Thank You Lord

Scripture: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6,7 NIV

Observation: Paul instructs the Philippians to not be anxious.

Application: We are to be confident in all circumstances that God will give us comfort and reassurance no matter how dire the situation. In every situation? When we are happy or when we are sad. When we lose our jobs. When we get married. When we flunk a test at school. When our friendships aren’t what we wanted or expected. When we are in love or when we are not. When we are hungry or when we are well fed. When we don’t know what our next move should be, we are to not be anxious but we are to pray and thank the Lord and he will give us peace. Thank you Lord!

Prayer: Father, thank you for being peace for me when I feel I don’t have any peace. Amen

Doug

Govern Righteously or Go Home

Scripture: Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. Romans 13:1-7 NIV

Observation: Paul teaches about respecting and honoring our governing leaders.

Application: Wow. On the face of this scripture it appears that Paul is telling us to honor and respect our government no matter the level of corruption. I believe that we are to respect the governing positions and pray for those God has put in those leadership positions. However, I also believe that if one of those governors is corrupt we are to rightfully and legally work to remove them and return our leadership to righteousness.
I believe that the bible calls for kings and leaders to be returned to righteousness, 1 Kings 13:1-9 says,”By the word of the LORD a man of God came from Judah to Bethel, as Jeroboam was standing by the altar to make an offering. By the word of the LORD he cried out against the altar: ‘Altar, altar! This is what the LORD says: “A son named Josiah will be born to the house of David. On you he will sacrifice  the priests of the high places who make offerings here, and human bones will be burned on you.”‘ That same day the man of God gave a sign: ‘This is the sign the LORD has declared: The altar will be split apart and the ashes on it will be poured out.’ When King Jeroboam heard what the man of God cried out against the altar at Bethel, he stretched out his hand from the altar and said, ‘Seize him!’ But the hand he stretched out toward the man shriveled up, so that he could not pull it back. Also, the altar was split apart and its ashes poured out according to the sign given by the man of God by the word of the LORD. Then the king said to the man of God, ‘Intercede with the LORD your God and pray for me that my hand may be restored.’ So the man of God interceded with the LORD, and the king’s hand was restored and became as it was before. The king said to the man of God, ‘Come home with me for a meal, and I will give you a gift.’ But the man of God answered the king, ‘Even if you were to give me half your possessions, I would not go with you, nor  would I eat bread or drink water here. For I was commanded by the word of the LORD: “You must not eat bread or drink water or return by the way you came.”’”
I know that the Lord detests corruption, whether in leaders or followers. I believe that we must pray for those in leadership over us but if they continue in their corrupt ways we must strive to remove them and cleanse our government.

Prayer: Father, help me to honor those whom you have placed over me in my government. If those leaders are corrupt show me that and show me how to rightfully remove them and return my government to righteousness. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen

Doug

What a life!!! Already victorious!!!

The following blog entry is compliments of Pastor Leon Hiebert, Community Care Pastor of Generations Church, Andover, KS

Scripture: Matthew 4: 10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”
11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

Observation: The devil had tempted Jesus in each of the three ways mentioned in  1 John 2:6: the lust of the flesh (turning stone into bread to satisfy hunger), the lust of the eyes (look at all the kingdoms I will give you if you worship me), and the pride of life (prove you are God, the Son.)
Jesus proved victorious in each. And He used only what was available to us—The Word!
Jesus had been tempted in the exact same points as Eve in the garden. (Gen 3: 6 ) When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom,…) Eve had been tempted with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. The devil’s tactics have not changed.
As Jesus overcame Satan in these same temptations, He proved Himself to be the perfect sacrifice for sin. Paul wrote, “He Who knew no sin…” It was not because He had not been tempted or tested.
From Genesis to the time of Jesus and to this very day, the devil’s tactics have not changed, but neither has the victory available to us in the life of Christ!

Application: When I was born into the family of man, with the life of Adam inside me, I came to understand it was a life that was already defeated; but when I was born again with the life of Christ inside, I am discovering that His life has been and continues to be a victorious life.

Prayer: Lord, Your Word tells me that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. And “all things” includes overcoming temptation. Amen.

My Protector

Scripture: Our help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 124:8 NIV

Observation: David gives honor to the Lord for all of the protection Israel has received.

Application: I believe that unbeknownst to David he called out Jesus as his protector. Jesus is the name of the Lord and his Spirit is our protector. We have but to call on that name and his Holy Spirit answers.

Prayer: Father, thank you for giving me Jesus as my savior and your Holy Spirit as my protector. Amen

Doug

For a Friend

Scripture: If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:3 NIV

Observation: Verse there of the “love” chapter.

Application: I am reminded of a person that I know who is guilty of this. A very caring and, by all accounts, a very giving person. Speaks very kindly of the poor yet hardworking people in their midst. This person is always trying to make life better for the less-fortunate in their realm. Yet, there is zero joy, no love, and life seems to be an endless misery for them. I weep for them because I believe that they think that they have the Lord and that they are doing his will. However, their deeds are done before men to gain their approval, not God’s, and there is no evidence of love being the root of the deeds. My ability to help guide them in the right direction is long-since gone. I’m like a “prophet in their own hometown” to this person and my guidance is unwelcome. My prayer though is for a godly and loving person come into their life and love them to the Lord.

