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2404

August 27, 2017

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

HIS WORD for TODAY

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

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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2358

December 15, 2016

Celebrating an Advent of JOY on earth and goodwill to all people!

HIS WORD for TODAY:

James 2.14-17

“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

We are told to work out our faith, to work out our salvation. It is not speaking about having to do works in order to have faith or have salvation. No, it is speaking directly to putting our faith and our salvation to work. Because we accept Jesus as the Christ and proclaim Him to be Lord and Savior, we have been made new creatures. The old nature was bound to works. That work was completed with Jesus at the cross. Salvation is now ours as is the blessing, the gift, of faith. But, if we are not putting our faith into action that faith is merely a word. It is no different from telling someone “I love you” and then fail to act loving toward them. Our faith and our salvation are not words. They are living moments, events and opportunities to do good, bring comfort to others and to glorify God. This is what Christ did in His life and through His death. He put faith and salvation to work and for it He received the gift and blessing of eternal life. That is our joy as well. As we put faith and salvation to work we are celebrating the gift and blessing of eternal life which is ours.

Mighty men, as we consider what to give others for Christmas is it not the demonstration of our faith and salvation through love? How shall we bring joy to bear in the world if we do anything less than this?

“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 protection and provision for those impacted by pre-winter’s stormy blast and frigid temperatures
* For peace to be known in all of our relationships as God’s people to those who are in the world- “Greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world.”
* 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 Israel
* 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 the strengthening of our relationship with one another and God

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

* Linda’s report from her biopsy showed negative- good news!
* The Lord sustains me as I have seen the neurologist and more tests are prescribed and a referral to a different team- 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, as You are at work in us so we commit ourselves to being at work for the kingdom at hand sharing the good news of great joy in the name of Jesus Christ our Savior, by whose name we pray, live and worship. AMEN.

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2356

December 12, 2016

Celebrating an Advent of JOY on earth and goodwill to all people!

HIS WORD for TODAY:

James 2.12-13

“Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

When Jesus came into the world He brought with Him the call for mercy. We was born to a young girl who was barely a woman but in whom faith was great. He was born with the opportunity to grow up under a man’s leadership that was motivated by great faith which caused him to show mercy on an unwed girl and a child not of his own seed. He was born in a stable surrounded by a throng people and animals who were gathered there not of their own will. It was a challenging situation to say the least and one that could be dealt with only the presence of mercy- the extension of God’s grace. So many opportunities for judgments to be passed on this family but so many blessings. Mercy triumphed over judgment.

Angels appear and give encouragement and direction.
Joseph declares Mary to be his bride and Jesus his son.
The innkeeper opens the door of his heart and offers a stable when there is no room elsewhere.
Shepherds bring a story of heavenly triumph and revelation.
Wise men will arrive to share gifts of unimaginable value and worth.
Peace comes on earth.

Lord have mercy on us and extend your grace, your blessings, over this day as we pause to remember the joy of Your coming to earth for our 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 who will be leading the people of God with JOY in worship, praise and service
* For peace to be known in all of our relationships as God’s people to those who are in the world- “Greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world.”
* 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 Iraq
* 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 the strengthening of our relationship with one another and God

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

* The Lord sustains me as I have seen the neurologist and more tests are prescribed and a referral to a different team- 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, have mercy on us in the name of Jesus Christ our Savior, by whose name we pray, live and worship. AMEN.

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2325

October 20, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Isaiah 48.17-19

“‘This is what the Lord says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: ‘I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river,
your well-being like the waves of the sea. Your descendants would have been like the sand, your children like its numberless grains;
their name would never be blotted out nor destroyed from before me.'”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

But that was all in their past. But, it was not all forgotten. Old men were still captured by the visions passed down to them in the stories of Abraham and Moses. Those shared visions still stirred dreams in the minds of the young who could not imagine what they day would look like. Yes, they could not imagine the suffering in Egypt, the wandering in the wilderness nor the entering into the promised land. But, they dreamed of a day when it might be possible to return to that promised land of those who preceded them. And now God was sharing with them that they were not forgotten to Him either. His vision was clear. His dream was purposeful. His desire was without question. His way was still His way. Those who sought to recapture the vision and live out the dream still had to obey the commands of the Lord and follow His truth. There would be no compromise. God would not decrease His promise to bless His faithful people. But, the people would have to increase their promise to be His faithful people.

