Friday, April 19, 2013
“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.” - Matthew 28:18-20
Today is the ULTIMATE challenge and perhaps the most intimidating of all the Lord’s commands to many Christians... but it doesn’t have to be! Let’s break down the Lord’s command:
“All authority has been given unto me... GO Therefore!”
Jesus, through His death, burial and resurrection was awarded ALL the authority in Heaven AND on earth and BECAUSE He has ALL AUTHORITY, we are commanded to GO!
“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” - Philippians 2:9-11
“...make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, Son & Holy Ghost...”
A Disciple is a STUDENT, all nations literally translates to “all ethnic (people) groups”. We are to do everything we can to make ALL people groups into students of the King and his Kingdom!
How do we do that?
“teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you;“
We make students of all ethnic groups by teaching them EVERYTHING that Jesus has commanded us! It’s not that hard to make a disciple; if Jesus has taught YOU something, teach others to do the same!
How can we do this seemingly impossible task?
“and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
This one might take you a little while... maybe your whole life?? Get with it!
Thursday, April 18, 2013
“Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.” And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.” He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” - Matthew 26:36-41
This is one of the saddest passages in the Bible to me. Jesus, in probably the toughest moment of His life has NO ONE to stay with him and persevere in prayer.
TODAY you are going to WATCH & PRAY. This may be a challenge for some, but I PROMISE you, it will be worth it.
Today, you will WATCH & PRAY w/Jesus for one hour! There’s not a lot of direction other than you should meditate on what HE went through the night before His crucifixion. Jesus KNEW what He was going to endure, yet chose it anyway! That’s why I love Him! Facing certain death and terrible suffering, He thought of ME (and You) and gave His life ANYWAY!
Go, spend an hour and BE WITH JESUS!
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
“And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.” - Matthew 26:26-29
Today, you are going to take the Lord’s Supper. You might have to go out and get some bread, some wine or some grape juice (whatever your persuasion), but the bottom line is that you are going to DO what the Lord said, “Take & Eat... Drink from it!”
First of all, get some elements for communion, see if you can find unleavened bread (matza) of some kind and a wine or grape juice. It doesn’t have to be a little taste, you could actually have a nice hunk of bread or a big glass of the wine/juice. But get everything together and find a quiet place to remember and reflect on the Lord’s command.
“And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” - Luke 22:19
Take 5 minutes and ponder the sacrifice that Jesus made in His body for you and your healing! When you’ve really got it in your head, eat and REMEMBER what He did for you!
“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” - Isaiah 53:5
Take 5 minutes and reflect on the wine/juice in the cup. See how it runs red and reflect on the shed blood of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.
“In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.” - Luke 22:20
Take 5 minutes and ACTIVELY ask the Holy Spirit to bring to your attention any area on your life that is NOT under the influence/benefit of BOTH the broken body and shed blood of Jesus!
Now, go take on the day, LIVING in the reality of the broken body and shed blood of Jesus!
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
“But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” - Matthew 24:43,44
The Day of the Lord, the Day when Jesus will come back to gather His church and judge the world will come suddenly. The Bible says,
“For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.” - I Thessalonians 5:2
It’s strange to think of the Lord as a thief, but that is how He will come back! We’ll have little warning, other than the signs of the times and then SUDDENLY, He’ll appear, like a thief would come in the night!
Several years ago, our church was robbed 5 times in 11 months. The thieves would take a rock, toss it through the window and grab as much stuff as they could before the police showed up. It’s called a “Smash & Grab”. I learned a LOT about thieves during that year, as I was the first person on the call list for our alarm company.
First of all, they NEVER came in the early morning hours of (5:30-7am) or late evening (10pm-12:30am) but they ALWAYS came in the dead of night, between 1-4 am. They instinctively knew that those hours are for SLEEPING. Even party animals wouldn’t be awake much after 2am and even early morning workers wouldn’t be in the office before 6:30am...
A good thief knows when to strike when they are least expected. And that is what Jesus is compared to here! A thief! Does that you as uncomfortable as it makes me?? He’s coming and we MUST be ready.
