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2396

June 18, 2017

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

HIS WORD for TODAY

John 17. 20-23

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in US so that the world may believe that You have sent Me. I have given them the glory that You gave Me, that they may be one as WE are one— I in them and You in Me—so that they may be brought to complete unity!”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Happy Father’s Day!.

As mighty men of God, mighty people of God to be truthful, our true and most important identity ought to be oneness with God. It is difficult for most people to embrace a oneness with God for a number of reasons such as authority-figure, judge, law giver, etc. However, Jesus brings to our minds and lives the true means of being one with God. He does it by living out the father-son relationship. Many preachers talk about the difference between religion and relation; even I have done so. I do not believe we can have one without the other. But, we must keep in mind the proper priority of the two. In order to embrace a vital oneness with God, to worship Him in truth and in spirit, we must have a authentic relationship with God as our Heavenly Father. This is what Jesus did. It is what He lived for and died for. He was the incarnation of authentic relationship with God. He was the Son of God in Heaven and on earth. He did not dwell on being prince or king though He knew He was the King of Kings. He did not dwell on the Law and being a law-giver except to remind everyone that the greatest commandment was to love God and then to love one another. His obedience was not a demand but a command. It was a command of worth and will. The value of life has a good worth and is led by good will. And in His prayer to God, His Father, for the disciples was laden with the relationship hope that would be one of the foundation stones aligned with the Cornerstone of the Church and the religion is promoted. A religion of good worth, good will and right relationship.

And what can that mean for the mighty men of God? Is it not that as Christ has brought us into right relationship with God through the sacrifice, willing sacrifice, of His own life so that we can be known as sons of God, too, so must we then do the same for our “disciples.” And who are those disciples if not our family and friends? Establishing and building relationships that image the immutable God-Son on earth as it is Heaven is our great commission. Promoting unity of faith, hope and love, most of all love, is the boots on the ground tactic of defeating the enemy and making allies. Being a father to a son of ours, and daughter, is keeping alive the gospel of Jesus Christ who showed us how the love of the Father becomes a love for all those who are willing to become a part of the family of that Father. He is not distant. He is not aloof. He is not absent. He is not haughty. He is not rude. He is not self-serving. He is not impatient. He is not the enemy. Instead, He is with us. He is united with us in Spirit and in truth. He is an ever present help. He is humble. He is courteous and kind. He is all about serving the needs of others. He is our Father, Friend and Ally.

Sounds like some big shoes to fill and big steps to follow. But, in love Jesus will help us grow into them and learn to walk with them in bringing all the world into the right relationship of God and man. I like to think that each Father’s Day is a gift to dads that is a challenge to do better because we are better for God, for ourselves, for our spouses and children and for our friends and those who will become our friends.

“Let us be the best we have ever been as 2017 mighty men.”

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

* For those leading God’s people in worship this weekend as we celebrate Father’s Day- a special prayer to all fathers that they will make the tough love commitment to love their children better than they ever have
* For the Spirit of rest to swallow up unrest in our heart, mind, soul and spirit and throughout our circle of influence
* For those who are seeking to put an end to human trafficking that their success would be overwhelming so that the healing may be equally so
* For Louisville, Kentuckiana, Goodwill, NECC, our new small group and the people of Nauru
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends healing, reconciliation and wisdom- especially for Tom Jensen; for needs of my family; wisdom to know the truth and relate it adequately; for guidance in a difficult financial situation

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

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

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, we thank You for being our Father and being in a relationship of love with us in the name of Jesus by whom we pray, live and worship here on earth as it is in Heaven. AMEN.

2387

February 26, 2017

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

HIS WORD for TODAY:

1 John 4.9

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

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

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

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

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

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

“Let us be the best we have ever been as 2017 mighty men.”