And the increase of promise was not merely to share the stories more or say time and again “I promise.” No, the increase of their promise was to be the fulfillment of their lives of faithfulness. This would be demonstrated in their godly interaction with family, friend and foe. The command to love God, love self and love one another had to be more than hearsay. It had to be faith in action. Yes, it was faith that kept the visions of the old alive. It was faith that opened the windows of the mind to the dreams of peace and godly prosperity. It was faith that held the promise God made with Abraham in order to be shared with his descendants. It was faith the kept those in exile, foreign and domestic, living in the midst of a glimmer of hope which God would fan into a flame of determined victory. It was faith that would make it possible for God’s people to do more than live in survival mode. It was faith that would show God to be more than a conqueror. It was faith that established firmly and purposefully God as the true Father of the faith-filled and the faithful.

But, it has to be faith in action. It cannot be a stoic faith hashed out around campfires and then faded away with the last dying ember. It has to be a faith that demonstrates the passion of living out the words and ways of God which never ceased to exist. It has to be a faith consistent with compassion, generosity, kindness, fearlessness, sacrifice, service and humility. It has to be a faith that moves mountains even if it is one grain at a time. It has to be a faith that stops torrents even if it is only by a sheltering wing. It has be to be faith that stops tragedy by bringing the sunshine of heaven into the darkness of earth. It has to be an unstoppable and unrestrainable faith that goes where it is sent and does what it is asked by the One who knows best where to go and what to do. It has to be a hearing faith, a listening faith, a responding faith, an active faith, a faith that will never die regardless of what the world may say or do. It has to be a Jesus faith.

“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 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 Fiji
* 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, fan the flames of the faith whose ember has been placed in our heart, mind, soul and spirit that through Jesus Christ our Savior, in whose name we pray, live and worship we can reveal Your true desire and good pleasure for every man, woman and child. AMEN.

2273

August 12, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Luke 19.7-10

“All the people saw this and began to mutter, ‘He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.’ But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, ‘Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.’ Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

And quite literally salvation had come to the house of Zacchaeus. Salvation’s name is Jesus! And being or becoming a son of Abraham is far more the matter of faith than bloodline. The only bloodline which matters in determining our place in the lineage faith as sons of God is that which flowed from the wounds of Jesus on the cross. His blood makes the difference in our lives. It transforms us from the sinner who has fallen short of the intention of God in our creation to the prodigal son restored to his rightful place in the House of God. We are saved by the blood of the Lamb but it comes in our response to the presence of Jesus in our world and in our lives. All men have been saved in that Jesus died for all our sins. But, if we do not accept our salvation and respond with a grateful love leading to that changed life that it is as if we have not received the gift of life at all.

Zacchaeus did not refuse the opportunity. Jesus calling his name and crossing his threshold made all the difference. His response was spontaneous and genuine. And it doesn’t matter whether Jesus actually would have made it to Zacchaeus’ house. The transformation was instantaneous. It well could be that Zacchaeus stood in that tree to make his declaration “I believe. I am a changed man.” “This house” Jesus spoke of could well have been drawing attention to the physical house of Zacchaeus body in which the Spirit of Lord would dwell. It would be the very same for each of us, mighty men. Jesus spoke of His body as the greater temple. Tear it down and in three days it would be raised up. Stepping across the line in faith between the world of the tangible and the world of the Kingdom of God changes how we view, experience and live in the world.

Which world are you living in? Is it a world in which sin and brokenness has made you small or is it the kingdom in which you loom large in the eyes of God. His smile is upon you. His joy is within you. His blessing is upon you. His Spirit is within you. His Hand is upon You. His presence in within you. Out with the old and in with the new. Regardless of what the world may say about you based on your past, God speaks of you based on your future. Your future, mighty men, is glorious. In fact, you are already living in the future being revealed more every day as you actuate your faith in Him who has great faith in you. And your house- body, family dwelling and the community of faith is blessed.

“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 who will lead God’s people in worship, praise and service this weekend
* For protection and healing in response to the bombing in Thailand
* 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 Bermuda
* 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 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
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, for this gift of forgiveness we have because You believe in us and love us enough to send Your Son to die on the cross that You might raise us all from the dead, we give thanks. We commit ourselves to joyous responses to today as we go into the world with Jesus our Savior, in whose name we pray, live and serve. AMEN.