Take 15 minutes today and similar to yesterday, ask the Holy Spirit to show you how YOU can prepare for His SUDDEN appearing! How can YOU prepare for the day of the Lord??
God won’t do it for you, this is something you have to do for yourself.
“Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.” - Revelation 19:7
Monday, April 15, 2013
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven,[e] but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.” - Matthew 24:36-42
Jesus, continuing His discussion on the end times tells His disciples to “watch therefore”. Now an excellent rule of thumb when studying the Bible is “Whenever you see a therefore, go BACK and see what it’s therefore!” So why is Jesus telling us to watch? And what are we watching for??
Jesus is telling us to watch for His appearing and we are told to watch so that we will be PREPARED for His coming! The Lord had JUST finished telling His disciples about a day when:
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.” - Matthew 24:35
Bottom line: things are going to change DRASTICALLY and we are being called to understand that we are living in the end times and the Lord is coming SOON!
In fact, we are told that the last days will be just like the days of Noah, people will be doing what they have always done and then, BOOM! The Lord will come back at a time of His own choosing! So many Christians have been lulled into a kind of spiritual slumber and lethargy, but we must rouse ourselves and WATCH!
Today, take 15 minutes and ask the Holy Spirit to show YOU what you can do to watch for the Day of the Lord. What can you do to prepare yourself for his appearing?? How can you stay free from this spiritual slumber and lethargy?? For some this is would look like prayer and/or fasting. There are even some Christian groups that keep the NIGHT Watch, staying up ALL NIGHT to pray and seek the Lord.
What you do is between you and the Holy Spirit, but DO something! WATCH!
Sunday, April 14, 2013
“Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.” - Matthew 24:32-35
Jesus, when teaching about the signs of the end times, gives His disciples this command to learn a parable about a fig tree. And today, that’s what you are going to do!
To learn means to understand or be acquainted with... A parable is just a story with contrast. You listen to the parable and then contrast it with YOUR WORLD. The fig tree and it’s world has something to teach us about our world.
“When it’s branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near.”
What was Jesus talking about when He said this??
Read chapter 24 in context, maybe even break out a commentary (they have them online as well), or you could even do a little digging online to understand what the tenderness and leafiness of a fig tree and summer being near could possibly teach you!
After reading chapter 24, ask and answer these questions:
- What is the tender branch all about?
- What is putting forth leaves all about?
- What is the summer being near all about?
Jesus says that IT is near, at the doors!
- WHAT exactly is He talking about when He says “It”?
- What doors??
Hey, if Jesus told us to learn the meaning of a parable, then we should! Go, do it!
Saturday, April 13, 2013
“And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” - Matthew 24:6
In the day of the 24 hour news cycle, we DEFINITELY hear of wars and rumors of wars. We also hear about the potential of every conflict covering the whole earth!
The news organizations are profit making enterprises and they learned long ago that “If it bleeds, it leads.” Disaster, calamity, crisis, murder and death make headlines and if you feature them, people will surf your website, read your blog, watch your newscast or news channel! THAT is why you are INUNDATED with bad news!
More than likely, that is a contributing factor to your general sense of anxiety and worry. But Jesus told us to NOT be troubled. Today, we’re going to obey His voice!
Today, you are taking a 24 hour fast from bad news. That might mean you don’t read the paper, don’t surf your favorite news websites, watch your stocks or watch your favorite evening talking head.
Live free from the rumors of wars for 24 hours and DON’T BE TROUBLED!
This might mean taking a one day break from social media as Facebook and Twitter are becoming agents for the 24 hour news cycle. Deactivate these programs from your phone or simply deactivate your account for 24 hours. I promise, you can live without it! Barely 5 years ago it wasn’t part of your life AT ALL! So today, lose the temptation to be troubled by cutting off troubling news!
You might like it so much that you never go back... (like me!)
Friday, April 12, 2013
“And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.” - Matthew 24:4,5
At first glance, this seems to be a warning against the Antichrist... but it isn’t. It’s a warning to look out for deception that would come through charismatic people!
“Take heed” basically means: to see, to discern. In the current “Christianity Lite” environment we find ourselves in, people are so afraid of judging that they throw out the Biblical command to be discerning! The end result? DECEPTION. I’ve never met a believer yet who believes they are deceived, but I’ve met a LOT of deceived believers!! THAT is what makes deception well... deceptive!
