Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Becoming like Christ

S acts 7
6 God spoke to him in this way: ‘For four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated. 7 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves,’ God said, ‘and afterward they will come out of that country and worship me in this place.’[b] 8 Then he gave Abraham the covenant of circumcision. And Abraham became the father of Isaac and circumcised him eight days after his birth. Later Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob became the father of the twelve patriarchs.
51 “You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit! 52 Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him— 53 you who have received the law that was given through angels but have not obeyed it.”

O -   We are people who have been delivered by a promise from God, that began with Abraham.   However, over the years from the promise we as a people have been through many experiences, including 400 years of slavery,  release from that , a journey toward the promised land, and were given commandments to live by.    Despite these promises over time our minds become distracted from God's purpose for us to live for Him, and to live like Christ.   God gaves us the rules but he could not give us the hearts and character to become who He designed us to be... up until Christ came and removed the sin from that separated us from God.

A -  The story here being recapped by Stephen before His stoning is a reminder that we can be given everything by God and still fall short or wander from His ways.   It is only through Jesus, our salvation, and a willingness to follow the Holy Spirit he is provided that we can continue to be transformed more and more into the image of Christ.  

P - Dear heavenly Father, thank  you for this lesson, may it be sealed to my heart.  I pray Lord that you help me in this restoration of who I am in Christ to begin once again living to honor you and become more like Christ.  Starting with my wife and kids, expanding out into my workplace, and local church, and to all those you place before me.   In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Monday, January 30, 2017

In the hands of God the Potter

S Jeremiah 18
. So I did as he told me and found the potter working at his wheel. 4 But the jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped, so he crushed it into a lump of clay again and started over.

5 Then the Lord gave me this message: 6 “O Israel, can I not do to you as this potter has done to his clay? As the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand. 7 If I announce that a certain nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down, and destroyed, 8 but then that nation renounces its evil ways, I will not destroy it as I had planned. 9 And if I announce that I will plant and build up a certain nation or kingdom, 10 but then that nation turns to evil and refuses to obey me, I will not bless it as I said I would.

O-wow what Clarity God has given to the people through the Prophet Jeremiah of what he will do to them. The nation of Israel have been delivered from slavery in Egypt given great leaders in David and Solomon and yet in this point in history they are falling away from God and not towards him. Worshipping other gods false idols and chasing after with the world and other nations are offering rather than what God is offering. What he is saying hear through Jeremiah is he will not destroy everyone like he did with the great flood but rather like a clay pot that is newly-formed that does not come out as the Potter had designed he will start over again with the same lump of clay and try once again to create his vision for for what the created can be.

A-the application for me is an individual one one in which I must recognize that I am that lump of clay and God is the Potter. Through his process he is shaping me and refining me into the creation that he had designed me to be. Sometimes those beginnings of formation which are so joyful turn into Times of testing in the fire perfecting through the process and yes even freaking down and building back up again so that in the end I can be God's best idea of what my life can be.

P- dear heavenly father I just thank you Lord for this day this scripture and this reminder Lord that you are my Potter who are my Creator and Lord you are seeping me in such a beautiful way that I must learn to embrace the tools of your trade I must learn to yield to your touch I must learn to embrace the process knowing where it all ends. So today Lord I am thankful for the place you have me for the shape you've given me and I just asked that you would continue to find tune for this season where I'm at so that I might serve you and glorify you in all that I do.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Fellowship with the local church body

S - exodus 15
Acts 2
The Fellowship of the Believers
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

O - The early Church shows us a model of the what Christian fellowship is.   God in the old testament had shown how his people are to live together, by causing the descendants of one family , Abraham to be the seed from which God's family was birthed.  They were connected by bloodlines, and give leaders like Moses from within these lines, to give out the commandments for how they were to live as a family.     The principles of love God, and love your neighor as yourself is the foundational guiding principles.   After many years of trying to live that fellowship out,  God continued with his promise and expanded His family to all those who believe in follow in Christ.  And we see this new relationship with God and believer formed in the early church.  Not surprisingly they began to act like family even if they did not share direct bloodlines.   

