Day 14: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thoughts on Day 14: Isn’t it amazing how the Bible has so much to offer. The verses come alive and have so much truth and advice in them that reading it one day will give us wisdom in one area, but then tomorrow it will reveal itself in another way which is just as valuable. Dig into the word, don’t just skim the pages like you would your favourite novel skipping the parts you consider ‘boring’. Let them speak to you today.

 

DAY FOURTEEN

During the rule of Herod, King of Judea, there was a priest assigned service in the regiment of Abijah. His name was Zachariah. His wife was descended from the daughters of Aaron. Her name was Elizabeth. Together they lived honourably before God, careful in keeping to the ways of the commandments and enjoying a clear conscience before God. But they were childless because Elizabeth could never conceive, and now they were quite old. (Luke 1:5-7 MSG)
But the angel reassured him, “Don’t fear, Zachariah. Your prayer has been heard. Elizabeth, your wife, will bear a son by you. You are to name him John. You’re going to leap like a gazelle for joy, and not only you-many will delight in his birth. He’ll achieve great stature with God. (13-15)
When the course of his priestly assignment was completed, he went back home. It wasn’t long before his wife, Elizabeth, conceived. She went off by herself for five months, relishing her pregnancy. “So, this is how God acts to remedy my unfortunate condition!” she said. (Luke 1:23-25 MSG)

Reading the scripture above you may be saying, “didn’t I read this yesterday?” You did, but I have had another thought on this that I think is an important one for us as believers might want to consider.

Zachariah and Elizabeth had been praying a long time for a child. It isn’t clear if they stopped asking after they passed the child rearing years, but we do know that they were praying for a child. God sent an angel to Zachariah to let him know that God indeed did hear his prayer and was now ready to answer it. That he would have a son. All Zachariah had to do was go home and be intimate with his wife. I wish all my prayers could be solved like that. I say this with the thought, why are we looking for God to answer our prayers in amazing ways when He can do them in such simple ways.

Another example of a simple answer was Nahaam, a mighty general in the OT. He met with Elisha the prophet to be healed from leprosy. He was expecting Elisha to send him on a huge quest, to scale the highest mountain and find the rarest flower to make a medicine that would heal him. But God through Elisha told him that all he needed to do was wash in the Jordan river seven times. Nahaam was insulted, the Jordan river was gross, and he could never let himself bathe in such filth. Luckily enough for him, he had some friends that were not afraid to hold him accountable in this and made him understand that if he was willing to do the grandiose things maybe God works in the little things too.

We sometimes focus on the big things the bible talks about like Moses parting the red sea, Jesus talking about moving mountains, or raising someone from the dead, but we tend to forget that God works in the little things and works everything out for His glory. He took a boy who was sold by his brothers and through a series of little events he became powerful and saved a nation. He took a boy who was a shepherd and through little trails became king. He clothes the flowers and feeds the birds. God knows what He is doing, are you ready to let Him show you?

Dear Father, we need to see you in all aspects of our lives. We need to hear your voice. I pray that you will reveal Yourself to each of us today in a fresh way. When You ask us to do something that we will listen and obey no matter how odd or mundane the request may be. Show us Your Glory and majesty today. Let your love shine through us so that others may know your love and mercy. They matter to you so they matter to me. Amen

Day 13: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Day 13 Thoughts: Intimacy between Husband and Wife is so important. Just as important as communication, there is a bond that keeps you connected.  I wish I could say this is the cure for all marriages that are falling apart all around me, but I know that it isn’t the fact. Sin has wedged its way into marriage making it become a disposable commodity. But as believers, if you stay connected with Jesus, and focus on your marriage, mentally, physically, sexually and spiritual you will have a marriage that thrives. Whoever said marriage was easy obviously wasn’t married very long.

