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GOOD NEWS FOR GOD’S MEN

September 3, 2017

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

HIS WORD for TODAY

” If My people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.!”  (2 Chronicles 7.14)

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

What is the name of the Lord?  Yes, we can create a list of many names beginning with YHWH, the “I AM,” which was revealed to Moses and through Moses to the people of Israel and to Egypt- the captive and the captors.  A part of that list would include those revealing the character and nature of God such as El Shaddai, God Almighty, and El Elyon, God Most High and Jehovah Jireh, Lord who provides.  We could also include positional descriptor names such as Immanuel, God who is with us, and consequential names such as Yeshua, God who saves.  It can be an extensive list or a short list, it matters not because just as the Good Shepherd knows each of us by name so He is known by us with a name.  And God who is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, has revealed Himself through Jesus as the Christ.  And at His name every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. (Philippians 2.10)

Are you seeing God’s revelation and promise in today’s Word- “If My people, who are called by My Name”?  It is not only the name which is given to us by a God who adopts us out of the dwelling place of sin and gives us His Name so that we might dwell with Him in His House.  It is also the person, My Name, the Holy Trinity which calls us to be His people.  God has shown us the who and the what of our existence as it was, as it is and as it will be.  How valuable is it for God’s people to understand the prophecy of 2 Chronicles which is revealed in the Gospels and is fulfilled in Revelation.  When God breathed life into us so that we are born into the world we are a people called into life by His Name- the power of creation.  But, because of Adam and Eve’s shortcoming we did not humble ourselves as a people and fell into the abode of sin.  When God breathed new life into us He made it possible for us to be reborn in spirit and in truth.  The consequences can still be the same as for Adam and Eve if we refuse to humble ourselves and thus remain in the abode of sin.  But for those who are called by His Name, who will humble themselves and repent, who will cry out in earnest and solemn prayer there is salvation, restoration, reconciliation and eternal life on earth as it will be and already is in heaven.

Mighty men of God, be called by His Name- Jahweh, God our Father; Yeshua, Christ- God of our salvation; and Holy Spirit.  Humble yourselves before all the world so that those in our world, our sphere of influence, can be saved and be called by His Name as well.

 

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

* For those leading God’s people in worship, praise and service this weekend                                                                           *  For wisdom and humility come over the leadership of North Korea and they push themselves into the spotlight as enemies of God’s people                                                                                                                                                                           * For those who have been impacted by Harvey as rain that they be supplied, supported and restored
* For Louisville, Kentuckiana, Goodwill, NECC and the people of Oman
* 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, may we hear Your call in our lives in every season of life that we be as one in the name of Jesus by whom we pray, live and worship here on earth as it is in Heaven.  AMEN.

2402

August 20, 2017

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

HIS WORD for TODAY

“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.'”  (Philippians 1. 21)

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

I was brought back around to this passage of God’s Word from a different angle.  In truth, I was surprised as this scripture spoke in my head.  I am not sure why I should be surprised.  God knew it was needed for today’s conversation after worship.  He knew I needed to be prepared for it so that a further connection could be made.  Indeed, God is fully aware of what we need.  He doesn’t respond to our need reactively.  He responds proactively.  We are the ones who spend more time reacting to the events we experience in the world.  As mighty men of God we need to spend more time preparing ourselves and to be prepared by God through His Holy Spirit given to us.  This is what helps to identify us as God’s mighty men.  Instead of living in the past or living in spite of our past, we should spend each day with the eye to “our” future.  Remember that while God calls us as individuals, He sees us as a body of believers empowered by faith and motivated by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

So, let me take this moment to share that “wow, that is what it means, too?” experience I had today.  During the lesson today the Holy Spirit prompted me to think upon Jesus’ teaching to the disciples in the upper room before His arrest, conviction and crucifixion.  In that teaching, Jesus declared His oneness with God and man.  He spoke boldly that He and the Father were one just as He and the disciples were one.  The logical and spiritual extension of this declaration is that we and the Father are one.  We do not stand alone before God.  Christ stands with us and so, too, does our band of brothers.  It doesn’t mean that we become invisible to God in light of the many.  It does mean that we each are accountable before God for our part serving as a member of the Body of Christ.

