Sunday, December 31, 2017
Friday, December 15, 2017
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14 We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
This passage reminds me of the first part of John 15 (NASB), which is one of my favorite passages because we memorized it in college:
4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. 9 Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love.
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Friday, December 8, 2017
Tuesday, December 5, 2017
John 10:31 Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, 32 but Jesus said to them, "I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?" 33 "We are not stoning you for any good work," they replied, "but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God." 34 Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your Law, 'I have said you are "gods"'? 35 If he called them 'gods,' to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside— 36 what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, 'I am God's Son'? 37 Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. 38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father."
Isaiah 35:3 Strengthen the feeble hands,
steady the knees that give way;
4 say to those with fearful hearts,
"Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
he will come to save you."
5 Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
6 Then will the lame leap like a deer,
and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Matt. 11:2 When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples 3 to ask him, "Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?" 4 Jesus replied, "Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 6 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me."
Heb. 12:12 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13 "Make level paths for your feet," so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.
Sunday, November 26, 2017
Heb 10:19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Heb. 1:3 The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. ...
7 In speaking of the angels he says,
"He makes his angels spirits,
and his servants flames of fire."
8 But about the Son he says,
"Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever;
a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.
9 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions
by anointing you with the oil of joy."
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Sunday, November 12, 2017
Thursday, November 2, 2017
Monday, October 30, 2017
Monday, October 23, 2017
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Col 1:9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience,12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.
Monday, October 16, 2017
Eph. 6:4 NLT Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.
Eph. 6:18 NIV And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord's people.
Eph. 6:24 NIV Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.
Rev. 2:3-4 NIV You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.
Sunday, October 15, 2017
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
John 17:1 After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: "Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4 I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.
Eph. 2:10 For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Monday, October 9, 2017
Thursday, October 5, 2017
Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Acts 21:27 ... some Jews from the province of Asia saw Paul at the temple. They stirred up the whole crowd and seized him, 28 shouting, "Fellow Israelites, help us! This is the man who teaches everyone everywhere against our people and our law and this place. And besides, he has brought Greeks into the temple and defiled this holy place." 29 (They had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with Paul and assumed that Paul had brought him into the temple.) ... 31 ... they were trying to kill him ...
Acts 23:12 The next morning some Jews formed a conspiracy and bound themselves with an oath not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul.13 More than forty men were involved in this plot. 14 They went to the chief priests and the elders and said, "We have taken a solemn oath not to eat anything until we have killed Paul. 15 Now then, you and the Sanhedrin petition the commander to bring him before you on the pretext of wanting more accurate information about his case. We are ready to kill him before he gets here."
Acts 25:3 They requested Festus, as a favor to them, to have Paul transferred to Jerusalem, for they were preparing an ambush to kill him along the way.
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Sunday, September 24, 2017
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Sunday, September 17, 2017
Romans 8:14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
Friday, September 15, 2017
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Romans 7:1 Do you not know, brothers and sisters—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law has authority over someone only as long as that person lives? 2 For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him. ... 4 So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.
Monday, September 11, 2017
Sunday, September 10, 2017
Saturday, September 9, 2017
Friday, September 1, 2017
Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Sunday, August 27, 2017
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
1 Cor. 12:28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31 Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.
1 Cor. 14:1 Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit,especially prophecy. 2 For anyone who speaks in a tongue[a] does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit. 3 But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort. 4 Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves, but the one who prophesies edifies the church. 5 I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy. ... 39 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues.
Saturday, August 19, 2017
Friday, August 18, 2017
I have provided for you every step of the way, and I will continue to lead you every step.
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.
Thursday, August 10, 2017
Reflecting on the messages at the Power & Love conference in El Paso this past weekend, four of the topics that were significant to me are identity, intimacy, peace, and confidence.
