For the lessons behind the prayer go to http://www.hclive.org/sermon/transformers-prayer-part-one/
Christ is the cure for loneliness. He connects us. He finds a place for us. That is the work of a church.
There is no reason to walk alone.
In discussion with a group of ministers, each decried working alone at their tasks. That is odd. Rarely do I work alone. Of course, I write alone. Yet, even in that I have people submit ideas and do research. Even if I don’t use it, the conversation is good and contributes.
None of us should walk alone. This morning I am reading responses from legislators across the United States to a quick blurb. We pray together. We walk together. Never alone. That is just not right.
Ephesians 4:16 NKJV from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love
Meet Jesus : Faith Seeker
Matthew 8:5: And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him,6: And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.
7: And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.
8: The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. 9: For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
10: When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
11: And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. 12: But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
13: And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour
Faith is honored by God. Faith based in understanding of authority, moves God quickly. In our journey in this life, it serves us well to remember how Jesus honors faith in authority. Remember, His authority was so evident the people marveled. Authority is important to Jesus. He looks for those that understand and invoke His authority through faith.
ACT! Do you have a situation requiring authority? Invite Jesus into it.
PRAY! Father, I place myself under the authority of the name of Jesus. Even as the centurion placed his servant under Jesus’ authority, so do I place me and my household. Cover the property entrusted to me. Cover my family’s health. Cover the thoughts of my mind.
Our leadership examples today are flawed and full of gaping holes
Matthew 8:1: When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him.
“Make sure you are doing what God wants you to do–then do it with all your strength.” George Washington
Follow Me: Few people in life seem to be worth following. Honesty is out of style. Truth is irrelevant. Integrity wanes to the way of the world. Our leadership examples today are flawed and full of gaping holes. Jesus is worth following. Not only that, but He changes us to be worth following. His example and presence change us to be more like Him. Follow.
Follow Jesus: Jake was ready to follow this Jesus again. The morning back in the presence of God at church had impacted him. He wasn’t sure how to explain his feelings to his wife or to his old friend, Greg, or to Sally, who had invited him. He just knew he needed to get back in line and follow. Whatever that meant! He was going to find out…..
Act! Be worth following. It was his confidence, authority, and kindness that resulted in so many following. Find a place to be kind today and reach out to someone who can’t help themselves at the moment.
Pray! Father, help me to be a leader worth following. It is my example to which others look. Help me to be the Christian of integrity that You seek. Encourage my faith to be bold in those areas in which you have commissioned me. Empower me to continue to do good to those around me in You. Let people see Jesus and follow Him in me.
This devotion is #17 and final of a bigger storyline… Watch the category GSJ Story for miniseries.
Want the book, Meet Jesus In The Market? Fill out the information below and I’ll contact you.
Each of us has a flavor of which comes out
Matthew 7:16: Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17: Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18: A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19: Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20: Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Ever thought about what it is you produce daily? Each of us has a flavor to what comes out. A friend of mine has a perfume she has worn for years. It is her trademark, her flavor. Whenever she is around, you know she has been there. Some years ago I worked with an individual that flavored the room. Upon entering the workplace the entire atmosphere would become sour. Each of us has a flavor of what comes out. Another friend is vivacious and sparks excitement in whatever he does. By our fruit are we known.
For years, Greg had carried pains from his early years. Memories haunted him. At times he would accuse people of actions and motivations they never had. It was an unwelcome memory bursting out into distrust and accusation. It just wouldn’t shake. Now he was looking for forgiveness. He wanted to be free. He wanted to free himself from the flavor of the fruit of the past. So many times he had been betrayed. It had built a rage inside that needed to go away. It created a distance from others that needed healed. Greg was ready to change the flavor of his relationships and life. Maybe he could start with Jake. Maybe he could go back and start over.
ACT! Inspect your flavor. Are you goofy grape or excited orange? Are you passionate purple or negative needles? What is your flavor? Is it what Jesus wants your flavor to be?
PRAY! Father, help us flavor the day with Jesus. Grant us grace to give out Your sweet incense. Enable us to let others know that You have been in the place. Cause our fruit to come from the true vine, Jesus. Let only fruit from His life veins come out from us. Let our flavor be the scent of Your presence that men and women would come to You.
This devotion is #14 of a bigger storyline… Watch the category GSJ Story for miniseries.
Just do it like you want it.
Matthew 7:12: Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
Simple: Simple. Simple. Simple. So often we want God to be complicated. Our tendency as men is to construct great tomes and writings and laws to guide our steps. Jesus is simple. Do to others what you want them to do to you. How simple can you get!
Offering: Greg’s offer of friendship after so many years somehow reached through to Jake. He liked the idea. He liked being invited as a friend and not being approached as “another new person to the church.” Open and relaxed, he stuck out his hand to Greg.
His wife relaxed. The storm was really short. She had seen Jake have much longer explosions. This was new. She liked it.
ACT! What do you need done to you? Is someone harassing you? Do you need kindness? Give it. Get it.
PRAY! Today, Lord is my day of giving and receiving. You simply ask, Father, that I treat others in ways I want to be treated. Be it done to me according to Your word.
This devotion is #13 of a bigger storyline… Watch the category GSJ Story for miniseries.
When we come to Him and His Father, there is never rejection.
Matthew 7:7: Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 9: Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? 10: Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11: If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
NO?: Ever feared you would get a no from someone? Fear of rejection is a strong influencer on us. Psychologists and communications trainers will quickly tell you that people fear to speak in public, to a group.
Rejection is not something Jesus will do. When we come to Him and His Father, there is never rejection. He took our rejection for all time and offers us pure acceptance. Ask and it will be give to you. Seek and you will find. Knock and it shall be opened unto you. Jesus is an open door.
