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"Let us reason together…" Isaiah 1:18

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The Beauty of Becoming: Persecuted

10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

In Jesus’ Beatitudes we are being trained to reshape our desires, understanding of personal beauty, definition and experience of God’s blessing, and making the kingdom of heaven our top priority.

It is as if Jesus said, “There is a new kingdom in town, I am the King, these are the guidelines of the King for His kingdom, and you are invited into citizenship. Although this glorious kingdom is on earth, it is the kingdom of heaven.  This kingdom has no physical borders, yet one is either in or out the kingdom.  The kingdom has been fully inaugurated but is not yet completely consummated.”

In the first Beatitude the group of folks who are poor in spirit discover “theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” In the final Beatitudes the group “theirs” becomes the more specific, “yours is the kingdom of heaven.”

What the King offers and demands in the Beatitudes is both for the “theirs” and for you.  The kingdom of heaven includes you, personally.

Jesus both taught and lived, personally, that His kingdom includes crucifixions, being reviled, beatings, whippings, nails, spears, thorns, mocking, and various forms of persecution.

Why would any sane, intellectually sound person sign up for citizenship in this painful kingdom?  We sign up for the kingdom because of love for the King, the joy of the kingdom (both now and forever) and the rewards of kingdom life.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death is at work in us, but life in you. 2 Corinthians 4:7-12

16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.  2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Notice the rewards of kingdom life:

  1. Kingdom life includes the treasure of God’s glory in these jars of clay.
  2. Kingdom life includes “this surpassing power is from God.”
  3. Kingdom life includes “carrying in the body the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus might be manifest in our bodies.”
  4. Kingdom life includes “the life of Jesus in our mortal bodies.”
  5. Kingdom life includes “our inner self is being renewed day by day.”
  6. Kingdom life is preparing an “eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.”
  7. Kingdom life isn’t based in a temporary body and existence, but in the eternal.

Can you sense the blessing of life in the kingdom of heaven?  WOW!

Virtually every church person states the claim, “I live the beatitudes and the kingdom of heaven is mine.”

Some Bible passages may urge us to personally reevaluate this position.

  1. Jeremiah suggests our heart may or may not be honest with us, in fact the human heart is deceitful. Jeremiah 17:9-10

The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately sick;
who can understand it?
10 “I the Lord search the heart
and test the mind,[b]
to give every man according to his ways,
according to the fruit of his deeds.”

2. The entrance into the kingdom is through a narrow gate and few find it and enter. Matthew 7:13, 14

13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy[a] that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

3. Satan believes, deeply in his soul, that you are a fake. Given enough difficulty, you will turn and run from the kingdom, he reasons.  He therefore asks God for permission to sift you like wheat.  Pound on you, cause you great pain, persecute you, all in hopes of showing that your true colors are cowardice, self-preserving, and loving yourself more than God.  Luke 22:31

31 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you,[d] that he might sift you like wheat, 32 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” 33 Peter[e] said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.” 34 Jesus[f] said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me.”

In persecution I discover if my heart is deceitfully claiming to be poor in spirit, in mourning, meek, hungry and thirsty for righteousness, merciful, pure in heart, and a peacemaker.

In persecution I discover if I am truly finding the narrow gate and participating with the few who have found it.

In persecution Satan seeks to sift me to show once and for all that I am chaff.  In persecution Jesus is praying for me that my faith fail not.

Persecution reveals that I am not chaff, I have found the narrow gate, and have overcome my deceitful heart.

And that is the beauty of becoming!

Posted on 11th August 2018 in Beauty, Weekend Talks  •  Comments are off for this post
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The Beauty of Becoming: Peacemakers

As God adds and subtracts from our lives, He is bringing forth beauty (from His perspective) from our lives.  This is the beauty of becoming.

“Becoming is beautiful. It’s a beautiful thing to be molded because it means that we are being constantly touched by The Creator. Take joy in the molding. Take joy and excitement in the uncertainty of the final result of what you will become and when. Anything is possible when you are being formed by a God with a limitless imagination and set of skills.”  https://www.theodysseyonline.com/the-beauty-of-becoming

Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount is God’s ‘Art Show Handbook’ (Ephesians 2:10).  We know exactly the lighting, perspective, tones, hues, colors, and contours of godly beauty.

