Saturday, September 26, 2020

Be an Overcomer! (Dee)

 Are you living with the wonderful hope of eternal life? Many in our world have embraced the concept that when they die they are forever dead. They believe that at burial they become fertilizer. With this belief there is no hope for an eternal future with our God. To them, this life is all there is. This is a great lie that has ripped individuals off for centuries. This causes people to only live for today and choose selfishly. 

When we reach out to the Living God, He makes it quite clear that life does not stop when the flesh of our bodies fail. God created us to live eternally and that is what happens to every living soul, whether we believe it or not!

The scripture is our guide and gives us assurance that we can have a great future:

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again in a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you." 1 Peter 1:3-4

I was brought up with the hope of eternal life and I thought everyone entered into heaven. I didn't realize I actually had to choose Jesus and allow His Spirit to make my soul alive to God for eternity. My belief system fell short of the purpose and plan for Jesus coming to pay the sacrifice for my sins, my shortcomings, my selfishness.

Jesus broke through my darkened mind and made me spiritually alive. He enlightened me to realize that I was not living the way He desired. We are all living in deception until we call out to Jesus to save us, making us truly alive in our souls. This is an amazing and shocking contrast. Once I was blind, but now I see. I was once walking in darkness, but now I walk in the light. 

Jesus overcame the grave and death. He  revealed Himself to many before He ascended into heaven. Five hundred individuals witnessed His ascension and then lived their lives expectantly, knowing that as they believed in their heart that Jesus was Lord and Savior, they too would overcome death and live in heavenly places for eternity.

What a glorious promise! We, as born again believers, will receive this promised inheritance which is imperishable, which will be lived out, experienced, in heavenly places. Remember as all the confusion and chaos of this world tries to confuse you, put your full trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. Receive His mercy and grace. He is the great overcomer and through His Spirit you can be a great overcomer as well!💛

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Service and the Mature Christian (Dee)

The reflection in the mirror is alarming! You were sure you looked much younger than that just moments ago. The maddening realization that you actually look your age can be a bit of a shakeup. Can my life still be of service to the Lord?

Retirement does not mean it's time to throw in the towel and coast until the Lord takes us home. Time is of the essence! With ears that have been finely tuned to know the voice of the Good Shepherd and a heart that is willing to say, yes, the sky is the limit.

There is no limitation with our Lord and Savior. If He calls you to serve, no matter what capacity, He will give you the strength to accomplish the mission at hand. The beauty of serving the Lord in our more mature years is that we have wisdom, experience and expertise to bring to the ministry. 

Timothy reminds us that our years of studying the Word will bring clarity:

"Be diligent to present yourself approved of God, as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15

In years past we may have run hither thither to accomplish goals set before us. Hopefully we now realize the importance of prayer. We recognize the benefit of praying in solitude and or with a group. Instead of running ahead of the Lord, wearing ourselves out, we wait upon the Lord for His direction and timing. You have the ability and experience to encourage the importance of this with those you are in ministry with. You are a leader!

When you open your eyes you will see many people in their later years serving in diverse capacities. Don't allow the enemy a foothold, whispering in your ear that you are aren't worth anything for the kingdom. Rebuke those negative thoughts with the power and strength of the Lord and walk forward with your head held high. Go ahead, put your hand to the plow!

Pace yourself to accomplish your goals with joy. There is nothing more discouraging than a leader complaining, moaning and groaning. Be a positive influence, sharing a joy filled life, a steady countenance and encouraging words to those serving with you. Your goals can and will be accomplished as you bring glory to the Lord, your Creator and Redeemer King. Allow your service to be a blessing!💛

Todays take away:

* Service doesn't come with age limitations
* God gives grace, strength and wisdom
* Be a person of prayer
* Be joyful wherever you serve
* Service brings glory to God

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Give us this day our daily bread.

written by Dan Skelton

Jesus while teaching His disciples to pray, said 
"Give us this day our daily bread." He was saying that this is something we should be praying daily. 

While we think to ourselves, "Yes Lord, give me food to eat today so that I can be satisfied physically," It means so much more than that.

Our daily bread is God's Word and is given to feed us spiritually. It is given to feed our soul. It is given to us to instruct us and teach us how we ought to live. It is given to balance us emotionally and mentally. It will have great effect on us spiritually as well as physically.

When Jesus was tempted by the devil while fasting in the wilderness, Satan came to Him and said, "If you are the Son of God, turn these stones into bread." He was appealing to Jesus as a man and a man thinks of food. He was tempting Him at his weakest point physically to satisfy His hunger with bread. Jesus answered him saying, " It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." He quoted Deuteronomy 8:3.

Jesus tells us that physical bread alone cannot properly sustain a man or a woman spiritually. We are sustained by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. This is bread that we need daily, not once or twice a year, not once every six months, not once every few weeks, not even once a week, but daily!

Jesus Himself declares Himself to be the living bread that comes from heaven in John 6:51. He says," I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, He will live forever... I will remind you, if this bread could be bought at a store, the shelves would be empty. Bread that gives eternal life cannot be bought or baked.

In the same chapter, He tells us in verse 63, " It is the Spirit who gives life, the flesh profits nothing. The word that I speak to you, they are Spirit and they are life."

The words that He speaks to us through His written Word, the Bible, these are what gives life to us daily!

