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 44: 50 Days of Change

“Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome.”‭‭1 John‬ ‭5:3‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Really when it all boils down the commandments are not something new to us. They are incorporated into our laws and sometimes feel like they are ingrained or programmed into us from childhood. One would assume that all mankind has a inherient view that killing someone is wrong. That being said, sin has become so intrenched in our lives that it stifles out any connection we may have to the Holy Spirit. Like a massive fog we lose touch and the things that are inherient wrong don’t look so bad. 

Why shouldn’t I just take what I want? It won’t hurt anyone, they won’t even notice it is gone. I deserve it. If I manipulate the story with a few choice words, sure they aren’t true but no one will ever know. We love each other, it doesn’t matter that I’m married, that relationship is over, she doesn’t fulfill my needs, I have fallen out of love. Did you see his new sports car, man I really need one of those. Excuse may make you feel like what your doing is justifiable but it isn’t right. 

Striving to follow the commandments by themselves is impossible. If there isn’t a relationship with God though the sacrifice Jesus made, then your obedience tho honorable will not get you anywhere. Without the relationship we are stuck in sin and will continually fall prey to its lure and deception. But if we have accepted Jesus as saviour and given him our lives we then are empowered by the Holy Spirit, and are in a relationship with God himself. In this relationship we can strive effectively to avoid sin, following the commands of Jesus which encases the commandments. Love the Lord your God, and love your neighbor, by doing these two commands the rest will, come naturally. For one does not steal from one he love, one does not murder one he loves, one does not hate one he love, nor jealous of what they have.

Have you accept Jesus as you lord and savoir? Are you struggling to follow the commandments with out him hoping being good will get you somewhere? I ask today that you seriously look into what Jesus himself said about this. He told us that ‘I am the way, the truth, and the light, no one comes to the Father(God) but through me’. So if you expecting to get to heaven by being ‘good’ don’t be surprise when you finally get there it isn’t what you expected. Look into who Jesus is and what he has done for you.

Father, thank you for sending your son to die and rise again so that we might have an opertunity to have a relationship with you.  I pray father that anyone reading this who doesn’t know you that even right now o stir up their hearts with a desire to know you. Reveal to them the truth in your word, send someone their way to tell them about your love and gift of life. I pray you will use me to reach people around me that need to know you, let me be a light in the darkness. The people in this world who don’t have a relationship matter to you so they matter to me, it is time to get busy sharing our faith. Amen

Day 40: 50 Days of Change

“No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.”‭‭1 John‬ ‭4:12‬ ‭NLT‬‬

With everything going on in the world right now it makes me wonder about how we can survive much longer. There are sections of our population that truly hate certain groups, ethnic, race or beliefs. We give them colourful names as to identify them, extremists, racists, terrorists and cults. Yet when you boil it down to the root of why they are acting in this manner it is that they are living in sin and don’t have a relationship with God. The scary part, and reality is, that their sins are no different then the sins of your neighbor.

We classify these people as monsters, just as we classify rapists, child monsters and murderers.  In the absence of God, sin is free to evolve in different ways to become a hinderance to anyone looking to find him. Sin takes many forms and actions that it has confused people into thinking that some people are worse off then them. They create a sense of ‘well I have never done that so I must be a good person.’. But we are told we are all sinners, and need to be redeemed. 

We all have heard someone make the comment that we need world peace, or they desire world peace. Well this verse tells us exactly how to achieve this desire. If we love one another, not a wish washy teenager puppy love, but a love that will not be afraid to stand up for what’s right and wrong. A love that will call a brother out for doing something wrong, a love that will stand in the place of someone even if they don’t deserve it. A love that will call a sin a sin, if we truly love one another then God lives in us and his love will overflow out of us.  

If you have accept Jesus redemption for you on the cross then this love starts with you. As a follower of Jesus we are called to love one another. Do not take this lightly as we don’t have a right to be choosy as to who we should talk to about Jesus. We need to see others as Jesus does lost and in need of forgiveness, and love them as he loves them. Are you ready to change it up and start loving others as god loves you?

Father, forgive us if we have selectively chosen who we love and who we discard as unimportant. You tell us to love one another, you didn’t break it done into categories of who to love more. Help me to be more available to share this love that you have poured into my life that others will see you in me. I want to reach others for you, as they matter to you so they matter to me. Amen

Day 34: 50 Days of Change

“I am writing these things to warn you about those who want to lead you astray. But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true—it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ.”‭‭1 John‬ ‭2:26-27‬ ‭NLT‬‬

This world right now has so many preachers that are on tv, radio ne lol over the Internet, how are we to know who is teaching the word of God or lies? They all can say the right words, they motivate us to be better Christians, most of it sounds pretty legit. We are blessed that in 1 John 2 and other passages of the New Testament we were told about these very situations. They are called false teachers or antichrists, wolves in sheeps clothing as the layman may call them.

We are reminded again here in verse 26-27 that we don’t have to be dupped by these false preachers, that we have been given the most powerful lie detector. We received this in the gift of the Holy Spirit who works in every Christians who allows him to. It is made clear in this scripture that we are to communicate learn from the Holy Spirit. 