Mighty men, if we live apart from Christ then we are sure to experience the everlasting death.  Even though Christ died for all our sins so that we may experience eternal life as a promised reality, it still depends on each person to accept that truth, that gift and that opportunity to share love with both the gift and the truth.  Jesus did that expressly in His ministry which lead up to and through His arrest, conviction and crucifixion.  Think about it.  We are called to be one in the Body of Christ with Christ as our head.  The Christ is Messiah.  The Church is the messianic expression of the Kingdom of God on earth.  When we become a part of the Church, the body of Christ, we are participating in the messianic community.  Step away from that picture for a moment and see a different facet of what Paul declared as Jesus had lived out.

John reminds us of Jesus’ words “I did not come into the world to condemn the world but that through me all the world can be saved.”  We also know that Jesus did not invite the disciples and followers to become one in the body of Jesus.  That would be an impossibility (as perhaps Nicodemus was to learn about being reborn.)  We are not born into the old body.  We are in a new body.  It is not the body of Jesus but rather the body of Christ.  So, then Jesus was the body of God (fully man and fully God) with God as His head.  He could be Messiah in no other way.  He could do it because He had no sin.  He was, in a manner of speaking, the epitome of the Temple.  Those who worshipped God served the Temple and the God who was the head of it.  But, Jewish followers had a difficult time keeping this concept a reality.  Why?  Because they were sinners fallen short of the glory of God.  The temple was not supposed to be reflection of God but a projection.  They failed miserably as do we if we do not have Jesus as the Christ.

It was there that the Spirit brought to mind Paul’s admonition to the mighty men of Philippi “To live is Christ and to die is gain.”  We may not be able to choose the way in which we will die.  However, we can certainly choose the way in which we will live.  Choosing to live in Christ transforms death from a loss to a gain, a liability to an asset, from a defeat to a win.  How would we characterize our lives so far?  Do we measure by what we haven’t done or by what we have done.  Do we dwell on what could have been or what has been and is yet to be?  Do we define ourselves by the standards of the world corrupted by sin or by the kingdom empowered by righteousness?

Mighty men, let us keep our perspective on Jesus (the man of God) Christ (the righteousness of God).  It is as a man born in the world that we exist but not as man alone.  It is as one in Christ born into the Kingdom of God that we exist.  The two are as one because that is the resurrected reality for all believers.  And, I suppose now with a smile, that it is not just the “two are one” but “three in one”- the trinity of a mighty man in the world just as Christ is “three in one: Father, Son and Holy Spirit”- the Holy Trinity.

* Let’s review the story of our lives and strengthen it with the witness of our faith in Christ and God’s love for us through Christ.

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 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 Nicaragua
* 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; 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, Your love is so amazing.  By Your love we are changed from a loss to a gain, from a defeat to a glory.   With Your love we go now into the world to share the truth that can set all men free.  Let this witness be powerful and transforming, affirming and empowering in the name of Jesus by whom we pray, live and worship here on earth as it is in Heaven. AMEN.

2401

August 18, 2017

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

HIS WORD for TODAY

“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.'”  (Philippians 1. 21)

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

I remember a camp experience where we created a story, every camp should have one, that you could tell around a campfire that we give everyone the willies.  It worked, too.  But the circumstances used to create the story were so real that we had to untell it.  The story spread like wildfire across the camp from Friday night to Saturday morning.  Even the parents and sponsors coming to pick up their kids were drawn into it.  Some were not amused.  But in our closing circle I used the whole event as a teaching tool.  I posed a question to everyone- “What if the gospel could spread as quickly as the spooky store created on the night before?”

Let’s be honest with ourselves.  How many times have we told a family story or a scary story or just made up a story at the spur of the moment?  Now how many times have we told the gospel story?  Do the numbers compare?  What about the impact?  Which was greater?  As Paul wrote to the mighty men of Philippi he declared to live is Christ and to die is gain.  What do we gain from the stories we told?  Paul said to die was to gain- gain eternal life and the privilege of hearing God declare “Well done my faithful son and devoted servant.”  In truth that is what Paul meant by living is Christ.  Living is being the faithful son and devoted servant because that is who Jesus was on earth and the call He issues to all of us who are walking with Him by faith.

Is our life “story” convincing and convicting to eternal life?  Or is it just a scary story meant to only bring chills up and down the spine?  Our lives and our life story are meant to mean something that inspires others to change the way they live and for whom they live.  And the foundation of that story is the gospel shared with us by someone else who truly believed it.  They believed it so much that it became their story, too.

