Day 18: 50 Days of Passion

Have you heard the phrase “dress for the job you want, not the job you have?” In essence, it is saying if you want to life your life on the bottom floor of the office building then don’t care about what you wear. But if you want to succeed as a business man then don’t show up in ripped jeans. If you are to apply for a job you dress appropriately, first impressions make the difference.

As believers if we want to reach others we need to ‘dress’ ourselves for it. If we continue to ‘dress’ ourselves like the world does they won’t see any difference.  Lets change dress to how we act, how we present ourselves, our business practices, how we treat our family’s, friends and the poor.

 

“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”

Colossians 3:12 NLT

 

 

God chose us, how awesome is that! But then I read “you must” which to me tells me that we have a part to play. We must clothe ourselves with good things.  If we want our lives to reflect Jesus, we don’t want to be walking around in filthy rags of bitterness, un-forgiveness, anger, judgment and pain. We wouldn’t be much of an example of the God who saves us, who chose us.

 

No, we are called to clothe ourselves to be like him. Kindness to those who don’t deserve our kindness. Tender hearted mercy to those who need it or don’t feel they need it. Removing our pride and being humble in what we do not working to build ourselves up but the kingdom. Gentleness, guarding our tongue as it can be used to cut, but we need to use it to heal and love. And patience as we in this day and age are rushing through life, pushing from one task to the next, sometimes we need to be patient with our surroundings and trust God knows what he is doing.

 

We will only see a new passion in our lives if we start living in the freedom and new life given to us by God.  When we throw off the dirty rags and put on the clothe God offers we can then share our faith. As we step out in this new life our passion will ignite a we share the love of Jesus with those around us, in whatever means God has called you to share. You are going to stand out, you will no longer look like those around you. You will be a light in the darkness.

 

So today when your coworkers and friends see you are you clothed in fifty rags or dressed in a garment God has called you to wear?

 

Dear Jesus, take my filthy rags, don’t just put them in the laundry to be used another day, burn them. I don’t want to be seen as that man anymore. I want to be like you, tender hearted, humble, patient, gentle and kind. Holy Spirit work these characteristics into my life and create something beautiful to showcase who God is in my life. Let those around me see Jesus in me daily. Amen

 

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Day 11: 50 Days of Passion

If you talk to any avid sports fan they aren’t ashamed to tell you why their team is the best. They know the stats, what it takes for their team to go all the way. Talk to someone into TV Dramas, they can explain the complicated lives of their favorite shows, may even know lines word for word. Nerds and geeks have knowledge they are willing to talk to on any subject that they are passionate about. They will fight seemingly to the death in support of their favorite genre. So why are we afraid to talk about our faith?

 

For I live in eager expectation and hope that I will never do anything that will cause me to be ashamed of myself but that I will always be ready to speak out boldly for Christ while I am going through all these trials here, just as I have in the past; and that I will always be an honor to Christ, whether I live or whether I must die. Philippians 1:20

 

We are living in a world where there are spiritual battles happening all around us and we are unaware. Blind or ignorant either way it is happening and most of the word just doesn’t care to acknowledge it. The enemy is bound and determined to keep people from following Jesus. He knows that every person who accepts the give of salvation is another possible spreader of his love.

 

He has devised a strategy that if he is able to make a Christian lazy and apathetic to his or her faith then at least they are not sharing their faith. He sends his minions to hold us down, whisper lies in our ears, we believe these lies giving him a sort of permission to hold us down. Satan is one being unlike God who can be everywhere, so to say Satan is attacking you most chances it is his followers.  This oppression will keep you from the passion you desire to share the word of God.

 

The enemy will continually whisper lies that will make us ashamed to share the truth. They won’t accept it. They think you are looking down on them, you wouldn’t want to jeopardize your friendship over this.

Jesus has power over demons. He showed us this in his word when he cast them out of people. We have the right as believers to ask Jesus to remove any demon who is hindering our lives. (I don’t believe we can be demon possessed as believers, but harassed and held down.) Two thoughts on this. First if you ask Jesus to banish the demon that is harassing you, you must fill that area of your life with the Holy Spirit, scripture and prayer. If you don’t the enemy will try to work his way back in. Second, the enemy will keep lying to you telling you that it didn’t work, Jesus didn’t remove anything and that you just weren’t good enough for it to work. This is another enemy trying to discourage you even more. Ask Jesus to remove it as well.

I know this is a deep thought today. If may be something you haven’t considered. Our passion and fire is directly linked to our relationship with Christ. If we become lazy in our reading of the bible, prayer and fulfilling the mission our fire will dwindle. That’s what the enemy wants from us. Ineffective Christians aren’t dangerous.