Lord, give us this day our daily bread!                                                                       

Friday, September 18, 2020

Serving in Ministry God's Way

There is a special call on your life to serve others in ministry. The Lord equips with gifts that give you abilities and talents to lead others. You easily see the bigger picture, the greater potential, that needs to be developed that will strengthen and sustain the ministry you serve in.

Fortunately you do not have to do this alone. The Lord draws men and women to get involved to help carry out the work. Your responsibility is to train, direct and encourage those with a passion to accomplish your mission

Prayerfully ask God to give you wisdom and discernment
 to recognize the gifts of those willing to serve. Don't force someone to spend their time doing things that are too hard or possibly boring to them personally. Your desire is to see them excel with a joyful heart. People want to make a difference, a positive effect on every day life situations.

There are many diverse gifts in ministry. Some individuals are great communicators. Encourage them to be promoters. Use their expertise and wisdom to further the ministry at hand. You will find people with great computer skills, literary skills, and organizational skills. Some have the gift of helps, others are filled with mercy and bring trust and truth to the forefront. Whatever the gift, if directed properly your ministry will flourish. Just as the scripture reminds us:

"And He gave some as apostles, and some as profits, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ." Ephesians 4:11-12

What is your mission? Continually focus on the main purpose of your ministry. Consider what your main goal and objectives are. Stick to the basics trying not to be lead down various rabbit holes that are just time consumers and distractions. Keep your eyes and heart open to better ideas. 

When you know that God is leading, you can walk forward with a positive attitude. Realize that it is contagious. When you follow these basic principles not only does the ministry excel but the most important thing happens, the Lord is glorified. You can enjoy and embrace your calling!

Things to consider:

*clearly define your calling

*encourage others to use their gifts

*Clarify your ministries purpose to others

*Follow God's leading

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Great and Mighty Things!


'Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.'  (Jeremiah 33:3)

Early in August of this year, 2020, the Lord through the Holy Spirit brought me to this verse. It was very encouraging for the day I was reading it and at the time it lined up with what the Lord was gently prodding me with almost daily. He was encouraging me to pray and call to Him and that He would answer me. Who does not want to hear that?

I did not give much thought to the rest of the verse and little did I know that He was going to expound on that part of the verse in the coming weeks. He would literally show me great and mighty things which I did not know. These things that He showed me are all things that are meant to make me think of Him and generate praise for the God who is able to do amazing things and that should make any human being wonder at the immense abilities of our God and Savior. Things too vast for the human mind to comprehend.

The first thing He showed me was when I took eight of my grandchildren and their parents to Kentucky to see the Ark Encounter to see a replica of Noah’s Ark which was built to the exact dimensions that God gave to Noah in Genesis 6:14-16. It was awesome to behold and think of the task that was given to Noah to build a ship that would house eight human beings as well as two of every kind of animal. It was also a blessing to me and my wife to be able to show this awesome sight to my children and grandchildren and our prayer is that it will leave a lasting impression on their souls.

We also were able to travel up the road a little bit and see the Creation Museum in Cincinnati, Ohio. There were many great displays there that gave evidence of our Creator’s ability to speak in to existence great and mighty things.

One of the things that stuck with me was that He created the moon and the sun and our own Solar System. He created the Milky Way and billions of stars. 

I still cannot stop thinking about stars called Blue Stars that are hundreds of time larger than our own sun which is thousands of times bigger than our planet. 

In September, the Lord enabled my wife and I to take a trip to Flagstaff, Arizona to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary and to see some sights there. We saw the Grand Canyon with all of its wonder and majesty. It is one of the seven wonders of the world. God through the destruction of Noah’s flood created this awesome sight that should make you wonder about He who is able to do such great things.

We then traveled south to Sedona, Arizona where we were pleasantly surprised as we traveled down the twisting mountain side to see beautiful sights carved out of the mountain side. There is no camera that can capture these sights in all their splendor. You have to see it in person. Sedona itself was surrounded by great mountains of rocks that had many shades of colors. Again, these are designed by God to initiate thoughts of our Creator and His vast ability to do great things. 

These are just some of the great and mighty things that the Lord has shown me and I do believe He is saying to me that I should, no, we should expect Him to do great and mighty things in our lives. If He is able to do this, tell me, what is the Red Sea to Him? Or the walls of Jericho? Or walking on water? Or calming wind and waves. What is your storm to Him? Remember, Nothing is too difficult for God!

Please let me leave you with a psalm that I read when we were in Flagstaff that says it all for me. What a mighty God we serve!

Psalms 148:1-14

(1) Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD from the heavens; Praise Him in the heights!

(2) Praise Him, all His angels; Praise Him, all His hosts!

(3) Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all you stars of light!

(4) Praise Him, you heavens of heavens, And you waters above the heavens!

(5) Let them praise the name of the LORD, For He commanded and they were created.

(6) He also established them forever and ever; He made a decree which shall not pass away.

(7) Praise the LORD from the earth, You great sea creatures and all the depths;

(8) Fire and hail, snow and clouds; Stormy wind, fulfilling His word;

(9) Mountains and all hills; Fruitful trees and all cedars;

(10) Beasts and all cattle; Creeping things and flying fowl;

(11) Kings of the earth and all peoples; Princes and all judges of the earth;

(12) Both young men and maidens; Old men and children.

(13) Let them praise the name of the LORD, For His name alone is exalted; His glory is above the earth and heaven.

(14) And He has exalted the horn of His people, The praise of all His saints-- Of the children of Israel, A people near to Him. Praise the LORD!