* Let’s review the story of our lives and strengthen it with the witness of our faith in Christ and God’s love for us through Christ.

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 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 New Zealand
* 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; 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 Your love be visible through us as we share our story of faith and salvation given to us in the name of Jesus by whom we pray, live and worship here on earth as it is in Heaven. AMEN.

2311

October 2, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Philippians 2.9-11

“Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father!”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

As I was praying for God to show me more within this passage of scripture, I read ahead to the verses that followed. Remember, if you are following along with me, that I had already studied on those – “do not grumble.” What reason do we have to grumble in following Jesus? He went through far worse than we could possibly imagine. Yes, I have no doubt that there have been both saint and sinner who have suffered physical anguish and perhaps even mental anguish similar to what Jesus endured. And He did endure it because those things did not kill Him. But, none of us- past, present or future- have suffered the spiritual anguish, burden and disassociation that Jesus endured. And “endured” seems to be the word of hope in this reflection. If Jesus faced worse situations than we could ever imagine and survived them to be lifted to the highest heights then what awaits us? Are we not to be lifted up as well because we have committed ourselves to be followers of Christ? If we are followers then we are being led through the hardships, trials and tribulations of this sinful world to our eternally promised worship place! He never promised it would be easy. He said it would not be impossible. Sometimes it feels impossible. Sometimes it feels like the whole world- heaven and earth, are against us. Sometimes it feels like we are abandoned in every area of our lives past, present and future to wander aimlessly and hopelessly.

Today is Rosh Hashanah. It is the beginning of the Jewish Year. Some traditions include that it is the day on which God created Adam and Eve. It is a time of new beginnings remembering that we were created with a purpose. That purpose was challenged in the Garden by Satan just as our purpose is challenged in the world by Satan. We both have fallen short of God’s intended glory but we are both given the opportunity to be redeemed and start again. We may not get to start in the place of our original beginning, without sin, but we get to start in a place of relationship that can end up in a place without sin. Our “begin again” is not a “do it again” but a “do it differently.” Yes, “out with the bad and in with the good.” Out is sin and in is grace. We are not left to wander aimlessly and hopelessly. We walk with a God-aim and Christ-hope. We walk with the possible success and a guaranteed reward. We walk with Christ and we walk in Christ. We do so when we let Christ live in us and let Him live through us. And this happens when we acknowledge Him as Lord, proclaim Him as Savior and accept Him as Son of God.

So, mighty men, as I am challenged and reminded, this happens when we are pressing forward through the world and into Christ. We are not stoic and staid. We are passionate and active. We are the purpose of God in Christ. He lives in us as we live in Him. And following Him, seeing where He has gone already, gives us pause to rejoice and the opportunity to put aside our grumbling. Yes, it could be worse and that is not always a consolation. But, it will be better and that is our realized hope.

“Let HIM be seen in the mighty men of 2016.”

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

* For those leading God’s people in worship, praise and service this weekend
* For wisdom and provision of those in need as the seasons begin to change and the inclement weather challenges those in need of housing and food
* 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 Denmark
* 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 and for our healing

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

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

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, we start today as we should each day listening for Your Word of our daily purpose and putting ourselves into action with Jesus our Savior, in whose name we pray, live and worship. AMEN.

2310

September 30, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Philippians 2.9-11

“Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father!”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

The commercial says “MILK- it does a body good.” We know the value of milk as a source of many vitamins and minerals for our body. Praising the name of Jesus and honoring Him before God and one another is like the milk of the Spirit. Yes, acknowledging Jesus as Lord does the body good- the body of Jesus Christ, the Church. When the mighty men of God praise Jesus as Lord and call Him their Christ it also brings glory and honor to God the Father. It acknowledges the power of God’s love to save and restore life wherever sin has sought to sow the seeds of eternal death. And we know that because of what Jesus did we not only have eternal life as the result of our faith in Him but sin’s hold is shown as limited. Peter says it this way “He who descended also ascended.” Yes, sin cannot keep us away from God nor the blessing of eternal life which is ours in Christ Jesus. Sin has been defeated. Jesus is victor. Those who will be in Christ Jesus as members of the Church, His body on earth, continue to lift Him up in praise, worship and service. Each time it is like a trumpet blast of victory and the call to move forward to proclaim the truth which is for everyone to hear. It doesn’t mean we may not suffer for it in the world. Jesus told His disciples there would be trouble up to and including death for continuing the work of the Gospel. The enemy of God will not go quietly. But, he will go and the day is coming when he will be gone because every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord.

