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 Six: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thoughts on Day Six. If you aren’t from Canada, check out what is happening here. I remember growing up in church and even recently hearing that we are glad to be living in a country where there is no fear in sharing about our faith and worshiping God openly. With all that is happening and the laws that are being pushed I wonder how much longer those freedoms will be around. Don’t give up though, TRUTH will always trump evil, there will always be those who want to see past the lies and desire to experience Truth no matter the cost.

18 Feb 15

DAY Six
I’m sure now I’ll see God’s goodness in the exuberant earth. Stay with GOD! Take heart. Don’t quit. I’ll say it again: Stay with GOD.
Psalm 27:14
Ever notice that every couple of years a movie comes along that is so against what Christians believe in that it causes seemingly worldwide panic, that “this movie” is going to shake, break, or destroy Christians. I can think of 50 SOG, Showgirls, or DaVinci Code. But in the end, they come make some noise yet in the end when was the last time you read an article about DaVinci Code?
This is what I see, anything that Satan tries to do that is evidently evil is a high show stopper, quick fry in the pan, looks good to start, but eventually rots away and hides. The reason you don’t hear about it anymore is because it wasn’t lasting truth.
Why is the Bible still around? Why is God the same as He was back in the days of the bible? Because He is TRUTH. TRUTH endures. Gods love flows through all His creation and is consistently all around us.
The bible says not to be taken in by every new fad that comes along. If you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, I quote the Psalms once again, Stay with GOD! Take heart. Don’t quit. I’ll say it again: Stay with GOD.
Dear Lord, help us to not be drawn into every new fad that stirs our heart. Help us to stay with God, even when the world tells us it isn’t important. Help us to read your word and write Your truths on our heart. Let our lives reflect this Truth, let our actions match our words as to be examples to those around us. They need to see you through us. They matter to you so they matter to me. Amen

 

Day 5: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Day 5 Thoughts

It is so amazing to see how God uses people in spite of the things in their past. He can use those experiences to reach others. We must not glorify our sin, but we can use those moments as a tool in our spiritual toolbox to relate to those we are trying to reach.

 

17 Feb 15

DAY FIVE
But now that you’ve found you don’t have to listen to sin tell you what to do, and have discovered the delight of listening to God telling you, what a surprise! A whole, healed, put-together life right now, with more and more of life on the way! Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. But God’s gift is real life, eternal life, delivered by Jesus, our Master. (Romans 6:22-23 MSG)
If you have been around a while in the family of God, have you experienced a healed life? In Romans written above if talks about “A whole, healed, put-together life right now, with more and more of life on the way!”, it sounds pretty awesome.
We all want that, once we have accepted Christ into our lives it becomes our heart’s desire. But what does put-together life really mean, and why don’t I feel it?
Sin cause our lives to be broken, we think we can superglue our problems back together with quick fixes. That was never God’s true intentions. He sent Jesus to take our brokenness, gather all the pieces of our lives that God intended us to have, put us in the fire and build us back making us put together. But Jesus doesn’t stop there. Thank you Jesus that you don’t stop there.
We are still part of this world. We may sin time to time. Our put together lives will chip and crack. Maybe why you don’t feel put together is because you are not. Jesus the same one who put you back together when you asked Him into your life is right there to fix the chip or crack of sin with a bond of love stronger than any glue. He will make you new again and put back together.
But why then do I have to deal with the results of my sin if I have repented and Jesus forgave me? Look at the story of David, in his sin he committed adultery and murder. We know that he asked for forgiveness and God used David’s bloodline still to reveal Jesus. But if you read 2 Samuel you will see David still had to reap what he sowed, his son raped his half-sister, then was murdered by his other son, he lost the throne, & and had to wander alone for a time. Maybe you feel like David, you have asked God for his forgiveness but you are dealing with the fallout of your sin.
I say all this not to justify all the problems in your life, but to ask you to guard your life. Take the time to weigh out your choices. Are they pure? How will they affect your walk with God? Could there be disastrous results if I do this?

Dear Jesus, today I pray that whoever needed to hear this will be encouraged. You are the one who puts us together and I thank you so much for that. I know it cost you so much. Help us to be a people who think before we do. Weighing out our actions, looking before we go forward into a pit. I pray right now that you will renew my life, and refine my life if I have any chips or cracks. Put me back together. Thank you for your gift of eternal life.  Let my life be an example to those around me, let me see them as you do. 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 1: The Original 50 Days of Pray revisited

Originally Written Feb 13th 2015
I started writing these in response to the release of 50 Shades, I felt at the time that I was hearing too many “Christians” getting excited about watching this type of movie. Since then many movies have come out and are still coming out that are making me shake my head as to why “Christians” are supporting them. We all in the end make an account with God, I for one want to do my best to avoid things that are evil, especially when I can easily distinguish.

DAY ONE

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Philippians 4:8

With the release today of a movie that has created such controversy I ask that today we pray that God will guide His Children heart to things that are true, noble, lovely and admirable. That those among us who think that watching a movie or reading a book of this nature is okay for a child of Christ, would be shown the error in their thinking and take some time reading the Bible and praying. Today as a society we are lacking parents and role models who will stand up and lead an example of right from wrong. If we as Christian’s can’t stand up and are torn on something as simple as sexual sin, then things need to change. Jesus said even if we think about having sex with another it is the same as committing that very sin. So would not reading erotica or watching movies glorifying sex cause us to fantasise about it as well?

Dear Heavenly Father, I pray that we as the family of Christ will stand up. I ask that we will be vocal in right from wrong. That when others we know who start talking about the new movie they watched this weekend that we will be strong enough to share why we would never watch something like that. Jesus help us to be a light in this dark world. 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