If you are feeling held down by the enemy, maybe he is telling you lies, lets pray that Jesus will banish them to never return, and reignite our passion.

 

Jesus, if anyone reading this today is being held down by a spirit of fear, apathy or lies I pray in Jesus name that they be banished. As we cry out you name, le the enemy leave our lives. Refill the void that this enemy leaves behind with the Holy Spirit, love, compassion, joy, hope and passion. Jesus, we thank you for freeing us from the grip of the enemy. As your servant Paul wrote, let us not be ashamed of ourselves but let us boldly proclaim your truth to those around us. Amen

 

 

Day 44: 50 Days of Impact

In his last hours of his life Jesus continued to make an impact on those around him. He didn’t make excuses or complain on what was happening to him. We see the same compassion for those who needed forgiveness right up to his last breath. Jesus embodied the mission, and he calls us to do the same.

 

“Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.””

Luke 23:42-43 NLT

 

“In times of trouble, may the LORD answer your cry. May the name of the God of Jacob keep you safe from all harm.”

Psalms 20:1 NLT

 

 

Picture this, Jesus, beaten by the Romans, mocked by the Jews, his friends had left him, and now he is hanging on the cross. Now to top it off as he is hanging their, the two criminals next to him start talking. One openly mocks Jesus. This criminal who is sharing the same penalty as Jesus, who deserved his fate, was mocking Jesus who was innocent. The other criminal goes to defend Jesus. He knows something is going on and eagerly and openly defends Jesus the innocent.

 

When he finishes rebuking the other criminal, he turns his attention to the one he was defending. This criminal may have had the importance of Jesus revealed to him either by the Holy Spirit, or maybe he had heard Jesus talking earlier in his life. We won’t know exactly what compelled him to ask the dying man next to him to remember him in heaven.

 

But an awesome reminder of Jesus forgiving power is displayed here on the cross. This criminal called out to Jesus, and Jesus didn’t ignore him, he didn’t make him say a prayer, he didn’t make an altar call, he answered his cry. This displays the awesome forgiveness of Jesus. King David wrote that the lord answers are cries in times of trouble. This criminal may have remembered this as he hung on his cross and knew of the psalm as a child, but for whatever reason he cried out to Jesus to remember him, the point to remember is that Jesus answered his cry.

 

So today those around us who are hurting, dying, depressed, out of work, angry, they all need Jesus. He is right there waiting for them to cry out to him. It is never to late for someone to come to Jesus.

 

Dear Jesus, I need to keep sharing your love with those around me. Help me this very day to invite friends, coworkers and family to experience the love of Jesus. Give me the boldness to invite people to church this Sunday. Let your messages all over this world from in the hearts of those who may only attend church once or twice a year. Break hearts and change lives this weekend. Amen

 

Day 38: 50 Days of Impact

Lately in times of disaster we often see people rushing to their social media accounts and posting prayers for _______. I guess the question we really need to ask is what else are you doing about it? |Prayers are important, but what are you practically doing about the situation? If you are willing to take the time to post about it you should have time to do something about it. It could be a simple as sending money. You may have a particular skill that could help in rebuilding or disaster relief. In your prayers are you asking God what you can do to help this need?

 

“One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?” The man answered, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’” “Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!” The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?””

Luke 10:25-29 NLT

 

“If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person? Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.”

1 John 3:17-18 NLT

 

We are called by God to be a people who truly love our neighbours. If you were to pick up your bible and open to Luke 10 and continue to read you will see Jesus response to the question he was asked ” who is my neighbour?” Jesus didn’t spout off a list of qualities that quantify who your neighbour is, he told him that helping those in need defines who your neighbour is.

 

Well I come to tell you this, everyone we know has a need. Either being the need of the basics of life or spiritual needs, they all need something. 1 John is quite clear that we need to showcase the truth that lives in us by our actions. If we say we have the love of Jesus in our hearts but act selfishly then who will want what we have.

 

People respond to acts of generosity, look at the way the country is pulled together to help the people of Fort Mac Alberta, or more recently Florida, Houston. Christians should be at the front lines ready willing and able to assist in anyway possible. I have to assume that we are, one way or another. Just look at what Franklin Graham and Sarmatians Purse are doing, reports say they are doing more then FEMA. Love and generosity is contagious.

 

It comes down to this very question, why should we love our neighbor? I know when you read the answer you will say Kurt why are you pushing this again, but we need to change our mindset of how we live our daily lives.

 

If they matter to God, then they should matter to us!