A -  The application for me today is to be reminded of my call and commitment to be a member of the family of God and live in a manner that my relationship with the church is that of a family like commitment.    

P - Lord, thank you for your Holy Spirits guidance and the reminder of whose family I now belong to.  I confess I have wandered from family, and pray you would guide me back to a centered relationship with the body of Christ.   I have grown and learned so much through that relationship, and now that I am coming out of this season of separation I need your help to come back.  I pray this in Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A new perspective - born again to Christ

S - Luke 24
They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” 8 Then they remembered his words.

O - The followers of Christ, the messiah,  had not recognized completely the promises of who Jesus was and is.  Likely stricken with grief after watching him arrested, taken away, punished, and then crucified, they had little reflection on the message he had given them when he was with them.   They showed up at his tomb and when they didn't see his body they wondered who stole him.   Quickly God's angels came and reminded them what has happened;  not only was he not stolen, but he has risen in flesh and fulfilled His promise to them.  It was once the angels reminded them that they remembered his words.

A -  The application for me is recognize that though I have the knowledge and benefit of knowing the God's word, God's plan, and know the victory that has already been won in Christ,  I often live as if I forgot those truth's.   I am a child of God,  reborn into His family, by accepting the gift of salvation given to me by Christ.  I know live a new creation, with the Holy Spirit in me, and therefore the circumstances around me come with a new perspective, that of an eternal perspective and recognition I am part of a bigger family now, God's family.   Periodically I need God's word and Holy Spirit to remind me of this so I won't lose perspective of the circumstances around me.  

P - Dear heavenly Father, thank you for today's reminder of who I am in Christ.  I pray that the Holy Spirit would help me filter my world view to be that of your world view, to see circumstances around me from a Christ centered perspective.  I pray this in Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Waiting on the Lord in times of despair

Waiting on the Lord in times of despair
S- exodus 6
6 “Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. 7 I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. 8 And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the Lord.’”
9 Moses reported this to the Israelites, but they did not listen to him because of their discouragement and harsh labor.

O - Often times our response to God's promises in our lives, is to look away from them when circumstances around us seem to indicate God's promises are far away or seem like they will never come.   In this case the Israelites who have been enslaved for several hundred years, had forgotten God's promise to their forefathers,  Abraham and Issaac.  They had forgotten how God changed circumstances for Joseph so that he might save His people from the great famine. And here presently he has sent Moses to set His people free and they just can't believe it.   Being people of God means we know Him, and we know He has never forsaken His promise to us.  He desires for a future where His people are free to be in communion with Him as it was in the beginning.   He has taken the biggest step already to send His son to die for our sins and therefore close the gap between God and man that sin had created.   We are to recognize this in all circumstances, despite our feelings of our current troubles, that God is with us and for us.

A -  The application for me is to restore my faith to the core values Jesus has taught me, that He loves me,  and has plans for me.  I faced a time of emotional separation and trial that had caused me to question my faith.  My feelings of closeness with God had faded, my sense of His presence had faded, and the troubles of this world seemed to surround me.   During this period of emotional separation God continued to provide for me, continued to have a plan for me, and always was there despite my feelings.  I must remember this even as I come out of this season, that God is with me, even when I feel separated, and that my circumstances are neither evidence that He has left, or somehow I have separated myself,  for nothing can separate me from the Love of God.

P - Dear heavenly Father, thank you for continuing to work on me and my faith.   I want so desperately for this season to be over, and continue to pray for victory over depression and restoration of the spark I once had.   I do recognize though your ways are better than my ways, and trust you have my best interest as well as the best interest of my family in mind.  I thank you for your constant love and presence in my life.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen. 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Seeing God work all around us.