This passage says that MANY will come in Jesus’ name saying “I am the Christ” and deceive MANY. Again, this seems like a warnign against the Anti-Christ, but that’s simply because we don’t understand the meaning of the word “Christ”. Christ simply means “Anointed”. In plain English, this is someone coming to you in Jesus name, claiming to be gifted or graced by the Holy Spirit.
That could be ANYONE in our Christian experience.
In my years in ministry, I have seen MANY people coming to believers, in Jesus name, claiming to be anointed to teach, preach, pray, heal, help with finances, help with administration, etc. Charlatans all over the world have bilked the church out of MILLIONS of dollars, simply because they claimed to be anointed.
THIS is why Jesus commanded us to TAKE HEED.
Today, you’re going to take about 15 minutes and evaluate your associations. Ask yourself who is influencing you, in your spiritual life, in your finances, in your career or with your kids. It could be through a blog, a radio show, at church or in person. Then, be honest and TAKE HEED... See!
At any point in your life or with any person where you have violated your conscience or simply entered into agreements or associations and BLINDLY ACCEPTED “truth” simply because someone commanding or charismatic said it, you are PRIMED for being deceived or you may already be deceived! Ask the Holy Spirit to ILLUMINATE the teachings, practices, doctrines and lifestyles of those who are influencing you and compare them to the CLEAR dictates of Scripture. Does it line up?
Anyone worth their salt in the Kingdom would be glad you took the time to do this.
“Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” - Acts 17:11
Thursday, April 11, 2013
“Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.” - Matthew 23:1-3
This is a VERY interesting passage of scripture because it seems like the Pharisees have nothing to offer us today. However, Jesus told His disciples to DO what the pharisees SAID but to IGNORE what they DO! Could it be that the “leaven” of the Pharisees that we are commanded to beware of is NOT their teaching like so many have taught, but instead their LIFESTYLE?
Jesus told His disciples to observe and DO whatever the Pharisees SAID... and that is what you are going to do today.
Take 5 minutes and ask the Holy Spirit to show you what teachings you have dismissed from folks that you have deemed “Pharisaical”. It could have been a word or message you heard about holiness and/or purity from someone that you’ve dismissed as “legalistic” or “religious”. Perhaps you didn’t actually evaluate the content? Perhaps that content was actually good and Biblical?? Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal it to you and then write their “teachings” on paper or in a document.
Then, take about 10 minutes and compare these “teachings” with the Bible. Use an online Bible and do a word search or a concordance if you have one. Were they actually teaching the Word of God?? Sure, it may have been said in the wrong spirit or with an improper motivation, but were they actually teaching the TRUTH?? The Pharisees were in many ways and that is why Jesus told His disciples to DO what they SAID! If it turns out to the Scriptural, repent for dismissing it and DO what they said!
Who would have thought that you would be following the teaching of “Pharisees”??
“Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.” - Hebrews 13:7
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
“But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, “Why do you test Me, you hypocrites? Show Me the tax money.” So they brought Him a denarius. And He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?” They said to Him, “Caesar’s.” And He said to them, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” When they had heard these words, they marveled, and left Him and went their way.” - Matthew 22:18-22
The Pharisees plotted how they might trick Jesus into saying something that would get Him into trouble. They tried to provoke Him by asking Him, “Is it right to pay taxes or not?”
But He didn’t take the bait.
With the wisdom that can only come from God, He asked to see money used to pay the tax. On the Denarius was the inscription and picture of Caesar. Jesus’ simple instruction: “Give to Ceasar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”
That is what you are going to do today.
#1 - Pay your Taxes:
You live in a country with a representative government. Like it or hate it, it takes money to run government... ie-taxes. I have actually talked to Christians who say, “If 10% is good enough for God, then it’s good enough for the US Government!” I appreciate the sentiment, but you don’t get to decide that. Work with a tax advisor and BE HONEST. If you owe Federal taxes, pay them. If you owe state taxes, pay them. If you have purposely lied about your income to pay less taxes, REPENT... and pay them. whose portrait and inscription is on money? The US Government’s. So pay them what you OWE.
