Under Construction!

 

New changes are rolling out.  After five years of sharing with you my thoughts, musings, ideas, and notes on varied Sunday School lessons, now it’s time for a change.  July 29th was the last Sunday School lesson published on this current page. It has been a great and wonderful journey traveling with like-minded hearts for God’s Word through these courses and lessons, but now it’s time for something new.

I am redesigning my whole site but the biggest changes will be found here in the Sunday School section, which is why I am addressing it separately.  But don’t worry, I’m not done with Sunday School.  Quite the contrary.  I am going to be designing and developing new, independent individual lessons, and eventually series.  This new format will give me more control over what I can produce, especially in regard to the freedom and flexibility over what I can cover, design control, and working at a pace that suits my needs.  With that, I am able to spend more time and creative energies on each lesson or series that I normally wouldn’t be able to do, producing a better product in the end.

In the meantime, all of the old Sunday School lessons have been taken down to prepare for the new.  It is my hope to have the new Sunday School page up and running sometime during the Fall.  I will keep you posted on the progress and development of the site/page and when the individual new lessons and/or series become available. You are an awesome group of individuals and I can’t wait to meet you back here when these new changes and lessons begin to roll out 🙂 !

Until then, blessings to you all and in the love of Christ,

Word For Life Says…

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“Please, Pray Me Through to My Deliverance!”

 

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“For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer…” Philippians 1:19, NKJV

There is so much hurt going on in the body of Christ.  Saints are going through trials and tribulations like never before.  As the days draw to a close, a time when our Lord Jesus Christ will come back to whisk us away to glory, the enemy has done on a vehement rampage against God’s people everywhere.

Paul, when he wrote his letter to the Philippian church, knew something of hardships.  He was imprisoned and he was put in a place of affliction and hurt.  So, when he writes of the faith he has that the saints will help pray for his deliverance, he knew what he was talking about.

There is a wonderful bond in the body of Christ that is like no other.  Unity, love and compassion mean so much to our survival that our very witness to the world depends on it.  There has been over the past few years an awareness of how we have hurt not only one another but our witness before the world through gossiping and the tearing down of one another.

Jesus Himself said, “By this will all men know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another,” (John 13:35, NKJV).  Having sincere love toward another means that we would want what’s best for them.  Even if it means exalting somebody higher than yourself; putting the petitions of prayer that someone else so desperately needs above your own.

We often hear the encouragement that, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much,” (James 5:16, KJV).  To avail means that we have a God-given right to have the upper hand, through prayer, against any foe that would dare to rise up against one of God’s anointed ones.  How are we using that advantage?  Are we selfishly gleaning all the grapes off the vine of blessings for ourselves, or do we have enough Christian courage to let another feast off of your effectual, fervent prayers before you get a taste?

Paul openly admitted that on several occasions how much he was dependent upon the prayers of those who had his back in ministry.  Despite his supposed super saint/apostleship position, he realized that the sweet aromas of selfless petitions were being put up to God on his behalf.  Because of that, he was assured that he would see deliverance.

How much care and emphasis do you really put on the body of Christ when you bow the knee to the Father?  How much is that hunger in you to see the salvation of the unsaved of your family and friends being fed?  Do you really believe that not only will your prayers move mountains in your life but also in the life of another?  You may be their only hope, whether they are born or again or not, to draw near to God and receive deliverance.

Paul puts it best in 1 Corinthians 13:1 where he says, “Though I speak with tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging symbol,” (NKJV).  Are you just making a lot of noise when you pray or are you busting the gates of hell loose because your heart is hurting for another?  It was Abraham Lincoln that was quoted as saying, “I am sorry for the man who can’t feel the whip when it is laid on the other man’s back.”

There are some “whips” being laid on others; some burdens that you can help someone else carry if only we would do as the Philippian church did and pray.  Not just any prayer, but prayers that will let our brothers and sisters know an assurance of seeing deliverance, too.

If you want to see true restoration in your own life, learn to put the needs of others before your own.  Job 42:10 states, “The Lord restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends.”  Oswald Chambers, in his devotional “My Utmost for His Highest,” wrote: “As a saved soul, the real business of your life is intercessory prayer,” (Discovery House Publishers, Grand Rapids, Michigan; June 20).  Not until Job prayed for his friends were his losses restored.

Let’s work today in the “real business of your life;” hedging people in under the arc of safety, the covering of prayer, so they will finally see deliverance, too. There may be a hurting soul quietly pleading for someone to, “Please, Pray Me Through to My Deliverance.”

Keep praying for one another!

The Greater Outside Work

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“Prepare your outside work, Make it fit for yourself in the field; and afterward build your house,” (Proverbs 24:27, NKJV). 

Building lives.  Building empires and organizations.  Building legacies and building personal ministries have all seem to take precedence over the greater work; the outside work.  So much is the focus on building for self, that building for Him has begun to fade in the background.

The prophets and disciples/apostles of old were outside builders.  Their homes were not their focus and their personal lives and desires were not what they strained for day in and day out.  To reach peoples, to add multitudes to God’s kingdom, to share God’s message to the world was the greater outside work they allowed themselves to be spent for.

Even Jesus, at the young age of 12 declared to His earthly parents, “How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49).  He was found where the work of the heavenly Father was going on, and not where the earthly work was.

How much of our focus on the earthly has taken over the heavenly?  Proverbs 24:27 says, “Prepare your outside work, Make it fit for yourself in the field; and afterward build your house,” (NKJV).

We must put our work in proper order and the greater must demand more of our care.  The farmer prepares the ground rightly and plans accordingly the fields before he focuses on his house.  And, while he is building his own house he will gain the benefits of the harvest the fields are producing.   Likewise, how much more will we be built on a firm foundation if we prioritize God’s work over our own “building projects;” making productive the things for the kingdom of God and working His fields?

Jesus taught, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you,” (Matthew 6:33).  Be about the Father’s business and your house will be built.

Your Little Stuff Matters!

 

“I don’t have enough in me.”

“My gift is not as great as theirs.”

“The anointing is me is not as strong as another.”

“I can’t do this.”

“I don’t have enough to work with.”

“I am too small.”

“I don’t have someone supporting me like that.”

Have you ever struggled with the idea of you don’t have enough in you to make a difference or a positive impact? Do you feel God pulling you into an area faith but the fear that your “little bit of stuff” is not enough and it’s holding you back?

Many people struggle with thoughts such as these. If it’s not big, it won’t work. But God never called us to big things. But, what He did do was call us to step out in faith believing in Him, in where He wants to take us.

There is to be no inferiority complex among God’s people. We are not depending on what we bring to the table. Our dependence is upon Him and what He does with what we bring. God is the one that establishes the work of our hands (Psalms 90:17). God is the one who gives the increase off of what we do (1 Corinthians 3:7). Therefore, it doesn’t matter what we think of the size of what we bring because God is the one working behind the scenes; God is the one who works in it to outsize all.

All He asks of us is to step out in faith and work with what He gave you.

“For who hath despised the day of small things?” (Zechariah 4:10). Every great tree that stands tall in the forest started from a small thing; from a seed. Your “small thing” is the seed of your gift that God is waiting for you to plant so that He can cause it to grow. An unplanted seed will not flourish and neither will your gift.

Don’t shun it because you think it’s not big enough. Don’t toss it to the side because you think it’s not good enough and doesn’t matter. It’s not about what you bring; it’s all about what He does with what you bring.

Luke 16:10 tells us, “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much . . .” God wants to see what you do with the “least” before He turns it into “much.” Won’t you plant your little seed today?

Little stuff matters. If you don’t think so, take encouragement from these little critters:

“There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise:

The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer,

The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks;

The locusts have not king, yet go they forth all of them by bands;

The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings’ palaces,” (Proverbs 30:24-28).

You see, it’s not about size or strength, but the wisdom God gives to those who render their little bit of stuff to Him in service. Size doesn’t matter to God because He is the God of increase. What matters most with God is our faithfulness in rendering what we do have to Him and trusting Him to let it grow.

“Little things make big things happen” (John Wooden). 

Especially, when God is in it. So, don’t cast it off. Work it!

Blessings.

“Don’t Touch That!”

Do Not Touch Sign clip art

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“. . . Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,” Philippians 3:13, KJV

When God created babies He created some of the most fascinating little creatures. They keep us entranced as we watch them toddle about. We are amused when they let go of the coffee table to take those first “Frankenstein” like steps. When you do the airplane to go them to eat, their little giggle and the banging on the highchair melts your heart. When they don’t feel well and the bottom lip begins to pout we race to bring them comfort. Or, when they sleep at night you can almost see an angelic glow of innocence radiating about them.

