Monday, July 26, 2010

Leading humbly

Leading humbly

S - 1 Pet 5:5-7 (NASB)

5You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.

6Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,

7casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

O - I feel a little in between at this stage in my life, I am not an elder but not quite a younger man; instead I find myself in more senior leadership positions in my life at work, at home, and in ministry, and still needing to submit humbly to the elders God has placed in my life. It is a good tension in a way in that I am reminded to keep humbling myself, and that it will be God who exalts and raises me up in his time. It is comforting knowing that God gives grace to the humble and promotes those who humbles themselves, as well as taking the anxiety and worries away from those that do.

A - There are a few great take aways for me in this season on my life:

1. Subject myself to my elders (lead up) - always remember to submit myself to those God has placed in authority over me

2. Humble myself among my peers (lead sideways and down) - It is important to be a humble servant because it will draw attention to God in my life, as well as being God's most excellent and effective way to lead those around you. This requires a great deal of humilty; but the good news if you humble yourselves under God's authority he will give grace to whatever shortcomings as a leader you may have, as well as take away any anxiety that results from you having to die to your desires to control or lead a situation in a non-humble way.

3. Praise God's plan for promotion - If we are able to submit to our elders, humble our self, cast our anxieties on him, we are leaders God can definitely use at the next level in His Kingdom, and promotion will be sure to come.

P - Dear heavenly Father, thank you for today's lesson, may it be sealed to my heart. I am so thankful for your continued pursuit of me and my equipping as a follower, servant, and one day leader in your kingdom plan. I pray Lord that you continue to equip and shape me into the man you need me to be so that I can serve you well. I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Corrected by our wife's behavior

Corrected by our wife's behavior
S - 1 Pet 3:1-2,7 (NASB)
1In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives,
2as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.
7You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as withsomeone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.

O - I am convicted today by this verse, that my wife is a godly woman who lives by this very verse, and that when I deviate from my call as a husband to love and lead her well that I ignore her submissive and respectful behavior but rather look to conflict as the thing that causes me to repent and change my ways.

A - The application for me is to recognize that when I am pressing toward conflict with my wife I must reflect on her submissive and respectful behavior toward me as a reminder of my very deviation from God's word on my role as a husband to show her understanding and honor.

P - Dear heavenly Father, thank you for today's devotion, may it be sealed to my heart. I pray Lord for true transformation in this area of my life, help me to be a biblical husband, obedient to your word, and your design for my marriage. I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.

Friday, July 23, 2010

How to deal with all people

How to deal with all people
S - 1 Peter 2:17 (NASB)
17Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.

O - What a great reminder of the completeness of how we are to operate in the world we live in. I face tension daily between the people I interact with, the christians I serve and live alongside with, maintaining my relationship with God, and serving the authorities that are over me in my job and in the Navy.

A - The application is to remember Peter's simple 4 step proverb -
1. Honor all people - I am not to demean, judge, or dismiss those who are not in agreement with me, or my faith in Christ
2. Love the brotherhood - I am to love the brotherhood of Christ, especially the harder to love Christians.
3. Fear God - he is the only authority in my life I should fear - all others trust and be obedient to God when dealing with them.
4. Honor the King - This for me, means be humble and continue to serve well those leaders God places over me.

P - Dear heavenly Father, thank you for today's lesson, may it be sealed to my heart.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The power of the prayer of a righteous man

The power of the prayer of a righteous man
S - James 5:16(NASB)
16Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

O - The Lord continues to convict me through His word and through His spirit in me that I must press in and be disciplined to my prayer life. The truth is I think there are two issues holding me back: 1) I don't like to ask God for favors in prayer and it seems those are the times I think to pray most, when I need something I can't get myself. 2) I don't truly believe that he will answer all my prayers, so I figure if I don't pray I won't be disappointed in God. But the truth is in the word, and I have to overcome these barriers in order to do as my heart truly wishes : to accomplish much ... for the Lord.

