Day 8: 50 Days of Passion

We have people in life that just don’t like us. They don’t like the look of us, the way we act or what we believe. They are either jealous or for some reason we have just never connected. This can happen in your church, this can happen with other believers, this can happen to us.

 

It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, Philippians 1:15-18

 

Paul wasn’t in total isolation when he was in jail. From accounts he wasn’t a considered a dangerous criminal and most likely had visitors or at least letters telling him the churches and places he had been. How else would he have heard of those teaching out of envy and rivalry?

Human nature has become a lifestyle where you have to outdo the other person to get a head. This thought pattern creates that envy and rivalry that Paul is talking about here. If their church has 100 seats, mine will have 200. If they send money to missions will send more. There bringing in this special speaker, will bring this better one.

Paul here takes a different view on it, he almost shrugs it off and says ‘whatever’. He knows that at least at the end of the day Christ is being preached. What could Paul do to change the motives of man? That change is something the Holy Spirit can do but not us.

So, we see Paul here telling us to rejoice that Christ is being preached. Not to get caught up in trying to fix their issues. All to often we get caught up in trying to fix their issues, point out their problems, spend hours talking about it or joining them by ‘fighting’ back. Maybe instead of doing all this we need to take an approach like Paul. Rejoice.

We need to rejoice when other churches are reaching the lost, we need to rejoice an be encouraged that no matter the motives Christ is preached. Pray for those churches that God will keep working in them. He will show them the change they need, not our job to fix them.

Do you want to see your passion flourish? Start praying for the whole Church. We are the body of Christ; all parts are important. Let’s pray that God is preached in the whole body.

Father, we pray today for the Whole body of believers. God we have separated into different circles of believers but we all belong to your Church. Although we may have different viewpoints we pray that they be continuing to preach the love of Christ. Help us not to get caught up in pettiness and become more loving to all our family, rejoicing when Christ is preached and people saved. Ignite our passion help us to grow in you, Amen

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Day 5: 50 Days of Impact

As we open the letters in the New Testament we are reading the mail of the early church. So much of what was written impacts pour walk as believers as the early church and the church today are dealing with very similar challenges.

“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers, making request if, by some means, now at last I may find a way in the will of God to come to you. For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established— that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.”

Romans 1:8-12 NKJV

 

As I was reading this morning I was debating on what to ask about. I thought about using the second half of Romans, But I didn’t feel that was needed today.

 

Today the question I feel I want to ask is this. What are you currently doing to spread the hope of Christ?

 

Paul had a desire to share the love of Christ to the world. He traveled and spread letters all over the known world. His words are now forever with us as part of the bible. He went to jail, eventually was killed, but through that all his sole desire was kingdom building, individually and the Church.

 

People around me know my faith, more from word of mouth then from me. I am open to talk about it to them if they ask, but am I too quiet in the faith. My actions speak louder then words, but eventually I do need to speak and share.

 

Are we building each other up on prayer? Are we encouraging one another enough? Are we asking or challenging our brothers and sisters in the faith about what they are doing to reach the lost? If not then we need to change our mindset. We joke together and talk about so much stuff and avoid what really matters. We can build each other up and share tools to reach the lost. This is what the family of God is all about.

 

Thank you, Jesus, for equipping us. Thank you for sending the Holy Spirit to guide us, help us to listen to his guidance. Help us to listen to each other and be willing to ask each other the tough questions. This world needs you now just as much as ever, and people won’t just come unless someone tells them. Help us be a people who are willing to share the love that you have given us. Don’t let us hoard your salvation. Amen

 

Day 35: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thoughts on Day 35: Having a child or loved one walk away from their upbringing is heartbreaking. To invest your time and love into them and show them the truth and love only God can bring and see them turn it down can almost be a slap in the face to how you raised them. What did I do wrong? The answer is simply this, nothing. Every human must make a choice themselves what path they choose in life. As parents we are entrusted for a small about of time, maybe 1/5th of their life to introduce them to who we are, what we believe and our moral standards. But at one point they will have to make these choices on their own. What you invested into their lives we pray becomes the foundation of who they are.

DAY THIRTY-FIVE

Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6 NKJV)

I would think this scripture would be in the top ten for most parents. It is one that gives hope as a vast majority of children these days walk away from the church at the first opportunity. Why if the child really had an experience with his/her maker would they walk away? Why, why, why?

I have a couple theories,
1) the world is an easy tempter of pleasure,
2) a child leaves home and a circle of believers and moves to a place and doesn’t join another for either lack of trying or maybe a hard time joining a group,
3) influence of girl or boyfriend, and friends.