 

25 Feb 15

DAY THIRTEEN

During the rule of Herod, King of Judea, there was a priest assigned service in the regiment of Abijah. His name was Zachariah. His wife was descended from the daughters of Aaron. Her name was Elizabeth. Together they lived honourably before God, careful in keeping to the ways of the commandments and enjoying a clear conscience before God. But they were childless because Elizabeth could never conceive, and now they were quite old. (Luke 1:5-7 MSG)
When the course of his priestly assignment was completed, he went back home. It wasn’t long before his wife, Elizabeth, conceived. She went off by herself for five months, relishing her pregnancy. “So, this is how God acts to remedy my unfortunate condition!” she said. (Luke 1:23-25 MSG)

Let’s talk about sex. The Bible talks about sex, so why are so ashamed to bring it up. Sex between a married man and woman is a holy thing. God intended sex to be the bond that connects us to our spouse, it not only connects us physically but spiritually.

As we read above Zachariah and Elizabeth were old and could not have kids. But as you read a little further in the chapter it shows that it didn’t stop them from having sex.  It reads they lived honourable before God. He was a priest, and he was intimate with his wife. I can think of many excuses why he or his wife might not have wanted the intimacy in their relationship, or why the passion would be gone; 1) they couldn’t conceive so why have sex, 2) he was a priest and well they shouldn’t live like that, 3) they were old, and old people don’t do that.

They choose to follow God, and live honourable, they took the vow they made to one another seriously and didn’t let the passion die in the bedroom. They didn’t let their age stop them as they understood that the connection sex brings is something honoured by God because they kept the purity of marriage bed holy.

Are you spending quality time with your spouse? Is sex something you enjoy with your spouse on a regular basis, or do you only bring it to the bedroom on special occasions? A healthy sexual relationship with your husband or wife will help centre your marriage, cool your anger and focus your marriages direction. Sex with your spouse, when given freely and not thought of as a chore, will bring you to a place where there will be no desire for another. He/she will be what you long for, and you will put the effort into becoming and amazing partner for them in the marriage bed.

I wonder how many marriages fall apart due to chore sex, and not sex as designed by God.

I pray that today if you are in a marriage and you want to honour God with all you do that you take the time to show your spouse that you are in your relationship 100%. That they are important and you want to connect with them physically and spiritually.

Dear Lord, I know this topic will bring mixed feelings to some, I pray Jesus that who this needs to reach will read it and feel such a burning in their hearts to rekindle the passion for their spouse. Help us to have a desire to have an intimacy with our spouse as you have designed it. Help us who are single to wait to have sex till we are married as to enjoy what You have set aside as amazing for this who commit their lives to one another before You. Please forgive those who may have prematurely had sex before marriage, You forgive all sins and will cleanse all who ask of You. Bless all who read this today. Let our marriages be an example to those who don’t know you. They matter to you so they matter to me. Amen.

Day 3: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

 

Day 3 Thoughts

My original thoughts for 50 Days of Pray was to get some outside help from other leaders and ministry leader. I believe I had two actually submissions and a few interested but I understand the busy lives these hard working people have. I hope you enjoy Pastor Mike Millers entry for today. I added a prayer as well.

Today’s Devotional is brought to us by Pastor Mike Miller who Worked at the Rock Church in Lwr Sackville NS. Mike has been busy in launching Nova Church in Halifax NS.

Battle over the Balcony
Why do leaders at the pinnacle of success seem to derail themselves? Rob Ford has become the punch line to every late night TV joke but at one time he had goals and dreams too…what happened?

Bad news gets around the world before good news gets it’s boots on!
This past year there have been a lot of texts, calls, tweets and chats sharing bad news involving moral failures it seems.
Many have involved dear friends or people I don’t know yet respect highly and in either case, my first response has always been one of grief. If you are looking for judgement this isn’t the place, I agree their actions were wrong but they know it and are reminded daily as they rebuild their lives and families.

I’ve been thinking a lot about WHY these things happen and hope to learn, strengthen and provoke myself in the process.

2 Samuel 11 has helped me process this. This is the story where King David should be out at war on the battlefield but instead stays home on the balcony where he sees Bathsheba commits adultery with her and eventually kills her husband.

How did this history making legend go from being on top of the world to his world falling apart

Few things I know

1.Your victories yesterday don’t promise you legacy tomorrow.
David was the same guy he always was. The Same guy who killed a lion and a bear, same guy who pushed past a father who undervalued him to say “is there not a cause?” the same guy who challenged the giants of his day that mocked his faith and persecuted his nation.