So, praise the Lord, mighty men. It does the Body of Christ good to declare Jesus as Lord to the glory of God. It strengthens us and encourages us to keep the faith and fight the good fight. Each time we praise the Lord the Spirit within us is released more and more so that we can rise to the full measure and stature of Jesus Christ. Without Him it would not be possible. With Him all things that are needed and necessary are possible through the glory of God, by the glory of God and to the glory of God. Jesus is our witness!

“Let HIM be seen in the mighty men of 2016.”

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

* For those leading God’s people in worship, praise and service this weekend
* For wisdom and provision of those in need as the seasons begin to change and the inclement weather challenges those in need of housing and food
* 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 the Czech Republic
* 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 and for our healing

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

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

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, we join with the angels and saints in Heaven declaring that name which is above all names and commit ourselves to serve with Him today and all days yet to come. May Your Glory be made known in and through us as we align ourselves with Jesus our Savior, in whose name we pray, live and worship. AMEN.

2309

September 29, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Philippians 2.8

“And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself
by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

“All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. The wages of sin is death.” We know the logical teaching of the Apostle Paul on this subject “As in Adam all men die so in Christ all men shall live.” Thank God for Jesus Christ! Because of Him we have the opportunity to be reconciled back to God and blessed with the fulfilled promise of eternal life. While we may die in the flesh as men before us have, we will live in spirit and in truth as Christ does. He is able to enjoy the blessing of life after death because He humbled Himself to a life whose consequence would be death- even death on a cross. He knew He would not die of old age; He is the ageless One. He knew He could not abandon the body; He was God’s man on earth. He knew the consequences of living in obedience to God in a world of disobedience would be death. And He knew it would not be an easy nor painless death; it would be a terrible death. And His death was a terrible one not only because of the horrors done to His body with beatings, floggings, punctures and ultimately crucifixion but because He took on all the sins of the world. His death was a complete and awful death externally and internally. Yet, nothing could kill His Spirit nor His conviction to honor God.

Jesus knew the way, the course and the will for His life. We, as mighty men and those who are not so mighty, want to know the same for our life. What is our way, our course and our will for our life? So, let’s take this verse offered to the mighty men of Philippi and modify it in this way as a means of moving toward the answer to our question. Let’s read it this way: “And we, being found as in the appearance of Christ humbled ourselves in obedience to death- even death on a cross.” Because, as disciples, Jesus urges us to take up our cross and follow Him. Our faith commitment is a challenge to this sinful world declaring there is a worthy alternative to sinful living- righteousness. It may not set well with others but it is pleasing to God. In the end we are to please God alone. We are to love and serve others even our enemies. So, the choice for us would seem clear as the consequence of Jesus’ decision to honor God and love all men was and is eternal life in the presence of Almighty God, our Father. If this is what we desire then we must commit ourselves to embracing our true identity as sons of God, mighty men of faith, joint heirs with Christ as brothers and friends of the Messiah. Embracing this truth, mighty men, is the beginning of wisdom and opens the door to the rest of our lives. The choice remains, as it did for Jesus, to decide to walk through that door and pursue the life of Christ in us which leads to eternal life with the Father.

“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 wisdom and provision of those in need as the seasons begin to change and the inclement weather challenges those in need of housing and food
* 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 Cypress
* 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 her 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, our Father, we embrace again the truth that we are one in the body of Christ. Seizing that truth for ourselves we renew our commitment to go with Jesus our Savior, in whose name we pray, live and worship. AMEN.

2308

September 28, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Philippians 2.8

“And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself
by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Jesus taught in word and in action “No greater love is there than this that a man lay down his life for another.” Jesus was, is and will continue to be consistent in His thinking, His actions and in His being. He is, was and will always be God’s love personified in life on earth as a man of God, God’s man, and in Heaven as the son of God, God’s Son. And because of His faithfulness to His understanding of love, mercy and grace and His commitment to both God and us, we have no reason to grumble. Through His death we became heirs to the Kingdom and those in whom the Spirit of God now dwells in power and in truth. We are freed from the burden of seeking to earn God’s favor and hope to appease Him so that we will not die forever. Before Jesus came into our world and into our lives we had only the hope of good works to be the definition of our righteousness. Now we have the place of righteousness to be the definition of our good works and the impetus for seeking to work for the Kingdom of God on earth as we will continue to do so in Heaven. We are given the full blessing and favor of God! Why do we seek to grumble each day? Is it because we have failed to grasp the truth of what Jesus truly did for us and for God? We ought to be rejoicing just as the angels in Heaven rejoice as another lost child of God is found in faith by hope with love through the sharing of the Gospel of Jesus and the Holy Spirit of God!

