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.

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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.

Need A Quiet Moment, Friend?

Isaiah 8:18 Here am I and the children whom the LORD has given me.
As a businessman and community leader, I spend countless hours seeking audience with people. It is a tough and thankless task.
Jesus presents us to His Father as a gift. He makes it easy to get into the very throneroom of God. Through tremendous sacrifice, He opened a path for us into the presence of the holiest God. Then He takes us by the hand and walks us up to the Creator of All and presents us.
There is nothing we can do to earn that presentation. It is a gift to us received in Him.
That simple knowledge comforts me. The ability to quiet myself and know I don’t have to earn anything consoles me. I can rest in His acceptance and favor.
Friend, there is rest for you. There is favor for you.
Father, accept my friend alongside Your Son, Jesus. What a joy to know You will receive us. The Master of All opens His inner office to allow us entrance and audience. That is huge. Thanks, Father.

Snow in the Shadows

Snow gets in the shadows.

Ecclesiastes 4:11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?

In Oklahoma and Texas, snow is a sometimes and someyears thing.  Not often.  But often enough.  It can linger for a few hours or a few days and in rare occasions for a few weeks.  Ice lingers longer.

The shadows keep the snow longer.  The sun doesn’t reach there.

Normal winter temperatures daily climb into the 40’s and 50’s and many times 60’s and 70’s.  Snow doesn’t last long in that warmth.    Except in the shadows.

In the shadows, the warmth needs to linger a little longer.

Relationships are like that.  Some cold spots tend to linger.  Each relationship finds bad spots and good spots. The daily good warmth takes longer to remove the memory and the touchiness.  Sometimes it is an icy block that takes weeks of warmth to remove.

You can speed up the process when the snow is in your shadow by moving whatever is blocking the sun and giving yourself adequate good time.  We can’t change the weather outside, but we can change the weather conditions of a relationship through investment in good moments.

You can speed up the process when you deposited snow into the shadow of a loved one by investing in warm moments with them.  Leave it to linger at risk of damage that may not heal.

Think of a few easy moments of warmth you can bring to a relationship.  The odd coincidence of snow in the shadows of a relationship is that neither of you may realize that it lingers.  You look to the front yard and clean streets and are grateful.  It is easy to leave the shadows alone, but lingering snow and ice comes up at the most inappropriate moments.

Do some good.  Do some gentle.  Do some soft.

The beauty of having the warm moments is you don’t have to talk about the snow, it just goes away.