In His previous beatitude, Jesus invites us into the beauty of becoming pure in heart.  This single-minded, all of me moving toward all of God in purity of heart, is genuinely beautiful.

Today’s beatitude, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God,” expands our beauty portfolio to include, all of me moving toward all of God in purity of heart and helping other people and things to do the same.

As a Christian peacemaker I diligently seek to bring everything and everyone in my circle of influence (including myself) into a growing peace with God, themselves, and each other.

To continue experiencing God as “the God of peace” requires me to be increasing in vertical (with God), internal (within), and horizontal (with others) peace.

Consider Malachi’s insight into Aaron, the first High Priest.  Malachi 2:5-6

“My covenant was with him, a covenant of life and peace, and I gave them to him; this called for reverence and he revered me and stood in awe of my name. True instruction was in his mouth and nothing false was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and turned many from sin.

Although God’s new covenant is different than the first, it is never a lesser covenant.  For example, Hebrews refers to the New Covenant as “better.” Hebrews 8:6

  1. God’s covenant with Aaron was a covenant of life and peace and God gave life and peace to Aaron.
  2. This gift called for reverence and Aaron gave reverence to God and stood in awe of His name.
  3. Aaron walked with God:
    1. In peace
    2. Uprightness
    3. And turned many from

Jesus, the Ultimate High Priest, also walks in a covenant of peace and life.

  • He came and preached peaceto you who were far away and peace to those who were near.  Ephesians 2:17
  • and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peacethrough his blood, shed on the cross.  Colossians 1:20
  • 20 Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 13:20-21

God’s blessing (blessed are) is reserved for those who, having received God’s peace, work to establish that peace with and for everyone and everything within their circle of influence.

Remember the eternal immensity of God.  Blessing from the all mighty, all knowing, everywhere present, eternally gracious God is far more expansive than any human being can fully understand.

A “whole beatitude” peacemaker is a son of God!

  • Born into the family by the Spirit.
  • Adopted into the family by the Spirit.
  • Engrafted into the family by the Spirit.

One of the greatest blessings one could ever receive is being invited into a Father/son relationship with GOD!

Jesus extends His “Abba, Father” relationship with God to you!!!

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”  Romans 8:15

Christian peace is, first and foremost, NOT the absence of conflict but the presence of the Prince of Peace.  Isaiah 9:6

What we have received generously and graciously from God, we give generously and graciously to others.

Posted on 4th August 2018 in Beauty, Weekend Talks  •  Comments are off for this post
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The Beauty of Becoming: Pure in Heart

Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.

The urgency of the hour is to see God.

  • When Abraham saw God, the nation of Israel was born. Genesis 12:7
  • Sarah saw God and she became the mother, in her old age, of multitudes. Genesis 21:1
  • When Moses saw God, the nation of Israel was delivered from slavery. Hebrews 11:27
  • Jesus saw God. John 5:19
  • Everyone who saw Jesus, saw God. John 14:7, 9
  • Stephen saw God. Acts 7:55
  • Isaiah saw God. Isaiah 6:1-9
    • When, like Isaiah, we see the Lord we can expect three things
      • A throne room level of worship. 6:3
      • An overwhelming sense of unworthiness. 6:5
      • A divine call to go. 6:8

Purity of heart opens the eyes of the beholder.  Matthew 6:22-23

22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

Purity of heart aligns with the willingness of God to Selfreveal. Psalm 24:3-6

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to what is false
and does not swear deceitfully.
He will receive blessing from the Lord
and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek the face of the God of Jacob.

The first step toward a pure heart is a heart washing by the blood of Jesus.  1 John 1:7-9

 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sinIf we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 

  1. There is only one living, eternal, cleansing ingredient for the human heart – the blood of Jesus.
  2. Confession, saying to God, “What you say about me is true; my heart is impure,” is the only method of applying the eternal blood of Jesus to my impure heart.
  3. In honest confession, my sin is forgiven; removed from my account.
  4. In honest confession, I am cleansed of all unrighteousness.

Deuteronomy 29:29

29 “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.

Psalm 25:14

The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him,
and he makes known to them his covenant.

Proverbs 3:32

32 for the devious person is an abomination to the Lord,
but the upright are in his confidence.

 

Posted on 28th July 2018 in Beauty, Weekend Talks  •  Comments are off for this post
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The Beauty of Becoming: Mercy

We are investigating the revelation Jesus gives about the beauty of becoming.