Fundamentally, we have to see ourselves as adopted sons and daughters of God. We have been bought by the precious blood of Jesus, which secures our eternal salvation and allows us to be filled, baptized, and anointed with the Holy Spirit. We are beloved children, and we are worthy of His love because of who He made us, not because of anything that we have done. While we are worthy (worth the price that He paid), we are undeserving of His mercy and grace. We are not "sinners saved by grace"; we were sinners, but now we are saints.
As adopted sons and daughters of God, we need to focus principally on desiring intimacy with our Father. Jesus lived this out daily by spending time in "the secret place" with the Father in the mornings and evenings. Jesus did what He saw the Father doing, and He said what He heard the Father saying. Before we focus on doing, we need to focus on being. As a "type A" person, it is easy for me to slip into the religious check-list of reading your Bible, praying, fellowshipping, etc., which are very effective at promoting intimacy only if we approach those activities with a desire for intimacy. Otherwise we end up like Pharisees.
With respect to healing for ourselves and for others, we need to focus on the presence of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace ("sar shalom"), who is the Spirit of Peace, who destroys all chaos. We can simply invite Peace into us, and He will destroy the work of the enemy. Especially when ministering to children with mental or behavioral issues, it is important to treat them with gentleness and peace.
If we want confidence in demonstrating the power of God, then we need to step out in faith. If we want to grow in faith, then we need to take more steps of faith. Faith is spelled, "R-I-S-K". If we try to heal someone in the name of Jesus, but we don't see it happen immediately, then we need to press in to know Him more. We need to strive to live out the example that Jesus set for us of 100% healing, but the supernatural power and miracles are not the goal, simply an overflow of our intimacy with Him.
Heavenly Father, thank you for growing us and leading us. Thank you for continually stretching us. I want to know you more. I remember when I was in junior high saying that I wanted to live a life that convinced people of who Jesus is. I want to make good on that desire. I want your power and love to flow through me so abundantly that people around me experience your goodness. I don't want to try to give people a sales pitch for you, I want them to experience your love and power. Lord Jesus, thank you for being the Spirit of Peace that destroys chaos. Holy Spirit, thank you for your presence and power. I want to be a holy vessel of faith that you flow through. I love you, and I ask in the name of Jesus.
Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Friday, July 28, 2017
Thursday, July 27, 2017
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Monday, July 10, 2017
I paraphrased the blessing below from the book of Ephesians, chapters 1, 2, and 3. I shared this in our gathering yesterday morning.
This blessing is spoken in first-person from our Heavenly Father, so I invite you to close your eyes and picture yourself sitting next to Him, and hear Him speak this to you:
Eph. 1:4-14 I chose you before the creation of the world, and I see you as holy and blameless in my sight. I delight in you! I love you so much and adopted you into my family through the blood of Jesus. I enjoy lavishing my love on you and giving you my constant presence through the Holy Spirit. I am so excited about you being part of my amazing plan and shining my glory!
1:17-19 I am pouring out my Spirit on you so that we can be together all the time, and you will know me better and better. I am opening the eyes of your heart to see the hope to which I have called you, the riches of my glorious inheritance in my holy people, and my incomparably great power for you who believe.
2:1-10 You were spiritually dead and separated from me because of your sins, but I love you so much, so I showed mercy and grace. I gave you spiritual life with Jesus, and I gave you a place of honor with him in Heaven so that I can show off my riches of grace and kindness that are beyond compare. I have given you a gift of forgiveness and salvation. You are my handiwork, my masterpiece, created to be part of the Body of Christ, the Church, to do good things, things that I have planned specifically for you to join me in doing.
3:12, 16-19 Because of Jesus, you can be with me and talk with me all of the time. And out of my glorious, unending riches, I am strengthening you with power through my Holy Spirit dwelling in your spirit, and Jesus dwelling in your heart through your faith. And you, being embedded in my love, will continually be blown away by the incredible magnitude of Jesus' love for you. Enjoy being filled with my love, overflowing with the fullness of all of my presence - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.