as instruments and instructions for learning about what is right and good. How much have we learned by what it is not. Light is the absence of dark. Dark is the absence of light. Good is what makes others better. Bad is what brings harm. Satan cannot tell the whole truth. God can never tell a lie.

Perhaps we need to realign our perspective on the bad things of life as working against us and see them as working for us. They do if we trust God and are willing to learn from them. But, if we are not then we are doomed to repeat them and add to the maddening validation of the lie that God does not care, is not concerned and no longer loves us. And that, mighty men is dark thinking so far from the light of truth…except for the light of truth in Jesus Christ which continues to glimmer hope in the world to call all men unto Himself so that they may receive the joy of their salvation.

“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 leading God’s people in worship, praise and service this weekend
* For God’s Word of deliverance to ring as clear as a bell so that sin-hardened hearts, minds and ears can hear and respond with gladness for the joy of their salvation
* For the heart of American citizens to seek God’s will in the upcoming presidential election and to let peace and decorum guide tonight’s debate
* 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, NECC and the people of France
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends healing, reconciliation and wisdom; 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 (entering hospice) and my dad; relief from pain for my wife and myself (and I am awaiting the doctor’s final report to determine further treatment) and for our healing

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

* 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 Your light so shine among us that the darkness runs and hides as we enter into joyful service through Jesus Christ our Savior, in whose name we pray, live and worship. AMEN.

2263

July 31, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

1 John 5.13-15

“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask— we know that we have what we asked of Him.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

It takes great discipline to believe in the name of the Son of God, Jesus the Christ. Some would define discipline as courage. In challenging times of human opinion believing in what is not generally accepted as truth takes courage. Those who believe in the name of Jesus often find themselves at the end of the blade of ridicule or the plank of prejudice. It is easy for the world to believe in what is easily broken apart and cast aside, in what is temporarily satisfying leading to deadly addiction and what is serving the need of self long before it touches the needs of others. But, it takes courage to embrace a truth that opposes the foolishness of the world.

The believer must stay disciplined in heart, mind, body and soul.

1) They must be steeled by the gospel of Christ supported by the prophecy found in the Old Testament. They will bend but they will not break when tested. They will be as sharp as the two-edged sword prepared for an offensive as well as a defensive stand.

2) They will find satisfaction in the abiding Word of the Holy Spirit. It is like sweet bread freshly baked that enlivens the senses of the soul. No matter the hunger, the word of the Son of God meets the needs of the believer. In the midst of those soul-searching droughts, a crumb of the bread of life or a drop of the anointing of God becomes a feast that reminds the believer of eternal life and connects them with the eternal hope that never fades.

3) They will be strengthened in meeting the needs of others prioritized before their own. They will not wait until their concerns are met before they act. In acting on behalf of others, seeking the Kingdom of God first, they find their own needs satisfied and filled to overflowing.

These kinds of actions are those made by the spiritually courageous. And it really isn’t courage as the world understands it but faithfulness. Faith is that deep believing springing up into righteous actions. Faith is when the believer recognizing the priority of response acts fearing less the opinion of the world and honoring more the call of God. It is to those mighty men that John was sharing the word of encouragement and affirmation of God. He was writing to those who embraced faith and acted in spiritual courage. Their reward may not have been visible in their own lives. Their may have been no thank-yous or pay it forwards because they act in faith on what they believed. But, in the long run eternal life was always theirs.

It is ours, too, mighty men of God. We do not do that good works of the Spirit to please men and gain credit from them. We act because nothing can separate us from the promise of eternal life anointed in the love of God from the cradle to the cross to the crown of glory when God declares “Well done, good and faithful, courageous servant and son.”

“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 leading God’s people in worship, praise and service
* For those battling the overwhelming blazes in California reaching the limits of human ability to contain; we need a miracle so that more lives are not threatened or taken
* For the safety of those involved in the Rio Olympics- physically, mentally, morally and spiritually
* For the rise of the body of Christ in the world through prayer to be the voice that is heard sounding out against terrorism with faith, hope and love
* For those whose burden in life creates such desperation that taking the life of another as a means of escape and problem-solving seems reasonable and for their victims that they may have peace; as seen in the sex-trafficking slavery business of young girls
* For the end of the ISIS regime and replacing it with the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ into all the nations of the earth
* For the homeless, especially now as summer heat and drought bring searing temperatures
* 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, NECC and the people of Austria
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends healing, reconciliation and wisdom; for a new job placement that aligns with God’s purpose intended for me; 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

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

* God continues to provide prosperity at 5226 as I trust Him in so doing and give thanks praying for sufficient and proficient employees; but a new job is coming as I seek His will and not my own being humbled in what I still need to learn as I wait for His unveiling
* 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 me for our next ministry with current conditions to learn to walk more humbly
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, we step out in faith today putting the discipline of spiritual courage into action so that those for whom Jesus died on the cross that they can know salvation with know it. Anoint us today with Your holy love and Holy Spirit that we may be those move fearfully and faithfully through Your Son and our Savior Jesus, in whose name we pray, live and serve. AMEN.

2262

July 29, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

1 John 5.13-15

“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask— we know that we have what we asked of Him.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

If all creation was by chance then there would be no purpose for life at all except to exist. Yet, even God exists with a purpose. His purpose is to maintain the cycle of true love in both the giving and the receiving. God created the world, the universe, all dimensions of life with a purpose. He had a goal in mind and saw the completion of it. He created with the end in mind. And what is the end? It is that those whom He created would choose to dwell with Him forever in faith, love, joy and peace. This is eternal life because these things will endure forever in glory and in grace.

It is God’s will that we reach this good end that has no end. As for things of this world they will cease. They will have a day in the sun and pass away. But, for those who believe in the Lord and call upon Jesus Christ as Lord and savior, they will have their everlasting day in the Son. And the glory that shines all around Him will shine on those mighty men as well. So, when we pray to God for His will to be done it is with an affirmation that not only His will be done but that the end which has no end come into our lives as well. It is not the end of life that we seek. It is the fulfillment of life which is love that we desire. That is our purpose to pursue the full circle of life which is love because true love endures 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 those leading God’s people in worship, praise and service
* For those battling the overwhelming blazes in California reaching the limits of human ability to contain; we need a miracle so that more lives are not threatened or taken
* For the safety of those involved in the Rio Olympics- physically, mentally, morally and spiritually
* For the rise of the body of Christ in the world through prayer to be the voice that is heard sounding out against terrorism with faith, hope and love
* For those whose burden in life creates such desperation that taking the life of another as a means of escape and problem-solving seems reasonable and for their victims that they may have peace; as seen in the sex-trafficking slavery business of young girls
* For the end of the ISIS regime and replacing it with the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ into all the nations of the earth
* For the homeless, especially now as summer heat and drought bring searing temperatures
* 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, NECC and the people of Australia
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends healing, reconciliation and wisdom; for a new job placement that aligns with God’s purpose intended for me; 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

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

* God continues to provide prosperity at 5226 as I trust Him in so doing and give thanks praying for sufficient and proficient employees; but a new job is coming as I seek His will and not my own being humbled in what I still need to learn as I wait for His unveiling
* 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 me for our next ministry with current conditions to learn to walk more humbly
* 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 midst of all times from chaos to peace in this world we seek the presence of love through Your Son and our Savior Jesus, in whose name we pray, live and serve. May love overcome us, overwhelm us, remake us and fulfill us so that You may be known in the world and accepted as Lord through whom the best life is given. AMEN.

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