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2400

August 6, 2017

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

HIS WORD for TODAY

Matthew 20.18-19

“Jesus said, ‘We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the Law.  They will condemn Him to death and will hand Him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified.  On the third day He will be raised to life.'”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

What is it that you believe about Jesus as the Christ?  Do you believe that He was born of a virgin conceived by God through the Holy Spirit?  Do you believe that performed many signs and wonders following His rebuke of Satan’s temptation in the wilderness as He transitioned from baptism into ministry?  Do you believe He healed the sick, reconciled the forsaken and cast out demons as well as bestowing the Holy Spirit upon His disciples to do the same?  Do you believe that He raised the dead and comforted those who mourned the dead with a life-giving faith in His Heavenly Father?  Do you believe He was condemned, crucified and on the third day was raised from death and the grave by the same life-giving faith in His Heavenly Father?  Do you believe that all those who declare their allegiance and affinity for Jesus as the Christ are saved from sin’s penalty of eternal death and granted the blessing of eternal life revealed in part in this world and in full in the Kingdom yet to come?  In the days of Jesus’ life on earth a little over two thousand years ago there were many who did not believe?  Some were doubters.  Some were “I can’t believe it’s truers.” Some were influential religious and political leaders.  Some just didn’t know what to believe.  Have we found ourselves in any of those shoes?  And what strikes me, mighty men, is that God did not need our belief in the Truth to perform the miracle of salvation.  He needed Jesus to believe it and He did and God responded accordingly.

Striking, isn’t it, that the life and death and resurrection of Jesus was prophetically uttered hundreds of years before His birth in Bethlehem.  Yet, those who should have known, understood and believed in these prophecies didn’t.  When Jesus took the disciples to the mountains above Caesarea Philippi and asked them there “Who do people and who do you say that I am?” some doubted, some didn’t know what to say, some were afraid and one was willing to declare the Truth.  Upon that confession and profession of faith Jesus declared “Upon that I can build My Church.”  Imagine a similar scene that could have happened in that Upper Room in Jerusalem in the house of a friend where the disciples gathered with Jesus for the Passover meal.  Jesus had already declared several times the truth of this time in history in which they were involved pointing to His death and resurrection.  Their observations hadn’t changed much in those intervening years between that mountaintop discussion in Caesarea Philippi and the rooftop celebration on the night Jesus was betrayed leading to His conviction, crucifixion and ultimate resurrection.  Imagine Jesus uttering words similar to this as He felt the thoughts of doubt and wonder from the disciples in His own mind, heart and spirit “They may not believe these things will happen to the Savior of Israel or that the Messiah of God will do all these things; you may not believe them as well in spite of all you have seen and heard.”  Then He pauses quietly before continuing “But God does!”

Does that truth not strike you in the heart, mind and spirit with powerful conviction and inviting confession?  It does me!  It doesn’t matter what I may believe if God didn’t believe it first.  The God who loves us so much that He gave His only begotten Son to us so that when we do believe the truth and receive it for ourselves we will, not can but will, be saved.  God believed in Jesus as the Christ.  God believes in us, too.  He has known us before we were conceived.  He prepared us for life in this world before we received it.  He has blessed us with the opportunity to glorify His Name and presence before we perceived it.  If God can and does, then what are we waiting for?  He has already shown Himself and proved Himself to us and the entire world.  It would seem that if we are living in the glory years of the light of that revelation we should truly be alive in faith, hope and love.  What do you believe, mighty men?  Do you believe in God?  in Jesus Christ? in Yourself?  Trust in the Lord your God and lean not upon your own understanding.

“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 today
* 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 their service to the education community of 31 campuses)  and the people of New Caledonia
* 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):

* My dad was approved for the refinancing of his house so that it can continue to be his home
* We have a loving God who speaks to us in all seasons of life reminding us we should do the same to Him
* God continues to provide prosperity at 5226 as I trust Him in so doing and give thanks praying for sufficient and proficient employees and the wisdom to meld a team spirit by staying humble before God and co-workers
* God is preparing us for our next ministry with current conditions to learn to walk more humbly and in peace; has given us 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.