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

* For those leading God’s people in worship, praise and service this weekend
* For wisdom among the world’s leaders as wars and rumors of wars rise up; earthquakes, floods, great winds and fire abound; and civil unrest reaches out across all secular and non-secular lines and to lead God’s people into the truth concerning judgment, the end of days and Jesus’ return for we are moving closer to it each day.
* For those who are seeking to put an end to human trafficking that their success would be overwhelming so that the healing may be equally so
* For Louisville, Kentuckiana, Goodwill, NECC and the people of Malta
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends healing, reconciliation and wisdom- especially for Tom Jensen; for a new job placement that aligns with God’s purpose intended for me not to be in struggle; for needs of my family now that far exceed our ability to handle on our own and comfort to our parents who are committed to their new realities; wisdom to know truth and relate it adequately; for guidance in a difficult financial situation; physical and mental healing of my stepmother and my dad; relief from pain for my wife and myself and for the strengthening of our relationship with one another and God; courage and healing for a family member battling several issues

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

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

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, thank You for never being far from us and allowing us to draw near to You without fear or dread in the name of Jesus by whom we pray, live and worship here on earth as it is in Heaven. AMEN.

2366

January 5, 2017

Celebrating the day when God came down to dwell among His people in the life of Jesus the Christ, God’s Son and our Savior!

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

HIS WORD for TODAY:

James 4.13-17

“Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’ As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Is it possible for God’s mighty men to actually claim ignorance? If any mighty man has declared himself to be a follower of Christ it ought to be with an awareness of the Word of God in print, in spirit and in truth. James’ teaching about obedience is fortunately covered by grace. But, even with blessing of grace not one of us should ignore the good we ought to do but for whatever reason we excuse ourselves from it. I believe that grace allows us to be able to do what we know is right but didn’t do which made our decision wrong. In golf, it might been akin to a mulligan. But, pro golfers don’t get a mulligan without a penalty. Grace allows us to do over without a penalty but calls us into accountability because someone may have suffered some kind of penalty for our lack of good effort.

Now, I do not believe we know all the right and good things to do. Yet, as followers of Christ, our conscience is quickened to know when we have done wrong. We are aware of the feelings of others. We become more and more sensitive to their needs and thoughts especially as we observe their responses to what we do or do not do. Mighty men, we must be intentional in our service and works. They are witnesses and testimonies to others about our relationship with God through Jesus Christ. So, while we may not, and probably don’t, know everything, we ought to be growing in our walk of awareness and service as it relates to God’s call in and through our lives to be Christ followers. If we are to be the best we have ever been in 2017, then we must be more engaged with the Word of God and pray God’s Spirit given to us by Jesus Christ will sense our desire to honor God and be obedient to Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

“Let us be the best we have ever been as 2017 mighty men.”

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

* For a repentive and rejuvenated new year led by God’s word
* 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 Korea (Democratic Peoples’ 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 (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):

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

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, we receive Your Holy Spirit anew each day so that it may teach us and empower us to do the right we know we should do in the name of Jesus Christ our Savior, by whose name I pray, live and worship. AMEN.

1937

June 17, 2015

HIS WORD for Today:

Genesis 3.1-6

“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.”

Mark 2.27

“Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

As I was listening to the relationship lesson out of which the Holy Spirit birthed this particular study in me, I was taken to that miracle of creation in which the Garden of Eden was a part. Not that it particularly matters, but where the Garden fits in the creation story is interesting. In Genesis, chapter 1, the world was made out of nothing but the disordered chaos of matter. It does not reveal the genesis of why God created the heavens and the earth and all parts in between. It only reveals that God created with His Word all that we know exists. It may be easy enough to say “God disliked the lack of order and darkness which existed beyond His immediate presence, so He took things into His own hands.” I might say this because it fits with God’s purpose of not serving Himself but He Himself being of service to “us.” Of course, the “us” in creation hadn’t even been created yet. But, I believe He had “us” in mind. In that first chapter revelation of creation, God created all things leading up to “us.” Once He had made the heavens and the earth and all forms of life which would maximize His plan of productivity and procreation, then He made humankind as He imagined they would be in this particular world we call Earth. Strange, is it not, that humanity wasn’t actually the last thing created. Yes, I know that on the seventh day, God rested from all His work. He had completed the task of creation and set things in motion so that after the sixth day came the seventh. But, there was something unique about that seventh day. While God did not have to create it, He created its identity which is just as powerful. He created that identity by giving it a name and a purpose. I will get to that in a minute. I pray you will still be with me.