2. Timing is everything
“There is not only a right thing to do but a right time to do it” – Abraham Lincoln
2 Samuel 11 vs 1 ” It happened in the spring of the year at the time when kings go out to battle….but David remained in Jerusalem”
The spring time was the fighting season! The season before was rainy which caused impossible conditions for chariots to move in the mud and flash floods washed out roads, the season after was the harvest time which demanded every man to work fields to feed their family and keep the country going. The spring was THE time to fight.

3. When fatigue walks in faith walks out
Vs 2 “David arose from his bed”. It doesn’t say why David didn’t go fight but one would think that decades of fighting, training, being under insecure and violent leadership and then leading a nation himself has to have wore him down. We must learn to rest and withdraw without going AWOL or isolating

4. More leaders are destroyed on the balconies than any battlefield
Psalm 127:4 ” Like arrows in the hand of a warrior so are the children of ones youth” We like arrows are meant to be aimed not stored, to be launched not to lounge. To do anything other than your purpose will frustrate you.
Where have to shelved yourself? Don’t let your leaders or family fight your battle in prayer

5. God takes a mess and makes a message
God still chose to birth His Son through David’s name and legacy, He wasn’t done with David and He isn’t done with you!

Today I choose the battle over the balcony and I pray you do too!

 

Father, we thank you that you are always with us and ready to help us through the mess of this life. I pray that you will keep us away from distractions that will lead us into temptation. Keep us focused on the mission of reaching the lost. Holy Spirit guide us in wisdom and opportunities. The people of this world matter to you so they matter to us. Amen

Day 2: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thought on Day 2, I wrote this on Valentine’s day and the thought of separating one day to show affection is something that has always perplexed me. To make any relationship work we must be prepared to show our love every day. If we are showing love in a real way in our relationships then Valentine’s day will be a day of over the top affection, not a reminder of what you should be doing.

 

Song of Songs 8:6
Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.

Today is a day not unlike any other, except in our society we put a label on it saying it is the day of Love. We are called to love every day of the year and to ensure those around us know they are continually loved. Married couples need to take the verse of today, pray it together, seal the love of their spouse securely in their hearts. With this seal in place and the love for each other strong, when the temptation comes to do things that are destructive to your marriage, the seal will protect and guide you away from evil. What is this seal you ask? The Holy Spirit is the seal that binds you together. He will merge your needs and desires with the love of Christ and create a bond that no evil can destroy. The best gift you can give your spouse today is to pray with them and make a conscious decision to seal your hearts with Jesus.

Dear Jesus,
Thank you for another day where we can breathe the air you created. You show yourself in everything in this world. You bring man and woman together to join in marriage. I pray today that Husbands and Wives will join together this very day and ask the Holy Spirit to bond them together with a seal created by you. That all that they do as a couple is motivated by Your will and when evil attempts it trickery that they will fall to their knees as a couple and, walk with You through the trouble. God to you, the glory, honour and praise. Let our love be an example to those around us whose marriages are failing, let them see that there is hope in Jesus for their lives and their marriages. They matter to God and they should matter to us. Amen

Day 50: 50 Days of Change

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”Romans 12:2 NLT

I would say this is the hardest thing for any believer to do, new or weathered. To fall into the patterns of thinking like those around us is so easy. Party, drink, sleep around, cheat on taxes, wanting what your neighbour has, revenge, and the like. 

We are called to be better then that. We are called to avoid copying the ways of our old life. It isn’t easy to stop the things you did before, but it can be done. If you want a meaningful relationship with Jesus it is something you need to strive for. 

When you work at breaking the old ways patterns then we become more like Jesus, we become more effective in our faith. Others will see us as changed and become interested in what has changed us. If we don’t change outwards but our words change what will people think of our witness. All talk, nothing else. Don’t be discouraged if you make mistakes, we all will stumble, pick yourself up wipe off the dirt ask for forgiveness and keep pushing forward. Even Peter, a faithful disciple, told Jesus he would never eject him nor leave him, ran away when he was arrested and denied knowing him three times. Yet he was forgiven and did amazing things for Jesus sharing the faith its thousands of people.

