Day 14 : 50 Days of Impact

Have you ever talked to someone who is so opposed to Christianity that it makes them hard to be around? We begin to wonder if they will ever be freed from the sin that oppresses their lives. Sometimes we write them off as lost causes, so far gone that even a miracle seems hopeless. Yet we know that even the hardest case isn’t lost when it comes to Jesus. Saul is a perfect example of opposite person accepting what he was fighting and becoming new. So new in fact he even changed his name to Paul.

 

“Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.”

Colossians 4:5-6 NLT

 

So lately some of my posts have been focused on reaching the lost and our mission set forth by Jesus himself to go into the world and make disciples. Why is that so important to me right now? I think the question we need to be asking us why isn’t it important?

 

Outside of North America in places that we call the mission field, people are joining the faith in massive numbers. The amount if people they estimate to be converting everyday is something I find unbelievable and yet amazing. Why? Because I look around and don’t see hardly anyone coming to know Jesus where I am. How come people are flocking to Jesus elsewhere but not here in North America?

 

I don’t have the final answer. But one thing we need to do is repent for not following our mission. We as a church have become lazy in our mission. We give to missions, technically hiring others to reach the lost, and forget about the lost right outside our doors. Now not every Christian is doing this, but in general most are. I was one of them, I am working to change that.

 

To do this I am working at apply scripture such as the one above, my life motivator, a call to arms. I find I have opportunities but my body is weak and the pride I have holds me back. Not wanting to look stupid or say something to offend. But the fact is the cross is offensive to those who are lost. The devil does not want us sharing our faith with the lost.

 

The truth of Jesus’s saving grace may seem bitter at first, but it becomes sweet to those who believe.

 

Dear Jesus, forgive us as a whole and individually for not following your command to reach the lost. I don’t want to ignore those in need of a saviour anymore. I want to open my lips and speak the truth to others no matter what they think of me. Easier said then done, but with the Holy Spirit by my side I pray that I put my pride aside and move forward sharing Jesus with the lost. Amen

 

How are you impacting the world around you? I would love to hear your stories of reaching those who are lost. This will help encourage others to fulfil the mission.

Day 29: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thoughts on Day 29: We sometimes wonder how on earth the Jews were supposed to follow all the decrees and laws that were put in place. To make matters worse they kept adding to them and making them even more unattainable. The purpose of all those laws wasn’t meant to have them fulfil them all but to put their trust in a God who would love them. Jesus turned that all in and said love God, love your neighbour, accept my sacrifice and work at telling others about me. Are you focused on rules or are you working on your relationship with God and reaching others?

 

DAY TWENTY-NINE

If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?” (John 5:46-47 NIV)

There are some who believe that the Old Testament is irrelevant and not required for Christian living. I make the case that even Jesus knew the Old Testament scriptures were a valued part of His ministry.

In the above verse, for example, Jesus was explaining to the people that if they couldn’t believe the teachings of Moses how were they going to grasp His.

The OT is filled with lots of life lessons, and we do see all the laws that seem overwhelming that were given to the Jews. God gave those to His chosen people to help them to be set apart from the normal. If they lived a lifestyle that God had shown them they would have never been defeated so many times. Their health would have been amazing, their love life with their wives would have been the envy of every outside man. They (and I can only assume this) would have become the greatest nation on earth and would still be around today.

But they didn’t, so Jesus said if You can’t even follow the teachings of Moses, how are you going to follow mine?

Pick up the bible, study a book of the OT, dig deep and see what truths you can find that lead you to Jesus. Apply them to your life and grow.

Dear Jesus, your whole word is important to us. Help me to take time daily reading your scriptures, I ask You to reveal Yourself to me in everything I read.
Amen

Day 15: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thoughts of Day 15: I believe every marriage can be rescued. I know that certain circumstances make it feel impossible and sometimes not wise to even consider. Those situations are between you and God. As believers who have a relationship with God, are you fighting for your marriage rather than fighting your marriage?

 

27 Feb 16

DAY FIFTEEN

I was sound asleep, but in my dreams, I was wide awake. Oh, listen! It’s the sound of my lover knocking, calling! “Let me in, dear companion, dearest friend, my dove, consummate lover! I’m soaked with the dampness of the night, drenched with dew, shivering and cold.” “But I’m in my nightgown-do you expect me to get dressed? I’m bathed and in bed-do you want me to get dirty?” But my lover wouldn’t take no for an answer, and the longer he knocked, the more excited I became. I got up to open the door to my lover, sweetly ready to receive him, Desiring and expectant as I turned the door handle. But when I opened the door he was gone. My loved one had tired of waiting and left. And I died inside-oh, I felt so bad! I ran out looking for him But he was nowhere to be found. I called into the darkness-but no answer. The night watchmen found me as they patrolled the streets of the city. They slapped and beat and bruised me, ripping off my clothes, These watchmen, who were supposed to be guarding the city.

I beg you, sisters in Jerusalem- if you find my lover, Please tell him I want him, that I’m heartsick with love for him. (Song of Solomon 5:2-8 MSG)

I wonder if like the story above we are slow to respond to our spouses. When they call out for help or need us do we ignore or make excuses to rush to them? This is what happened above. She was making excuses to why not to answer the door and let her lover in and by the time she finally decided to roll out of bed he was gone. This man knew his lover was home, was expecting her to be excited to see him but alas she wouldn’t answer the door. He probably felt unwanted, neglected and unloved so he went somewhere else to find what he needed.

This is a problem that plagues marriages all over the world especially our continent. Spouses feeling like they are not loved, wanted, or appreciated and they go find it in another. It may start out as just finding another man/woman to comfort them in their loneliness but sin has a funny way of creeping in a destroying what God planned for good.

So today, if you are the one in bed, making excuses not to spend time or run to your lovers’ side. STOP IT. Make your lover feel important, meet their needs, love them, show them you still desire them.

And if you are the one at the door, looking for attention, love, desire, DON’T GIVE UP. Keep trying to connect, love them, make them feel important, show them you have a strong desire to be with them.

Do whatever it takes to reconnect. Pray for your spouse.

Dear Jesus, help us to rekindle the love we have for our spouses. Help us to be persistent in our desire and pursuit of satisfying our lovers. If we are lonely in our marriage help us to speak out and tell our spouse that is how we feel. Better for us Lord be embarrassed with our spouse over little things then let them become huge sins. God be with my spouse today, love him/her and bless them. Let our lives reflect marriage as you intended. Amen

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