So, I mentioned the creation revelation we know as Genesis, chapter 1. But, what about that interesting revelation of creation known as Genesis, chapter 2. Yes, in chapter 2, we see God creating the groundwork for the rest of the story. No plant or animal life had yet been formed. Life was necessary to begat life on earth. God knew that someone would have to work the land and, as we might say, become a husbandman for it. So, God created a man, a living being out of the dust of the earth and breathed into him life. Then, putting man to the side, God created the rest of the world and all its wonderful manifestations of plant and animal life. He called it a Garden and put the man He had formed in it to help maintain it and cultivate it so that it would continue to prosper and grow. What would it grow? Trees good for food whose fruit was pleasing to the eye including both the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Wisdom of Good and Evil. We have no mention of how many days it took God to create all that was made. It could have taken eons, millenia or just a snap of the finger. I bring this to our attention because there is thus no mention of God resting from all His work. There was still work to be done because God knew it wasn’t all about Him. No, the rest of the work to be done was to be completed by humankind. He knew that man could not exist on his own to bring forth life, so God created a helpmate. He blessed the relationship by making them as one- husband and wife. If I had to put a day to it for the story’s sake, I might say “And on the seventh day, God brought man and woman together in perfect relationship to live in the garden.” Yes, on the [assigned] seventh day, God made marriage as a holy and set aside relationship in which there was only grace and no shame.

So, what does this have to do about the “ene-ME” of God and humankind? The seventh day is about sabbath and worship- rest and service. Whether it is the literal-figurative seventh day in Genesis 1 or my assigned seventh day in Genesis 2, the focus is the same. What is the focus? It is about “me” taking care of the needs of the other and not others taking of “me.” God created the sabbath day and made it holy. Yes, I continue to say that by setting aside that day, giving it a name and a holy purpose, He created it. He created it out of nothing because that day did not yet exist. Its existence served God’s desire for humanity to remember “where they were at and where they came from.” It served as a model for how they should conduct their daily lives one day at a time. God knew they would consume themselves with laboring in the world, so He created a day of rest for them in which they could worship and give thanks and enjoy peace and shamelessness- dare we say “grace and forgiveness.” He also created the tie that binds man and woman together. We call the tie marriage. It is a uniting of the heart of man and woman. One is drawn from the other and the other is drawn to the one. Together they represent the divine presence of God in the world; especially when they serve one another as He served them.

The ene-ME of God and man wants us to see it any way but that. Service is not of love but of indebtedness and captivity. The ene-ME declares that people are to be free from the other. It leads people to think that others are meant to serve them without reciprocation and that reciprocation is a declaration of weakness or inferiority. The ene-ME wants us to see our relationship with God in this way as well. God’s ordinances are restrictions not promotions and should be ignored. They serve only to enslave and limit the will of humanity and their future. Even those who thought they were serving God by enforcing legal rigidities on those who “didn’t know better,” were themselves enslaved by the “What about ME” syndrome. One such occasion was when the Pharisees confronted Jesus about the purpose of the Sabbath day. Jesus replied, “The Sabbath was made for humankind, not the other way around.” It was God’s gift to His beloved other- Adam and Eve first and then to all generations who would follow. On that day, we are not serving the Lord with works of worship. We are actually declaring a new day just as the Lord had down in which we are to rejoice and be glad in it. We are sharing it with others so they would know of God’s love in creation and in the re-creation of man through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. He is the One who said that the greatness of man and the evidence of real love comes in the service we give and not the one we receive. He taught “Greater love does not exist than that of a love of man for another to the extent he would be willing to give up his live for him [and ask nothing in return] except that we love one another as God has loved us.”

Cast out the ene-ME mentality in your life, mighty men, and love one another in service of worship and fidelity as that which honors God and gives good news to your fellow man.

“Let HIS TRUTH be seen (and heard) in the mighty men of 2015.”