S Luke 19
As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”

O - My observation is that we are all susceptable to not recognizing when God is working in and around us.   God is genuinely pursuing us, and we see here through Jesus eyes, that it makes him sad when people don't recognize His good works.  This case is when Jesus is arriving in Jerusalem on a colt and many of the people are giving praise for His arrival as King and savior, yet the pharisee's are asking Jesus to rebuke these people. 

A - The application for me is to be sure I am seeking the kingdom of God all around me, I recognize Jesus came to reveal himself, and now reigns in heaven at the right hand of God.  I know he has saved me from my past sin, and yet at times I still miss what He is continuing to do all around me.  He has blessed me with a wife who is after His own heart, children that are growing and learning to love him, and a mission field that is ripe for the harvest.   I simply need to see what He is doing all around me and join in.

P -  Lord help me to be once again courageous and jump in with you in the ministry all around me.  Begin by opening the eyes of my heart to help me see what you see, and then join in.  I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

trusting in Gods plan

S - gen 45
4 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! 5 And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. 6 For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. 7 But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.[a]

O -  The message of Joseph's experience and God's promise to Abraham and then Israel to make a great nation of them,  shows that God has a plan,  and plan not for our destruction but for our salvation.  I think up until his brothers coming back to Joseph for a second time, did Joseph truly understand this plan, but He faithfully served God, and held on to God through all the experiences that led Him to this point.  I think it is the same for us, we have to remember God's truth , he has a plan for us, the end in mind is not the path to that end, but the end itself.  Only God's wisdom can weave together a path that shapes us and prepares us for our future. 

A -  The application for me is to recognize the struggle I have with the path.  Along the path in my life have often felt like great defeat, but in retrospect where preparing me for a different future that God has planned for me.   Understanding this and surrendering to God's plan is the ultimate lesson.  I must continue to offer my life surrendered to the Lord's plan, and trust in His ways.

P - Father, thank you for your truth, I pray for strength and wisdom, and even faith enough to follow your path.   I need help strengthening the trust I have in you, by seeing your good in the events in my life, and how you got me in your hands.  I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Morning devotions

S psalm 5
3 In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;
    in the morning I lay my requests before you
    and wait expectantly.
4 For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness;
    with you, evil people are not welcome.
5 The arrogant cannot stand
    in your presence.
You hate all who do wrong;
6     you destroy those who tell lies.
The bloodthirsty and deceitful
    you, Lord, detest.
7 But I, by your great love,
    can come into your house;
in reverence I bow down
    toward your holy temple.

O -  This psalm simply reminded me of my time with the Lord in the morning doing devotions, reading his word, journaling and praying.   It is an affirmation of His presence with me, His heart for me, and my role to trust and wait patiently on Him.   God is trustworthy, because he created us for his pleasure, but also as evidence by His love for me over my life.  He continues to wait on me to pursue Him, and He offers all that He is when I come surrendered.

A - The application for me is to continue to be encourage and rebuilt through my morning devotional time.  I am reminded that it is in the time following that that I can trust in His love and plan while waiting on His plan to be revealed to me.   

P - Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for showing me your love and grace.   As I recover in this season, I feel  you rebuilding me brick by brick, and I ask that you give me patient endurance, and healing of past wounds that may bind me.  I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Steward well the gifts of God

S  gen 39
But while Joseph was there in the prison, 21 the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. 22 So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. 23 The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.

Luke 16
10 “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 11 So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? 12 And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?
13 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

O - These are both acccounts of how God looks at our stewardship of what He gives us.  In the case of Joseph,  we see that Joseph is entrusted with things after he faced great adversity, being sold into slavery,  and put in a dugneon.   Despite this he was trusted with the stewardship of Potiphers household, and even to the prison wardens daily runnings of the prison.   He did not let the power and priveledge of each position destract him from serving honorably his master and His God.   In the very same way Jesus teaches us in Luke that  God will give us things to steward.  The way we steward them will define us and our roles and trusts both here on earth and in heaven.

