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.


The Prayer Has A Life: What Happened Next

One of the stops this week in my journey was the weekly breakfast of a county Chamber of Commerce in Texas.  Community Transformation Initiative is active in the area doing Life Skills and Parenting and 1-1 counseling.  Each person gets 2 minutes to speak.  Lawyers, doctors, mechanics, marketers, resorts, bankers, the county attorney, and this  community transformation/business/minister person share.  I usually give a quick story and a smile and sit down.  Something different happened this week.

Here’s the story I shared and what happened next:

In 2004, our Information Technology team was designated as number one best place to work in IT by Computerworld magazine.  That is a Super Bowl moment.  We out ranked Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and hundreds of thousands of other businesses.

As one of a handful of directors on that team, it was moment of personal pride and accomplishment.  I keep telling myself I’m going to have a ring made.  Every day and every year is not the same.

During an annual review with our CIO one year I felt defeated.  That year was okay, but nothing outstanding.  As I discussed my feelings of struggle with John, the number one CIO of the number one team, he looked at me and said, “Phil, you will find during your toughest times, you grow the most.”  He was less concerned about  the areas I directed and managed than he was about me.  That attitude is part of what made us number one.

After the story was shared, the prayer was shared.

As I finished the prayer, the Chamber of Commerce breakfast group spontaneously and loudly said “Amen.”

More people on social media are responding to this prayer than anything I’ve every posted. I pray it over you. I pray it “Amens” in your life.

 May the gentle breath of God’s Spirit lift you, friend, beyond your problems.

May the forceful shaking of His power break barriers that hinder.

May the excitement of His love impassion you, friend, with joy.

May you find Him waiting in your path with answers.

Meet Jesus: Integral

 meetjesusnearathandHow in this world can our righteousness exceed that of the most religious?  

Matthew 5: 20For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. 

Jesus calls us to a higher place than religion.  It is not the place of pious righteousness born of obeisance to which He calls us.  Did that make sense?  It is not surface righteousness He wants.  It is not doing great motions that He wants.  He wants righteousness born of the spirit of the heart.  He wants our desires for living like God.  This goes beyond the righteousness of religion.


A story: Sharon was looking.  So often she had seen religion in the lives of others.  That did not appeal to her.  She wanted something more.  She wanted relationship and meaning in her life.  How could she find it?  This group that met on Tuesday nights seemed to have something more.  Her coworker had convinced her to go the first time.  There was something in them more than just their bible-book and talk.  She wondered what it was.

ACT!  Is there a hunger for right living in you?  Is it bigger than just what you do, but how you think?

PRAY!  Father, where is the place of peace I seek.  In my life there are many mistakes.  So many times, I’ve lost sight of the goodness You want for me.  So many times, I have tried and failed to live up to Your ways and laws.  But, I want to follow You.  I want to live for You.  I want to connect with Your love every day and every hour.  Peace me, Father.  Flow the presence of Your Holy Spirit into me in new ways.  Break the old mold of my life and breathe something new in me.  Make my love for You fresh and vibrant.  Break me.


Meet Jesus: Legal Matthew 5:19

Matthew 5: 19: Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

meetjesussort So many times we hear of the Jesus of grace and mercy.  Surely, He is that.  He is also just and correct.  He requires us to live up to a higher standard.  That standard is easily achievable in Him, but only in Him.  On our own, we will never make it.

 Jesus is legal, correct, right, and focused on helping us move every day closer to the same place as Him.

Final Legality: Arguing with the team had become too common for Jack.  Over and over, he had covered key points needed to progress.  Over and over they had resisted and only complied with the smallest amount.  Now it was time to move forward.  Now it was time to break the stalemate.

  Jack called the group into his office.  Looking intently at each one, he challenged them to step up to the new procedures.  He declared it a “now” item not a tomorrow item.  It was time to do the work correctly.

 ACT!  Are you out of line somewhere with the simple instructions of life?  Ask forgiveness, get a new set of directions, and set out to make it different.

 PRAY!  Father, I can get so caught up in doing in my way and doing what I think is right.  Help me see Your way.  Surely in Jesus, I can do what You ask me to do.  Don’t let me get caught in the legalisms of others, but only follow as You ask me in Jesus.

  If we can pray for you regarding anything in your life, please let us know.  Our greatest blessing is to bless others in prayer.