#2 - Give Unto God:
You are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26) and have His fingerprints all over you (Psalm 134:14). So go ahead and give God what you owe Him... yourself! Take 15 minutes today and present YOURSELF to God (II Timothy 2:15). Spend time with Jesus and just tell Him, "I am yours, what do you want from me??"
Psssst. Give and it will come BACK! (Luke 6:38)
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
“Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” - Matthew 19:21
Obviously this scripture wasn’t a universal prescription for everyone with financial resources, but a personal diagnosis for a rich man seeking to enter the kingdom. But we would be missing a wonderful opportunity to DO this scripture and receive the blessing that will come from it.
This will be FUN!
STEP #1 - Look over your personal possessions.
What you are looking for is something of value that you could quickly turn and sell. Maybe a single item or collection of items? Then, decide where you can sell the item or items. There are electronics stores that take used electronics, video games, even Iphones! You might be able to sell them online through Craigslist or the classifieds or you might be able to post something on Facebook or Twitter and let people know you have items for sale!
STEP #2 - Sell them!
You might not be able to do this all today, but start the process! One item is great, multiple items would be even better. The more money you have to give to the poor, the better! Get out there, wheel and deal and SELL SOMETHING!!
STEP #3 - Give to the poor!
After finding something to sell and selling it, you should have some cash! The exact amount isn’t important, only that you have something to bless the poor with. The more the better. You could give the money directly to someone who is truly poor or donate the money to a trusted organization that serves the poor.
Now rejoice! Why? Because...
“Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done.” - Proverbs 19:17
Monday, April 8, 2013
“Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.” - Matthew 18:15-17
This is one of the most often neglected scriptures in the church today. Christians everywhere are getting offended and NOT resolving their problems, leading to incredible anger and animosity between believers! Countless church splits can be traced back to a simple and tragic neglect of DOING this scripture.
WHEN we are offended or sinned against (It’s going to happen) we are commanded to GO to that person IN PRIVATE. So why do so few of us DO this?? Maybe we don’t want to appear immature or easily offended?? Maybe we are afraid of confrontation?? I’m not sure, but I know that the fallout of NOT resolving our conflicts causes much bigger problems than a quick confrontation... trust me!
Today, take 5 minutes and ask the Holy Spirit to show you where and how you have been offended or sinned against by others. If someone has hurt you and you have not resolved the offense, more than likely at the mention of their name, you will roll your eyes, sigh or get an overall feeling of disgust. And that is when the offense is mild! Some people are so hurt that the very mention of the person that offended them can cause them physical pain or nausea! So ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any situations or people that have hurt you and that have not yet been resolved. Commit the information to paper or a document.
Then, (and this is the hard part) you will need to contact this person/these people. If possible, try and meet them IN PERSON. If distance is a problem, consider writing a letter that says something like this:
“Hey, _______ I was praying the other day and realized that I am uncomfortable with *the situation* and how it was (or wasn’t) resolved. When you did *list action*, it hurt me and I haven’t been ok."
GO! DO THE WORD!!
Sunday, April 7, 2013
“At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.” - Matthew 18:1-5
A huge key to receiving and walking in the power of the Kingdom is to receive it like a child:
“Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” - Mark 10:15
So how does a child receive the Kingdom? How can we humble ourselves like a child and receive the kingdom? Let’s think about kids:
- Children are simple and uncomplicated.
- Children live in the moment and don’t fear the future.
- Children are utterly dependent on their parents.
Take 5 minutes in prayer and reflection today and humble yourself like a child. Stop trying to figure out or solve your problems through complicated solutions. Why don’t you act like a little kid, throw up your hands in the air and admit it... “I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO!” Real life, what do you REALLY need in every situation?? (Answer: Jesus!) HE is your solution!
Take 5 minutes and capture your thoughts that are causing you anxiety about the future. Make a decision today to focus on what is DIRECTLY in front of you, tomorrow will worry about itself! It’s not irresponsible to walk free from anxiety, it’s OBEDIENT!