A - The application for me is to remember that God is with me,  but he wants me to grow in my trustworthiness of the resources he has given me, and the people he was put in my life.  I am to steward well the marriage, the finances, and the roles of father, son,  leader, worker.  I am to honor Him and represent Him in these jobs.

P - Dear heavenly Father, thank you for this teaching, and reminder.   I feel I have lost sight of my steward all the resources you have given me for your kingdom and your glory.  I must treasure my wife as you treasure her, I must raise my children in the ways they should go, growing up to know and love you,  and I must steward the finances and roles at work in a manor that honors you.  I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen. 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Understanding and obeying the Lord

Understanding and obeying the Lord
S Luke11
5 The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? 16 Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?”

O-  My observation here is that I can relate to the Pharisee's perspective here that in trying to follow the Lord's commandments they lost the heart behind the author of these commandments.   Jesus is frustrated by this because he is incarnate God, pooring out His love on earth, and yet they don't recognize Him and what He is doing.   Instead they over many generations have chosen to judge others on their committment to the commandments of God, but by adding their own restrictive interpetations of the laws.   No I am not saying there is room for broad interpetation, I am saying we need to read scripture from the totality of who God is, and not look narrowly at a single line and try and interpret it as a stand alone.   

A -  The application for me is to continue to do my best to read the bible and study who God is and what He desires, what pleases Him, and how he wants me to live and serve.   In this specific case of the Sabatth,  I believe the Lord desires to give us the gift of the sabath to rest and reflect on His glory.  Obeying it honors Him and has many great returns for us.   God also wants us to love others as ourselves, and therefore when conflicted as to whether to show love to someone or to rest,  I believe God expects us to use wisdom to do both in a way that honors Him.   Great acts of love are authorized,  but so is rest for our weary souls.  

P -  Dear heavenly father, thank you for today's lesson, may it be sealed to my heart.  I pray Lord that you might give rest to my tired and anxious mind, and heal me from the depression completely,  but your will be done in my life Lord.   In Jesus name I pray , Amen.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Do Not Worry

S- Luke 12
Do Not Worry
22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life[b]? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
 29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

O-   If I put the bottom line up front from this teaching of Jesus it would be Don't Worry, just seek the kingdom of God, and all you need will be provided.    In another scripture from Phillipians,  it says be anxious for nothing,  but in everything through prayer, petition, present your request to God and his peace will fill you.    

A -  For those who face anxiety and depression, these are truly words to stand on.    To replace the fear and aloneness with hope and oneness with God, is the answer.   He loves us, and knows the daily challenges we face.  We see them as big and daunting, He sees them with empathy but also with power because of His glory.  He know the plans He has for us for our prospering and not our destruction, and therefore we should share in the peace that comes from knowing He is in control.

P - Dear God, thank you for today's reminder of the peace that I can live in if I present my anxieties to you, and seek your plan and your kingdom.  Lord replace my anxieties about work performance, and moving to Puget, and my house with your plan and your glory.  I pray this in Jesus name, Amen.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Knock and He will answer with His best for you

Knock and He will answer with His best for you
S - psalm 4
Tremble and[d] do not sin;
    when you are on your beds,
    search your hearts and be silent.
5 Offer the sacrifices of the righteous
    and trust in the Lord.
6 Many, Lord, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?”
    Let the light of your face shine on us.
7 Fill my heart with joy
    when their grain and new wine abound.
8 In peace I will lie down and sleep,
    for you alone, Lord,
    make me dwell in safety

Luke 11
So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

O - The message from the psalmis, and then from Jesus to us,  is that we have a great God, who desires us to seek him, and ask.   Then trust that He is a loving father who hears our prayers, knows what good things we need, and gives us exactly what we need (not necessarily deserve).   In the psalm, David again, helps us to express our emotion to the Lord, but to tremble and wait, but do not sin in your waiting.    Put your trust in the Lord to fill your needs, both physically and spiritually.  To have a full heart is as important as a full stomach, and only the Lord can provide for both.