A - The application for me and my life is to battle my two issues with His truths:
1. Issue 1 - I don't like to ask God for favors - Truth - Ask others to pray for me so that I can be assured my impure motives won't leak in.
2. Issue 2 - I don't truly believe (my faith is small) - Truth - confess my sins to other believers so that I may be healed of my unbelief.

P - Dear heavenly Father, thank you for today's lesson, may it be sealed to my heart. I pray Lord that you would continue to speak your truth into my life, and rid me of all unbelief that may be holding me back from accomplishing much for your kingdom and your glory. I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Jesus, forever our high priest

Jesus, forever our high priest

S - Hebrews 7 (NASB)

Melchizedek's Priesthood Like Christ's

1For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham as he was returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him,
2to whom also Abraham apportioned a tenth part of all the spoils, was first of all, by the translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then also king of Salem, which is king of peace.

3Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, he remains a priest perpetually.

4Now observe how great this man was to whom Abraham, the patriarch, gave a tenth of the choicest spoils.

5And those indeed of the sons of Levi who receive the priest's office have commandment in the Law to collect a tenth from the people, that is, from their brethren, although these are descended from Abraham.

6But the one whose genealogy is not traced from them collected a tenth from Abraham andblessed the one who had the promises.

7But without any dispute the lesser is blessed by the greater.

8In this case mortal men receive tithes, but in that case one receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives on.

9And, so to speak, through Abraham even Levi, who received tithes, paid tithes,

10for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him.

11Now if perfection was through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the people received the Law), what further need was there for another priest to arise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be designated according to the order of Aaron?

12For when the priesthood is changed, of necessity there takes place a change of law also.

13For the one concerning whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no one has officiated at the altar.

14For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, a tribe with reference to which Moses spoke nothing concerning priests.

15And this is clearer still, if another priest arises according to the likeness of Melchizedek,

16who has become such not on the basis of a law of physical requirement, but according to the power of an indestructible life.

17For it is attested of Him,

18For, on the one hand, there is a setting aside of a former commandment because of its weakness and uselessness

19(for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.

20And inasmuch as it was not without an oath

21(for they indeed became priests without an oath, but He with an oath through the One who said to Him,

22so much the more also Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant.

23The former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers because they were prevented by death from continuing,

24but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently.

25Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

26For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens;

27who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.

28For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever.

O - My observation will be short because I think the author of Hebrews explains it all that we had an ineffective law and ineffective and temporary hight priests before Christ. Now we have a new law (the Gospel) and a new and perfect high priest in Jesus whom will reign forever.

A - The application for me is to realize I am under the law of grace, and restored relationship through Christ, and that will last and is sufficient. I am to live knowing that as He reigns from heaven He has lordship over my life, and I am merely obedient to my relationship with Him and no longer to a set of Laws that reveal my imperfections.

P - Dear heavenly Father, thank you for today's revelation , may it be sealed to my heart.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ridding myself of pride and slander

Ridding myself of pride and slander
S - Psalm 101:5 (NASB)
5Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I will destroy;
No one who has a haughty look and an arrogant heart will I endure.

O - I want to squeeze out ever last bad intention, evil thought, and harmful way in me. My tendency is to believe I am a good person doing the right things; but deep inside, I know what thoughts and motives I am capable of. This psalm reminds me how the Lord feels about a arrogant heart, and one that secretly slanders other people.

A - The application for me is to rebuke that part of me. I can think of know other way than to ask for the power of the Holy Spirit to drive out of me any arrogance, and slanderous nature that remains in me.

P - Dear heavenly Father, thank you for today's revelation through your word. I pray Lord that you would help me rid myself of the proud slanderours nature that resides in me. I pray all that in Jesus Christ name, Amen.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Staying near to God

Staying near to God
S- Psalm 73:28 (NASB)
28But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;
I have made the Lord GOD my refuge,
That I may tell of all Your works.