2348

November 30, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

James 1.2-6a

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

How do others know you have considered it “pure joy” to endure all the trials, tests and challenges placed before you in the world? Isn’t it by your demeanor and attitude? These are apparent to others. What does a person who is filled with pure joy look like? Glad? Happy? Smiling? Encouraging? Positive? If you are not demonstrating these in your life how could anyone know there is joy? Trust me, I know. I have missed my joy for many months now. I have allowed my physical challenges and mental struggles rule my attitude. It is easy for it to happen. It doesn’t mean you are a bad person or bound for hell. It does mean that you have surrendered control in whole or in part to a rule that may not have what is best in mind for you. When we surrender control it must be to God alone. It doesn’t mean we take our hand completely off the wheel to let God drive for us. God wants us to do the driving and let Him give the directions. He will take us only where we need to go. We have to trust Him. Trusting God is the key to living a joyful life. It can mean knowing when to ask God to take the wheel or make sure we get to a rest stop. We need to be honest with ourselves and God. Honesty is a key to living a joyful life. It can mean that we have decided to let God be the priority in our lives. It comes with keeping our eyes on the road and be less and less distracted from the course set before us. It is believing that God is best for our lives. Believing is a key to living a joyful life.

Regardless of the situation or circumstance, we cannot surrender our joy: trust, be honest and believe in God and with God. He trust, believes and is honest with us and He is always rejoicing over us when we do the same.

“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 the leadership of Goodwill Industries of Kentucky and all the employees as we seek to improve ourselves to better serve the needs of others
* For protection of our law enforcement officials as worldly permission has empowered others to attempt to take their lives with violence; God put His protecting angels around them all
* 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 the Holy See (Vatican City)
* 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 undergone all prescribed tests- 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, we count it all joy to come to You today trusting You with our lives as we go through the day believing Your will is going to be done regardless of the circumstance. We share honestly our fears, failures, doubts and trust so that we may remain in Your joy in Jesus Christ our Savior, in whose name we pray, live and worship. AMEN.

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2347

November 22, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

James 1.2-6a

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

We all have heard good words, wise words, excellent counsel, thoughts to live by. Our hearts are thrilled when we hear them. The truth in them resonates. However, if we leave those words at a knowledge level they may not be anything more than a sounding gong or a clashing cymbal or the ringing of a bell. We hear the sound. We marvel at it and remain fascinated as long as the sound is heard reverberating in our ears. But, what happens when the ringing, clashing and sounding ends? We wait for it to happen again? We know that beating on the gong, or pounding cymbals together or pulling on the rope of a bell will make it audible again. But, something must happen or else the sound is just a memory that draws up feelings and reactions but perhaps nothing more.

James offers those Christ followers outside of Jerusalem wise counsel which he undoubtedly had shared with those in his local gatherings. But, without that poignant challenge found in verse 6 then they would only be left with good words. There has to be more. We can ask God for wisdom to understand why we are going through difficult times and are challenged on all sides- physically, mentally, emotionally, socially and spiritually. We can ask God for the fortitude to endure those times and strength to bear up until those times are completed. But, asking for all of this isn’t enough. Even asking isn’t the “doing” necessary for true fulfillment and overcoming.

We must ask with the caveat of believing what we are asking for (which is not telling God what our situation is- He knows that already and has known about it for a very long time.) We must ask God for the solution and the eyes and ears to receive it according to God’s will. Not only must we believe it but we cannot doubt that God will answer and deliver. God does not give us what we do not need. He gives what is best to fulfill the purpose and meaning of our lives. We have to believe that. Great or small answers from God is the sufficiency we need in order to live each day to give God the glory. Seizing the moment of praising God, helping others and leading them to a fuller relationship with Jesus Christ is what we should be looking for. We can hear the bell ringing the truth but until we are ringing with the truth of God’s faithfulness to us then we are missing all that God desires to share with us.

And He has shared with us all that is needed. He has provided. It started when we confessed Jesus as Lord and committed ourselves to be His followers and His family. Tough times come. Challenges arise. Tests are on all sides. But, God is here. God is faithful. God is always with us. So, when we ask God for help in our minds, hearts, bodies, soul and spirit believe that He not only will provide but has already. Pray that you are able to see it, hear it and receive it.

“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 families who children died or were injured in the school bus accident in Chattanoogo, Tennessee
* For protection of our law enforcement officials as worldly permission has empowered others to attempt to take their lives with violence; God put His protecting angels around them all
* 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 Haiti
* 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, thank You for what You have provided for us in our times of need yet to come. We go into the world today with the surety of Your provision so that we can accomplish Your good in what we say and do in Jesus Christ our Savior, in whose name we pray, live and worship. AMEN.

2218

June 7, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

John 14.8

“Philip said, ‘Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.'”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

When we are tired of our situation, when we think we have had enough struggle in our journey, it is easy to just want to get to the final destination and be done with it. Those who desire the prize without the effort are most likely confessing a weariness of believing in one’s self, seeing their failures and weaknesses as obstacles; or living with an impatience that cannot be satisfied. I know the effect of both in my own life experience. Whether it is seeking a new job, living in a new place, building new relationships or simply trying to make it from day to day the journey seems far too long. Life often asks far more than we are able to give. Yet, His Word declares that God will never ask of us more than we are able to give or endure. But, the truth is, and this is what life teaches us, we are not God. We need God all the time in our lives and those who do not believe that are living lives lacking the true depth which makes for eternity.

In the pivotal moment of Passover the weight of the world began to press on the disciples as they sat in the upper room with Jesus. The things that were being given to them in the elements and the insights shared with them in the fulfillment of prophecy were making the walls of that room close in. Have you ever felt the “more than I can bear”? Even Jesus felt it and we see that when He is praying in the Garden before His eventual arrest. And in the end there are two truths we can grasp:

1) God’s will being done is always better regardless of how we get there; and,
2) What we desire in our spiritual lives is already given to us.

So what makes it difficult to grasp these truths? I think it is simply that we see them as distant truths we can never get close to. But, Jesus said differently. We want what we have but we don’t always believe we have it. Philip said “Show us the Father and that will be enough.” Jesus responded, “If you have seen me you have seen the Father because we are as One.” We know God’s will and we have spiritual blessings. But, until we believe it it will always be as if we have never received it. Jesus couldn’t go through what He did if He thought God was far from Him and He didn’t have what it would take spiritually to complete the task given Him. Neither can we. We can do whatever we are going through because we have seen the Father and we have been blessed by Him in Jesus Christ. It is enough. Now believe it knowing you have received it.

“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 engaged in the battle for Fullujah that killing cease, the enemy lay down their arms and peace reign
* For God’s definitive word on this country’s political agenda and future being transformed into a godly mandate that glorifies God and meets the needs of others instead of man’s agenda leading to the Abomination of Desolation
* For the end of the ISIS regime and the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ into all the nations of the earth
* For the homeless, including the innocent refugees from Syria, and destitute as the season definitely changes and challenges all
* For family and friends battling cancer and dementia at all stages of life and those seeking to be their caregivers and those who are their families
* For wisdom among the world’s leaders as wars and rumors of wars rise up; earthquakes, floods, great winds and fire abound; and civil unrest reaches out across all secular and non-secular lines and to lead God’s people into the truth concerning judgment, the end of days and Jesus’ return for we are moving closer to it each day.
* For those who are seeking to put an end to human trafficking that their success would be overwhelming so that the healing may be equally so
* For Louisville, Kentuckiana, Goodwill, NECC and the people of Sweden
* 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

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; but a new job is coming as I seek His will and not my own
* 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
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, we pray our minds and hearts will be open to Your presence and to the leading of Your Spirit for today in the name of Jesus our Christ so that Your Will be done and ours be blended in perfectly so that they become as one. AMEN.

2217

June 6, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

John 14.1

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in Me.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

The disciples evidenced their belief in God by declaring that Jesus was the promised Messiah of God. They left their earthly lives and livelihood to the side to become His disciples. Yet, we know that they still had doubts; more about themselves than of Jesus. How easy it is to believe in Jesus and commit one’s life to Him when He is present. The disciples generally had courage and strength when He was with them. Not always but generally. They aligned themselves with Him because they did not anticipate Him ever leaving. He was the Son of God, after all. He was eternal and the blessing of His fleshly presence may have been seen as equally eternal. They would always be in “Immanuel,” God with us, just as they desired. But, as Jesus had said before “Greater is the one who has not seen and yet believed.”