A -  The application for me is to remember once again that if I focus on meeting my physical needs and desires, rather than seek the Lord, I will find myself in a familiar place of emptiness internally.  I need to seek His provision, and recognize how blessed I am to have received what He has provided.  He loves me and knows what is best.

P - Dear Lord, thank you for your reminders today, and thank you for always listening to my prayers, and answering in a way that is best for me.  Lord thank you for loving me despite my shortcomings, and holding on to me even when I wander far from you.   I pray this in Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Repentance and waiting on the Lord

Repentance and waiting on the Lord
S - psalm 6: 1-4 (NIV)
Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger
    or discipline me in your wrath.
2 Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am faint;
    heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony.
3 My soul is in deep anguish.
    How long, Lord, how long?
4 Turn, Lord, and deliver me;
    save me because of your unfailing love.

O - First off I am encouraged ever time I read a Psalm like this , which I believe to be David's psalm,  because it come from a man who is after God's own heart.  I see despite the blessings, and love God has shown David,  he goes through different emotional high's and lows just like me.   The difference we see in David though is he confesses and reveals His feelings to the Lord, and speaks God's truth into His requests.

A-  The application for me is to assess myself and see what lessons I can glean from David's confessions and prayer requests.   First off I recognize that setting aside my pride and confessing my anguish, and seeking God's mercy is a big step.  At times I feel if I continue in a season of anguish that God does not care and therefore I need to handle it on my own.  When God's time doesn't meet my wants to be delivered I can distance myself from Him, though he does not distance Himself from me.   

P -  Dear Lord thank you for David's example.   I cry out to you now for deliverence from this season where my faith has flagged, and my passion for following you seems to have faded, and my responsibilities to steward my wife, family, and possesions has not been what you have taught me.   I pray for deliverence from the distractions of the enemy, from depression, and from desire for things of this world that distract me from your ways.  I pray this in Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Eternal perspective, in following Christ

Eternal perspective, in following Christ

S Luke 9:23-26 (NIV)
23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? 26 Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

O - Jesus, said this to a number of people who had come to see him, heard His teachings, and were eager to follow Him.   I believe He did this not to rebuke them but to ensure they fully understood what it means to follow Him.   Some may have been caught up in the moment of meeting Christ, but yet had not truly counted the cost of being His follower.  They had things they would have to give up, mostly the non eternal things of this world, but in some cases even the close relationships in family would have to be set aside in the short term to follow Him.

A -  The application for me is to remember the cost I had already agreed to give up, my previous needs and goals, for Christ's desires and goals.    Over the past few years I may have forgotten some eternal perspective on my life, and that I have had a desire to be a slave to Christ.   This eternal perspective is important as the decisions each day in light of eternity and mission of Christ, is often times entirely different.

P - Lord I pray for a refreshed perspective of my life in service to you, in light of your eternal purpose and the daily events that are going on in my life.  I pray this in Jesus name.

Friday, January 6, 2017

The attitude of those who Christ is calling to Him

The attitude of those who Christ is calling to Him

S -  Luke 6:17-21 (NASB)

A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coastal region around Tyre and Sidon, 18 who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by impure spirits were cured, 19 and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.
20 Looking at his disciples, he said:
“Blessed are you who are poor,
    for yours is the kingdom of God.
21 Blessed are you who hunger now,
    for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep now,
    for you will laugh.

O - There is something comforting about Jesus here as he begins ministering to the lost and broken.   His compassion and his power shown throughout these passages in look begins to draw people to both hear Him speak, because His words alone were comforting and healing, but also to be physically healed.    Jesus here in the beattitudes explains who the lost he is calling to Him.  

