Counting the cost…
The Voice Translation
The Voice Translation
This is why we pray…
Whether in the big things of Life, concerning Nations; or in our own personal trials and tribulations, God is in control! [Follow link for Backstory: 2 Kings 6:8-23]
The Message Bible
8 Earth-creatures, bow before God;
world-dwellers—down on your knees!
9 Here’s why: He spoke and there it was,
in place the moment He said so.
10 God takes the wind out of Babel pretense,
He shoots down the world’s power-schemes.
11 God’s plan for the world stands up,
all His designs are made to last.
12 Blessed is the country with God for God;
blessed are the people he’s put in His will.
13 From high in the skies God looks around,
He sees all Adam’s brood.
14 From where He sits
He overlooks all us earth-dwellers.
15 He has shaped each person in turn;
now He watches everything we do.
16 No king succeeds with a big army alone,
no warrior wins by brute strength.
17 Horsepower is not the answer;
no one gets by on muscle alone.
18 Watch this: God’s eye is on those who respect Him,
the ones who are looking for His love.
19 He’s ready to come to their rescue in bad times;
in lean times He keeps body and soul together.
20 We’re depending on God;
He’s everything we need!
Come join the Adventure!
Text: You are holding a cup of coffee when someone comes along and
bumps into you or shakes your arm, making you spill your coffee
Why did you spill the coffee?
“Well, because someone bumped into me, of course!”
Wrong answer – you spilled your coffee because there was coffee in your cup. Had there been tea in the cup, you would have spilled tea.
“Whatever is inside the cup is what will spill out.”
Therefore, when life comes along and shakes you (which WILL happen), whatever is inside you will come out.
It’s easy to fake it, until you get rattled.
“So, we ask ourselves…., “What’s inside my cup?”
When life gets tough, what spills over?
Joy, gratefulness, peace, and humility?
Or, anger, bitterness, harsh words, and reactions.
Today, let’s work towards filling our cups with gratitude, forgiveness, joy, words of affirmation, kindness, gentleness, and love for others!
Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks…
Jesus said, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.”
I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.” (John 15:4-6)
I want to thank Val for sharing this story, this morning, about the spilt coffee…
It’s so right on, and so I’m going to expand upon it a little, because this is something we ALL struggle with.
Being a Christian requires, as an act of our will (by faith), that we immerse ourselves in Christ 24/7.
Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
Walking in the Spirit
16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: [a]adultery, [b]fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, [c]murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 [d]gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
This is why we have to abide in Christ and maintain that connection 24/7; a branch cannot bear fruit unless it is attached to the Vine.
Being a Christian is not a spectator sport, and the church is not where we go to be entertained, rather it’s our team meeting.
The pastor should be like the coach of a football team and the church is where we go to learn how to play the game, to take the Gospel out into the highways and byways of this world, starting in our local communities.
The church is also like a hospital where people go when they recognize that they need help. No hospital will ever tell you get well and then come see us because that’s what they’re there for, to help you get well.
1 John 2:6
Berean Literal Translation
The one claiming to abide in Him (Jesus) ought also walk just as in the same way that He walked.
This is why we walk by faith because none of us can do this perfectly and fortunately for us, because of Jesus’ propitious sacrifice on calvary’s Cross, He already has won this race for us, as we are told in Ephesians 2:8-9, “…that we are saved by grace through faith and that not of ourselves it’s the gift of God.”
Come join the Adventure!
The moment you are about to quit is generally the moment just before your miracle happens… this is why we NEVER QUIT!
The Message Bible
22 God sits high above the round circle of earth.
The people look like mere ants.
He stretches out the skies like a canvas—
yes, like a tent canvas to live under.
23 He ignores what all the princes say and do.
The rulers of the earth count for nothing.
24 Princes and rulers don’t amount to much.
Like seeds barely rooted, just sprouted,
They shrivel when God blows on them.
Like flecks of chaff, they’re gone with the wind.
25 “So—who is like me?
Who holds a candle to me?” says The Holy.
26 Look at the night skies:
Who do you think made all this?
Who marches this army of stars out each night,
counts them off, calls each by name
—so magnificent! so powerful!—
and never overlooks a single one?
27 Why would you ever complain, O Jacob,
or, whine, Israel, saying,
“God has lost track of me.
He doesn’t care what happens to me”?
28 Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening?
God doesn’t come and go. God lasts.
He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine.
He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath.
And he knows everything, inside and out.
29 He energizes those who get tired,
gives fresh strength to dropouts.
30 For even young people tire and drop out,
young folk in their prime stumble and fall.
31 But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don’t get tired,
they walk and don’t lag behind.
The word walk is used in the Bible to express the character of a person— “…John…looking at Jesus as He walked…said, ‘Behold the Lamb of God!’ ” (John 1:35-36).
There is nothing abstract or obscure in the Bible; everything is vivid and real. God does not say, “Be spiritual,” but He says, “Walk before Me…” (Genesis 17:1).
When we are in an unhealthy condition either physically or emotionally, we always look for thrills in life.In our physical life this leads to our efforts to counterfeit the work of the Holy Spirit; in our emotional life it leads to obsessions and to the destruction of our morality; and in our spiritual life, if we insist on pursuing only thrills, on mounting up “with wings like eagles” (Isaiah 40:31), it will result in the destruction of our spirituality.