Yes, sir. They are quite fascinating, especially when it comes to dealing with their propensity for touching everything. This is the part that gets the parents hearts racing. We find ourselves continually saying, what seems to be fifty million times, “Don’t Touch That!”

Our hearts become frantic because often the thing they want to touch is very harmful to them. “Don’t touch that stove!” We know it’s hot and that they could get burned. “Don’t touch the cat the wrong way!” We know they could get scratched. “Don’t touch the plug!” They could get shocked. And, my favorite comes when we find them chewing on something that we didn’t give them and we yell, “What did you touch now!”

We do all that we can as parents to protect our children to see them grow up to be happy, healthy and successful. It’s a lot of our guidance through life that will see that they get there. But, it usually starts early on with a good, healthy dose of, “Don’t Touch That!”

Do you ever feel that God sometimes wants to yell down at us, “Don’t touch that?” I do. Especially when it comes to dealing with our past hurt, pains and regrets.

Our lives can go on peachy-keen and fine as rainbows when all of a sudden something triggers a twinge of regret. Then, we begin to ponder that regret until we are reliving the painful past. We let the guilt resurface when the Bible says, “He will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sin into the depths of the sea, “ (Micah 7:19, KJV). Yet, we sometimes try to resuscitate it and bringing it back to life.

God said, “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins,” (Isaiah 43:25, KJV). God puts them in a place where He doesn’t remember them; where He doesn’t acknowledge them anymore. But, when we feel that little niggle of doubt we start rehashing the past, touching it and not leaving it alone.

Go figure?

The apostle Paul knew a thing or two about past regrets. (After all, he did seek to imprison and kill those who claimed Christ until Jesus knocked him off his beast). He also knew that it was behind him now. He doesn’t live back there anymore and to continually go back to it would stunt his future growth.

With a resolve to teach others this important truth he penned the words, “Forgetting those things which are behind.”

It’s time to leave it alone. Stop touching it! Put it down and don’t pick it up again! Stop pondering it! Stop reliving it! It’s in the past!

Now is the time to start, “reaching forth unto those things which are before.” It’s time to start looking forward to where God is taking you, not where you have been! Who doesn’t want something better to look forward to?

Babies are still learning not to touch everything they see. I think it’s time to take our cue from them. Things in the past are harmful to us if we continually fiddle with it. Leave it alone and stop touching it!

Make it a great day today. Start looking ahead instead of behind and see where God can take you!

 

“The Lord is in His Holy Temple!”

“But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him,” Habakkuk 2:20

Through the many tragedies that unfold in this life and experiencing the unrest of wars and what appears to be the advancement of evil, we are left with the assurance that God is still in control.  Not only is He still in control, but He remains in His proper seat of authority, ruling in His holy temple.

Sometimes it’s hard to wrap one’s mind around this concept when all we see is the terrible and the detestable happening in the land.  When our eyes witness children being torn and broken; and mothers left without any hope, it’s hard to view the world through another possibility.  When we see fathers in despair, feeling helpless to lead and feed his family.  When we see evil trying to claw its way to the top, we are reminded, He is there, never to be moved or usurped; never to be replaced or shaken from His seat of power and supremacy.

Oh, we watch the world as men set the idols of their hearts up.  We watch as we see they deepen their dependency on the things that will never satisfy the hungering soul.  Through it all, we look to His Majesty.  The King is on the throne.  O earth, be still before Him and honor His presence.

This is a comfort to the soul who can’t find comfort anywhere else.  Is this not a blessed place to be?  For if one found comfort among the false and depraved then would they not also think as other men?  Take comfort, O soul, in your God who is always present.  The head of all principality and power still bears the crown obtained for the salvation and deliverance of mankind.  He that holds that holy scepter, and Himself is the Scepter that rises out of Israel (Num. 24:17), remains in control, worthy of your trust and honor.

O earth, “Be silence before Him.”  O false ways, your arrogance will one day bow before Him and you’ll not be able to utter a word against His rule.  “The LORD shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment,” (Ps. 9:7).

Therefore, be at peace, he that trusts in the rule of his sovereign King.  Allow your soul this holy rest, “The LORD is King forever and ever…,” (Ps. 10:16a).  And for all the rest, hush and quiet your ways before Him before it’s too late, for “the heathen are perished out of his land,” (Ps. 10:16b).  But, “the LORD is in His holy temple,” forever to reign.

“The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all,” Psalm 103:19

Never let fear decide your fate!

NEVER! We are called to walk by FAITH! “Fear is a self imposed prison that will keep you from becoming what God intends for you to be. You must move against it with the weapons of faith and love.” – Rick Warren

“Prosperity Belongs to God”

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“The God of heaven Himself will prosper us; therefore we His servants will arise and build,”
Nehemiah 2:20

You have felt that burden in your heart or that niggling of the mind.  The pull or the call to step out in faith to take on a new project, yet the enemy has thrown disturbing thoughts your way thinking to frustrate what God is pulling you to do.

Nehemiah felt such a burden from God.  He received word that the people in Jerusalem were in distress and the walls were broken and the gates burned, (Neh. 1:3).  What could he possibly do all the way in Shushan?  The Bible tells us he fasted and prayed and confessed the wrongs of his people before God, (Neh. 1:4).  Then, God gave an opportunity for King Artaxerxes to take notice of his plight and support the project that had burdened his heart.

Arriving in the area of Jerusalem with letters from the king should have made things easy for Nehemiah.  But, the plain and simple truth is there are those who don’t want to see God’s people blessed.  There are those who don’t want to see God’s people prosper and favored.  This is what Nehemiah faced.  Nehemiah 2:10 tells us this of his enemies, “They were deeply disturbed that a man came to seek the well-being of the children of Israel.”

As soon as the work began and they took steps toward the goal of their heart, their enemies laughed at them and despised them and put accusations against them, (Neh. 2:19).  But, Nehemiah’s response was one of total faith and reliance upon God.  He said, “The God of heaven Himself will prosper us; therefore we His servants will arise and build,” (Neh. 2:20).

Know this, anytime God lays a burden on your heart to do something for Him, there will always be enemies that try to stop the plan of God in you.  Sometimes it could even be just our own doubts and insecurities about our own ability to get the job done.  But, if God called you to it, He will see you through it.  Prosperity belongs to God!  All He has ever asked us to do is to step out in faith and do the work and depend on Him to increase it and cause it to grow.  No human on this earth has any say so about what God is doing in your life!

Be blessed, my friends, as you move where God is leading you!

Listen for God’s leading and then do something about it!

Listen for God’s leading and then do something about it!

“We get new ideas from God every hour of our day when we put our trust in Him — but we have to follow that inspiration up with perspiration — we have to work to prove our faith. Remember that the bee that hangs around the hive never gets any honey.” – Albert E. Cliffe

Victory Shall Be Mine!

 

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This not meant to be deep, just encouraging to all who are out there fighting today.  Reading in my Bible, I came across some very inspiring verses (as usual 🙂 ).  I was reading in the book of Joshua where conquests were being made in the name and in the power of the Lord.  Enemies continually came out to fight against God’s people.  At one point Joshua 11:4 says, “So they went out, they and all their armies with them, as many people as the sand that is on the seashore in multitude, with very many horses and chariots,” (NKJV).

By all normal accounts, this should have been the end of God’s people.  According to the standards of human perception they were outnumbered and out powered.  But, God . . .

God told Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them, for tomorrow about this time I will deliver all of them slain before Israel,” (Joshua 11:6, NKJV).  Not one shall escape, but all would fall under the power of God working through and for His people.  And, if that wasn’t encouraging enough, as I continued reading I came to Joshua 12:7-24 where it lists 31 kings that fell because God was fighting for His people.

That lets me know that no matter what the odds look like that’s stacked against us, they can never out stack God.  God is a victorious God and we are meant to be victorious people in Him.  We are conquerors; we are people of conquest.  It may seem insurmountable to us, but God has already climbed the highest mountains that we face and He has already won the battles against the greatest armies of enemies that try to come against us.

Don’t let the numbers against you phase you.  “Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them,” (2 Kings 6:16).  Since we have God on our side – we have more than they!  We outnumber the enemy.  Victory shall be ours.