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

Advertisements

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.

Journey Through Self: Nesting In Who I Am.

477323_4775650149056_1095401088_oPsalm 84:1-4

How lovely is Your tabernacle,
O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, yes, even faints
For the courts of the Lord;
My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.

Even the sparrow has found a home,
And the swallow a nest for herself,
Where she may lay her young—
Even Your altars, O Lord of hosts,
My King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in Your house;
They will still be praising You. Selah

This Dove and Me.

This dove gives me pause for reflection.  Well, much of life gives me pause for reflection.    A friend asked yesterday, “Phil, what are you doing for a living?”  Whew.  Surviving was the answer in my heart.  My answer surprised me.  Quick gut answers in the middle of a challenge reveal a lot.  I’ll get to the answer in a minute.

Back to This Dove.  This Dove showed up in a flower pot on our front porch.  My wife and I took a few days away at the lake cabin.  When we came back, This Dove had build a nest, laid an egg (now two), and taken possession of the front porch.  Being the kind soul that she is, my wife has blocked the front walk and given the entrance to the house to This Dove.  I get the back door and walk around the house.  This Dove has disrupted my life.  How dare she be who she is.

She is just This Dove being a dove bringing more doves into this world.  I like that. She is purposeful without having a little goals card in her wallet.  She is purposeful without going to twenty seminars.  She is purposeful in just being who she is, This Dove.

Now, my answer to my millionaire business friend was this.  “I’m doing what I’ve always wanted to do.  I’m helping fatherless fathers be good fathers.  I’m helping unfathered kids get a better dad.   That is my heart and my passion and that is what I am doing.  I believe people will see that and support as I need.”  Silence.

Maybe he wanted me to come back with some sideline business proposition to reduce his credit card charges or shipping improvement or business development or marketing proposal.  Many do. They want me to sell them some service in order to support.  When I sell the service, I quit being This Dove.  I can do that, but then I’m not This Dove, I’m This Dove with a dark suit.  My light grey beautiful feathers become sullied and indistinguishable. That means leaving the flower pot and the two eggs and hoping they will survive on their own.

Some days we need to just be This Dove.  Take up residence in a flower pot on a porch.  Nestle in the arms of a loving God, who created me to be me.  Be who I am and trust that He will let me rest on His most holy altar just like I let This Dove take over my porch and my front door.  He will comfort me.  He will provide.  He will let me be This Dove.

So, This Dove is going to work on bringing healthy, dedicated men into two elementary schools where the kids are 95% unfathered.  This Dove is going to work on having a catalyst weekend in a community of 80% fatherless homes in June.   This Dove is just going to build the nest in the most unlikely places and trust a good God will let me have some space on His altar at His temple of love and helping others.

Psalm 84:1-4

How lovely is Your tabernacle,
O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, yes, even faints
For the courts of the Lord;
My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.

 Even This Dove, me in who I am, has found a home,
And This Dove, me in who I am,  a nest for herself,
Where she may lay her young and fulfill her life’s purpose simply—
Even Your altars, O Lord of hosts,
My King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in Your house of acceptance and allowance and support;
They will still be praising You. Selah