Having the reality of God’s presence is not dependent on our being in a particular circumstance or place, but is only dependent on our determination to keep the Lord before us continually.Our problems arise when we refuse to place our trust in the reality of His presence. The experience the psalmist speaks of— “We will not fear, even though…” (Psalm 46:2)— will be ours once we are grounded on the truth of the reality of God’s presence, not just a simple awareness of it, but an understanding of the reality of it.
Then we will exclaim, “He has been here all the time!” At critical moments in our lives it is necessary to ask God for guidance, but it should be unnecessary to be constantly saying, “Oh, Lord, direct me in this, and in that.”
Of course He will, and in fact, He is doing it already! If our everyday decisions are not according to His will, He will press through them, bringing restraint to our spirit. Then we must be quiet and wait for the direction of His presence.
Let Go and Let God into Your Life
Jesus’ invitation is:
This Journey with God, who is the Author and Creator of each of our lives, begins when we are honest and humble enough with ourselves to recognize that in every area that we are seeking in the natural to find meaning, fulfillment and purpose in our life they all have come up woefully short and empty.
I think we all intuitively know that their has to be more to our life than what most of us have experienced thus far and yet nothing seems to satisfy.
Why not consider for a moment that, just maybe, the One who gave you your life might know best what your purpose is and how best to find fulfillment and abundance?
This is not rocket science and God did not make the Gospel message hard for us to understand, in fact one day Jesus took a little child and set him on His lap and then said to His disciples,
“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like this little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3)
The truth is we each have been created to have this vertical relationship and 24/7 communion with God, and without this connection in our life we ALL are like fish out of water, flopping around on the shores of life, looking for our way back home!
My Utmost for His Highest
The Surrendered Life
I have been crucified with Christ…
To become one with Jesus Christ, a person must be willing not only to give up sin (which is characterized by our own self will and pride that does not take into account God’s will and purpose for our life – see Isaiah 53:6), but also he must learn to surrender his whole way of looking at things.
Being born again by the Spirit of God means that we must first be willing to let go before we can grasp something else. The first thing we must surrender is all of our pretense or deceit.
What our Lord wants us to present to Him is not our goodness, honesty, or our efforts to do better, but real solid sin.
Actually, that is all He can take from us. And what He gives us in exchange for our sin is real solid righteousness. But we must surrender all pretense that we are anything, and give up all our claims of even being worthy of God’s consideration.
Once we have done that, the Spirit of God will show us what we need to surrender next.
Along each step of this process, we will have to give up our claims to our rights to ourselves.
Are we willing to surrender our grasp on all that we possess, our desires, and everything else in our lives? Are we ready to be identified with the death of Jesus Christ?
We will suffer a sharp painful disillusionment before we fully surrender.
When people really see themselves as the Lord sees them, it is not the terribly offensive sins of the flesh that shock them, but the awful nature of the pride of their own hearts opposing Jesus Christ. When they see themselves in the light of the Lord, the shame, horror, and desperate conviction hit home for them.
If you are faced with the question of whether or not to surrender, make a determination to go on through the crisis, surrendering all that you have and all that you are to Him. And God will then equip you to do all that He requires of you.
Come join the Adventure!
God is more than enough and He will make a way through whatever storm you’re going through…
God’s invitation to have an abundant life
1 “Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
2 Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and you will delight in the richest of fare.
3 Give ear and come to me;
listen, that you may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
my faithful love promised to David.
4 See, I have made him a witness to the peoples,
a ruler and commander of the peoples.
5 Surely you will summon nations you know not,
and nations you do not know will come running to you,
because of the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel,
for he has endowed you with splendor.”
6 Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call on him while he is near.
7 Let the wicked forsake their ways
and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them,
and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
Without this vertical connection with Jesus (Heb: Yeshua – our Saviour and Creator, aka Emmanuel – God with us), we ALL are like fish out of water, flopping around on the shores of life, looking for our way back home.
Come join the Adventure!
This is the reason why we pray…
“Call unto me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you know not.” (Jeremiah 33:3)
By Two Listeners
(This devotion was written by two sisters, who lived through the London Blitzgreg – who chose to remain annonomous)
Spend more time alone with Me.
A strength and a Joy come from such times that will add much to your friendship, and much to your work.
Times of prayer are times of growth. Cut those times short and many well-filled hours of work may be profitless.
Heaven’s values are so different from the values of earth.
Remember that from the point of view of the Great Worker, one poor tool, working all the time, but doing bad work, is of small value compared with the sharp, keen, perfect instrument, used only a short time, but which turns out perfect work.
Does the road wind
uphill all the way?
Yes, to the very end,
Will the journey take
the whole long day?
From morn to night, my friend.
— C. G. Rossetti
“And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” Mark 1:35
It’s through prayer that God is able to sharpen us, as His tool, His instrument suitable for His service, because by our praying and communicating with Him, continually — day by day — through the Holy Spirit (as per Romans 8:26), we are then praying in the perfect will of God. This allows the Holy Spirit, through our obedience and faith, to rewrite the corrupt programming we have received from the world, and instill in us the Mind of God.
Come join the Adventure!