O - I love God's word and it's ability to reveal truth, and this truth lies deep within me that when God is near my life is good. When there is separation there are peaks and valleys and a roller coaster of uncertainty. That was my life before Christ, I had some great moments, and some terrible times, but in either case I was alone in my victories and defeat, and no closer to feeling the peace my soul longed for. Now under the lordship of Christ, I am able to go through mountain top as well as valley experiences, and knowing God is near to me, and that I have drawn close to Him, gives me the certainty of who He is and the peace that comes from knowing I belong to Him.

A - The application for me is to simply draw near to God, in times of trial, in times of victory, and the times in between. My tendency to wander, and slowly fade away has to be battled and fought against to ensure I stay near to God.

P - Dear heavenly Father, thank you for today's message, may it be sealed to my heart.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

If you hear His voice ...

If you hear His voice ...
S - Heb 3:7-11 (NASB)
7Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says,

O - This passage struck me because it is an acknowledgment that we can have a real living relationship with God, that he reveals Himself to us, and that we can hear His voice. The warning to us is that like the Israelites of the Exodus from Egypt, we can be very familiar with who God is, see His good works in our lives, and yet harden our hearts to His commands.

A - The application for me is to be wary of familiar and ordinary relationship with God. When I hear his voice and see his good works in my life on a consistent basis, I can become complacent and take for granted who He really is, and how much bigger and greater He is than what He has done for me. In essence I can lose true reverence for Him. I must remember to maintain a humble and not lazy and familiar relationship with God. I must do so not out of fear He will change His mind about me and stop blessing me, but out of knowledge that my heart will go astray the more I take for granted who He is in my life.

P - Dear heavenly Father, thank you Lord for today's lesson, may it be sealed to my heart. I pray Lord for a refreshing and renewing of my understanding of who you are, and a humble stature before you, as you begin using me for your ministry. I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Updating my image of who Christ is

Updating my image of who Christ is

S - Heb 1:3-4 (NASB)

3And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

4having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.

O - What a great description of who Jesus is. I am not sure that I can add to this description, but rather stand in awe of who Jesus was in the days he walked the earth, and who He is in heaven, sitting at the right hand of the Father.

A - The application for me is a simple reminder to update the image of who Christ is in my head. Over time I have the tendency to reduce Christ in my mind to something far less than the glory of God, the EXACT representation of His very nature, that through Him my sins were washed away, and He sits next to God the Father daily, while simultaneous His spirit dwells inside of me.

P - Dear heavenly Father, thank you for today's message, may it be sealed to my heart. I pray Lord that your living spirit in me would be a burning candle and image of you are in my life, guarding my heart, mind, and soul from the degrading effects of life in the world. I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Without compulsion, but of free will

Without compulsion, but of free will

S - Philemon 1:14-16 (NASB)

14but without your consent I did not want to do anything, so that your goodness would not be, in effect, by compulsion but of your own free will.

15For perhaps he was for this reason separated from you for a while, that you would have him back forever,

16no longer as a slave, but more than a slave, a beloved brother, especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.

O - The wisdom of Paul as a leader and a change maker is so readily apparent here in this passage. He knows that the radical change that Christianity causes people to change, but recognizes there is still barriers and values that people hold onto that they will have a hard time letting go of. In this case, one of Philemon's former slaves who ran away became a convert and disciple of Paul. Paul knowing that Philemon's pride might flare up if he sent him back this slave or demanded that Philemon release him to Paul. Now Paul was an Apostle of great authority in Christ, and he simply could have told Philemon what he demanded to occur, but instead he approached him humbling, appealing to his goodness and giving him free will so that the victory could be shared.

A - For me I am learning to lead and influence like Paul does by getting people's buy in and having them make the decision, vice telling them what to do. This scripture helps me ground that truth in the reality of what a great leader and change agent, Paul, did in his wisdom and discernment of this situation.

P - Dear heavenly Father, thank you for your revelation and example in you word, of Paul, your bondservants' humble leadership and influence. I pray Lord you might give me the wisdom and understanding that Paul had, so that I might lead your people, and those around me well. I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.