Finally, just like a child, take 5 minutes, relax and let Dad handle it! Kids don’t worry about who is going to pay the rent or how food is going to get in the table. They TRUST their parents and think nothing of it. God is in control, He is in charge. He is also your Dad. Today, just enjoy being His kid.
Being a grown up is overrated.
Saturday, April 6, 2013
“Then Jesus said to them, “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.” - Matthew 16:6
“Take heed” literally means, “PAY ATTENTION!” “Beware” means, “BE ON GUARD!” Leaven in scripture represents sin and wickedness. So the Leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees is all about their SIN. Today, you are going to PAY ATTENTION and BE ON GUARD against these sins and how they could show up in your life.
What was so bad about the Pharisees and Sadducees? in Matthew 23:1-5, we see Jesus rebuking the Pharisees for the following behavior:
- They don’t practice what they preach.
- They lay heavy burdens but won’t lift themselves.
- They do all their works they do to be seen by men.
Take 5 minutes and honestly ask yourself: “Where am I not doing what I profess? In my faith, family, finances or fitness??” Maybe at one time you were doing it, but TODAY you aren’t. Be brutally honest with yourself and write the answers down on a sheet of paper or in a document.
Take 5 minutes and ask: “Where am I talking about problems I am unwilling to ENGAGE & SOLVE?” Maybe you have seen and spoken of problems in your home, with your spouse, at the job or in your church?? That wouldn’t be so bad if you were willing to be the SOLUTION to the problem. Again, write them in a document.
Take 5 minutes and ask yourself: “What am I doing for man’s RECOGNITION?” The Bible is clear that everything we do should be done unto the LORD (Col 3:23) and not to impress people. So write down the things are you doing for people’s praise and attention, not God’s.
Finally, take 10 minutes and REPENT. Make a decision to DO what you SAY, to HELP where you see a PROBLEM and to DO everything for the Glory of GOD and then DO IT!!
Friday, April 5, 2013
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” - Matthew 11:29-30
Jesus called us to rest in Him and IMMEDIATELY afterwards He tells us to take His yoke! What gives??
First, let’s look at what a yoke is. From Wikipedia: “A yoke is a wooden beam, normally used between a pair of oxen or other animals to enable them to pull together on a load when working in pairs.”
Basically, a yoke is an implement designed to tie two working animals together. Jesus told us to take HIS yoke, which means work with HIM. When we do this, He says we will find REST for our souls. This is absolutely contradictory to everything we know about work, isn’t it? Normally we associate working with being being exhausted, but Jesus is telling us that working with HIM will produce REST.
In common English, Jesus is saying: “Work with me and learn from me and you’ll find rest. My work is actually refreshing and the weight I place on you is LIGHT."
Take 5 minutes, get with the Holy Spirit and ask this question: “Is my soul at rest?” So many of us are harried, frazzled, stressed and burnt out. Do a real assessment of the health of your SOUL (mind, will, emotions). Things like confusion, indecision and emotional instability are symptoms of a soul that is NOT at rest.
Now, for the next 10 minutes, find a place where you can lay down and rest and take HIS yoke on you. How do you do that?? Simply agree with HIS plans for your life and lay down your own. You might have 50 things on your schedule today, but He just has ONE. (He wants to be with you!) Learn from Him. He is gentle and humble, not loud, pushy, rude or in a hurry. Enjoy Him and resolve to walk out the rest of your day yoked to HIM.
How different was THIS day??
Thursday, April 4, 2013
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” - Matthew 11:28
You have been DOING the Word for 35 days now! Way to go!! You probably have been through and done some things to make you UNCOMFORTABLE over the last 30+ days. You need some rest!
Today, you’re going to get it!
Take 30 minutes, turn on some great soaking music (Jesus/God focused music that helps you relax) and find a piece of carpet. Lay down on the floor and get comfortable. Notice I didn’t say bed... you don’t want to get THAT comfortable! You are going to COME to Jesus in prayer, praise and worship! What’s awesome about that is THIS Promise:
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” - James 4:8
When you make an effort to approach the Lord, HE makes an effort to approach YOU. So come close to Jesus. Don’t dance around encountering Him, just dive right in, saying, “I love you Jesus, you are awesome and so amazing! I need you Jesus!” Say what you need to say, but do so from a place of rest. No striving, no straining, just come to Him and empty yourself... then, REST.