Quietness: Sally’s quiet way put a new mood on the situation, but not enough to cool it. The tension between Jake and Greg was enormous. She surely did not understand it. It was her dream to see if Greg’s open position at work would be a good fit for Jake. Now all the opportunities seemed to be frying in the hot grease of dissension. This hallway was steaming hotter than the parking lot asphalt in summer. Why had she invited Jake to come to church? How could that have been God’s plan in prayer? If this was how He answered, “Yes” to prayer, she was confused. Then Greg spoke peace.
“Hey, Jake. I don’t know how I’ve gotten along without you so many years. We used to be such good friends. I guess, I just got caught up in life and changes and an hundred other things. It sure is good to see you again. Maybe, we can get a cup of coffee and catch up in the next few weeks?”
Jake immediately relaxed. It was as if someone had turned on a box fan. His face relaxed. His muscles relaxed. He even smiled.
ACT! Think of a question from someone on which you have put off the answer. Get the answer for them quickly and get it to them. Help them past a little thought of rejection.
PRAY! Father, I am so blessed to be in You. You are an encourager, blessor, giver, and always positive influence in my life. My life in You is pleasant beyond imagination. Thank You, Father for being a positive answer to life’s tough questions.
This devotion is #12 of a bigger storyline… Watch the category GSJ Story for miniseries.
Matthew 7:6: Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
Broad Applications: Having wisdom in a setting where everyone agrees is simple. Having wisdom in the presence of enemies may be tense, but can be negotiated. Having wisdom in the setting of the disinterested is pensive and tough. Jesus had all.
Here he shares with us precious insight into those going about their business looking for “stuff”. Our tendency is to assume those around us are for us or against us or neutral. There is no neutral. If they are neither for nor against, they are against. The undecided will destroy the good works of God, when left to their own devices. Some pearls, some wisdom, and some truths are best left in the bag until in the presence of those who will receive them and value them. Everything is not meant to be shared.
Greg Goofs: Sally stepped up quickly to greet Jake. She could feel the tension in the hallway. Greg was rapidly engaged in encouraging Jake to go with him to class. Jake was anything but ready to go with Greg and his wife. Jake’s wife was flustered and ready to go back out the door. The kids had already seen some friends and scrambled into the kid’s church area with them. What a scene!
“What do you mean, you are glad I came here to find Christ?” Jake was angry, frustrated, and humiliated all at once. How dare Greg say such a thing in front of his wife? It felt demeaning. It felt like he was being accused of avoiding responsibilities. This was one bad way to launch a Sunday church visit with friends.
This devotion is #11 of a bigger storyline… Watch the category GSJ Story for miniseries.
ACT! Share a precious truth God has shown you with someone who loves God.
PRAY! Father of truth and light, guide me today. Help me to have the wisdom of Jesus in all my dealings. Help me to share Your pearls with those that are listening. There are so many hungry to hear about You. Teach me discretion and sound wisdom in all I do and share. Show me the truths that are for all, the truths that are for those close to you, and the truths that need the specific guidance of Your Holy Spirit to share.
Matthew 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
Measuring Spoon: Spoon size is everything in the kingdom of Jesus. Measure out, measured back. Judging others was not Jesus style. Acceptance, forgiveness, mercy, grace, life, light, and new opportunity were measured out by Him continually. Rarely, did He have to judge and then only to the hardhearted and calloused religious folk. Remember that the measuring of love out brings it back.
Relentful: Jake relented. It was Sunday morning and he and his family were going to meet Sally and her family at church. How did he agree to this? He hated church services. They were boring and had old organ music from a movie theatre of the 20’s. This was going to be torture.
Just as they walked up to the door, Jake’s mouth dropped open. The man standing at the door shaking hands with people was his old drinking buddy from college. Greg was just as surprised as Jake, but ecstatic. He had not seen Jake in years. Jake had been a wild partier. Greg had made a committed turnaround to live for Christ in his senior year and separated from all his partying friends in order to stay sober. This was like old home week and regret formed that he had not had the courage to go and tell old friends about his life found in Christ. This was great.
This devotion is #9 of a bigger storyline… Watch the category GSJ Story for miniseries.
ACT! Get you mercy spoon out. Find someone today who needs an ear and an encouraging word. Give them both.
PRAY! Father, let me have Your mercy and grace and acceptance and forgiveness and graciousness in abundance today. Help me spoon it out to others. Let me dip down deep with a measuring quart cup and bless out to others.
Matthew 6:19:Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal 20: but lay for yourselves treasures in heaven , where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Treasure House: The treasure of our heart is the treasure of our thought and word and action. Jesus’ heart was always toward heaven. His Father’s house was His continual concern. His Father’s house is still His continual concern. The gathering of men and women together into His body is about filling His Father’s table. Jesus is focused on fulfilling the heart of His Father. Jesus’ heart is His Father’s heart. His treasure was the will of His Father.
Mulled Jake: Jake mulled over his options. The pain of continuing wrong choices plagued his quiet thoughts. There just seemed to be no release from the pain of his mistakes. Just then, the phone beeped. It was Sally. She wanted to know if he and his family would like to attend church Sunday morning with her family. She went on rambling about praying for him all week. He wasn’t sure he believed she would really do that. It was a long pause as he thought over how to say no.
This devotion is #7 of a bigger storyline… Watch the category GSJ Story for miniseries.
ACT! Does the Father have a specific will for you? Do you know it? Do you know His heart for you? Pursue filling His house. Invite someone today to join you the next time you are going to a gathering of believers.
PRAY! Precious Father of life and love. I want to fill Your house with others. I want my treasure to fill up Your house. Your house is my heart. My heart is to fill up the table of blessing in Your house that You as Father would have more sons and daughters. Focus me. Help me to see Your specific will for my life and action. Help me to think of You and Your house, Your heaven first above all.