Healed

Healed. Whole. Saved. Secured. Stable. Strong. Provided. Energized

Each nuance of these words impacts my heart this morning. I like them all as declarations in Jesus.

The word for salvation, the state of being saved, original Greek carries a broad meaning. Wisdom and well being body, soul, mind, will, emotions, spirit, relationships, and provisions. Sozo, the Greek word used, means it is well with all aspects of life.

Jesus spends His ministry on earth the same today as in the first century a.d. He heals the body and mind, casts out demons, preaches and teaches, prays, and mentors disciples. That is as the Bible writers reveal and that is as He is now. Once He walked bodily among us, now He walks through us into this broken, fractured, flailing world. He is the same.

Declare yourself in agreement with His word and testimony. He carried our sins and sickness no matter where they occur. He restores us in all aspects to His original design of perfect unity with Him and provision in all aspects of life. I will agree with Him totally in all my thinking and testimony. What I experience does not set my belief. His words and the testimony of His actions set my belief.

Let us pray:

O Lord my God, I cried out to You, And You healed me. O Lord , You brought my soul up from the grave; You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit. Sing praise to the Lord , you saints of His, And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name. For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning. Now in my prosperity I said, “I shall never be moved.” Lord , by Your favor You have made my mountain stand strong; You hid Your face, and I was troubled.
Psalms 30:2‭-‬7 NKJV

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Hope Under Ice

During winter ice, I made a long drive home. The distance is no longer. The ice and fog and tired body made it seem three times longer. Thoughts of tree damage to repair lengthen the drive. A sore hip stretched it into the uncomfortable. But the drive took no longer.

Along the way, the beauty of the ice in the trees painted peace in my heart. Acres and acres of bright, crystal, smooth ice on limbs is soothing. Beauty soothes the soul. During a parked moment on the highway due to construction, I snapped a few beauties.

Romans 15:4 tells me what is written is for building hope. This ice, this journey of faith is an inscription of the Lord on my life’s landscape for patience and comfort. He wrote it into my script for good.

How is He doing that for you? What icy moment is there to bring a work of patience and comfort and a result of hope? An illness? A job blip? A relationship struggle? A car repair? Will you allow Him ability to script hope with it?

The ice is beautiful, treacherous, and brings hope. It melts. The sun shines. Damaged trees will be trimmed. I make it home. And I am stronger for the next storm. Hope rises from the story and experience. It is written on my life. In this world we will have trouble, blip, interference, stoppage, slowdown. There is an icy beauty in each of them. There is a learning to be had. There is hope of the sun that will surely shine.

Let us pray:

Father, your will be done in my life. In my storms teach me patience. Comfort me. Assure me You are with me. Console me. Let me find a sliver of sunshine on a rainy day. Let hope rise stronger with each interference that I might shine like the Son to my world, my family, my friends, and my mirror. In the quiet parked moments, let me see Jesus. Let me see the beauty. Let my soul say, “It is well. Trek on.”

For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.
Romans 15:4 NKJV
https://bible.com/bible/114/rom.15.4.NKJV

Stepping Out

Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Matthew 9:38 niv

A good shepherd knows a good path and takes his charges on it. Where are the good shepherds? Are you one?

The call to make disciples is for each Christian. Each is called in some measure to lead others in a good way deeper to a love in Jesus and love for others. That means in a way we all are called to shepherding.

Shepherds take the best path for the sheep not the shepherd. Right? A shepherd is all about the sheep. He does not eat the grass. But he takes the sheep to the best grass. He raises them to be great sheep. Healthy sheep. Cooperative sheep.

They are raised in a hillside or field fit for sheep. It is most uncomfortable for the shepherd. He would rather be in a house with a couch. But he walks the field for the sheep. He sits on the rock or wet grass. He endures the rain. It is about the sheep.

In Jesus, we are servants. I ask for a servant heart. I ask for others to walk alongside and serve. We serve each other. That is the picture of a healthy congregation.

The God of small miracles walked with us this week. Soup was great. Service to others was great. Joy serving was great. Painting was great. Office was great. Puppet stage building was great. Class assistance was great. All of the these servings are great. People served each other and the community. That is a congregation. That is a kingdom of servants.