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

* For Texas and Oklahoma residents in the path of TS Bill and the heavy amounts of rainfall anticipated on already saturated land
* For the end of Boko Haram and for the defeat of the terrorist rebels, ISIS, as they have joined forces in bringing death and terror to the innocent
* 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 protection on Christians around the world and the celebration that all life lived in Christ will be blessed with life in the Kingdom
* For the mission teams sent out by the Church into all the world that they remain safe as they intercede on behalf of God’s people and plant the seed of faith, hope and love for a harvest of new life
* For Mission Waco, “No Man’s Land,” Marlin High School and the people of Niger
* For the needs of my family near and far and our friends; especially the breaking of addiction chains binding them; for needs on my family now that far exceed our ability to handle on our own- we need God’s intervention and His wisdom as we seek to please and honor Him in the next step of our journey of faith for jobs, housing and transportation in order to accomplish His purposes for us in the nations

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

* We are believing for God’s provision as we seek His purpose for our lives with jobs, housing and transportation in a new venue
* God is good all the time and all the time God is good- even when we cannot see it!
* God’s Word declares press into my rest and live as you have never lived before; we press into His finished work for our healing- may it be manifested Lord!

ABIDING IN PRAYER: Father, we humbly come before You knowing You have considered us worthy of Your love even when we have been unlovable by not serving others before ourselves. Cast out the ene-ME in us and set us free to be the holy other which You envisioned us to be. In the name of the One for whom we live, serve and pray- Jesus our Lord and the Holy Spirit that makes us one, I pray. AMEN.

July 8, 2012

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

Leave no soul unturned in 2012!

Psalm 84. 1-3

“How lovely is Your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

I guess the real question is “How bad do you want God in your life and how bad do you want to be in God’s life?” Every mighty man of God discovers his strength in light of the answer to these questions. The more energy we expend on seeking God out and making God known the more we find the richness of God’s blessing in our own lives. We should not be confused! We are infused with the Holy Spirit from creation when God breathes life into us. We are inspired with the Holy Spirit when we ask for its indwelling in our own Spirit and the breath of God enters into us like a mighty rushing wind. We are anointed with the Holy Spirit as the blessing of God is poured out from Heaven as result of His never-ending response to our decision to follow Him all the days of our lives and to serve Him alone with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. If we want a casual relationship with God, we can have it. Not much will come from it and the blessings of God will remain basically undiscovered. What a wealth of blessings is ours when we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior! But, it is like the treasure of great price which was buried in the field. It had to be sought out, dug up and then purchased with a great price. It requires the efforts of committed men (and women) to be fully known. As mighty men of God are our souls yearning after God? Are they fainting with exhaustion in the pursuit? Are they crying out as they see the prize just beyond their fingertips? Reach for God. Pursue Him. Make Him first in all your desires and know the full blessing of being one with the One.

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

* For those who will lead God’s people in worship, praise and service this weekend
* For those impacted by the rising heat wave (still nearly1million without electricity) and
storms in the Midwest and east coast; remember to care for your pets, too!!
* For the sanctity of families and the minds of fathers to be renewed toward their children
* Be with the 1200 firefighters in New Mexico still battling the largest fire in that state’s history;
and also in Colorado
* For the future of this nation whose leadership has taken a giant step away its future as a
positive and Christian nation
* 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 the violence to stop in Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Turkey and the open roads for peace be made
so that healing may begin and peace rules
* For Israel to have wisdom in deciding to follow God’s leading before military intervention
against Iran and Syria
* For protection on Christians around the world and the celebration that all life lived in Christ
will be blessed with life in the Kingdom
* For the cessation of violence in Mexico: as long we allow making drugs to cost anything it
will cost us everything!
* For the mission teams sent out by the Church into all the world that they remain safe as they
intercede and plant the seed of faith, hope and love
* For Mission Waco, “No Man’s Land” and the people of Albania
* For strength of mind to regularly workout, eat correctly and lose weight
* For Richard’s vocational situation to find its resolution best suited to serve his family
* For deliverance from cancer in my brother, healing for Lisa and the deliverance of true rest;
for all the concerns lifted up in LG; healing of Rev. Kevin Hollowell

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

* For rain!
* For safe and prosperous visit to Kentucky for Mack
* For successful tests preparation for teachers and students for next week
* For His Word on vocational strategy and revelation concerning the future and the infusion of a
positive attitude

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

Father, abide in us as we abide in You! AMEN.

