Day 40: 50 Days of Impact

The man sitting on the sidewalk, head low, cup at his feet asking for change. The woman bundled up pushed her cart containing all her life possessions. The family of six stuffed in a one bedroom apartment. Those lined up for their next meal at the shelter. The hitchhiker trying to get home. The person sitting next to you on the bus or subway. The senior living in your neighborhood. The single mom, the single dad. Who is a stranger to you?

 

“Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters. Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies.”

Hebrews 13:1-3 NLT

 

 

I wonder when the last time you have shown hospitality to a stranger? Taken time away from your busyness and complex life to show genuine interest in what’s going on around you. What would you do today if God put a stranger in your path to talk to, help or care for?

Are you ready to minister to them or do you think it would be something you would walk past? I pray that it isn’t someone you would purposefully walk past, that you would see the person that needs you and needs to know Jesus.

If someone at your workplace was being mistreated would you stand up and say something? Or would you ignore it as something that just happens? Does injustice stir your heart or are you so hard hearted that it doesn’t bother you? We need to stand up for injustice, look after the mistreated and show Gods mercy and grace. Doesn’t mean we don’t do our jobs, but involve God in our decision making would help us make wiser choices.

Know anyone in jail?  I have. Don’t forget them like a single sock stuffed in the corner of your sock drawer never to be seen from again. Pray for them. Write them. Love them. Encourage them. Life isn’t over. Jesus wants to have a relationship with them. Give them hope that once their term is over they can start anew.

 

It is hard to make an impact in our world for Jesus when we focus only on ourselves. Life isn’t centered on us. Life is centered on our relationship with God. When we finally realize this then we can start sharing ourselves with others and start reaching others with the truth.

 

Father, we live our lives oblivious to those around us. Open our eyes to see the opportunities to share your love. Don’t let us pass them without doing something. Anything. Holy Spirit tug at us so hard that we are moved to do something. They matter to you God, so they will matter to me. No exceptions. Give us many opportunities even today to share your love with those around us. Amen

 

 

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Day 36: 50 Days of Impact

Back in the 90’s a band by the name of Audio Adrenaline put out a song that was call “Some Kind of Zombie”. Back then I knew it had catchy lyrics but never quite understood what it was doing on an album of this Christian band. Zombies aren’t something I am truly interested in, nor care to be. Yet I see now a correlation and connection that maybe the band might have been trying to make. I don’t think we have a word for it but it is almost like when we receive Jesus and his forgiveness we ‘un-zombie’, or he is the cure we are looking for. Before Christ we are aimlessly going through life without purpose. God intended us to have a relationship with him, it was his original design and even though Adam and Eve were patient zero, he made a way that we can restore our hearts.

 

“And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.”

Ezekiel 36:26 NLT

 

How’s your heart condition these days? Is it alive flowing with the love of Christ? Or is it hardened to the ways of the world? Maybe parts are starting to be hardened again from the things we allow to enter our lives freely.

 

We are promised a new heart, one that isn’t covered in sin, one that is tender, responsive. That’s awesome. Think about a person who has actually received a new heart via transplant. I am sure they don’t go on living the way they had in the past leading up to their first heart failing, No, they try to live life to the fullest getting ever use out of this gift that was given them.

 

So, how are you responding to your new heart? Are you listening to the Holy Spirit guiding you? He is there with you wanting to help you, showing you how to get the best results from this new heart you have. He wants you to reach others so he can provide them with new hearts. The world is full of zombies walking around with hard hearts. Jesus died so we could be alive. God wants to restore the relationship that was broken back in the garden. What are we waiting for?

 

What is holding you back from sharing the love of Jesus with others? We have the heart cure, we know what ails them we know the surgeon who can fix them, we also know it is a free operation. Let’s not keep this cure to ourselves, we are called to let the whole world know.

 

Dear Jesus, thank you for giving me a new heart. Thank you that you offer this to anyone who asks for it. Holy Spirit guide me to not keep this to myself but I want to be bursting at the seams to share this with others. Funny thing is the more we share the bigger our hearts become and the more we will want to share. So, give us a passion to share your love with the lost and tell them of what you did for them. Amen

 

 

 

 

Day 50: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thoughts on Day 50: Well it was great revisiting this original series with you. I hope you enjoyed it. Remember, prayer is a powerful weapon we can use to reach the lost, and talk to God.

DAY FIFTY

But Jesus, again crying out loudly, breathed his last. (Matthew 27:50 MSG)

When I started the 50 Days of Pray I did not count ahead to see when if would be ending. I think it is fitting that it ended on Good Friday.

Jesus, beaten and bruised, hanging up on the cross, they didn’t stop mocking Him, they gave Him sour wine. But that is not why Jesus was crying out. I can’t imagine what He must have been going through as every imaginable sin from creation to completion was put on Him. It was so unbearable that he cried out loudly. It wasn’t the torture or the cross, that killed Him, I believe it was the overwhelming sin that was thrust upon Him that took His last breath.