A -  Reading God's word again, here in the gospel of Luke, has made me hunger and thirst again for God's healing power of my damaged heart, mind and soul.   I feel drawn to once again come to the foot of Jesus, humbly listen, and seek the spirits healing power to my soul.   I

P - Dear Jesus, thank you for never leaving me, and helping to restore my attitude toward you.  I ask for continued support in and miraculous healing of the damage already done, and the restoration of my spirit.  I pray for protection from the works of the enemy that might seek to drag me back down.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Going humbly before the Lord

Going humbly before the Lord

S  -  Luke 5
12 While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy.[b] When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”
13 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him.

O -  The man with Leprosy shows us the posture  and faith of someone coming to the Lord.    It is a notable posture because when we approach Jesus with the right posture and attitude He is just and willing to heal us.    By asking if you are willing , the man is saying if it is your will God,  and not demanding healing because of the known healing power Jesus had.

A - The application for me is to remember to posture myself the same before the Lord.  I enjoy a Holy communion with God through my relationship with the Jesus, and the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life.  This gives me a degree of familiarity and comfort in being with Him,  what however I want to never forget is the lesson of the man with Leprosy, that when I come before God asking for protection, healing, wisdom, etc,  that I come humbly, seeking God's will in my life and not just what I want. 

P - Dear Lord thank you for the reminder today to come humbly before you.  I know Lord you know all things in my life, past, present, and future and I continue to ask for prayers of salvation from my sin,  my afflictions, and to guard and protect my future.   I pray for healing and protection from my depression, and guarding of my mind and heart from the attacks of the enemy, and I humbly ask this in Jesus name, Amen. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

S -  Luke 4:
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted[a] by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.
The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”

O -   My observation is that, though Jesus is God,  he faced the trials that we do, understands our human condition.   Jesus didn't just fast for 40 days but was tempted by the devil.  In the end He felt hunger the same as we do, and yet shows us where His strength to resist comes from.  The  word of God is how He responds to the devil's temptations.

A - The application for me is this time of my own fasting is to recognize I will be tempted and distracted by the devil, to think and do things that would break down my faith in the Lord, and keep building separation between God and I.   I must follow Jesus' example and not run from the temptations but rather seek the word of God to face my tempations and fears.  

P - Dear Jesus, thank you for your word, your spirit, and your gift of salvation.  I ask for you steadfast protection during this season of fasting and restoration.  My hearts desire is to draw nearre

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Restoration back to God's love and design for His people

Restoration back to God's love and design for His people

S -  Genesis 8:15-17 (NIV)
15 Then God said to Noah, 16 “Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives. 17 Bring out every kind of living creature that is with you—the birds, the animals, and all the creatures that move along the ground—so they can multiply on the earth and be fruitful and increase in number on it.”

Luke 3:4-6
 As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:

“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
    make straight paths for him.
Every valley shall be filled in,
    every mountain and hill made low.
The crooked roads shall become straight,
    the rough ways smooth.
And all people will see God’s salvation.’”[a]

O -  A fresh new start,   after a period of darkness and fading from God and his ways.  These are the two common themes we see here with Noah and John the baptist.   In each situation God had provided a foundation for which to stay close to Him, and to live in His Holy ways in communion with Him.  In each case over time there was a drifting away from the Lord.   In each case God, despite his disapproval of how His creation was living,  found a method and means for their salvation.   This is the character of our God, who loves us, and seeks for us to live in Holy communion with Him.

A -  The application for me is that I confess I too have wandered from God and His ways.   While yes, I have attempted to stay near enough, I have allowed my relationship with Him to grow in distance from a level of closeness I once experienced.   This has resulted in changes in my relationships with my wife, kids, friends, and acquaintances.    But the loving God I serve, and claim my salvation from remains available for me to draw back to.   In this next season,  it is my solemn prayer, and hearts desire draw closer to him.  

P - Dear heavenly father thank you for your redemption and you love.   I know your word and Holy spirit reign over me and I ask that your holy spirit work in me to help me walk this path set before me.  Holy Spirit please transform my mind to see not the negative that the devil would have me focus on and thus distancing myself from God, and focus on your heavenly perspective.  I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen