Becoming a disciple: knowing the one who calls you

Scripture – 1 Thessalonians 5:24

The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.

Observation

God is the one who has called me. He is the one who is constantly calling me. He is the one who is faithful, even when I am unfaithful. He is the one who will do it.

Application

I need to remember this. Every day my Father calls me to himself and to the work of his Kingdom. I need to remember that even in my weakness and my unfaithfulness, he is the one who will be faithful to complete the works he includes me in. Nothing rides on me. Everything rides on him. I am blessed and thankful that he calls me to his side to do good works and to love people and I am blessed and thankful that he is the one who can be relied upon and that it’s not all on me. There is such freedom and grace in trusting the one who is faithful.

Prayer

Father, you know me better than I know myself. Thank you for being faithful and trustworthy. Sorry for when I am neither. I know that your will will be done. I am grateful that you include me in it. Make today a day you get the glory you deserve. In the name of Jesus, amen.

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Becoming a disciple: Trusting in the anchor

Scripture – Hebrews 6:18-19

we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls.

Observation

We can be full of faith and confidence and trust in the promise of hope. Even though sometimes it may feel like we, the ship, have floated so far away from where we thought the anchor was, and that surely the tether line must have become detached, we can and must continue to anchor our souls to the promises of God.

Application

Jesus is who we cling to. Our hope in him. As savior. As healer. As protector. As provider. As one who is present. As one who never fails. As one who cannot lie.

Prayer

Father, let everything else fade away. Let my hope and trust in Jesus be what remains. My life is not my own. You bought me with the price of your son’s blood. My life, my future, it is all in your hands. There’s no other place I’d rather it be. Thank you for being faithful even though I don’t deserve you faithfulness. Your kingdom come in power today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Becoming a disciple: Trusting in the Deliverer

Scripture – 2 Corinthians 1:9-10

Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us.

Observation

Jehovah-Mephalti – the Lord my Deliverer. Our God is a deliverer. He wants us to rely on him in everything, even when the situation seems hopeless.

Paul and Timothy set their hope on him – no back up, no plan B. They thought they were going to die but they understood that the God who was theirs is a God who raises the dead.

Application

I set my hope on him who is able. I set my hope on him who raises the dead. I trust and believe that he will continue to deliver me.

Prayer

Father, thank you for being my deliverer. You are Jehovah-Mephalti. Help me to remember this no matter how “deadly” the situations I face seem to be. You are Faithful and True. You do not change. You are a rock I can stand on through any storm. I give you every prayer of my heart. In Jesus name, amen.

Becoming a disciple: Knowing the one who makes the promise

Scripture – Jeremiah 17:7-8

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose trust is the LORD.
He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

Observation

This is such an amazing promise. Though scorching heat will come and seasons of drought will occur, as long as our trust is firmly established in God we will remain full of life and producing much fruit.

Trusting on God enables us to access the streams of living water which flow no matter what the circumstances around us. We can be confident that we can still live full lives and produce fruit in Jesus if we look to where are roots are getting their water.

Are we pining for a cool breeze or a fresh downpour from the circumstances in our lives?

Or are we continuing to draw from the word of God hidden in our hearts?

Application

In this life we will have trouble. Take heart for Jesus has overcome the world. Circumstances and the events happening around us may look frightening, but the only way to remain steadfast and sane is to put 100% of my trust in God. Trusting with everything just based on a promise may sound foolish unless you KNOW the one making the promise. Trust becomes easier when we KNOW the one making the promise.

Prayer

Father, thank you for investing in your relationship with me. I am sorry for neglecting it too often. I want to know you better than I know anyone else on earth. You are the only one I can truly trust. Plant my roots firmly next to your streams that my leaves may remain green and that I may produce much fruit no matter the worldly circumstances. Find my complete trust in you today. I am so thankful I know the one who makes the promise. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Becoming a disciple: Trusting in God’s seasons

Scripture – Psalm 104:27

These all look to you, to give them their food in due season.