But I am so glad that the story doesn’t end there. 3 days later He resurrected from the grave. Amazing. He defeated sin and death once and for all. So he knows what you are experiencing, he knows your pain.

Dear Jesus, thank You for taking sin on for us. Thank You for bearing it all on the cross. You are so amazing. Keep working in my life, I want to do anything You ask of me. Amen

Day 49: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thoughts of Day 49: Ever have that one friends that you really enjoyed being around but wouldn’t dare let them hang out with the rest of your friends? You and they get along fine, but you know that they just wouldn’t fit in with the rest. I am sure that if you took the time a patience they would have no issues with your group of friends, but why take the chance. Closet friends. Is that how you treat Jesus?

DAY FORTY-NINE

“If any of you are embarrassed over me and the way I’m leading you when you get around your fickle and unfocused friends, know that you’ll be an even greater embarrassment to the Son of Man when he arrives in all the splendour of God, his Father, with an army of the holy angels.” (Mark 8:38 MSG)

So how’s your day going? That’s a question most people are asked multiple times a day. We answer with good or living the dream, or with whatever catch phrase we have.

But would you be willing to change that up and start really telling them how things are. Would you be willing to say, things are great, God’s doing something awesome in my life or I am having a terrible day and I think need some time in prayer.

A lot of Christians tend to separate work and their walk with Christ. Maybe even their relationships outside church don’t even know that you are a follower of Christ. Jesus takes a huge stand on this in Mark 8. Just like we don’t like to be ignored by our friends, neither does He. He wants us to lift Him up in front of everyone no matter where their hearts are.

So, don’t be embarrassed to talk about you walk with Jesus, I challenge you this day to make a point of telling someone about something God is doing in your life. Be proud of who you are in Christ. He is proud of you.

Dear Jesus, give me the freedom to talk about what You are doing in my life with my friends and coworkers. Use it to be a witness to them. I am not embarrassed to be a follower of Christ. Let my actions and my words show this to be true. Amen

Day 48: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thoughts of Day 48: Who doesn’t want control of their own lives. As teenagers we fight for control of our futures, many rebel, runaway and hope to get away from the restrictive parents who we believe don’t have our best interests at heart. Then we get jobs where we want to be our own bosses, we get married and realize that it is a combined effort, not a ” I’m the boss” scenario.  So why then as a people would we want to let Jesus be the center and let him lead our lives? It sounds so opposite of how we live. Those things we run from are put in place to help us grow and become who we are meant to be. Our parents leadership is meant to mold us so when we get married we know how to work as a team. Running away leads to solitude and even homelessness. Jesus doesn’t want to lead your life to cause you grief, but to give you purpose and life. If you feel otherwise you have been feed a bunch of lies from the devil whose only goal in life is to keep you from experiencing this relationship with Jesus. he is jealous, Jesus is the choice, he is the default.

 

DAY FORTY-EIGHT

Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for? (Matthew 16:24-26 MSG)

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? (Matthew 16:24-26 NIV)

Self help, the art of fixing yourself. Grapefruit, milkshake, starvation, subway are all diets that are self help motivated. Proper eating and exercise take self sacrifice when done right.

Our spirituality can be very similar. If we jump on every book, or teaching on Christianity, and just read the book, trying to apply it but not plugging into the source then it is just another book. We as Christians don’t need anything else but the Bible. Other resources are useful, but if the bible isn’t your daily go to book then it needs to be.

If you accepted Jesus into your heart then you must take up your cross daily, but what does that mean? I like the way the MSG puts it is that Jesus is the driver of your life. If you love your car, it isn’t easy to let someone else drive it. They could crash it. But Jesus says that He needs to be the driver of Your life. It is saying, I will love my enemies, I will help the poor and needy & I will share the love of Christ to the lost.

How many times have you seen men or woman of faith who “sell their soul”. The devil shows up with a contract and the person just signs away usually for something they could have done without. Money tends to be the main factor but sex has a way to a mans heart as well. If you are a believer in Christ, you already signed your soul over to Him. Why would you want to take it back only to throw it away for things that are going to fade away?

 

If you haven’t sold out to Jesus, let me make this clear. You may not be worshiping the devil on purpose, but the path you’re on belongs to him. Don’t be mistaken, to reject Jesus, or dismiss his sacrifice and salvation is to accept the other alternative. But there is hope. You can change course and do a 180. Turn your life over to the Son of God, who can bring you out of the grip of the enemy.

