October 22, 2017
- Sun Oct 22, 2017
The Hero of the Ages
"Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." Hebrews 12:2-3
We can’t look up at the Man on the cross and lose in our quest to throw spiritual caution and fear to the wind. In fact the longer we look at Him up there, the more dangerous we become for the Kingdom. We join the ranks of men who saw Him from a distance and risked, men who walked with Him up close, and men who through the centuries endangered their lives to demonstrate their love.
If you are to bet at all, study the Man who risked it all.
Keep your eyes on Jesus who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed - that exhilarating finish in and with God - he could put up with anything along the way; the cross, shame, whatever. Now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside the Father. When we find ourselves flagging in our faith, go over the story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into our souls! Faith in this historical fact will bring us through.
Father, you have not held back on the gifts you have given me to do the things that will bless You, me and others. Thank you!
October 21, 2017
- Sat Oct 21, 2017
The Ultimate Fighter
“Take your stand against the devil’s schemes” Ephesians 6:11
I would hate to be at the pointy end of the sword of Jesus Christ. Christ is vicious in the war against Satan and evil. If there are even trace levels of testosterone in your body, thinking about that sort of Jesus should get your adrenaline pumping. He’s the embodiment of the ultimate evil fighter — invincible and quite capable of inflicting some lasting damage. And all this from the defender of the helpless, the one so full of love toward people that He cried tears of blood.
Being God’s man means being a man who is ready to engage in combat with the Enemy. More specifically, it means being prepared to fight the spiritual battles. The opposite of this is a casual Christian man who fails to take up the fight, a man who capitulates on God’s dream for him.
One measure of Christ likeness is your steady commitment to fight the unseen spiritual enemy. Do you proactively go after the evil and sin in your own life and others’ wherever it raises its head? Maybe you wonder how a man can be this confident. It’s found in the warrior spirit and character of Jesus, a.k.a. Lion of the Tribe of Judah, who lives — and lives in you! This is the Man who chose death and stood firm against the devil’s assaults. He has called you to do the same. This is profound. God’s dream for you is to posses this same soldier heart by training in His shoes. Watch His film. Study His responses. Scrutinize the Enemy’s tactics. Imitate Christ and integrate His skills.
Father, you love man but you hate sin and evil. Thank you for reminding me.
October 20, 2017
- Fri Oct 20, 2017
Onward Christian Soldiers
The courage of a soldier is heightened by his knowledge of his profession, and he only wants an opportunity to execute what he is convinced he has been perfectly taught. A handful of men, inured to war, proceed to certain victory, while on the contrary numerous armies of raw and undisciplined troops are but multitudes of men dragged to slaughter.
–Flavius Vegetius Renatus, De Re Militari, AD390
The Bible teaches that God’s weapons were created to be used. Used versus what? Indulge me here: used versus talked about — used versus ignored — used versus studied — used versus debated — used versus avoided — used versus preached — used versus misused — used versus passed over.
Far too often we men like to think of ourselves as Christ-loyal, but we don’t want to use our weapons. If we are to be graded on our familiarity with our weapons, like they do in any good standing army, I shudder to think what our spiritual instructors would say. “How long have you been a believer, boy?” Can you see it? Would that be you? The Bible assumes we’ll actually use the weapons issued to us. Don’t you want to knock down the devils strongholds?
Let me put it this way. What do old war veterans talk about when they get together? The answer is the battles that defined them. Why is their bond so strong? Now ask yourself: what is it you’re really missing in your life that would create this kind of bond? And how do you think you’ll get there? Right --fighting battles.
Father, thank you for not only the pat on the head but the kick in the pants.
October 19, 2017
- Thu Oct 19, 2017
"For the Lord your God is God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes." Deuteronomy 10:17
Deliverances (that is, our salvation and subsequent transformations) are designed by the Holy Spirit to change the way we view God, the way we perceive ourselves, the way we see others, and the way we go about representing God in the world. As we look to release the Holy Spirit’s power in us outward to a waiting world, we must consider the nature of God’s intervention in our own life if we are to confidently reach out to others in our blast zones of influence.
What must we see?
The Holy Spirit wants us always to have a right view of God, because without it, our accountability (respect of the Lord) and confidence in the mission ahead are shot. He wants us to get one thing straight: Your God is unparalleled, unmatched, and unimpeachable in strength and integrity. The fancier term for that is strong! We have been delivered by and brought into relationship with a mighty and awesome God who fights to set His people free. He is our warrior champion, this is the family resemblance, and the Holy Spirit is tasked with reproducing His confidence in believing sons.
Our minds much of the time remain in our past. God is trying to have our minds now look to our present condition as His sons. His attributes have been given, transferred to us His children. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control, and don’t forget He has blinded himself to our condition, we are completely forgiven. FREEDOM!
Father, you are Awesome!
October 18, 2017
- Wed Oct 18, 2017
"For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God." Romans 8:14
Men are made to risk, to encourage you to be an aggressive risk taker for God, and above all to get you to act on what you know God is calling you to do. “What is it?” you ask. Here’s a clue: whatever makes you swallow big. My friend Lee Strobel puts it this way:
“When we take a risk, we’re stretching beyond what we think are our limits in order to reach for a goal. Inevitably, that involves overcoming some sort of tear — fear of the unknown, of physical harm, of failure, of humiliation, even of success. And it involves adventure”.
There are two ways to go in your life of faith: smooth, residential, safe, and boring: or off-road, twisting, riskier, and exciting. Which road would the little boy in you take? Your energy and willingness to invest it for Christ is not slipping God’s watchful eye. He’s hoping, you’ll cross the line in those areas of your life that will most stretch you to be His man — right now.
The question for you is this: Can God be trusted?
The thing to remember is God is working in you and your drive will be determined by the faith that you have in Him. Faith is like a muscle it grows with exercise, your risk decisions will be made regarding the amount of the exercise you give your faith. Attempt something of risk according to your faith and then keep growing in the safety of God and the trust He affords. What will you risk, or attempt for your faith today?
Father, thank you for the faith you have given me to attempt something of risk for you. You have promised that you will lead me into all truth.