Pray for each to serve in a way that grows them and others.

Father, here are your people. So many give of time, talent, and treasure. They serve. Bless them beyond measures of mankind. Encourage their hearts and lives and families. Call them into greater service and love and reward in all they do.

Reserves

In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Romans 6:11 NIV

Morning Moment

Reserves in the insurance industry are the monies set aside to pay claims. A company with low reserves could be on big trouble if too many claims came at once. A company with adequate reserves is hedged against hard days. They have a future.

How are your reserves in Jesus doing?

In Jesus, we invest in reserves. Our personal devotional time, fellowship in church, Bible study, praise, and service to the local church and to others build reserves. In all of this we are depositing faith actions of life against death actions of self ideologies and the world. The world will press us. Evil will tempt us. Our natural desires will drag us. The reserves of Life in Jesus defend and build us.

Worldview is Bought

Buy a lie. Live a lie. Buy a truth. Live a truth. Simple. Reckon, count, add up, deposit in your reserves that you are alive to God and dead to sin and live a Jesus worldview. Reckon, count, subtract, extract from your reserves that you are dead to God and destined to sin and mistaken living and self rule and live a normal world view. Choose. Break the lie pattern. Buy the truth. Invest in your future.

Faith Actions

Faith actions depend on God for results while moving forward. Our actions come from the deep well of belief. Faith is active and obedient. That is why Jesus responds to a woman this way.

As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.” He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”
Luke 11:27‭-‬28 NIV

To say we believe in Christ, yet live against His wishes is a dangerous position. Do we really believe? We live what we believe. I can scratch my way into heaven through grace and forgiveness. I can live in joy and fulfillment through grace and forgiveness and faith and hope and love. Obedience emanates from a life lived in the love of Jesus. To say I love Jesus and live against His wishes is a dangerous gamble. My actions are based in death. I am counting myself dead.

Turn the Tables

Go ahead. Switch gears. Turn the tables. Put on Jesus, the Christ. Live in faith. Drop the self fulfillment cycle of destruction and doubt. Build reserves.

Let us pray:

Father, here I am. This is Your child. I have been bought with a great price. Let the words of my mouth and the testimony of my heart be acceptable in Your sight. Let me forsake all others and cling only to You. Let my heart lock in and live with Your heart. Build in me solid reserves against hard days that I might find only joy and peace and fulfillment in You in this life and the next.

New Endings

Morning Moment
This is not a cabin day, but I love my cabin days. The smoke of the chiminea and fresh air along with birds of all colors and sizes stimulate me. My listening opens. The Holy Spirit gets through my cloud.
Today is a clear day; however. I hear His voice quite succinctly. He says, “Seek and you will find. Set a fresh course. Begin a new end.”
Opportunity to begin a new end shouts at us every day. Do you hear it?
Write out the positive proposition of your new end. Who do you propose to be? What will you give up? What will you take up? Who will be on the journey with you?
What loose ends need closure? Have you done a fearless moral inventory lately to breakaway from wrong directions and resolve pains you have given to others?

Let’s Pray
Father, thanks. You have done marvelous works with me. My portion in life is a great one. All You have done for me is good. Cause my mistakes to have crop failure. Let the bad seeds rot in the ground and the good ones flourish.

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The Age of Adventure II – Faith

Psalm 37

23 The Lord makes firm the steps
    of the one who delights in him;
24 though he may stumble, he will not fall,
    for the Lord upholds him with his hand.

25 I was young and now I am old,
    yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken
    or their children begging bread.
26 They are always generous and lend freely;
    their children will be a blessing.[b]

27 Turn from evil and do good;
    then you will dwell in the land forever.
28 For the Lord loves the just
    and will not forsake his faithful ones.

39 The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord;
    he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
40 The Lord helps them and delivers them;
    he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
    because they take refuge in him.

This is our age of adventure. God is full of miracles and right answers for right living for those that align their lives, thoughts, actions, and attitudes with His truth.

Up to now, you may not have seen all you want to see in life.  You might have some physical and emotional pains.  Scars of the heart and mind could be plaguing you.  Why settle?  Why not have a better life forward?