 

Let’s live our lives like the people around us matter, let’s love them enough to share Jesus with them. Let’s see them as Jesus sees them, lost hurting and in need of a saviour. If not they are going to hell. There is no other way to heaven, we have the truth, and it isn’t meant to be bottled up or hidden, share it. Lets impact our world.

 

Jesus, let us be awesome neighbours, caring for those around us, loving them enough to tell them that they need a saviour. If that comes from helping them in their time of need, then push us to be there for them. If it is through times of mourning, then let us be a pillar of strength they can lean on. If it is through the daily walk of life, then let them see you in us and give us the words to share your saving grace with them. They matter to us because they matter to you. Guide us even today to share Jesus with our neighbours, Holy Spirit push us out of our comfort zone and let’s get to work. Amen

 

 

Day 33: 50 Days of Impact

If I had the cure for some incurable disease and never shared it what would that make me? Or if I found it but then mad it so expensive that only the elite could afford it or put others in extreme financial hardship to get well, to the point of not living once cured. We look at what Jesus has done and can’t comprehend what he actually has done for this world. He selfishly gave him self up as a cure for sin. He then offered it freely to those who would only accept it and him. No works to be done, no daily mantras to recite, no human or idol to worship.  He asks that you talk to him, ask for forgiveness and do a 180 on the life you were living. He will take us, our personalities, likes and talents and use you to help others see who his is. Following Jesus doesn’t mean losing your identity but finding out who you were truly meant to be.

 

“And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.”

Jude 1:22-23 NLT

 

 

We have heard it before hate the sin but love the person. Why is that so important of a point? If we hate the person and the sin we then display that they are important to us, or if they aren’t important to us then how important are they to God. John 3:16 is the key where it says, “for God so loved the world”. This tells me the world is important to God, and if they are important to God they should be important to us.

 

This passage is an urgent plea to snatch people from the flames of judgment. We need to purposefully reach others, telling them about the saving grace of Jesus. Because if you believe it or not there are only two options in death. Heaven or hell. And the choices we make here on earth decide where we go. And don’t be fooled a choice of “not now”, it is a choice of hell.

 

So, what is holding you back from sharing your faith? What’s holding you back from inviting someone to your church? Do you love them enough to care where they spend eternity? I pray even today you will reach someone for Jesus!

 

Jesus, give us a strength and passion to reach the lost. Holy Spirit give us many opportunities even today to share about Jesus. You told us that God so loved the world and continues to love the world, not to condemn it but to bring life. Help us to see others the way God does, love them the way he does. They matter to him so they should matter to us. Amen

 

Day 22: 50 Days of Impact

 

All to often we see young singers who are very talented decide to follow the popular music scene and become something that is copying what is trendy at the moment. We see how they are influenced by those who they are hanging around with all in the name of being popular and selling records. They may have had a large following before they made the change, and many will follow what he or she is now doing with their music. Influence can corrupt, listening to bad advice will take you places you never should have gone. Innocence will be lost. But they can be restored, we hear tales of one young singer trying to change, but when your caught up in the industry change isn’t always easy. Lets pray for those who want to change, pray that Godly influence will be available to them. Not just for the celebrity but for your family and your friends.

 

“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

 

We as people tend to mimic those around us. Hang around someone with a strong accent for to long and we begin to use it as well. Put your self in an environment where people are speaking another language and it won’t be long before you are picking up words and maybe even speaking some. It’s just the way we are built.

 

Picture a turkey farm, now put an eagle egg in the midst. When that eagle hatches, it most likely will adapt to its environment and will become a ground bird like those it knows. But an eagle is meant to fly. It isn’t meant to walk with the turkeys,

 

We are meant to do so much more with our lives then hanging out with the turkeys who aren’t interested in the ways of Jesus. I am not saying you can’t hang out with your friends who don’t know Jesus. What I am asking is who is influencing who in the relationship? Being yoked to an unbeliever will more times then not drag you down. I pray you are the influence in their lives.

 

If we let God transform our lives through the Holy Spirit he will create in us a light for our unbelieving friends to be attracted to. We need to continue to ask for opportunities to reach them, share with them and show the love of Jesus to them. When was the last time you told your non-Christian friends that Jesus loves them, or have you given up on them?

 

Dear Jesus, we want to be a people who shares your love to all men. We want to focus of the mission of saving the world, and those around us are part of the world. Let us not get complacent when it comes to our close friends forgetting they need you too. Let us not write them off as lost causes, or expect our actions alone to draw them to you. For we do not know what word we may say that will trigger a reaction and a heart change. Guide our words today that we may share about you. Amen

 

 

Day 10: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thoughts on Day 10: Over the past 2 years I have seen some marriages fall apart. I think in a four month period I was dealing with four at work alone. I wish that I have the answers and ways to restore all marriages, but the fact remains it is something between them and God. One would hope that Christian marriages would stand the test of time, but even they are breaking which breaks my heart even more. I pray for marriages built on a foundation of faith in Christ, it is never to late for one to restore what has been broken.