Our Lord provides us with a highly detailed spiritual formation portrait.  We know precisely what God declares is beautiful in a disciple’s life.

In Matthew 5:1-12 features two words, eight times each.

  • BlessedAre
  • BeAttitudes

Doing flows out of being.  God’s merciful kindness flows out of His being.  Psalm 116:5  Ephesians 2:4

The beatitudes are the prophetic autobiography of Jesus.

Matthew 5:1-12 reveals Jesus’ being and the rest of the Gospel features His doing.

“Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy” is both a specific entity and part of the whole of the beautiful disciples’ being.

Blessed are the…

  • Totally dependent upon God
  • Totally dependent upon God – who mourn not being dependent upon God
  • Totally dependent upon God – who mourn not being dependent upon God – and receive life as God allows it to come to them
  • Totally dependent upon God – who mourn not being dependent upon God – and receive life as God allows it to come to them – and hunger and thirst for this to be made right
  • Totally dependent upon God – who mourn not being dependent upon God – and receive life as God allows it to come to them – and hunger and thirst for this to be made right – and extend the mercy God has given us in this development process to others.

In your entire process of becoming a beautiful disciple of Jesus, God has been and is merciful to you.  Lamentations 3:22-24

  • His mercies never cease (Continuous action)
  • His mercies never come to an end (eternal)
  • His mercies are new every morning (Fresh)
  • His mercies are faithful (Count on it)
  • His mercies are my portion (Divine nutrition)
  • His mercies are my confidence (Trust Him)

God’s discipleship requirement is very simple and uncomplicated.  “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”

Give to everyone, all the time, the same mercy He has given, is giving, and will give to you.

The importance of extending God’s grace and mercy to you to others cannot be overstated.  Matthew 6:14, 15

14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

It is clear.  Ifwill.  If not – will not.

We make the heartfelt commitment to extend to others the matchless mercy God has extended to us and in so doing we are blessed!

We are then beautiful in God’s eyes.

 

Posted on 21st July 2018 in Weekend Talks  •  Comments are off for this post
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Awaken the Wonder: A tour through Acts, part 5

Signs and wonders were part of God’s response to Moses’ statement, “They will not believe me or listen to my voice…” Exodus 4

Then Moses answered, “But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you.’” The Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A staff.” And he said, “Throw it on the ground.” So he threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent, and Moses ran from it. But the Lord said to Moses, “Put out your hand and catch it by the tail”—so he put out his hand and caught it, and it became a staff in his hand— “that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.” Again, the Lord said to him, “Put your hand inside your cloak.”[a] And he put his hand inside his cloak, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous[b] like snow. Then God said, “Put your hand back inside your cloak.” So he put his hand back inside his cloak, and when he took it out, behold, it was restored like the rest of his flesh. “If they will not believe you,” God said, “or listen to the first sign, they may believe the latter sign. If they will not believe even these two signs or listen to your voice, you shall take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground, and the water that you shall take from the Nile will become blood on the dry ground.”

Samuel – “Spirit of the Lord shall rush upon you and you will be a different man.” – 1 Samuel 10

Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on his head and kissed him and said, “Has not the Lord anointed you to be prince[a] over his people Israel? And you shall reign over the people of the Lord and you will save them from the hand of their surrounding enemies. And this shall be the sign to you that the Lord has anointed you to be prince[b] over his heritage. When you depart from me today, you will meet two men by Rachel’s tomb in the territory of Benjamin at Zelzah, and they will say to you, ‘The donkeys that you went to seek are found, and now your father has ceased to care about the donkeys and is anxious about you, saying, “What shall I do about my son?”’ Then you shall go on from there farther and come to the oak of Tabor. Three men going up to God at Bethel will meet you there, one carrying three young goats, another carrying three loaves of bread, and another carrying a skin of wine. And they will greet you and give you two loaves of bread, which you shall accept from their hand. After that you shall come to Gibeath-elohim,[c] where there is a garrison of the Philistines. And there, as soon as you come to the city, you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with harp, tambourine, flute, and lyre before them, prophesying. Then the Spirit of the Lord will rush upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man. Now when these signs meet you, do what your hand finds to do, for God is with you. Then go down before me to Gilgal. And behold, I am coming down to you to offer burnt offerings and to sacrifice peace offerings. Seven days you shall wait, until I come to you and show you what you shall do.”