May 7, 2011

HIS WORD FOR TODAY:

John 10.14

“I am the good shepherd; I know My sheep and My sheep know Me.”

REFLECTING IN HIS WORD:

There is more than knowledge and familiarity involved in this description of what it takes to be a “good shepherd.” You may know lots of people and lots of people may know you but that doesn’t necessarily make you a good person, boss, co-worker, teacher, student, spouse or child. What is known may be more negative than positive. Jesus knew He was the good shepherd because He understood what “good” meant. The term “good” indicates a “functional working according to plan.” You have heard me say this before especially when reflecting on the creation of the world as recorded in Genesis. In order for Jesus to be the shepherd who “worked according to plan, God’s plan” He had to exhibit a working knowledge of His sheep. He created a relationship of trust and purpose with a positive goal in mind with His sheep, His followers. He took the time to understand their inner thoughts and their outward expressions. He knew best what they meant even when they had a most difficult time expressing it. He knew their desires, their needs and their aspirations. He was spiritually intimate with the heart, mind, soul and spirit of each one of His disciples, His followers by faith. Even in the case of Judas Iscariot, Jesus knew Judas was the one upon whom the lot had been cast to start the process of His crucifixion. At the table when Judas dipped his bread into the cup of Jesus simultaneously with Jesus, Jesus looked at him and said, “What you are going to do you must do now and do so quickly.” Did Jesus see some hesitation in the heart of Judas? If Judas stayed one moment longer would he have changed his mind? Would he have exposed his intention before the disciples and they would have stopped him from meeting with the leaders of the Temple? If so, would Jesus have divulged in that moment of panic and confusion the events as they had to occur? But, Jesus knew the plan of God for His own life and did not stop, but encouraged, Judas from fulfilling his part in the “good” plan for our salvation. They were all in this together.

It is that togetherness than made, and makes, Jesus the good shepherd. Not only does Jesus know all about His followers- the good, the bad and the ugly, but they know Him. Jesus did not hide anything from His disciples. They rarely understood what He was saying, doing or leading them to accommodate in their own lives but He always spoke the truth in love. Speaking that truth also meant that His words were actions as well. Jesus, as the Lord and Savior of the World, is not a noun but a verb. Jesus as the Christ is an action word constantly at work in every “tense” of the word- past, present, future, past perfect and future perfect. He was and is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He is eternal and He is eternity. Whether the followers understood or not they knew that Jesus would never fail them. What a comfort this is when there is a lack of understanding on our part. No matter what, Jesus will make sense of our lives and our hopes and our desire for the future beginning in the very present moment of our lives. We know that about Him. It is inescapable even when it seems that logic and reason have escaped us when life gets difficult. No matter what Jesus is with us. Jesus is with us no matter what. Knowing that simple truth keeps our lives together and our relationship with Christ together.

As God’s mighty men, we must practice this truth as well. It is a truth in relationship with the plan and purpose of God. There can be no rules without relationship. All behavior is based on a need. That need is a good relationship and by rule the best relationship is the one we can have with God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Be good shepherds, mighty men of God. Know your followers and let them get to know you.

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

* For those who will lead God’s people in worship, praise and service this weekend
* Protection and safety for those impacted by heavy flooding in the Midwest and Southeast
United States
* For a safe last flight for the Spaceship Endeavor (waiting now for launch time in mid-May)
* For fiscal wisdom in our nation which highlights dependence on the prosperity of God in
heart, mind and spirit than in the providence of man in words and pocketbooks
* For those facing flooding and high winds, even tornadoes in the current season of storms; may
peace reign
* Alabama
* Afghanistan
* Libya
* Syria
* Haiti
* Japan
* Mexico
* North Korea
* For all our troops stationed here and abroad defending the right of people to be free; especially
throughout the Middle East where the conflict is political and military but the solution remains
spiritual
* For Mission Waco and the people of Iceland

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

* For deliverance from Friday’s madness into Saturday’s smile
* For God’s coming provision for medical bills

ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

O Lord, Your sheep are here and trusting You in all things. Shepherd us with Your goodness, mercy and grace. May the bounty of these blessings satisfy the needs of the sheep of Your hand and the people of Your pasture. AMEN.