Observation

Total dependence. Not ONE of the options, but the ONLY option. God is the one we can look to and trust to provide for us in his timing. Whether fish or tree or lion or man, we can only look to God, and we can be sure he will come through in due season. In Western thinking, we have come to despise the idea of “In Due Season” – we want everything now: our food, our money, our happiness, our cars, our jobs.

It doesn’t work that way. God calls us to LOOK to him, to have total dependence on him to come through at the proper time (according to him and not us).

Application

Rest. Looking to my God. He will come through. In his time and in his season.

I choose to look to him and rest in total dependence on him (not taking things into my own hands).

Prayer

Father, thank you for your sovereign hand. Thank you for your timing. I give you today the sale of our house in Colorado Springs. I trust you. I choose not to worry based on the timings and seasons of this world. You are my God and I enjoy leaning on you for provision. Thank you for blessing me so much. You are such an amazing dad – please help me to father my kids like you father me. Give me your eyes and ears and hands and feet and mind and heart. All for you and the Lamb’s reward. In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

Becoming a disciple: Strengthened by God

Scripture – Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Observation

Life can be overwhelming. The lists of tasks to be done never seems to get any shorter. The number of people that need help and guidance never seems to decrease. Sometimes I wonder how I’m going to do it all.

The truth is I can’t. On my own I can actually do very little.

God’s promise to me, through the apostle Paul, is that I will be able to do ALL THINGS through Jesus strengthening me.

This doesn’t mean that I will win the Pulitzer, the Nobel Peace Prize, get sixteen PhDs, build a submarine in my garage, live in every city in the world and live to 478 years old.

It does mean that God will give me the strength to do everything he puts in my life to do. It will never be too much for me as long as I trust him to provide the strength.

Application

I know that as I get older, as my family grows and as my ministry responsibilities increase, I will still only have 24 hours in a day, 168 hours in a week, and 365 days in a year.

I need to submit my load to Jesus EACH and EVERY day and ask him to strengthen me for the tasks by giving me his yoke and the burden he has for me for that day. I need to trust him that he cares more about all the little tasks and details than I do, and that he’s going to make sure they get done.

I need to ask for a God-perspective on everything and see the big picture.

I need to be thinking not about how do I get such and such a task done, but rather who can I develop with in the body of Christ to do this task that will bless them as well as disciple them.

Prayer

Father, I am yours. Strengthen me for the tasks at hand today. Help me see people the way you see them and truly be a man who equips the saints for the work of the ministry. For your glory, amen.

Becoming a disciple: After God’s own heart

Scripture – 1 Samuel 14:52

There was hard fighting against the Philistines all the days of Saul. And when Saul saw any strong man, or any valiant man, he attached him to himself.

Observation

Saul was a scared leader. He was scared because he knew his time as king could come to an end at any moment – because the Lord had found someone after his own heart and would make them king.

Saul assumed it would be a strong and courageous man, so whenever he met on, he invited them to work for him. The saying goes, “keep your friends close and your enemies closer”.

It’s easy to see how Saul’s fear and worry became the center of his life over time. He was trying to hold onto the kingdom for himself, which was already destined for David, a poetry-writing, harp-playing, sheep-herding teenager.

Application

Jesus teaches us to pray – “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”. Sometimes its easy to say those words but what we’re hoping for is – “I hope the stuff you want to do is exactly the stuff I want to do”.

There is freedom in focusing on God’s heart and allowing him to bend our hearts around his, and there is fear and anxiety when we try to squeeze God into our own thoughts and dreams of what could be.

In my life, I want to be known as a man who lives in the freedom of trusting in the will of God – never trying to gather around me people or systems or things that I could naïvely believe could help keep God’s will from being done.

Prayer

Dad, I ask that your will to be done today. Soften my heart to more clearly hear your voice and trust you. In Jesus’ name, amen.