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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.

2354

December 10, 2016

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

HIS WORD for TODAY:

James 1.27

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

REFLECTIONS ON HIS WORD:

Religion is our lifestyle. It describes how we live in response to God. That benchmark is telling and it tells on each of us. When the rich young ruler approached Jesus it was with a religion of money and works. He asked “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” His works were bound by the support of his finances. It wasn’t so much what he did that made him “good” in the eyes of the world but what he hadn’t done. He didn’t break laws but he didn’t fulfill all the laws. Equally, with his money, he gave but he wasn’t sacrificial. In the presence of Jesus he met a man who lived both sacrificially and who fulfilled all the law by loving everyone, honoring them before God and honoring God before them.

We could look at James’ teaching and see how, by literary effect, we are easily included in the true religion which was Jesus’ life. Obviously, Jesus was without sin and no He was not polluted by the world. But, how did He look after the widows and orphans? True, He ministered to them but not only to them. He gave ministry to all. So how are we widows and orphans? In sin we lose sight of who we are in comparison to God. We were created to be children of God and the Holy Bride of Christ (Israel was the bride of God.) But, when sin has its affect on us we become children of the world and essentially fatherless. Equally, we are unfit to be the continuing bride and are without a husband. Not that God is dead because He is not. It is about our response and how we live in relationship to God. Sin enables us to live as spiritual widows and orphans. But, grace restores us in our relationship and gives us the opportunity to once again declare we are the sons and daughters of God and the bride of Christ.

Mighty men, our lives should be so fashioned that we are ministering in reconciliation and evangelism. In reconciliation to those who have lost sight of who they are in Christ. In evangelism to those who have not had the vision of who they are in Christ revealed to them. This is the joy of Christmas. This is the greatest gift we can give to others and to ourselves. Remember who we are and do not live as who we were. We are the righteousness of God in right relationship with Him through Jesus Christ our Lord- husband, father and brother.

“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 Indonesia
* 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, we thank You for this truth revealed that reminds us who we are in the name of Jesus Christ our Savior, by whose name we pray, live and worship and how we shall live in response to this blessed identity. AMEN.

May 24, 2009

HIS WORD FOR TODAY: 

 

James 1. 26, 27

 

“If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a civil tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.  Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

 


REFLECTING IN HIS WORD

 

Yesterday, we were “walking in confidence and waiting in expectation.”

 

Today, we are worshipping in spirit and in truth.  I suppose God could have directed me to that passage in the gospel of John that speaks of the context for “worshipping in spirit and in truth.”  That context, if you are not immediately remembering it, was a conversation held between Jesus and a Samaritan woman who came to draw water from the well outside of a nearby town.  Her purpose in drawing water was not to get some for herself but to provide a service to others for her livelihood.  She was one in need of true religion because she was spiritually “orphaned and widowed and being polluted by the world.”

 

But, Jesus was not that religion.  He was not the end goal of a practiced system of beliefs and observances.  He was, however, a practitioner of God’s true religion whose “soul” purpose was to provide faith, hope and love to others.  God’s mighty men are practitioners of God’s true religion as well.  We are, as Christ followers, bound into a way of life that is formed and shaped by the Supreme Practitioner of “spirit and truth.”  Jesus never wanted others to serve Him and lose sight of God the Father.  For Jesus there never was and never is and will never be a substitute for God nor for the true religion which God has given us to practice in our daily lives.  Too often, people, even “religious” people, have lost sight of what religion means.  It is not an end unto itself but a practice of guidelines and principles which has three essential parts pointing to the end and means of all righteousness.

 

The first is to serve God by ministering to others with godly love for the spiritual and physical well-being of each person.  The second is to praise God in the company of those who desire to believe in God alone and bring praise to God in the midst of a wondering and wandering world so they may have the opportunity to join in the praise of God.  The third is to build up the community of faith which is the living example of Jesus the Christ, the Son of the Living God who has blazed the trail of faith, hope and love in order that His people can return to God through the forgiveness of sin and the blessing of the Holy Spirit unto eternal life.  There are times when the world gets caught up in the need for a certain path and pattern of life as a required discipline in order to control themselves and others.  When the discipline becomes more important than the God-required outcome it shows an element of being polluted by the world.  Jesus showed that He was less worried about the conventions of the religions of His day than He was committed to worshipping God, His Father, in spirit and in truth.  He wasn’t promoting a religion.  He was religious and religiously displayed His faith in, hope for and love of God.

 

What is the truth?  “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  And consequently, love your neighbor as you yourself are loved.”  How do we know the truth?  We know the truth by seeking the One who lived out that truth perfectly.  That person is none other than Jesus Christ.

 

What is the spirit?  It is the inward workings of the presence of God in our lives which not only informs us of the meaning of truth but empowers us to express it in meaningful ways for the glory of God.  It is the connectedness to God which comes from prayer, meditation, study and a desire to experience the indwelling of God in our lives.  It then moves out from us into the world by the words we share and the works we do as expressions of being loved by God and accepted by Him into His community of faith.  It is the why we do what we do.  How do we know the spirit?  We know it, too, by seeking the One who lived in that spirit perfectly, Jesus Christ.

 

So what does worship have to do with religion?  Those who are Christ followers practice a true religion of faith, hope and love.  They worship in spirit and in truth.  They wait for and on Christ as servants of God’s people with the expectation of His presence here and now and yet to come. They walk in confidence which comes from knowing more fully Christ who knows them completely as friends more than servants regardless of what the world may say.  Religion isn’t the objective to be served but the service as the objective to loving God and others with all our heart, soul and strength!  All Christ followers have a religion and are called to be religious.  But, not all religious people and religions have Christ.  Without Him, there is no hope for life, there is no true religion and there is no way to be one with God.

 

 

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 be leading God’s people in praise and worship and service this weekend

*  For those who have served this country and God in the name of freedom, liberty and justice

    for all

*  For those who will be travelling during this holiday weekend that they arrive and return safely

*  For the resolution of unrest in the Middle East, Pakistan, Afghanistan and for those who put

    more faith in weapons than in the power of God to overcome, especially in Iran

*  For families in conflict and communities in disarray

 


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

 

*  The challenge of God’s Word to believe more confidently and witness more expectantly

*  For another rainy Saturday

*  For the wonder of God’s creation we are able to see because of those who commit themselves

    to the care and preservation of exotic animals

 

 
ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE THROUGH PRAYER:

 

We come to You today to worship in Spirit and in Truth.  We are like the woman at the well drawing water to help others when it is we ourselves who are hungering and thirsting for truth, too.  Lord, bless these mighty men to whom You have given the bread of life and the taste of the wine of that new covenant.  May they continue to hunger for a greater expression of Your Spirit in Love.  May they continue to thirst for a more powerful witness of Your Truth in the Word.  May the tables of the lives be filled with goodness and mercy to feed and preserve an at-risk people.  Let their celebration be abundant and fruitful in Jesus’ name.   AMEN.

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