Baptism at Singles Retreat - 147 Baptized!!!

*******************Baptism at Singles Retreat 147 Baptized!!! ***********************

* Sharing times in the Word and looking for growth. Let's Commune Together!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Taking time to Praise, is time very well spent!

* This devotional means very much to me in the light of my current situation. I have been in the middle of moving my home from one end of the city to the other. In the midst of this I also am teaching the class I developed for “Spiritual Warfare”. For the last week my Rheumatoid Arthritis has been far worse than I can remember…to the extent of not getting more than a few hours sleep for 5 nights in a row. During that time I went through this devotional and the time of just praising God in spite of how I feel has been freeing and refreshing! 

Scripture Read: Judges 6:17-18: So Gideon said to Him, “If now I have found favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You who speak with me. “Please do not depart from here, until I come back to You, and bring out my offering and lay it before You.” And He said, “I will remain until you return.”

Application: Note Gideon’s response in worship. It is of a grateful heart and pleading for the opportunity to worship correctly with an offering to lay before this living God. What also is very interesting is the Lord’s response. Remember, this is God, so He knows all that is going to happen in the future. He knows every time Gideon will fail Him and how Gideon will demand more proof from the Lord. Yet, our Lord is gracious in His response. Here is God, as always, meeting us where we are, not where we should be. It is important to always be willing to take a pause as you read through His Word and respond to Him for His great grace. Join me now in talking to our God, and add whatever you desire:

I too worship You, oh Lord, with a grateful heart. I cannot bring anything to You that is not already Yours, yet You allow me to come with what I have and just as I am. You desire me to come and You wait for me to come. What a loving Creator You are! You invite us to find our heart and home in You:

John 7:37–38 Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’ ”

You call us to a restoration of our heavenly Father’s purpose and plan for our lives. You, Lord God of the entire world, invite us to influence the world:

Matthew 5:16 “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

With a heart burning inside with the fire of Your Word.

Luke 24:32 They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?”

Which is a contagious love that spreads to those around us like You did with Gideon. You invite us to a radical discipleship, paying the price in time and energy to sit at Your feet and learn from You.

Matthew 4:19 And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

Father, we praise You for Your great love for us. Lead us to be intimate with You no matter our circumstances. Remind us to cast all our cares on You. Thank you Lord for Who You are!

Meditation Questions: When was the last time you spent time in only Praise of your Lord? When was the last time you spent time in prayer for others only, nothing for yourself? When was the last time life has been hard and you made the conscious decision to not complain, but instead to praise God in all things? 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

You can learn a lot from an insect

 ☛Probing Proverbs 6:6-8 Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise! Though they have no prince or governor or ruler to make them work, they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter☚ 

The great thing about “Truth” is that it is Truth. Doesn’t matter where it comes from or who said it, when it is Truth you cannot argue with it, you either accept it or reject it.  All Truth comes from God, and though the source to validate all Truth is the Scriptures, it is not the only source of Truth. Wisdom gives us that example right here. When confronting people who are lazy, wisdom instructs them to learn from the ants.  Many a proud man might arrogantly state, “What can an insect teach me?”  That is exactly the point of Truth, whether it be from a genius or the example of an insect…

If it is Truth it is well worth paying attention to. Here wisdom highlights how an insect needs neither a king nor a governor to make it work. As little sense that it may have, it still has enough sense to know if it wants to have food when the season comes where there is no food, it would be wise to work now, while it can, and store food for the time when food will not be easily available. This is a great principle that all of us need to pay heed to, and it should not be applied to only food. Whether it be money, study time, family time or whatever, when you know there may be a season that will not allow you to accomplish that which you might need then, it would be wise to invest the time now, so you will be prepared when the difficult season arises. 

A perfect example is the seasons we have with our families. The years of adolescence are not the time to try and build trust; that begins while they are in the womb. If you invested your time with your children when they were young, building a loving, trusting relationship, when the bumps that occur for everyone with the age of adolescents, you will have a greater chance of keeping your relationship with your child a healthy one. Don’t wait…look down and observe the ant!