22 Feb 16

DAY TEN

Song of Solomon 3 The Message (MSG)

3v 1-4 Restless in bed and sleepless through the night,
I longed for my lover.
I wanted him desperately. His absence was painful.
So I got up, went out and roved the city,
hunting through streets and down alleys.
I wanted my lover in the worst way!
I looked high and low, and didn’t find him.
And then the night watchmen found me
as they patrolled the darkened city.
“Have you seen my dear lost love?” I asked.
No sooner had I left them than I found him,
found my dear lost love.
I threw my arms around him and held him tight,
wouldn’t let him go until I had him home again,
safe at home beside the fire.

If your married do you feel this way when your spouse is away. Do you worry about where he or she maybe? Maybe you and your spouse are going through a troubled time, maybe you might even be going through a time of separation

These verses paint a beautiful picture of Christs love for us. We are restless in this life looking for our lost love, but sometimes we just don’t know who He is. Jesus is waiting to be found. He isn’t that far off, We talked earlier in the challenge about a void in our lives that can only be filled by Jesus. His love can only be accepted never forced upon you.

If you are going through a rough point in your marriage, I challenge you to ask Jesus for a longing for your spouse, ask for a desire to repair what the enemy is working on destroying. Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church –  a love marked by giving, not getting. (Ephesians 5 v 22&25) If you need help, ask for it. Work with your Pastor, seek counselling, find some accountability partners (together and separately) and pray together.

If Jesus can take our messed-up lives and make them complete trust that he can taken your broken marriage and do the same. He can provide you with the longing for your spouse you once had when you were first married.

If you are single and not married I pray that if you know of married couples who are falling apart at the seams that you will pray for restoration. Maybe you have walked away from Jesus, and your life is restless and broken. Seek Jesus out and rest in His arms.

Dear Jesus, take my marriage wherever it may be and strengthen it. If it is falling apart right before my eyes, take hold and repair it. Bring the love I once had for my spouse and rekindle it. May our marriage be a representation of who You are living through us. Take control of our marriage. I trust You are in control. If I have let You out of my life, ignored you and not paid you any attention I ask you to forgive me and come restore my life in your arms. Amen

 

22 Feb 16

DAY TEN
Song of Solomon 3 The Message (MSG)

3v 1-4 Restless in bed and sleepless through the night,
I longed for my lover.
I wanted him desperately. His absence was painful.
So I got up, went out and roved the city,
hunting through streets and down alleys.
I wanted my lover in the worst way!
I looked high and low, and didn’t find him.
And then the night watchmen found me
as they patrolled the darkened city.
“Have you seen my dear lost love?” I asked.
No sooner had I left them than I found him,
found my dear lost love.
I threw my arms around him and held him tight,
wouldn’t let him go until I had him home again,
safe at home beside the fire.

If your married do you feel this way when your spouse is away. Do you worry about where he or she maybe? Maybe you and your spouse are going through a troubled time, maybe you might even be going through a time of separation

These verses paint a beautiful picture of Christ’s love for us. We are restless in this life looking for our lost love, but sometimes we just don’t know who He is. Jesus is waiting to be found. He isn’t that far off, We talked earlier in the challenge about a void in our lives that can only be filled by Jesus. His love can only be accepted never forced upon you.

If you are going through a rough point in your marriage, I challenge you to ask Jesus for a longing for your spouse, ask for a desire to repair what the enemy is working on destroying. Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church –  a love marked by giving, not getting. (Ephesians 5 v 22&25) If you need help, ask for it. Work with your Pastor, seek counselling, find some accountability partners (together and separately) and pray together.

If Jesus can take our messed-up lives and make them complete trust that he can take your broken marriage and do the same. He can provide you with the longing for your spouse you once had when you were first married.

If you are single and not married I pray that if you know of married couples who are falling apart at the seams that you will pray for restoration. Maybe you have walked away from Jesus, and your life is restless and broken. Seek Jesus out and rest in His arms.

Dear Jesus, take my marriage wherever it may be and strengthen it. If it is falling apart right before my eyes, take hold and repair it. Bring the love I once had for my spouse and rekindle it. May our marriage be a representation of who You are living through us. Take control of our marriage. I trust You are in control. If I have let You out of my life, ignored you and not paid you any attention I ask you to forgive me and come restore my life in your arms. I want my marriage to reflect your love. That the world will see that they matter to you and they matter to me. Amen