When he turned his back to leave Samuel, God gave him another heart. And all these signs came to pass that day. 10 When they came to Gibeah,[d] behold, a group of prophets met him, and the Spirit of God rushed upon him, and he prophesied among them. 11 And when all who knew him previously saw how he prophesied with the prophets, the people said to one another, “What has come over the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?” 12 And a man of the place answered, “And who is their father?” Therefore it became a proverb, “Is Saul also among the prophets?” 13 When he had finished prophesying, he came to the high place.

Signs and Wonders Tour

Acts 15:12                   Signs and wonders fascinate the Jerusalem Council

Acts 16:16-18              “Spirit” commanded to leave

Acts 16:25-34              Paul, Silas, and an earthquake

Acts 17:16                   Paul’s spirit provoked

Acts 19:11                   Extraordinary miracles

Acts 20:10                   Eutychus raised from the dead

Acts 23:11                   The Lord stands next to Paul and encourages him

Acts 27:23, 24             An angel gives guidance to Paul

Acts 28:8, 9                 Many healed on Malta

Posted on 18th July 2018 in Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
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The Beauty of Becoming: Hunger and Thirst after Righteousness

In total dependency upon God (poor in spirit), I mourn my tendency to rely on the self (those who mourn), and receive life as God allows it to come to me (the meek), and I long, deeply desire, and hunger and thirst to live rightly with God and people (hunger and thirst).

God, who loves His creation, provides food to satisfy the hunger and water to quench thirst.

In Creation (Genesis 2:8, 9)

And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

In the Exodus (Deuteronomy 6:10-12)

10 “And when the Lord your God brings you into the land that he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you—with great and good cities that you did not build, 11 and houses full of all good things that you did not fill, and cisterns that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant—and when you eat and are full, 12 then take care lest you forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

In the deepest longings of the soul (John 4:12-15)

Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.[b] The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”

In the coming kingdom (Revelation 7:15-17)

“Therefore they are before the throne of God,
and serve him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence.
16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore;
the sun shall not strike them,
nor any scorching heat.
17 For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd,
and he will guide them to springs of living water,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

Hunger and thirst speak to the expansive physical and spiritual lack in our lives that can only be satisfied by God. Psalm 42:1, 2

As a deer pants for flowing streams,
so pants my soul for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God.

Quench your hunger and thirst with anything or anyone other than God and you find yourself more famished and dehydrated than ever before.

God invites us to place our physical hunger and thirst under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

  • How many terrible and sinful decisions were made by people in the Bible because of food and beverage? (Adam and Eve, Esau, Israel, etc.)
  • Imagine the feeling when all of your hunger and thirst is under the Lordship of Jesus?

We are also invited to find spiritual nourishment for our hungry and thirsty souls in Jesus.

  • What has turning to “spiritual junk food” cost you?
  • What joy, fulfillment, and delight has turning to God brought to our lives? Psalm 34:8

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

Suggestions for developing an Appetite for God from 1 Peter 2:1-3

  1. Pray for the grace to have a God pleasing appetite and for His Spirit to empower you.
  2. Cut off all access to the fulfillment of anti-God appetites. I Peter 2:1
  3. Long for pure spiritual food. 1 Peter 2:2
  4. Long to grow up into salvation. 1 Peter 2:2
  5. Taste that the Lord is good. 1 Peter 2:3

“Lord, will you shape my deepest longings?  May I long for You, the King, to be in your kingdom in my heart and the world.  In my total dependence upon you, may you produce righteousness in me.”

Posted on 14th July 2018 in Weekend Talks  •  Comments are off for this post
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Blessed are the meek: Surrender and Shaping

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”  Matthew 5:6

Meekness is not any one thing.  To be meek is the personal living out, in the many and varied experiences of life, one’s total dependence upon God and one’s sorrow for self-sufficiency.

Meekness includes joyfully receiving life as God allows it to come to you and responding to God and people accordingly.

Surrendering to God as He allows life to come to you is conjoined with you and God shaping your life together.

The meek person surrenders and shapes their lives.

For the meek, the surrender/shaping paradox is a type of dynamic tension.