So it seems, mighty men of God, that we should discipline ourselves to embrace the truth of who we are and proclaim it confidently whenever we are given the opportunity to grumble about life in this world. Quote a scripture such as John 3.16 or speak the Lord’s Prayer or declare a praise of thanksgiving to God whenever the urge to bemoan your current status and see what God has done, is doing and will continue to do in and through you by your faithfulness to being a follower and friend of Jesus.

“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 comfort and wisdom to rise up and overwhelm the pattern of reporting so much bad news and those who follow the leads of law breakers to validate their own feelings of frustration; peace in Tulsa, North Carolina, Washington DC and Minnesota
* 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 Cuba
* 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 her 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, to this end we commit ourselves- that the truth of Jesus live in and through us so that others can join with us and with Jesus our Savior, in whose name we pray, live and worship. AMEN.

2307

September 27, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Philippians 2.14-16a

“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’ Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

I needed this passage of scripture yesterday. God moved my eye from the line of scriptures preceding it to the “do everything without grumbling” because He knows I am struggling to keep the faith, hope and joy in my current work situation. It helped. I have to practice it more. What helps is to go back to the scriptures missed between where I was studying and where I was led yesterday to see an incentive reminder of why I should not grumble. Grumbling can be a sign of a lack of faith, or maybe just a lack of trust. It is easy for the weight of the world to be so great that our frustration bubbles up in grumbling. But, if we are drawing from the well of the Spirit which is eternal life then there is a spring of joy that should be bubbling up instead.

We can hear from of that dynamic in the story of the woman at the well. We do not hear her grumbling as she approaches the well. She has done it countless times in order to provide for herself and others. She could get there blindfolded because of the frequency of her journey. Familiarity doesn’t mean freedom or relief. It can lead to a state of dullness and regret. But, there is some of that grumbling mentality when Jesus engages her in conversation. She had gone to the well to draw water. Jesus went to draw life. He was hot, tired, thirsty and hungry. But, it didn’t deter Him from seeking one more person for the Kingdom of God. But, the experience He shared was not an external one dealing with the needs of the flesh. Instead, He drew upon the well of life in the woman which was based on her knowledge of the truth of God. Tapping into the spring with the truth of who He was connecting with who she was lead to an overflowing well of joy and healing. It is a good reminder to me that there is a wellspring of faith, hope, love, joy, peace and wisdom inside of me because I know Jesus. Life in this world may have caused it to be plugged or covered over. But, life in Jesus can cause it to spring to life again. It is that way for you, too, mighty men. Let the Word of the Lord connect, convict and convince you of the truth of who you are before Christ so that the Christ who is before You can free the truth leading to eternal life and the fulfillment of your earthly purpose.

“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 living in the flooded regions of Iowa and Wisconsin facing evacuation and in Tokyo following a 6.5 earthquake
* For comfort and wisdom to rise up and overwhelm the pattern of reporting so much bad news and those who follow the leads of law breakers to validate their own feelings of frustration; peace in Tulsa, North Carolina, Washington DC and Minnesota
* 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 Croatia
* 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 her healing

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

* Happy Birthday, Mack!
* 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, let peace flow like a river from the wellspring of Your Spirit which is in us as we connect with Jesus our Savior, in whose name we pray, live and worship. AMEN.

2306

September 26, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Philippians 2.14-16a

“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’ Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

How many of us awoke this morning facing a Monday! And our attitude following a day of worship and praise, walking and living in the intimate relationship of spirit and grace with God should be heaven high! Yet, Monday comes with work and life issues based on work that resemble more the valley of the shadow of death than a bright opportunity to love, adore and praise. This is in our control. We must take on the attitude of wisdom, peace and trust which is from God alone. We, as mighty men, are to be the bright lights of faith, hope and love in a darkening and depressing world. We are lamps of truth, peace and blessing set on the hills of industry, business and productivity. We are not to allow the baskets of consumption and falsehood cover us over and hide the light of God’s mercy and grace poured out over us nor of His Holy Spirit placed in us for life as created in His Image and for His Kingdom as we have been recreated and renewed in His Image. Take hold of your spiritual identity in Christ Jesus and move into this day with the confidence of being sons and daughters of God, ones of righteousness and friends and brothers of Jesus.

“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 living in the flooded regions of Iowa and Wisconsin facing evacuation and in Tokyo following a 6.5 earthquake
* For comfort and wisdom to rise up and overwhelm the pattern of reporting so much bad news and those who follow the leads of law breakers to validate their own feelings of frustration; peace in Tulsa, North Carolina, Washington DC and Minnesota
* 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 Cote d’Ivoire
* 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 her 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!
* We had a big Sunday for sales… and God will provide sufficient workers for the harvest.

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, with Your Spirit and with Your Truth we will go with confidence into this day to join with Jesus our Savior, in whose name we pray, live and worship. AMEN.

2305

September 25, 2016

HIS WORD for TODAY:

Philippians 2.5-7

“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage; rather, He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

As I read through what I was learning yesterday pertaining to our nothingness and somethingness I was struck by what I recorded. It is from scripture where Paul taught “Nothing can separate us from the love of God.” If the lie of sin which declares we are something we are not (independent from God) and that anything can separate us from God’s love (which only our refusal that Jesus is the Christ can finally do) is believed then it may be true that “nothing” can separate us from the love of God. It does not change the heart, mind, spirit and desire of God toward man. He is not separated from us by our sin and sinfulness. In fact, our sinfulness actually brought God closer to us not to condemn us nor wipe us off the face of the earth. Instead, our sin brought God into the very midst of us and into us so that we might have the greatest opportunity to not be separated from Him.

This leads me to consider the power of the Law. What it seeks to do is to bring us closer to God. But, seeking to get closer to God through works alone (which is what the Law requires because we cannot do nothing and hope to truly satisfy the purpose of the Law which is to be righteous) is the impetus of the Law. Except, no one can truly satisfy the purpose and function of the Law. Trying to do so only makes the distance between us and God seem greater and our feeling of being nothing greater.

It cannot be by works alone. It must include faith. But, it is faith in God that must accompany works that becomes the function of our lives. If it is faith in ourselves and God is left to the side, then our works become sinful regardless of how beneficial it may be to others. True faith seeks to draw people together with God. Faith in ourselves seeks to separate us from others and thus from God. Why are those works sinful? Because they promote man above God. It puts self effort above grace and humility and servanthood. Servanthood seeks to lift others up without regard to one’s own needs. But, works without faith seeks only to lift one up above others through indebtedness and self-grandizing praise.

So, if not by the Law then what? Isn’t it by grace? Grace is the word of God which awards goodness to the effort of drawing closer to God by loving one another. It is love, true love, in action. True love is the work of God that brings salvation to bear in the lives of those who believe that without God they would be as nothing and thus separated from God. So, there is “nothing” that can separate us from the love of God. God’s love is always for us and never against us. It doesn’t approve our bad behavior and thinking but it does encourage and enable us to seek to be better by loving God and others first. And in my mind, I am still considering that the “nothing” spoken of is about things. There are no things (person or object) that can separate us from the love of God. But, the mindset of “nothingness” can certainly separate “us” from the fullest effect of God’s love. It isn’t that love isn’t there but that we cannot see it and if seeing it we won’t receive it because we do not believe we are something enough to get it.

That is why we need Jesus! He became as “nothing” being devoid of the things of this world and took on the role of a servant, putting others first, so that we could see the something in us that God loves! We are something, mighty men! Put off the nothingness in your thinking and embrace the something that you are- sons of the Most High and Mighty God worthy of standing alongside our Savior, Jesus the Christ, on earth as we will in Heaven. Now that is something!

“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 this weekend in worship, praise and service
* For comfort and wisdom to rise up and overwhelm the pattern of reporting so much bad news and those who follow the leads of law breakers to validate their own feelings of frustration; peace in Tulsa, North Carolina, Washington DC and Minnesota
* For the heart of American citizens to seek God’s will in the upcoming presidential election
* 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 Costa Rica
* 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 her 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!
* We will have a good small group gathering today!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, thank You for showing us the lovely something that we can become with Jesus our Savior, in whose name we pray, live and worship. AMEN.

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