Prayer: Father, I hesitate to recount this in my S.O.A.P., it feels like judgement and I’m trying not to do that. However, I know that truth is truth no matter how messy. I pray for a godly guide to come into this person’s life to lead them to you. I also ask for you to spur anyone who may read this to also pray for my acquaintance. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen

Doug

Provides a Way Out

Scripture: No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.  1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV

Observation: Paul teaches that no one is tempted beyond his ability to cope.

Application: This is a good lesson for a short-suffering man like me. I need to take this to heart. I need to practice long-suffering and learn to be patient. Paul says that God gives me the ability to cope with anything and endure hardship.

Prayer: Father, thank you for giving me the ability to cope with difficulties. Help me to learn patience. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen

Doug

Our Redeemer Lives!

Scripture: I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. Job 19:25 NIV

Observation: Job laments the constant criticism of him in the guise of pep talks.

Application: In the midst of redressing his pals for their non-support Job lets the cat out of the bag. He tells the end of the story–Jesus wins, evil loses! Our Redeemer lives!

Prayer: Father, thank you for our Redeemer, Jesus. Amen

Doug

Be Job-like

Scripture: At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” Job 1:20&21 NIV

Observation: The wealthy, God-fearing, humble man Job just lost all of his possessions and family and yet he worships and praises God.

Application: Oh to be like Job instead of his wife, “His wife said to him, ‘Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!’” Job 2:9 NIV I want the humility and integrity of Job. That is my prayer.

Prayer: Father: help me to accept all of life’s circumstances, good and bad, and see how they are blessing in my life. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen

Doug

The Remnant…America

Scripture: Then all the army officers, including Johanan son of Kareah and Jezaniah son of Hoshaiah, and all the people from the least to the greatest approached Jeremiah the prophet and said to him, “Please hear our petition and pray to the Lord your God for this entire remnant. For as you now see, though we were once many, now only a few are left. Pray that the Lord your God will tell us where we should go and what we should do.” “I have heard you,” replied Jeremiah the prophet. “I will certainly pray to the Lord your God as you have requested; I will tell you everything the Lord says and will keep nothing back from you.” Then they said to Jeremiah, “May the Lord be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not act in accordance with everything the Lord your God sends you to tell us.  Jeremiah 42:1-5 NIV
He said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, to whom you sent me to present your petition, says: ‘If you stay in this land, I will build you up and not tear you down; I will plant you and not uproot you, for I am grieved over the disaster I have inflicted on you. Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon, whom you now fear. Do not be afraid of him, declares the Lord, for I am with you and will save you and deliver you from his hands. Jeremiah 42:9-11 NIV

Observation: The Jewish remnant is in their land and their leaders ask Jeremiah to pray for guidance from the Lord as to what they should do. I was particularly struck by the way the Jews asked Jeremiah to pray for them, “…pray to the Lord your God…” Jeremiah put it right back on them and told them he would seek guidance from “their God.” I thought that these interpretations from the original texts were odd. Surely the Jews had misspoke in their request.

Application: As I read on in Jeremiah 43 it became clear, “When Jeremiah finished telling the people all the words of the Lord their God—everything the Lord had sent him to tell them— Azariah son of Hoshaiah and Johanan son of Kareah and all the arrogant men said to Jeremiah, ‘You are lying! The Lord our God has not sent you to say, “You must not go to Egypt to settle there.” ‘ ” Jeremiah 43:1&2 NIV They asked Jeremiah to seek of his Lord because they had become so corrupted over time that they truly did not know God…not unlike a certain country that I live in and love. Like the nation of Israel, America has lost its way; its moral compass. This country was founded on Christian principles, faith in God, freedom to worship. Like that remnant of Israel our country denies God’s sovereignty or the need to cede to any “higher” authority than man. We are certainly the worse for it! We are in desperate need for God to extend grace to us and save us from ourselves.

Prayer: Father, you are sovereign! I ask that you save this country from itself. We don’t deserve your grace but we need it desperately. We have done everything within our power to offend you and to deny, defy, and distance ourselves from your Devine protection. I’m ashamed of what America has become in many ways because we have thrown you out of every aspect of our lives and our society. Forgive us, Father. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen

Doug

Misery Loves Company

Scripture: For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. Revelation 12:10b NIV

Observation: Satan lost his battle against Michael and he and his minions were expelled from heaven. After his failed attempt to take control of heaven, Satan falls back to plan “B.” This part of John’s revelation exposes the true nature and intent of Satan. His plan is to accuse and tempt and try to undermine God’s authority by dragging us down with him.

Application: We must be aware of the nature of the liar of liars. He is pure evil and wants nothing more than to destroy us because misery loves company. He knows where he us headed and he wants as many of us there as he can con into it to keep him company. Beware!

Prayer: Father, protect me from Satan’s schemes. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen

Doug