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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.

2244

July 7, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Matthew 24.42-44

“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

As mighty men of God we are not called to live casual lives. God created us with a purpose for the earth to bring glory and honor to God in Heaven. In Heaven there is perfect praise and worship of God. One day, we will join and enjoy that perfect praise and worship. Until that day we must join and enjoy the perfected praise and worship here on earth. We must remain engaged in our faith. It is one thing to have faith. When we confessed Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, being baptized into the renewal of our lives through the reconciliation made possible by the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, we were blessed with the gift of faith. Faith is more than just believing. Faith is putting into action the engaged walk of God on earth as it is already being done in Heaven. And our engaged faith must not be sporatic; it must be ongoing. Every step we make, every breath we take ought to be with faith.

Has God worked in your life? Has He answered a prayer and only in retrospect did you realize it? How many times has God moved heaven and earth to protect you or meet a need and you did not realize it until after the fact? And when you recognized it did you thank God and praise His Name? Did you bear witness to the truth of His faithfulness to engaged His blessing in your life? I taught my students that a baby truly walks not with the first wobbly step, nor the second. A baby truly walks when they intentional take the next step followed by another. It doesn’t matter if they fall down. No, it matters that they intended to walk with purpose not on accident. This is the sign of a mighty man’s true faith. It is not a stumbling into God’s grace and blessing that shows he has faith. No, it is the purposeful and intentional walk, regardless of falling down, we take to serve and honor God in our everyday lives. He is walking with us in each step. Even when we fall down He is there so that we do not fall totally into the pits of hell where there is no escape. He has determined to save those who love Him.

And why is this important to grasp? Today’s Word reminds us that we do not know when Jesus will come to take His Bride, the Church, to be with Him in the New Heaven and New Earth. He is fashioning it now as we live on earth purposefully and intentionally to be His Bride as the Body of Christ. If we are casual and momentary in our walk of faith we may miss our opportunity to see Him coming and run to meet Him. But, when we are intentionally and purposefully engaged we shall see Him even in the twinkling of an eye and join with Him in those Heavenly places set aside just for us. Why has He been delayed in coming? I think it is because God wants you to know you still have the time and opportunity to engage your walk and not accidentally and unintentionally do the right thing. Do the right thing for the right purpose because we are not saved by works but by grace. Walk by faith to see Him and He will be seen in truth in you.

“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 in Taiwan and vicinity in the South China Sea with the approach of a Category 5 Typhoon
* 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 Vanuatu
* 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 (sending a diversion worker as prayed for) 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, watch over our walk today. We are pursuing the things that will make Your Kingdom real for someone else so they can know Jesus, in whose name we pray, live and serve. AMEN.

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2242

July 5, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Isaiah 12.4

“In that day you will say: “Give praise to the Lord, proclaim His name; make known among the nations what He has done, and proclaim that His name is exalted.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Shouldn’t that day be today? While bad news seems to be spreading exponentially and creating influencers of ill-will, disaster, grief and death, the mighty men of God must know that even bad news will die. When Jesus died on the cross, He overcame the hold of the enemy on the people of God by cancelling Satan’s only hold card- sin. Yes, sin is still in the world. We have all sinned and fallen short of the intended glory of God meant for each of us. But, for those who will believe that Jesus is the Christ and accept Him as their personal Lord and Savior, grace has taken the place of failure. That doesn’t mean we will not make mistakes as Christ followers; we will. It doesn’t mean some of our actions will not hurt others; they will. We are not perfect. God would love for us to be perfect. What does desires is for us to reflect His image which is faithful. Our striving to be faithful moves us toward the day when our perfection in Christ will be realized. That day is coming when we will walk by faith and not by sight.

As for me, I still have a difficult time seeing what God has in mind for me to do. I do not think I am alone in this. But, this verse reminds me that I must keep my eye on what God is doing. If I focus on Him and give praise to His Name then I will have a better focus on my own life and where I am going day by day. Seeking Him means finding me. Praising Him means finding me. Serving Him means finding me. In a manner of speaking, the Holy Spirit is reminding me that if I am lost it is only to myself. I am found by God. Now I need to allow myself to be found with God. God is my refuge. God is my strength. God is my future. God is my present. And while there is an overwhelming sense of bad news in the world, it has already been overcome by the good news of Jesus Christ. The trouble may be that the world, too, is living more by what it sees than what it believes. So, we need to change the view the world has. We need to be more out front, up front and in the lead of sharing the good news and putting it into action. I do not know when “that” day is that Isaiah speaks of. It is more likely that it is the day of the Lord when Jesus returns. But, until that day, I must praise God each day and proclaim His name above all others in Jesus Christ my Lord.