  • Sloppy surrender becomes careless, directionless, and lazy.
  • Over shaping becomes arrogant and controlling resistance to God.

The surrender/shaping paradox of meekness is established upon discernment. 1 Cor. 12:7-10, 1 John 4:1

“Discernment: is the heightened ability to read or hear a teaching, to encounter a problem, or to consider a proposed course of action, and then determine whether the source behind the teaching, problem, or action is divine, merely human, or satanic.”   Dean and Laura VanDruff

  • Surrender and shaping are conjoined, meaning they come as both/and.
  • One can’t answer, “Which comes first?” To surrender is a function of shaping and to shape is a function of surrender.
  • Consider the surrender/shaping paradox in the magna carta of prayer, “The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13).”
    • Thy kingdom come, thy will be done. Surrender.
    • Give us. Shaping.
    • Forgive us. Shaping.
    • Deliver us. Shaping.
    • For thine is the kingdom and the glory. Surrender.

The narrative of Job’s experience is an extended surrender/shaping discernment conversation.

Job must determine if his experience is something he should surrender and/or something he should shape.

  1. Discerning the source of the experience.
    1. Is it sourced in God? Acts 10:9-16
    2. Is it sourced in the evil one? Isaiah 54:17
    3. In Job’s case, it was sourced first in God and secondarily in the evil one. Job 1:8
  2. Discerning a wise response when the experience is sourced in God.
    1. Surrender to God.
    2. Shape the experience through conversation and negotiation based upon God’s scriptural revelation.
  3. Discerning a wise response when the experience is sourced in the evil one.
    1. Prayer for wisdom
    2. Deal with any “foothold” you are giving to the evil one.
    3. Rebuke
    4. Resist
  4. Discerning a wise response when the experience is first sourced in God and secondarily in the evil one. Job 13:15

 

Posted on 8th July 2018 in Beauty, Weekend Talks  •  Comments are off for this post
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Fasting and Prayer for President Trump

Seeking the Wisdom of God for

President Trump

through

Fasting and Prayer

 

Ephesians 5:8-14 

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.  It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.””

  1. We repent of darkness in our own lives and celebrate God’s gift of light.
  2. May the national conversation and prayer be, “What pleases the Lord?”
  3. May our nation properly respond to Paul’s command, “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead” and receive his promise, “Christ will shine on you.”

Colossians 3:15 

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

  1. We lift President Trump before YOU and pray that he will have eyes to see and ears to hear what YOUR choice is regarding this next Supreme Court nominee.
  2. We ask YOU to confirm to him the person of YOUR choosing.
  3. We pray that President Trump would feel deep peace when he thinks about the person of YOUR choice and deep unrest should he start to waiver from YOUR highest and best.

Proverbs 15:22 

Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.

  1. Give our President wise and godly counsel to help him discern YOUR will in this important decision.
  2. Give our President the ability to trust the wise and godly counsel you provide for him.

Galatians 1:10 

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

  1. We pray that President Trump will resist any temptation to please people rather than to please YOU in this selection process.
  2. May what pleases YOU be very clear to our President.

Luke 12:2 

There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.

  1. We pray that there is nothing covered that will not be revealed or hidden that will not be made known, regarding those who are being considered to fill this vacancy.

  2. May the intention of the nominee’s heart to please you be evident to our President.

2 Kings 6:8-14 

Now the king of Aram was at war with Israel. After conferring with his officers, he said, “I will set up my camp in such and such a place.”

The man of God sent word to the king of Israel: “Beware of passing that place, because the Arameans are going down there.” So the king of Israel checked on the place indicated by the man of God. Time and again Elisha warned the king, so that he was on his guard in such places.

This enraged the king of Aram. He summoned his officers and demanded of them, “Tell me! Which of us is on the side of the king of Israel?”

“None of us, my lord the king,” said one of his officers, “but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom.”

“Go, find out where he is,” the king ordered, “so I can send men and capture him.” The report came back: “He is in Dothan.” Then he sent horses and chariots and a strong force there. They went by night and surrounded the city.

  1. We pray YOU will cut off all outside enemy attempts and influences to manipulate, confuse, or confound the President’s hearing from You or his resolve to stand firm in YOUR choice.
  2. We pray our President will “put on the whole armor of God” as he deliberates.

Isaiah 41:3 

He pursues them and moves on unscathed,
by a path his feet have not traveled before.