The time had come for the disciples to begin to wrestle with the reality John’s disciples had confronted upon his death. Jesus was now talking about denial, betrayal and death. They had not been thinking much in terms of life without Jesus except when they were arguing about who would be the greatest among them. Now the question seemed hollow and empty. Jesus’ death would bring about the question of “where do we hide so we cannot be found.” It wasn’t about who is the greatest of them but how invisible can we be. They would begin to consider where they would run to and hide. Death truly changes things. It denies a future. It is a final reality when we see it from a human perspective. It is without hope.

This is when the challenge of faith must rise to the top. Jesus reminded the disciples they believed in God because He was with them. Now they must believe in Him because He had been with them. His words would remain true because they were extensions and fulfillment of the Word of God. If it said “the Messiah is coming” then when it would declare “He would be raised from the dead” was equally true. Jesus was not just a momentary reality. He came into the world to become our permanent reality. He was not just “Immanuel,” God with us a little while. He was “Immanuel,” God with us always. It would be a different life and reality to be sure. It would be a reality of spirit and truth.

And if we needed something now in our lives to make a difference in the world in which we live it would be the Jesus reality. The Jesus reality is “God is with us always in spirit and in truth.” The body they may kill but the Spirit is with us always. And these are the promises Jesus was giving to the disciples and thus to us. They had, and we have, to believe in Jesus just as much as there was a belief in God. Mighty men, the flesh of this world is weak and can be deceitful. But, the Spirit and Truth of God is strong and full of affirmation. Trust in Him. Believe in Him. Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness and the rest shall be provided according to the word and will of God through Jesus, His Son and our Savior.

“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 engaged in the battle for Fullujah that killing cease, the enemy lay down their arms and peace reign
* For God’s definitive word on this country’s political agenda and future being transformed into a godly mandate that glorifies God and meets the needs of others instead of man’s agenda leading to the Abomination of Desolation
* For the end of the ISIS regime and the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ into all the nations of the earth
* For the homeless, including the innocent refugees from Syria, and destitute as the season definitely changes and challenges all
* For family and friends battling cancer and dementia at all stages of life and those seeking to be their caregivers and those who are their families
* For wisdom among the world’s leaders as wars and rumors of wars rise up; earthquakes, floods, great winds and fire abound; and civil unrest reaches out across all secular and non-secular lines and to lead God’s people into the truth concerning judgment, the end of days and Jesus’ return for we are moving closer to it each day.
* For those who are seeking to put an end to human trafficking that their success would be overwhelming so that the healing may be equally so
* For Louisville, Kentuckiana, Goodwill, NECC and the people of Swaziland
* 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

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; but a new job is coming as I seek His will and not my own
* 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
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, how we need to center in on Immanuel. May Your presence become so real to us as we go through this day in the name of Jesus our Christ that we shall not fear nor fail to love You and one another. AMEN.

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2196

May 10, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Mark 16.14, 19-20

“Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating. He rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was taken up into heaven and He sat at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed His word by the signs that accompanied it.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

No matter how we look at the stories of Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances there is a final word. We must “believe.” And believing isn’t just having conversations with ourselves on what we know and hope to be true about Jesus. Jesus is alive not just because He is in our hearts and in our minds. He is not alive because His Spirit is given to us to enliven and enrich our faith. He is alive because we put our faith into actions and accept the cost. If we think there is a risk for being a follower of Christ it pales in comparison to the risk of not being a follower of Christ.

The women were afraid. Well, so would I have been. How many times have we been afraid of the truth confronting us as we walk with the Lord. We know our frailties and failures. The Devil loves reminding us of them. But, without God’s saving grace, mercy and love then we are a failure. Jesus helps us to confront our fears by living out and in His Word. His Word never fails. The women spoke up. They couldn’t contain themselves. Even if they doubted the truth leaked out that it might be possible- Jesus is alive. Just the thought of it would be a spark of remembrance and trust and believing. Their fear turned to opportunity to testimony. Could it be?

The two on the road to Emmaus. The same was true for them. They, too, couldn’t contain themselves and had to go back to Jerusalem and tell the others what they had seen and experienced. They weren’t believed but it didn’t matter. They believed and they had to share the good news for them. They did what they were supposed to do. Share what God had done for them in Jesus Christ. They were alive again with the possibility of Heaven made real.