Let’s work at changing inside and out. Let’s love them because God loves them. Let us not be a reason they don’t accept Jesus, but be a reason they do .It is time to change.

Jesus, I pray we will be changed. Help us to walk away a from the things that will lead us away or lead others away from you. We must make this choice individually, but those who do I pray you will give strength, joy and wisdom. Thank you Father for loving us. Help us to remember that they matter to you so they should matter to us. Amen

Day 49: 50 Days of Change

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:5-6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

We are a people who like to try to control our own lives. We would rather live our lives as we are reading a ‘choose your own adventure book’ then to submit to someone else’s plans for our lives. We believe that we know what is best for our lives, our families and everything that we are in contact with. 

Have you ever owned a gps? A navigation tool that helps you get to where you need to go. I have had one and when you enter your destination it expects you to follow it. But as stuburn humanity I believe that the gps is wrong and doesn’t want to take me the most effective route, so I take turns that go against what it tells me. The machine itself gets frustrated and recalculates, it keeps redirecting me as I get lost by trying to control how I get to me destination.

Do we sometimes do this with God? We ask him for a path to take and when he shows us we then decide to make our own way. We see an alternative that should get us to the same desired result, but n the end it cause us much pain, discomfort and detours. We are called to trust the Lord, not just a little but with al our hearts. To submit to him is to know him, then to press in and seek his will for your life will reveal which path to take. 

So are you following his lead or are you trying to forge your own path? Maybe just maybe it is time to trust him and see where he will lead you.

Father, all to often we try to guide our own lives down roads that ultimatly lead to nothing. Sometimes the end is harmless but other times they can cause much pain. I pray that we start trusting you more in our descisions and life choices. Holy Spirit reveal to us the path to follow and choices we must make. We want to reach people for you, we want to build the kingdom, they matter to you so the matter to me. Amen

Day 48: 50 Days of Change

“And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.”‭‭1 John‬ ‭5:14-15‬ ‭NLT‬‬

So many times we have read this verse and many other just like it and expect that God will give us anything we ask for. We more often then not skim over the four words ‘anything that pleases him’, in favour of ‘anything that pleases us’. Where did the confidence that John was writing about here come from? If you were to read the previous part of this chapter you would read about what it means to have faith in the Son of God. It also tells us what it means to truly love God. 

Yet so many ask for things that are just not pleasing to God. He knows what the results will be if he was to give you every desire of your heart. If he had answered your teenage prayer to date that high school crush, or given you all the answers for the test you forgot to study for. Maybe you prayed for money or stuff, he understands we need money but asking him to be rich is not something that pleases him, money can corrupt. 

But as often the case, people walk away from God because he doesn’t give them everything they prayed for, the job, the perfect spouse, status. They become bitter and angry at God because he withheld something they really wanted like a spoiled child not getting what they asked for. As a parent I know that my kids won’t always agree with the decisions I make, they will ask for things and I will have to say no. This isn’t because I am trying to be mean, it is because I believe I know what’s best for their development. 

What I love about kids compared to adults is that they get over the NO. They may have a fit but it is only temporary, they in general will not try to walk away from you if you say no to them. The may stamp around, cause a scene, say somethings they may regret, but at day’s end they will be back for a hug, tell you they love you, moving past the NO. 

So today will you become like a child and move past the no? God is a good father and wants to give you good things, not everything we ask for is good for us. Trust that even though we may not agree with him he has our best in mind. Why would we not trust the God who created us? Loves us? Saved us from sin. Don’t stop asking, keep praying, trust he will give you the best answer.

Father, it is hard for us to understand why you would say no to things we ask for. Sometimes they are request that will harm us other times we don’t see how they wouldn’t be answe. Help us to continually trust that you know what’s best for us, as you created us, one might assume you have a good understanding what we need. I ask father you will guide us in reaching the lost. Holy Spirit give us wisdom and opportunities every day to share the love of Jesus with our friends, family, coworkers and anyone who will listen. They matter to you so the matter to me. Amen