Don’t be discouraged if your child has walked away. God has not forgotten them even if they seem to have forgotten Him. Keep praying that God will reveal Himself to them daily, through His creation and by bringing people into their path showing the love of Christ. Don’t give up on you Child, God hasn’t, and the Holy Spirit is working on them daily.

Dear Jesus, if we have a child who has walk away from You and are living a life we would call sinful we ask You to bring them back. Holy Spirit send people into their lives to show them the love of Jesus, remind them of the creator. Give us a peace that You know what you’re doing in this situation and no matter how long it takes we won’t give up on our loved ones until they have come back to Jesus. Amen

Day 28: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thoughts of Day 28: It hurts each and every time I see a young person who walks away from the truth they learned in church. The reasons are not always known, I wonder what we are missing because this is a hit and miss phenomenon. I know this that it all resounds in the heart of the person. My brother and I are perfect examples, I stayed and followed Christ, he walked away. Keep trusting the Holy Spirit to work in their hearts so they may return to discover the truth and the love of Jesus.

 

12 March 15

DAY TWENTY-EIGHT

“So don’t be afraid: I’m with you. I’ll round up all your scattered children, pull them in from east and west. I’ll send orders north and south: ‘Send them back. Return my sons from distant lands, my daughters from faraway places. I want them back, every last one who bears my name, every man, woman, and child Whom I created for my glory, yes, personally formed and made each one.'” (Isaiah 43:5-7 MSG)

Today our prayer is that God will bring His children back. How many of us know if have children/family who grew up in church and are now living in a life away from God? You see it all the time. 90% of all teens in a youth program leave the church, even when they have had powerful experiences with God. How do we bring them back? What made them leave?

It isn’t easy to answer these questions, nor do I have all them. We as believers have to continue to get on our knees and ask the Holy Spirit to work on the hearts of these wayward children.

The same challenge I gave a group of men last night I give to you. Read and place this verse in all your prayers concerning restoration of loved ones

And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers.(Malachi 4:6 KJV)

Dear Jesus, I pray that this year will be the year that those who have walked away from you, those who grew up in the church, had loving parents who shared Your love with them, those who know the truth but for some reason run from it, that this will be the year You restore them to the faith. Bring our children home. Turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to the fathers, for through this You will be glorified. Amen

Day 25: 50 Days of Change

“All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper ), and to prayer.”‭‭Acts of the Apostles‬ ‭2:42‬ ‭NLT‬‬

 All the believers were active in their faith. Their faith was from experiences past on by those who had met Jesus, are with him, fellowshiped with him, listened to his teachings and prayed with him. So if the first believers did this together modelling what Jesus had taught, why should we be any different? 

Yet today their are believers who feel they need to be isolated to be better Christians. Like John on the Island of Patmos, I can serve God alone, I dont need anyone. Well to burst that bbble, John was sent to the island as a prison, to be isolated and sprite from those who the romans understood gave John strength. To be alone is a lonely existence, that’s why solitary confinement in jail is set apart as a prison inside a prison. Humanity requires fellowship to thrive. Followers of Jesus even more so. 

I believe we have lost this in our church’s, sure not all may have lost this, but a vast majority have become to busy with daily activities of live to connect with their church family. Gone or rare are the days of having someone over for a Sunday meal, maybe replace with the convienne of restaurants, yet the intamicy of inviting someone to your home is lost.

 How can we as a church get back to this way of connecting with tour family of believers? How can we break the patterns of apathy and malaise we have created? We want revival and our churches to grow, our strength to do this is in the people who are sitting to our left and right ever Sunday. Teaching one another, praying together, fellowshiping, eating meals including the Lords supper, these things build us up. We encourage one another in these times, we push one another to be more to keep going in the faith. Like an ember in a fire, if outside the main fire it will die out, we need to keep all embers in the fire.

Are you willing to be an agent of Change? It has to start with you. 

Father, thank you for all that you do for us. I pray that as a family we return to the way the early church connected through teaching, fellowship, eating and prayer. Let us not neglect one another, for we are all unique and in our uniqueness you will be lifted up. Help us build one another up, guiding, moulding, and correcting if needed. Holy Spirit burn in our hearts a desire to be a strong family devoted to serving God, and the mission of reaching the lost. Connecting with our family will motivate us to grow our family so we pray that we will see this as you see it. The people outside the family of God matter to you, so they matter to us. Amen