Eventually, it would be the disciples. They couldn’t believe others because they wanted and needed the Jesus-experience, too. Yes, they probably should have been able to believe it on their own. They were the closest to Jesus apart from God. But, sometimes that just isn’t enough. Having a good thought really isn’t a substitute for a good reality. We all want to see Jesus, be touched by Him, talked to by Him and walked with by Him. We want that real relationship. And what Jesus gave to them all was each other and their shared belief. He gives it to us as well. We are mighty men- not a mighty man. We are only the mighty man when we are one in Christ. His life, death and resurrection makes it possible for us to be all, at least more, than we have been. Believe!

“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 greatly and fearfully by the Canadian wildfire displacing nearly 100,000 people and a massive landslide in China killing at least 35 people; for alert as swarms of earthquakes are felt beneath Mt. Saint Helen’s and storms move across the country
* For God’s definitive word on this country’s political agenda and future being transformed into a godly mandate that glorifies God and meets the needs of others instead of man’s agenda leading to the Abomination of Desolation
* For the end of the ISIS regime and the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ into all the nations of the earth
* For the homeless, including the innocent refugees from Syria, and destitute as the season definitely changes and challenges all
* For family and friends battling cancer and dementia at all stages of life and those seeking to be their caregivers and those who are their families
* For wisdom among the world’s leaders as wars and rumors of wars rise up; earthquakes, floods, great winds and fire abound; and civil unrest reaches out across all secular and non-secular lines and to lead God’s people into the truth concerning judgment, the end of days and Jesus’ return for we are moving closer to it each day.
* For those who are seeking to put an end to human trafficking that their success would be overwhelming so that the healing may be equally so
* For Louisville, Kentuckiana, Goodwill, Man Challenge and the people of Saint Pierre and Michelon
* 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; the needs of my coalition including MF

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; but a new job is coming as I seek His will and not my own
* 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
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, draw us closer to one another so that the body of Christ be knitted together in faith, hope and love. Let the Word of Jesus come alive in us so that others can see, experience and believe in Him as well with us. We ask this in the name of Jesus our Christ from this day forward. AMEN.

September 16, 2010

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

1 Corinthians 15. 58

“Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to
the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

Have you heard the phrase “If you stand for nothing, you will believe anything.”? Well, it could mean that you might even believe in God…but not necessarily. But, then the definition and practice of believing in God becomes skewed. Believing is not merely acknowledging that some might be true. It is too easy for human beings to hop, skip and jump over what they might think is true. Thinking something is true doesn’t make it so. Is thinking believing? Without a doubt believers must be thinkers. God did not create us to be non-thinkers. If He did there would be no need to put a cognitive tool in our head. Yet, there are Christ-followers who practice more reactive faith than proactive faith. Paul was addressing this issue as he encouraged the mighty men of Corinth to take their stand and hold fast in the cause for Christ. The greek culture was based in great part around the debate of the mind. Great thinkers rose up out of the history of Greece like Aristotle, Plato and Hippocrates. But, there were those who thought they could be of two minds- one in their head and one in their body. Paul declared that mighty men in Corinth and through all the churches of Christ must be of one mind and that mind was of Christ. Believing was more than just thinking you know something to be true. Believing was truth put in action as one’s ultimate desire and concern. For the mighty men of God that ultimate desire and concern is to have the mind of Christ in all things.

Therefore, as Paul called the church to give themselves fully to the work of the Lord, faith in action, it included an element of being engaged in the workings of Christ. God’s mighty men must discover and incorporate what makes Christ tick. He is the timepiece no human hand can duplicate. He is the Lord of all time from beginning to end. Every second, minute and hour are His. He has offered us the time of our lives which is eternity. Yet, many have turned that phrase to serve their own purpose and have the time of the lives which is based solely on pleasing the body of the mind. They put aside the mind of the body which is Christ as if the two can live separately. It does not mean that there will no joy, pleasure and happiness in the life of God’s mighty men. It does mean there will be pure joy, real pleasure and true happiness when the mighty men of God take their stand and remain firm in the belief that Jesus is the Christ and the head of their bodies, their lives, their households and their future. Be of one mind and you will discover what it truly means to believe that Jesus is the Christ and you will truly receive the blessings and rewards which come from standing with Him.