  1. We ask YOU to give the Supreme Court Justice nominee of YOUR choice supernatural favor, wisdom, and protection to navigate through the Senate confirmation hearings and to speedily receive Senate approval.
  2. We ask YOU to direct the steps of the nominee of YOUR choice.

Esther 4:14 

For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

  1. We pray that this new Supreme Court Justice will be a voice for righteousness and justice—even to changing the landscape of the entire nation toward godliness.
  2. May the new Supreme Court Justice do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with You.

Proverbs 14:34 

Righteousness exalts a nation,
but sin condemns any people.

  1. We pray for a Great Awakening in these United States of America.
  2. May God bless America with righteousness.

Prayer Guide adapted from https://bridgebuilders.net/2018/07/03/supreme-court-nominee/

 

Posted on 5th July 2018 in Fasting and Prayer  •  Comments are off for this post
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Fasting and Prayer for God’s Guidance for President Trump

Gigantic decisions require God’s guidance and this comes through fasting and prayer.

From my perspective a spiritual battle is raging in both the seen and unseen worlds over the upcoming selection of a nominee for the Supreme Court of the United States.

It is surprising to read Republicans explaining their support and the Democrats organizing their opposition to the nominee.  How can you support or oppose a nominee that isn’t yet selected?

The national conversation is dominated by what the Democrats and Republicans want.

I have yet to hear in the media, “What does God want?”

You are invited to join me in fasting and prayer for a gift of the wisdom of God for our President in this most crucial and urgent decision.

We are requesting our brothers and sisters in our related churches in Burkina Faso, the Netherlands, Australia, Israel, Russia, Guatemala, Thailand, Samoa, Poland, and sensitive countries to pray for God’s mercy upon our nation as seen in our leaders welcoming His wisdom and guidance.

In addition to our personal fasting and prayer, MCA Church will join together in unified corporate prayer at noon on July 6th (Anchorage, Alaska time).  You are invited to join us in person or live online at http://www.mcaonline.org/media/live-streaming/

In the spirit of the Apostle Paul, we pray for our leaders to “find out what pleases the Lord (Ephesians 5:10).”

Posted on 3rd July 2018 in Fasting and Prayer, Politics, Prayer, Uncategorized  •  Comments are off for this post
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The Beauty of Becoming: Meek

“Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.”

Because we want to know what our strict training (1 Corinthians 9:25) is to produce in our lives, we are each developing a “Beauty of Becoming Hero Collage.”

  • To what end am I directing myself?
  • What does a fully “Christianized” version of me look like?
  • Who are my examples and models?
  • What does a beautiful me look like?

The Beatitudes of Jesus, Matthew 5:1-12, are presented with a clear and important progression.

Realizing and experiencing total dependence upon God (poverty in spirit) for everything, I mourn:

  • my personal inability
  • my dependence upon self
  • the lost years of the blessings of total dependence upon God
  • the great damage I have done to others while not being totally dependent upon God
  • the overriding pride of placing any dependence upon self

The attitudes, behaviors, personality, lifestyle, and relationship dynamics of the person who is poor in spirit and who thus mourns is revealed as meekness.

Meekness is not any one thing.  To be meek is the personal living out, in the many and varied experiences of life, one’s total dependence upon God and one’s sorrow for self-sufficiency.

In the Old Testament, meekness is the God pleasing attitudes, behaviors, personality, lifestyle, and relationship dynamics of the person who is suffering, oppressed, and afflicted.

Meekness flows out of humility.

Humility includes joyfully receiving life as God allows it to come to you and responding to God and people accordingly.

“Meekness is unpretentiousness, gentleness, sweetness, and the grace to be utterly self-effacing.”  R. T. Kendall

The beatitudes of Jesus are His prophetic autobiography.

Jesus said of Himself, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  Matthew 11:28-30

Jesus’ struggle in the Garden of Gethsemane reveals the core essence of meekness.

“Life as I want it or life as God allows it to come to me?”

Meekness joins Jesus in the “my will/thy will” conflict and surrenders joyfully to the will of God.

In this life in the world’s system meekness wins nothing, loses everything, and is discarded.

Life in God’s system proves that the meek inherit the earth.

Posted on 30th June 2018 in Uncategorized, Weekend Talks  •  Comments are off for this post