In 1976, some 40 years past, Francis Schaeffer published a video series entitled Why Shall We Then Live?  It is based on his book by the same title.  Without taking too much time, there are two premises.  One is that the growth of man’s concentration of himself as the center of the universe is leading us into dangerous and hellishly painful living.  Second is that God gave us a moral base as a solution that will keep that from happening as we invoke it.  Schaeffer’s prophetic conclusion is that unchecked man’s concentration on man will end up in an authoritarian government overseeing and oppressing our lives with decisions from an elite few. This is the story of history and the certain end result of a view of life of societal definition verses moral absolutes based on God’s revealed Bible.  Certainly the United States has suffered greatly under this oppression from administrative and judicial branches for some years now.  The EU poses this oppressive approach as does the United Nations. An elitist group defines what society needs and imposes on it.  Without a Biblical absolute with which to challenge, the oppression goes unchecked. Stalin’s Russia, Hitler’s Germany, the abuses of major religions that turned to religion instead of Bible all have proven this true.

You may feel you are in such a situation.  You may feel that a government entity or a family tribunal or a set of circumstances have put you in an oppressive situation from which there is no escape.

The joy of the Believer is that God provides miracle escape in our personal lives, when we apply right approach.  It may not be as quick as we would like, but it is a certain promise.

Take time to go back and read the excerpts from Psalm 37.  These are promises.  There are conditions.  Never should we believe we can just “run to Jesus” and answers will fall from heaven.  That is ludicrous and not the promise of the Bible.  That is bad manipulation and bad belief.  It is not true.  He wants the Lordship of your life.  He wants to be master.

When I understand:

1.Of myself, I cannot get it done.

2.God, the Creator, a personal God, made a way in Christ to be forgiven, accepted, and empowered.

3.I can rest in His death and resurrection.  He has built a limitless bank of grace and peace.

4.The King of the Universe loves me and that makes me valuable.  You cannot take it away. He has poured His Holy Spirit into my life.

5.He gives me a true “church” family that loves me, accepts me and takes me in.

Anger has no hold.

Addictions drop away.

Depression is defeated.

Discouragement dies.

Provision is at my door.

Strength engulfs me for difficulty.

This simple statement has guided me recently in helping others gain faith in Christ and Christ alone.  It is simple. It doesn’t encompass everything, but it encompasses all I need to begin a limitless life of freedom in Him.

Living that statement takes daily application.  Daily application opens my life to daily miracles.  Many times the influence of God in my life is a compound effect.  Day after day, I build relationship and connection and cooperation with Him.  Each step builds my faith and my strength.  Each connection plants seeds that blossom in my future.

liftedlovedlinkedWhat is a way to connect every day?

Take this format for a season. I’ll share more as you grow, but begin here and more will be added. Don’t make this a magic formula.  Make this a daily discipline to open your heart, your life, your family, your work, and your friendships to continual influence of an ever loving God.

When you rise and before you go to bed.  Do these four things.

  1. Adore Him – tell God how much you love Him.  Center your universe on Him.  Ask Him to teach you to love like He loves.  Recognize Him for the fact that He is your Father, the Creator of the Universe, all powerful and all loving.
  2. Confess Your Faults – be brutally honest.  Talk to him privately about what you have done wrong, when you have lost control, what you did not do that needed done.  Confess, receive forgiveness, ask to be built stronger. Listen to the stirrings of your heart.  Hear His quiet voice bringing correction.  Do what He tells you.  Be obedient.
  3. Thank Him – think of all that has transpired and thank Him for the good and the bad.  That is right.  Don’t thank Him that bad has happened.  Thank Him that He gave you freedom to live in both circumstances.  Thank Him that He will turn the bad events into growth and good in your life.  Thank Him He is the author of all that is good and the Defender against all that is evil to deliver us from it.
  4. Supplication – Ask for what your family needs, your friends, your world and you personally.  Tell Him what you want.  Talk it out with Him.  Don’t gripe.  Don’t complain.  Stand as a strong and confident child of Heaven after you have acknowledged His greatness and goodness and your mistaken living and imperfect obedience and be assured He is listening.

Watch what begins to happen.  Keep a journal.  When you put Him first, you will begin to see miracle birth.

For  a Better Life

In His Service and Yours,

P