How about you, mighty men.

“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 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
* Spiritual-based and not political-based decisions on the world’s economy coming into question and the UK vote to secede from the European Union
* Blessings of peace, joy and reconciliation as God purposes for all our families
* 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 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 the US Virgin Islands
* 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
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, You are great and good and have been so with me. My the words of my mouth, the meditations of my heart, the works of my hands and the witness I bear bring glory and honor to you today in Jesus’ name. AMEN.

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2226

June 16, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

John 14.19-21

“‘Before long, the world will not see Me anymore, but you will see Me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in My Father, and You are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has My commands and keeps them is the one who loves Me. The one who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I too will love them and show Myself to them.'”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

“Seeing is believing.” That is what the world says. We have seen that mindset in the lives of the disciples. But, Jesus teaches that greater things will we do, and I believe see, than what the disciples saw. Perhaps the reasoning is in the matter of faith. As human beings we do not use the full capacity of our brain. I am not sure how much of the brain can be consciously accessed by any person. It would stand to reason that the more we are able to do with our minds the more we could accomplish in so many ways. And perhaps the ability to access more is not a human endeavor but a spiritual one. Jesus knew all things because the Father had revealed it to Him as part of the Holy Trinity. All things but one- the time of His return to earth for the Last Day. Jesus lived by faith and look at all He was able to do. It stands to reason, at least for me, that the charge to walk by faith and not by sight is the key to our ability to do greater things. So, “seeing is believing” is overshadowed by “believing is seeing.”

What do we believe?

1) Jesus is the Christ, the only Christ. Many will come proclaiming to be a messiah or that they are acting in the name of Jesus. However, if we believe in the One True Messiah then we will see the truth and bear witness to that discernment by the Holy Spirit which is given to us.

2) We are all sinners and stand in the need for grace in order to dwell in peace in this world and enjoy the blessing of the Kingdom yet to come. Without grace we are finite beings limited by our works for the supply of our needs. We may still think there are possibilities to know and do more on our own volition but there is a limit and we may be fast approaching it. Then what?

3) God loves us. God loves us so much that He wanted to remove the question in too many minds “What does God really know about me?” He did this by sending His Son to live on earth for a time in His image. The same image in which we are all created- human. He walked, talked, ate, experienced and lived life just as one of us. He was giving us the validation that God does indeed know what it means to be a man- for better and for worse. Jesus knew it all. That means God’s love includes us in all His blessings and benefits promised by Jesus His Son and our Savior. Those blessings and benefits include salvation, eternal life and provision for our daily walk according to His Will and not our own.

So, if we believe, what do we see?

1) The empty cross. Eternal death has been removed from the equation of our lives. We are no longer limited by a sin-tainted DNA. We are rewired to be children of God who take up the empty cross and bear it proudly, and humbly, saying “He did it for me. He has done it for you.”

2) The empty tomb. Not only has the sting of death at the cross been removed which would have lead to Hell but so has the stone been rolled away liberating us to live in this world and in the next as God’s sons and daughters. In this world our hopes are raised because in the Kingdom which is in our midst and coming to full fruition our spirits have been raised already to be welcomed home in Heaven as we are on earth. The empty cross becomes a key to door of eternal peace, joy, happiness and worship.

3) Jesus! He is manifested in our works to those in needs as we ministry in faith, hope and love to the world just as He told the first disciples. He was not telling the “only” disciples just the first. He told them they were to go into all the world and make more disciples. Disciples see Jesus! They hear His Word. They follow His commands! They share the Good News! They live by faith and expand the vision of Christ for others to begin to believe and see as well.

“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 safety of all vacationers in light of the recent tragedy of an alligator attack reminding us all how fragile our situations are
* 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 the Tokelau Islands
* 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; 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, may we be a part of Your vision for the future of the world today as we share our faith believing in the truth we now see in the name of Jesus our Christ. AMEN.

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