Posts from September 2019

DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY OCTOBER 1, 2019

John 14: 10 (NIV) –  Don’t you believe that I am in the Father,  and that the Father is in me?  The words I say to you are not just my own.  Rather,  it is the Father,  living in me,  who is doing his work.   The words that Jesus taught originated in the Father.  Jesus taught with knowledge on par with the theologians of His day as well as with superiority  (John 7:46;  Luke 2:47;  Luke 4:16-22).  It was…

DEVOTIONS – MONDAY SEPTEMBER 30, 2019

Matthew 11:25 (NIV) –  At that time Jesus said,  “I praise you,  Father,  Lord of heaven and earth,  because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned,  and revealed them to little children.  Those who were  “wise and learned”  (proud of heart and conceited of mind) were unable to grasp the truths that Jesus taught.  It is the  “little children”  with open,  honest,  and humble hearts who readily hear God’s Word.  The disciples saw supernatural things that others…

DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 28, 2019

Isaiah 30:18 (NLT) –  Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;  He rises to show you compassion.  For the Lord is a God of justice.  Blessed are all who wait for Him!   “God waits for us to wait for Him and guarantees His response.  The waiting period of God’s workshop during which He employs a diversity of means to do within us a work of grace takes time.  Look at the patience of Job.”  We want great…

DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 27, 2019

Exodus 24:12-16 (NIV)  Focus verse 116b –  For six days,  the cloud covered the mountain,  and on the seventh day,  the Lord called to Moses from within the cloud.   “God took Moses through a long waiting period before He spoke His first word.  Physical considerations were subordinated to the higher laws of the Spirit.  This is tribulation to the body that works patience.  To hurry God is to find fault with Him.”  Supernatural changes take place in our souls…

DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 26, 2019

John 2:27 (NIV) –  As for you,  the anointing you received from Him remains in you,  and you do not need anyone to teach you… remain in Him.  The anointing of the Holy Spirit enables us instinctively to differentiate between truth and error.  This verse is not a proof text for eliminating study and getting all weird with your faith.  Rather,  it calls us to pay attention to the nuanced leadings of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives.  He…

DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 25, 2019

Mark 1:35-37 (NIV) –   Very early in the morning,  while it was still dark,  Jesus got up,  left the house and went off to a solitary place,  where He prayed.  Simon and his companions went to look for Him,  and when they found Him,  they exclaimed:  Everyone is looking for you!”  Sometimes people don’t understand the reality that God’s leaders must get away to be alone with God (Ex. 32:1;  Ex. 24:12-16).  We live in a world driven by…

DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 24, 2019

Mark 3:14 (KJV) –  And he  (Jesus)  ordained twelve,  that they should be with Him,  and that He might send them forth to preach…  Our primary calling in life is to be  “with Him.”  That means we are  “separated from our normal associations and pursuits and dedicated to our personal association with Christ in fellowship and submission to His Lordship.”  This means more than just showing up for worship on Sundays.  This means living with Jesus in the center of…

DEVOTIONS – MONDAY SEPTEMBER 23, 2019

Mark 4:11 (NIV) –  (Jesus)  told  (the disciples),  “The secret of the Kingdom of God has been given to you”…  God’s Word gives us a divine perspective that the Holy Spirit unpacks and applies to real,  everyday situations.  It is quite remarkable that God would want us to know the  “mysteries of the Kingdom” (KJV)  in order that we can live in sync with the heart and mind of God and reveal Jesus to people through our often-flawed life.  There…

DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 21, 2019

Mark 3:14 (NLT) –   He appointed twelve—designated them apostles—that they might be with him…  Those called to ministry have a highest priority of being with Jesus,  “separated from their normal associations and pursuits and dedicated to their personal association with Him in fellowship and submission to His Lordship.”  Being with Jesus precedes going out for Him.

DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 20, 2019

I Corinthians 12:12-27 (NIV) –  Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. (v. 14)  (focus verse 14) Every member of the Body of Christ has a God-appointed place with a God-appointed function for a God-appointed purpose. No one member can regard the function of any other member as unnecessary. The Body is built up by that which every joint supplies—the contribution of each member (Eph. 4:16). “God brings into play the function of each…

DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2019

Mark 1:17 (NIV) –   “Come follow me,” Jesus said…  Consider the diversity of circumstances in which God called people:  while being a fugitive from justice  (Ex. 3:1-12);  while plowing in a field  (I Kings 19:19-21);  while following the flock  (Amos 7:14-15);  while fishing and mending nets  (Mark 2:16-20);  while serving the Roman empire as a tax collector  (Mark 2:13-14);  while traveling to Damascus for the purpose of persecuting God’s people  (Acts 9:1-9).  Saul was on his way to arrest…

DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 18, 2019

Acts 16:10 (NIV) –  After Paul had seen the vision,  we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia,  concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.  “God uses a variety of ways in calling a person,  not the least of them being an inner awareness or an intuitive knowledge,  a deep assurance with or without any other complementary means.”  Even these days it can come as an audible voice  (Acts 9:1-6),  or by a prophetic…

DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 17, 2019

Jeremiah 1:5 (NIV) –  Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,  before you were born I set you apart;  I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.  God calls both men and women into ministry with resolve,  “not withstanding the risks involved in choosing a necessarily faulty instrument,  God determines the choice of the individual.”  God separates the person apart from others  “in effect passing others by and setting them apart.”  And God communicates His call…

DEVOTIONS – MONDAY SEPTEMBER 16, 2019

John 15:16 (NIV) –  You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last… The term  “apostle”  means:  “one sent forth”  (Luke 10:1).  Jesus did not send out His twelve disciples without preparing them through specific methods and means—principles that He continues to use today to prepare those He has chosen for Christ-centered ministries.  Some go without being called and without a message from God;  they are self-sent  (II Sam.…

DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 14, 2019

Joshua 1:9 – (NLT) Do not be afraid or discouraged.  For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.  Confront your fears with the truth of God’s presence. Our core fear is that we can’t handle something—we’re not enough.  God doesn’t expect us to handle anything on our own.  He says,  “I’ve got this.”  Our ability is His strength.  His constant presence is the greater truth that confronts our ultimate fear.  Focus on God’s abilities,  not your inabilities.

DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 13, 2019

Galatians 6:4b (MSG)  Don’t compare yourself with others.   Comparison triggers the fear that you don’t measure up and you are not enough.  “It robs us of seeing the value in our influence and keeps us on a perpetual quest to be better than others”  (Jenni Catron,  Clout).  What drives your motivation to do great things—God-given vision,  or the need to impress people?  These are two very different motivations.  In the Lord’s final conversation with Peter,  Peter asked,  “What about…

DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 12, 2019

Proverbs 27:4 – (NLT)  Anger is cruel,  and wrath is like a flood,  but jealousy is even more dangerous.  Illustrations of jealousy are replete in scripture:  Cain killed his brother,  Jacob robbed Esau of his birthright,  Rachel and Leah lived at odds with each other,  Saul put out a death warrant on David’s life—“in each of these stories jealousy took root and ruined their relationships.  Jealousy becomes more sophisticated as we mature,  and its root system is strengthened with every…

DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 11, 2019

Philippians 2:3 – (NIV)  Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit,  but in humility consider others better than yourselves. (MSG)  Don’t push your way to the front;  don’t sweet-talk your way to the top.  Put yourself aside,  and help others get ahead.   “Carrying this out in real life requires an inbred core devoid of pretention and arrogance.  It does not allow for posturing or a show of self-importance.  When those kinds of selfish traits are present,  problems and…

DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 10, 2019

John 15:4 (MSG) –  “Live in me.  Make your home in me just as I do in you…”   In his book,  The Furious Longing of God,  Brennan Manning says,  “The outstretched arms of Jesus exclude no one,  neither the drunk in the doorway,  the panhandler on the street,  gays and lesbians in their isolation,  the most selfish and ungrateful in their cocoons,  the most unjust of employers and the most overweening of snobs.  The love of Christ embraces all…

DEVOTIONS – MONDAY SEPTEMBER 9, 2019

Matthew 7:26 (MSG) –  (Jesus teaching)  “But if you just use my words in the Bible studies and don’t work them into your life,  you are like a stupid carpenter who built his house on the sandy beach.”  In his book,  Abba’s Child,  Brennan Manning says,  “The Christian commitment is not an abstraction.  It is a concrete,  visible,  courageous,  and formidable way of being in the world forged by daily choices consistent with inner truth.  A commitment that is not…

DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 7, 2019

Exodus 20:8 – (NIV) Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.  “The Sabbath is a way of defying slavery.  Slaves,  by definition,  cannot stop working.  Sabbath is living in such as way that we are no longer slaves.  The Israelites had spent 300 years or so assimilating into the dominant cultural value system of Egypt.  Generations had succumbed to never ceasing from work.  It was normal to work all the time.  The bustling and ever-increasing economy of Egypt demanded…

DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 6, 2019

Proverbs 3:13 (NIV) Blessed is the man who finds wisdom,  the man who gains understanding.  Are we listening for the Lord’s direction and clarification?  “One of the striking characteristics seen in effective leaders is their drive to learn from all kinds of sources.”  Effective leaders maintain a learning/listening posture throughout life.  “The Bible is the leadership anchor.  A Christian leader bases values,  methodology,  motivation,  and goals on what God has revealed in Scripture.”  (Clinton,  The Making of a Leader).  God…

DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 5, 2019

Acts 10:28b – (NLT) …But God has shown me that I should no longer think of anyone as impure or unclean.  At the Global Leadership Summit 2019,  Danielle Strickland described five stages of transition:  1) Settled  (feels good);  2) Unsettled  (stressful disruption);  3) Chaos  (you’ve left what you know but aren’t to the new place yet—it is scary,  yet exciting);  4) Arrival at the new place  (but doesn’t feel like home);  and 5) the new normal  (finally).  The journey from…

DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 4, 2019

Hebrews 3:15-19 – (MSG) For who were the people who turned a deaf ear?  Weren’t they the very ones Moses led out of Egypt?… Wasn’t it those who turned a deaf ear and ended up corpses in the wilderness?  They never got there because they never listened,  never believed.   “People in recovery circles use some very helpful phrases to describe the kind of behavior that keeps us from experiencing freedom  (or for settling for external freedom while still experiencing…

DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 3, 2019

John 3:30 (KJV) – He must increase,  but I must decrease.   Our great heroes of the faith lived through some kind of desert experience—an emptying place.  The devil is ok with us leaving Egypt as long as we bring all of Egypt’s values and systems with us.  He lets us be a Christian as long as we live like everyone else,  full of ourselves.  Philippians 2 tells us that Jesus emptied Himself in order to embrace His calling to…

DEVOTIONS – MONDAY SEPTEMBER 2, 2019

Luke 22:31-32a (NIV) – “Simon,  Simon,  Satan has asked to sift you as wheat.  But I have prayed for you… “ “Quality leadership does not come easily.  It requires time,  experience,  and repeated instances of maturity processing.”  Such was the experience of the disciples as they followed Jesus.  There was much to learn.  They thought that proximity to Jesus was enough.  But  “Mature ministry flows from a mature character,  formed in the graduate school of life…a leader whose ministry skills…
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