That’s right, REST in His presence. Stop your striving, stop your trying and just ENJOY HIM. You might fall asleep, you might dream a dream, you might silently meditate on His goodness, but LET HIM touch you and fill you with peace, joy and yes, REST.
How did that feel?
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
“Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.” - Matthew 10:8
This is another highly interactive day of doing the Word!
Today, you are going to help some people! Yay! Again, today you will become the answer to the prayer you just prayed a couple days ago. There is a harvest field full of needy people and you will become the answer to their prayer! But today, unlike yesterday, you have options.
You have a variety of things to chose from:
- Healing the Sick
- Raising the Dead
- Cleansing the Leper
- Driving out Demons
- Freely Giving
Take 5 minutes and make a decision on what you are going to pursue: healing, resurrection, cleansing, deliverance or giving.
I want to encourage you that have never seen or done a miracle or rarely participated in the supernatural to go after something unique to you. If you are comfortable with healing, look for an opportunity for deliverance. So think of people and places where sick, possessed or needy people are. We’ve looked and found several: hospitals, the inner city, clinics, etc.
After you have made your selection, GO and DO the Word.
You might say, “How do I heal?” and to that I would encourage you to follow the Holy Spirit! Jesus healed, delivered, raised and cleansed SO many different ways. Remember, it says to HEAL the sick, NOT pray for their healing. Don’t pray, HEAL! Same thing with deliverance, CAST OUT demons, don’t just pray for freedom.
You can get some practical instruction on what this looks like here.
How did it go?
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
“As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ - Matthew 10:7
I warned you yesterday. You might get what you pray for!
The disciples were instructed in Matthew 9 to pray for LABORERS to go out into the Harvest field and then in Matthew 10 they were sent out into the harvest field! They became the answer to their own prayers! Today, you will BECOME the answer to what you prayed for YESTERDAY.
Your mission today is simple. GO and PREACH, THIS MESSAGE, “The Kingdom of God is at hand!” So this is what you are going to do:
- GO - Leave your house and go somewhere people are. GO to the store, to work, to school, the mall... wherever! Anywhere people are, there you need to go! Once you get there, you are going to DO the next thing, which is...
- PREACH - Preaching or proclaiming is simply stating a FACT. You don’t need a pulpit or a microphone to preach. You simply open your mouth and state a FACT. So you are going to find someone... anyone that the Lord highlights to you as maybe needing something from Him and approach them. Say hi, ask how they are doing and then tell them, “I need to tell you something.” The next words coming out of your mouth are...
- THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND! - Literally let those words come out of your mouth. Get comfortable saying it, because Jesus told us to! Say, “The Kingdom of heaven is at hand!” or, “The kingdom of God is at hand!” Try, “ Jesus is King and His Kingdom is on the earth!” Whatever works for you is fine, the key is to JUST SAY IT!
Where you go from there is up to you. You can pray for them, encourage them or just turn on your heels and walk away, knowing you DID the Word of God today. Remember, this is about YOU today.
Was that fun, or what?
Monday, April 1, 2013
“Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” - Matthew 9:35-38
This scripture has always fascinated me. Mainly because we DON’T do what Jesus told us. When was the last time you heard people pray for LABORERS in the Harvest? These days it is very fashionable to pray for Revival (the Harvest) but Jesus didn’t tell us to pray for the harvest, but to pray for laborers. Jesus saw the crowds, had compassion on them and prayed... FOR LABORERS.
We will too.
Take 15 minutes and find a place to pray. Today, we’re going to do EXACTLY what Jesus instructed His disciples. We’re going to ask the Lord of the Harvest to send out workers into the Harvest field. It’s obvious here that the Harvest field is the world of men and women... people! Laborers are also men and women... people! So we are praying for God to send people to help other people.
I acknowledge, it might be difficult to pray for 15 minutes for laborers, but it’s worth it! Think about what you are doing. You are asking God to send people to lead other people out of darkness and eternal death into His marvelous light. It’s worth the stretch.
Be careful. You just might get what you pray for!