PRAYER CONCERNS (share your needs and others in the comment section so that God’s Mighty Men can join prayer forces as intercessors of faith, hope and love)

* For the papal visit to Great Britain
* For all the young men and women considering the Armed Forces as their next vocational
decision that God’s armor will be the first they put on and the Bible as the first weapon in their
arsenal
* For the resolution of unrest in the Middle East with Israel, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and
Afghanistan; and the protection of American forces throughout the Middle East but especially
in Iraq and Afghanistan as “combat” forces leave Iraq and increase in Afghanistan during
Muslim preparations for Ramadan
* For the resolution of the continuing violence along the U.S.-Mexico border
* For the support and encouragement of those who are seeking employment and the peace of
mind that comes from trusting the process of God’s creation of a new opportunity with the
promise of vocational resurrection in its season
* For our colleagues who are struggling mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually
* For Mission Waco and the Phillipines
* For Chris and his concern for his daughter as they travel their course before God

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

* Good mornings after long nights
* The love of family and friends

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Lord, the mind is a terrible thing to waste and sin has become invasive to kill the brain cells so that many may not have the opportunity to truly think. Protect the mind of believers in Christ as well as the rest of their lives. May their knowledge of You increase and spread the joy and hope which is ours in His Name. AMEN.

July 23, 2009

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

John 16. 31-33

“You believe at last!” Jesus said, “But a time is coming, and has come, when you will be
scattered, each to his own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for
My Father is with me. I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

Even when we are at our strongest, we are far from invincible. Achilles‘ had his heel and was vulnerable to attack. For the disciples it was about time to gain some level of confidence in what they understood about Jesus as the Christ. They had shown flashes of brilliance and such expertise in ministry that no one could refuse their power. But, they were still so new to this faith that even their success became too much to handle. Such discussions as the one mentioned yesterday about “who is the greatest“ or “who can sit at your right hand or left hand“ become indicators of a lack of understanding that could be their downfall. Especially when it came to losing someone they loved, they would be tempted to say they understood everything the Master said just to stay close to Him. They wanted what we each want, “To be loved by God alone.”

But, this day, actually the night of Passover, was different. Jesus was no longer teaching the disciples but sharing with them His own life. He was now the symbol and metaphor that would bind their ministry to success. Jesus was no longer talking about himself. He was talking to them and they were listening. He could see it in their eyes. They could hear it in His voice. Yet, their declaration of understanding and believing that He was the Christ would not be enough to put them over the hump. They each would have to face their own test and trial. Their faith would have to be put to the test. It was one thing to say they believed while Jesus was with them. It would be another to say it when Jesus was no longer visible to them.

So, it is for every mighty man of God. When we are in the company of other believers, we believe and believe powerfully. But, when that support system is not present to lay hands on us and pray for us or easily available to fill our ears and minds with God’s encouragement or to reassure our hearts that we are still loved, then we find what our resolve truly is. It is at that moment that all the coaching and mentoring and teaching filled with all its metaphors and lessons and illustrations will seem like butter melting under the heat of trial and tribulation. We may well work feverishly to keep it together claiming we know who it is that has buttered our bread. But, until we fall into His presence with confident thanksgiving seeing the victory that exists just beyond our sight and grasp, we will not know the peace that comes from the victor Himself who has overcome the world. Trust and obey, there is no other way.

PRAYER CONCERNS (share your needs and others in the comment section so that God’s Mighty Men can join prayer forces as intercessors of faith, hope and love)

* For peace to not be the exception to the rule but the rule for which there is no exception
* For the nurture of spiritual and moral leadership in our country supported by faithful
and loving followers devoted to the Biblical imperative of “love one another”
* For those still suffering from the possibility of losing their homes due to the recession
* For the resolution of unrest in the Middle East, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan and for
those who put more faith in weapons than in the power of God to enforce ideologies
instead of godly obedience
* For the support and encouragement of those who are seeking employment and the peace
of mind that comes from trusting the process of God’s creation of a new opportunity
with the promise of vocational resurrection in its season; for the building up of a faith
network to assist God’s mighty men find sustainable and God-honoring jobs
* For protection from the attacks of the enemy who seeks to place around God’s people
the deception of failure

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

* For the answered prayer we will receive as we trust in God for His provision of my
family while I am preparing myself for my next vocational assignment and as we visit
family in Kentucky to share our confidence and our joy with them for those who wait
upon the Lord
* For His provision already made and the joy He has shared
* For the job that God will make available for my daughter
* For the defeat of doubt

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Lord, thank you for knowing how hard it can be for each of these mighty men when their trials and temptations come to invite us to be defeated. Give to each of these men the real strength that comes in simply believing in You with obedient trust. You are the only way. You have come from God our Father and have returned to Him in faith. Thank You for showing these the way, the truth and the life. AMEN.