If your like me this concept of communications with the Holy Spirit seems weird. It is something I can’t explain away, as I can only go by my experiences and how he is working in my life. But for someone watching or reading outside of the faith this can seem crazy.  Other religions have spirit guides, why then does chirstianity make a big deal about them if they have their own? The difference is that spirit guides are demons whose sole purpose is to keep you away from a relationship with God, causing you to hurt yourself and others. The Holy Spirit is a gift from God and is God, he is a person of the trinity, our relationship to God is connected through our relationship with the Holy Spirit. It can’t be separated. Father, Son and Spirit, three in one, like the the song says ‘you can’t have one without the other.’ 

So how then can the Holy Spirit show you the truth beyond the lies in the teachings that are happening all over the place? Through prayer no discernment through reading the word of God and comparing what is being said to scripture. He will reveal the truth to you in amazing ways. I challenge you to do that with even this message I share. If I am speaking out of place let me know in love. Let us not be fooled by the decievers in this world.

Father, thank you for residing in us in the person of the Holy Spirit. It is so awesome and mind blowing to know that you are constantly with u. Protecting us from evil, watching our back. Help us to listen to your advice no trust your ways. Help us to discern truth from lies, show us how to share the truth with those who don’t know you. They matter to you so they matter to me. Amen

Day 21: 50 Days of Change

“But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭13:14, 16‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Have you ever tried to give someone directions over the phone? Maybe you had something you needed them to do, you did your best to explain it but in the end they did it wrong anyways. Where your directions not clear enough? Were you to blame? Or did they just listen to what they wanted to hear and only did what they heard? There has been times when I can call my kids on the way home from work and walk them through making supper and it works out fantastic, other times it has felt like I might as well have been speaking another language to them.

As we receive directions from someone are we willing to listen and ask clarifying questions fully understanding or do we just want to get it done so we say yes yes, but then miss out on the important details, not fully fulfilling the task? I wonder what it would have been like if Noah when asked to build an ark he stop  God and said okay got it, but didn’t wait for the details. He may have crafted a canoe, it is a boat. The details are important.

Jesus who was God still needed to take time and commune with God and get direction. He asked clarifying questions, we see this when he a was praying in the garden, he ultimatly said ‘why me’. He probably already new the reason, but he still needed reassurance. Gideon, David, Abraham and so many others asked the questions to clarify their mission.

Today if you are asking God for something, and he is showing you something don’t be afraid to ask clarifying questions. He may or may not give you all the details but he will provide what you need to know. Open your ears and eyes to what he has for you.

Jesus, far to often we hear something and rush to it without asking any questions. This leads to mistakes and problems, they say fools rush in. I pray you give us the wisdom to ask questions, not to question you but for clarification. Give us wisdom to move forward in the plans you have for us. We want to be effective in the mission of reaching those who do not have a relationship with you. They matter you, you so they matter to me. Amen

Day 20: 50 Days of Change

““God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.”‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5:11-12‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Humanity has always been drawn to lies and untruths for the sake of a good story. We have come through life tearing others down to build ourselves up. This hasn’t changed much over the centuries, yet in today’s society and the introduction and use of the internet it has become more wide spread. At one point in history it would have been confined to your community or province, now you can spread lies and mockery all over the world. 

Personally I am not aware of any other time in our timelessness where Christians have been mocked in the name of comedy. It is like there is no limits to what can be said to offend, and a weird phenomenon is growing where we are openly working to mock ourselves. The ‘Christian comedians’ who continually make fun of our differences and uniqueness in our churches are not helping, I am guilt of this. They may be exposing hard truths though laughter but some of it is hurtful and crossing the line, let’s be honest a lot of it is.

Good Christian men, woman, leaders, Pastors are being torn apart by fake news and lies spread on social media. I believe as Christians we don’t help it much either. We don’t try to curb it, instead some of us feed off it, we share it and like it, not even sure if what being written is truth. We need to use these oportunities to find the truth and use it to share love and forgiveness.

Now as humans we will get upset with the lies and the mockery as it is prt of our nature. Jesus tells to be happy in it. What? How can I be happy when these things are going on? I should be glad? Why? If these things are happening in your life it is a good sign you are following the path Jesus has set for you. These forms of persecution are attacks from the devil and his minions to trip you up. He does not want you on the path moving forward, he would prefer you in the ditch playing in the mud. The devil would prefer apathetic Christians who do nothing, he will leave you alone in that state, you are no threat, you may be out of his kingdom but your not working to grow the one you are apart of. 

A great example of this is Elijah. He obeyed God, destroyed the priests of babel after their gods didn’t show up to accept the sacrifice when the true God did. Almost immediately  after this Elijah went in hiding fearing as if he was under attack. The enemy, satan will attack when you are on the path Jesus calls you on. Do not fear, be happy, be glad, for it is evidence you are on the path.

Jesus, forgive us if we have been putting people down in our faith. We can’t be living a life where we tear others down it’s untruths and mockery. Keep us on the path and help us to see that when we are attacked with lies and untruths that they are from the devil who wants to distract us from the truth. Encourage us to keep our eyes on you. Watch over us today and help us to know that the people around us matter to you. They Matter to me and we are ready to tell them that. Amen