Dear Jesus, I am yours mind, body and soul. I want You in control of my life. Help me to carry the cross daily. Love my enemies, help the poor and powerless, and share the gospel to the lost. Thank you for who You are and what You have done for me. Forgive me of my sin and wash me clean. Take the driver seat of my life. Amen

 

Day 47: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thoughts of Day 47: Many people will use the excuse of not trusting an all powerful God by saying “Why would a good God let bad things happen to good people”. I guess then we need to ask “Why do good things happen to bad people” and who determines who is good and who is bad? Are those relative terms when it comes to life? What it should come down to is the state of someones heart and relationship with God. Maybe the question should be “Why does God let bad things happen to those serving him?”  I believe life happens to everyone and regardless if your good or bad, or even in a relationship with God, life happens, we live in a world corrupt with sin. The effects of sin can be seen everywhere and cause grief to everyone even those who are “good” and those in relationship with God.

DAY FORTY-SEVEN

And that means killing off everything connected with that way of death: sexual promiscuity, impurity, lust, doing whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it, and grabbing whatever attracts your fancy. That’s a life shaped by things and feelings instead of by God. It’s because of this kind of thing that God is about to explode in anger. It wasn’t long ago that you were doing all that stuff and not knowing any better. But you know better now, so make sure it’s all gone for good: bad temper, irritability, meanness, profanity, dirty talk. (Colossians 3:5-8 MSG)

God is a God of love, but in His love is also a righteous anger towards sin. Sin is an abomination to God. As you read above you see some examples of sin that can cause God to explode in anger. Don’t think a loving God would explode in anger? Well let’s look back.

The whole earth was wicked and in Gods righteous anger he was ready to destroy it all and start over. Luckily for us one man and his family caught Gods eye and favor and the world was saved.

Two cities Sodom and Gomorrah were doing things that would be something similar or maybe even worse then some of the things going on in society today. God saw this and was angered, Abraham tried to fight for their safety but in the end the disgusting nature of the cities caused Gods wrath to be unleashed saving only one family.

There are many more examples, but the good news is you know better. You don’t live your life like that anymore because you accepted the gift of Jesus. God doesn’t look at you with the same judgment as those who don’t have Jesus in their lives. Jesus washes our sins away making us pure in Gods eyes.

If you don’t have a relationship with God, you may be thinking if God is angry with sin then he must be angry with me and will never want anything to do with me. The truth is God loves you. He wants to have a relationship with you. He sent His son Jesus to die on the cross to take on the sin that we could never get rid of, and make a way for us to have a relationship with God the Father. All we need to do is accept Jesus’s sacrifice and ask him to cleanse us of the sin that covers our lives. God loves you. John 3:16 tells us this specifically. “For God so loved the world” no exceptions.

So now that you know better, live it. Avoid evil and sinfully things. But don’t worry if you make mistakes, bring them to Jesus, repent and avoid making the same mistakes again. He won’t stop forgiving you.

But if you continually are making the same mistakes and continually asking for forgiveness such as, having sex before marriage (fornication), pornography, alcohol abuse, drugs, or other sins, and keep repenting but it is an endless cycle, maybe it us time to ask for help and counselling. Talk to your Pastor or someone you trust in Christ to help you break free of your addiction. They want to help you grow in Christ.

Dear Jesus, forgive me of my sins, if I am continually making the same mistakes please give me the strength and humility to ask for help from my pastor or someone I trust. Keep me from evil, and give me wisdom to overcome obstacles in my path. I want to live a life focused on You. We are waiting for the day you return and remove sin from this world. Amen

Day 46: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thoughts on Day 46: Things haven’t changed much in the last 2 years. People are busy with their own projects, and that is okay. Expanding this off Facebook has opened my work up to many more fine folks. I am praying that those of you who read this are encouraged. Feel free to share what you have found here and let me know what 50 Days of Pray means to you.

DAY FORTY-SIX

With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort. (1 Corinthians 15:58 MSG)

When I started 50 Days of Pray, I had visions of an explosion of interest. I had hope that I would get local and outside pastors/speakers/authors to provide devotionals. When that didn’t pan out the way I thought, I had a choice, I would do the devotionals myself, (thanks to the two guests devotionals I did receive).

Maybe at the start I was feeling like what had I started was a large task I wasn’t ready to handle myself. But God has shown me many things in the past 6 weeks. I know my time spent sharing insights with you isn’t wasted time.

So I say all this to encourage you, if you have a project or mission that God has laid on your heart, don’t be afraid to stand firm, dig in and see what God can do. Don’t be discouraged if right away people don’t get behind your vision. Stand firm. We don’t live for praise from man, if you are doing things that line up with Gods holy bible, then have faith that He is watching with a smile and that nothing you do is a wasted effort.

Dear Jesus, help us to stand firm in the visions or missions You have given us. If we have been given one and are afraid to make the first step towards starting it I pray that You will give that extra boost of confidence to move forward on it, knowing that it will not be wasted time. Bless us in our endeavors in furthering and strengthening Your kingdom. Amen