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April 29, 2009

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:                                                                         John 6. 29                                                                         

 

Jesus answered them, The work of God is this: to believe in the one He has sent.

 


REFLECTING IN HIS WORD

 

What is it we have faith in as Christ followers?  We each have a formulaic phrase we use to encapsulate where we have placed our faith from doctrinal statements many grew up with in church to the biblical affirmation found in John 3.16.  But, faith in something isn’t enough of a statement if we are to be power-filled witnesses sent into all the world.  At this moment, the world believes in actions which match the words portraying what we believe in.  The world wants to see the work of God.  In times such as these where now we can certainly add pestilence to the list of biblical events being experienced, people are calling out for the work of God and not just the Word of God.  It would seem to me that believing is faith in action.  We have faith that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.  Faith allows us to stand alongside the One who proclaims “I have overcome the world.”  But, Jesus was never the Christ because He had faith.  He put His faith into action.  Jesus walked the walk, talked the talk, and worked the works of faith which showed what He believed in.  He believes in the One who sent Him.  He believes in you and me.

 

I am reminded of the a story about a tight wire artist who pushed a wheelbarrow back and forth along a wire strung over a mighty falls.  He would disappear into the rising mist only to reappear heading in the other direction.  The people applauded his skill as he added heavy blocks to the wheelbarrow equivalent to the weight of a man.  Once again he disappeared into the mist and reappeared to their amazement.  He asked them if they believed he could do it again.  They all said “yes.” But, when he asked one of them to volunteer to go with him, they grew silent.  They had faith in his ability and believed he could do what he said he could do.  But, where was their faith in themselves.  Because they had no faith, they could not act out their beliefs except the belief of fear which held them bound to earth.  It was the same for Jesus who was limited not by his faith and beliefs when He visited in certain cities but could do not good work there.  Instead, the limit comes from those He came to save.  They had faith in Him but until they made their faith active by stepping into the world known only by faith and believe, then nothing happens.

 

We are living in a world that needs to experience true believers who are doing the work of God because of their faith.  The world needs to see people, mighty men, who put their faith not in words but in the Word.  It is our sinful nature, even in its last vestiges in each believer, that keeps us bound to earth instead of ready to walk the line of Christ.  If we do not know what it is we are supposed to be doing as our God-called work, it is at the very least, “believing in the One God has sent to us.”  If our lives are bound to that good work which bears much fruit, then we shall pass through the mist of doubt and the unknown into the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in Heaven.

 

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PRAYER CONCERNS (share your needs and others in the comment section so that God’s Mighty Men can join prayer forces as intercessors of faith, hope and love)

 

*  For all the TAKS takers today and the rest of this week

*  For the continuing threat of a new Swine Flu outbreak and for the doctors and scientists working to resolve it quickly and for those families, including one, so far, in Texas, who have had loved ones perish from the disease

*  For Joe Sanders and the group of men God is already calling to gather around him to support and encourage him and his family

*  For the protection of God’s chosen, Israel, and God’s redeemed, the Church, that they may honor God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength


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

 

*  Met one of two testing goals at work; the second will not be known for three weeks

 


ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

 

Lord, we peer into the mist of this day and wonder what shall it bring.  We say we have faith in You but there is still some doubt and fear of that unknown.  By Your Faith in us, we will believe more in the One whom You have sent.  We will show our faith by believing more fully and completely through the works we do and the declarations of our intent through those works to glorify You and honor Your Will in our lives.  Bless each of these mighty men who share in this Word today.  May their joy be complete in the sharing of this believers’ ministry.

Watch over those who are sick and bring life to those who are weak.  Let us be the instruments of Your healing and peace.  AMEN.

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