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Archive for August, 2013

Look at Luke 5:38.

But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved.

Read it again.

But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved.

New wineskins do not change the wine.  New wineskins retain the wine, its fervency and its potency.  They do not burst like old wineskins when New wine is poured into them.

Ask God to show you your new wineskins.  He just may surprise you.  You may find yourself still in the same ministry but with a new and vibrant perspective on how to serve the poor, afflicted, oppressed and needy people in your community.

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Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. – Ezekiel 37:4

God can call us to prophesy, to speak, to call out, to tear down, or to simply say something.  He can even call us to call out to dry bones.

Yet, the Lord can also just pose a question like He did with Ezekiel in the previous verse.

Can these dry bones live?

If we believe, then our belief should be so solid that we answer God with assured confidence.  We can stand tall and speak boldly.  We should at least know that the Lord knows and let our confidence be in Him.

There are communities full of dry bones.  Classrooms are filled with dry bones.  Coffee houses are occupied by dry bones.  Prison cells hold dry bones captive.  Office cubicles host dry bones from nine to five.  Even church pews have dry bones dressed to impressed Sunday after Sunday.

We have to speak up and speak out.  We are called upon to speak so that those dry bones can have life.

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A Simple Prayer

Lord,
All I ask is for the strength to hold on and make it through to the next phase of what you have for me in this life.  I do not want to find myself living a life of regret.  I do not want to see myself in a downward spiral, simply existing instead of exceeding Your expectations of me or Your desires for me in this life.
I ask this, seeking no honor for myself.  You take the credit and You get the glory for what You make of me.  Just strengthen me thoroughly to endure all that I must undertake and undergo to get where You have for me to go.

I ask this is Your name, a name that has power and might, the name of my blessed Savior, Jesus Christ.

Amen.

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Sent for Sinners

Jesus came to us.  He arrived from heaven on a redemptive mission for mankind.  He came to His own but He was rejected and ridiculed by His own.  He was mocked and murdered by His own.

But look at His mission again.

He was sent for sinners.

He was sent to save us.

He was sent to stand in as a substitute for all of us who have ever done wrong so that He could take the punishment and penalty for our sins instead of us.

Jesus was sent for sinners.

Let us go out and tell others.

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Every opportunity that we get to speak to or serve others is an opportunity to heighten and extend our reach to others.  Such opportunities equal open season for us to act as extensions of God’s grace and love, even His forgiveness and mercy.  We could serve as instruments in the Master’s hands.  We could simply reach someone else for Christ.

I say no to that.

It is not that simple.  We have to expand our evangelism.  We have to maximize our missions.  We have to increase our impact.

Look in Acts.  Barnabas mentored and partnered with Paul.  They took John Mark along with them on their missionary journey.  Later, Paul and Silas took along Timothy.  Somewhere in there, Luke his way into the text, too.

What do I mean?

Add an element of engagement to your ministry.  Engage youth in a mentoring and training program, even rites of passage.  Prepare youth for college withal rigorous teaching based on sound biblical principles and include a summer intensive tied to. community outreach and service.  Mandate scholarship recipients serve as summer interns with vacation Bible school or other church ministries, even working with the church administration.

Read Titus chapter 2 again.  It’s about how we engage youth through our churches and communities.  We, the pastor, the men, and the women, are to serve as a “pattern of good works.” We need to engage others in every effort that we make.

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“You shall have no other gods before Me.- Exodus 20:3 NKJV

GOD wants more out of us.

I know what you are probably saying or thinking but He does.  He wants more and He deserves more.

Who are we to eek out a meager or mediocre existence when we are divinely directed to have dominion over the things if the earth and to serve as stewards over His majestic masterpiece as His “dear children?”

He wants us delivered by Him.

He wants us dedicated to Him.

He wants us developed in Him.

We are not all that we can or could be, or even what we should be. God not only wants to have us, but He also wants to help us and handle us as His own.

He has once we have accepted His offer of salvation through Jesus Christ. That is the Savior’s work.

He helps us as He works in us and on us, so that He can work through us. That is the Spirit’s work.

He handles us by setting us straight and sharing His purpose and intentions with us. In other words, He makes His will known to us. That is the Scriptures’ work.

He does all of this for us with the expectation of getting more out of us. Therefore, we must confront our own complacency. We must shun our sullen slumps and dives into depression. We must relinquish routine and regulated religious acts done in a spirit of the status quo. We must answer to God for not going beyond the norm and not exceeding the epitome of earthly expectations.

Shame on us when appreciate the acceptance offered by human accolades and applause while heaven rendered silent because we have not preached Christ or His gospel. God have mercy on us when have neglected our first calling, quenching the Spirit and its unction for us to speak peace, love, mercy, grace and forgiveness into the lives of others and share the abundance of what the Lord truly offers us all and expects of every believer in His name.

Let us do better by ever going more to be better as we follow His perfect and humble example foe us.

Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.
1 Corinthians 11:1 ESV

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Proverbs is my daily biblical prescription.  I need a dose of wisdom every single day.  Even when I am at my best on my own, I never seem to be as good as I should ir could be once I have read those wise words from the Bible.

My daily reading and meditation on God’s Word seems set the pattern for how I handle my day.  I may never know what my day may bring, but I seem to have a genuine perspective once I get touched by the Word.

Go on and get into the Word.  Go on and let the Lord Lead you today.

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