BRING IT ON!

PRAY 9

Dear Heavenly Dad:

Glorify your name in all that I do. Let not my path be one of ease and comfort, but one of challenge and dependency on you. You are always with me. Help me always be with you. Make you the center of my life. Let nothing come between us. Help me capture your vision, to see your work, to accomplish your will in everything I do.

Help me be a living example of kingdom life in today’s world. Let your kingdom surround me and surround all the people we meet today. Let your glory shine through me and in me so that every person we meet today knows they have met you. Amen.

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“Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. Matthew 10:34

 

                        ”Play it safe.” “Don’t take any risks.” “Why rock the boat?” “It’s better to keep it dull and routine than expressive and unpredictable.” Or does it?

      The older I become the more predictable, dull, and routine this life seeks. What change I am confronted with only creates more work and effort on my part. Basically, my nature has moved towards laziness where I don’t want to make the effort. I would rather live life with contentment, peacefulness, and stability. But is that reality?

      The scriptures teach us that a people without vision will perish. We need a mission to focus our life towards. Now our life’s mission could simply be to avoid all confrontation, to avoid being involved in other people’s lives, to live for ourselves without a care of the world around us. We simple live our life so that when we are gone no one will have missed us. We live as a world unto ourselves. But is that an apprentice of Jesus Christ? Is that what the Kingdom of God is all about?

      Didn’t Jesus forewarn his disciples that He came to bring division among families and people? Didn’t He predict that we would stand before courts and rulers as a witness to Him’? Didn’t He compare our struggles with that of a pregnant woman in labor? Didn’t He threaten the status quo with His mission of preaching, teaching, and healing? Didn’t the apostle Paul write that Christ-followers are turning the world upside down? Didn’t he cause riots in the streets with his message of One God? Didn’t his former religious partners seek to destroy him? Didn’t small armies pursue him with the purpose of killing him? How controversial was he in his time? Yet didn’t he preach a message of peace, contentment, and stability?

            The Kingdom of God is not a tamed vision. It requires total surrender. It requires the death of selfish desires. It is not the path of least resistance. Instead, it’s a journey through battlefields. With the armor of God, we are proactive in our daily walk with Him. We do not know what to expect on any given day. All we know is that He is with us. Today may be a roller coaster of emotions, struggles with the self, darts from the evil one, or attacks from love ones. Through it all though, we have an Advocate who is with us and we rely on. In prayer and through faith we call for assistance. We move forward towards our heavenly call. Our mission is sure. Yes, we may desire the easy way out. But, as a disciple of His we have agreed to take whatever comes our way and handle it with His love. We may have initially desired tame visions, but in the pursuit of the Kingdom of God we take on more than we are capable of handling apart from Him. Yes, I like it dull, routine, and boring. But I gladly take whatever comes my way because it will make me stronger for the Kingdom, stronger for Him, and stronger for my love ones.

              Dr. Mike

WHAT ARE SOME MINISTRY ACTIVITIES THAT REFLECT A BELIEF IN THE APOSTLE’S CREED STATEMENT ABOUT “GOD, THE FATHER ALMIGHTY?”

There are a number of activities that turn belief in the Apostle’s Creed’s statement “God, the Father Almighty” into ministerial activities.  They include: 1):pro-life activities – from making decisions to keep ones baby to foster homes for the discarded child. 2) creation education – from Christian schools teaching creation to individual ministries emphasizing the factual account of creation rather than evolution. 3) exercising creativity – God is Creator and His creation reflects His artistic skills.  Ministries that emphasize the Arts in worship or the writing and development of music, books, film that glorifies God and His Life is an expression of creativity that focuses on God as Father and Creator. 4) Stewardship – God is a Steward of His creation.  He practices conservation and effective management of His creation.  Ministries that teach proper stewardship of ones resources is a prime example.  Also, ministries that focuses on the environment and conservation of our resources is another means of expressing these types of activities.  5) Restoring Father/Son relationships – Ministries that provide counseling or activities that improves the bond between Fathers and their children is another example of a ministry built on the belief of God as our Father.

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All the above ministries are practiced by certain individuals in our local church.  Coming from a small church with very few formal church-wide ministries, most ministries are conducted by a few individuals motivated and led to fulfill their calling in life.  These ministries include all the above from one degree to another.

One approach to emphasis our God’s Authority is to conduct a series of sermons  about His relationship to us as a healthy Father.  Taking scriptures from Genesis, the Gospels, and Epistles, we can show His desire to have a close, intimate relationship with His children.

Isn’t it amazing the many activities we conduct only mimic our Heavenly Father God’s attributes?  What other ministry activities would you add to the list?

Dr. Mike

IS IT NOT EASIER TO DRIVE FORWARD THAN IN REVERSE?

A DISCIPLE’S PRAYER:

 PRAY 9

Our Faithful, Heavenly Dad:

You are a faithful Father. You are committed to your plan. You are committed to your relationships. You are committed to your work. You are committed to your Word. And you are committed to me.

Thank you for caring. Thank you for giving me the gift of faith. But help me in my disbelief. Help me with my doubts. Remove any obstacle that prevents us from have a totally committed relationship. Always be the first and center in my life. Help me put the effort and time in our relationship. Let there be nothing that ever comes between us. Let your Faith live powerfully in my life. Let it flow from me and touch the lives of others. Let you be glorified in all my actions, thoughts, and deeds. Help me be totally committed in our relationship. Help me make the time to walk with you, to pray with you, to study with you, to meditate with you, to fast with you, to party with you, and to play with you.

Thank you for everything that you do. But more importantly, thank you for being you. As always we ask and pray these things in our Lord’s Name. Amen.

 

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But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:62

 

 

      In today’s language, we would say that the kingdom of God requires total commitment.  It’s faith in action. It’s total abandonment. Anything less is a road to failure.

It’s like driving down the freeway at 70 mph. But instead of focusing your eyes in the direction you are driving, you keep your eyes glued to the rear view mirror. How long do you think you could drive before causing a major accident?   It  requires total commitment. One of those action character words that everyone knows is required to be a winner in life. In our day and age that word seems to have become like the relic bones of a dinosaur. We take the few bones that we have from a dinosaur, and put them together by how we think they ought to go, not absolutely sure because no one was there to take pictures for us. So whatever we come up with is just as good as the next guy’s.

We know the “C” word, most  of us know how to spell it, pronounce it, and use it in a sentence. But to apply it in everyday life is another story. We see people enter relationships with the attitude that when it starts to take work, then we shall depart. We see people start a diet, but when the effort takes work they then resort back to their old habits. We see people start a new job, a job with great  pay, benefits,  and work  environment.  Most of  us  would consider it a dream job. But when the job requires further education, self-improvement and personal changes, then they throw up their hands and quit. It’s not worth the effort. They would rather return to their old job that pays half as much and float through life without having to change. To be totally committed in your pursuit of a worthwhile goal takes effort, work, and sweat. To persevere, until the end results are achieved, most of the time seems to take more than we can muster. This is where faith comes in. A faith not based in self-confidence, in family and friends, or in the system, but an action faith in a living God. A faith that says, “GOD IS!”

A faith built on hearing God’s word and acting on it. A faith built on living God’s word and experiencing the fruit. A belief that is built on walking with God and discovering His true character. Without faith, total abandonment looks reckless. With faith, total abandonment is the high adventure and thrill of pursuing God’s kingdom. It’s like driving down the freeway of life with the knowledge that the road was built by God, the vehicle was developed by God and the police patrolling the road are servants of God. So that no matter what obstacle may come your way, you have faith that God is in control.

So tell me, isn’t it easier to drive forward than in reverse?

Dr. Mike