Month: April 2013

Consider The Source

CONSIDER THE SOURCE

Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you. They make you worthless; They speak a vision of their own heart, Not from the mouth of the LORD. They continually say to those who despise Me, ‘The LORD has said, “You shall have peace”’; And to everyone who walks according to the dictates of his own heart, they say, ‘No evil shall come upon you.’” For who has stood in the counsel of the LORD, And has perceived and heard His word? Who has marked His word and heard it? Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD has gone forth in fury—A violent whirlwind! It will fall violently on the head of the wicked. The anger of the LORD will not turn back until He has executed and performed the thoughts of His heart. In the latter days you will understand it perfectly. “I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran. I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in My counsel, and had caused My people to hear My words, then they would have turned them from their evil way and from the evil of their doings. “Am I a God near at hand,” says the LORD, “And not a God afar off? Can anyone hide himself in secret places, so I shall not see him?” says the LORD; “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the LORD.

 “I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in My name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’ How long will this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies? Indeed they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart, who try to make My people forget My name by their dreams which everyone tells his neighbor, as their fathers forgot My name for Baal. “The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream; and he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat?” says the LORD. “Is not My word like a fire?” says the LORD, “And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? “Therefore behold, I am against the prophets,” says the LORD, “who steal My words every one from his neighbor. Behold, I am against the prophets,” says the LORD, “who use their tongues and say, ‘He says.’ (Jeremiah 23:16-31 New King James Version).

The Lord Himself has spoken against the prophets who prophesy in His name, but do not bring forth His word. He tells us to test the spirits (1 John 4:1) because many false prophets are out there.

His word says there will be many people performing signs and wonders (see Matthew 24:24). Test them – are they glorifying God in these signs and wonders, or are they glorifying themselves?

There are people today who are wolves in sheep’s clothing (see Matthew 7:15). They preach a false, watered-down gospel, satisfying itchy ears, and performing miracles while using this to seek their own ends. Test them – do they imply you can’t live without something “they” are offering, or is it something God is offering? Is God glorified in their ministry? Have they had prophecies come to pass, or are people still waiting for a bank roll to fall in their laps?

Some have given themselves the title of Prophet, however God’s Word says He calls His prophets (see Jeremiah 1:5, 1 Samuel 3:4-21 and Ephesians 4:11). Test them – Do you “see” with your spiritual eyes the anointing? Do you “hear” with your spiritual ears the Spirit of God in their prophecies? After a conversation with them, are you left confused? Do you feel what you heard was “I don’t really know what I’m talking about, but I want to sound holy” in many different and big undefined words?

God’s word does not return void, accomplishing what He pleases (see Isaiah 55:11). When a word from the Lord is truly given, it pierces our hearts, confirms what He has spoken, or answers a petition we have set before Him. The Holy Spirit speaks to our spirit, deep calling unto deep. There is a resonance, a vibration, a sound not audible to the ears only the Word of God and His Voice can produce. Let us ask Him for more discernment and better spiritual hearing so we are able to adequately test the spirits.

Dear Father, You are Holy, Righteous, Faithful and True. You are Worthy, Omnipresent, Omniscient and our most magnificent Creator. With a word You spoke this world into existence and with Your breath You gave us life. There is nowhere and no place that we can attempt to hide from You, and even in the secret places of our hearts You know what is there. We may be able to fool ourselves, but we could never fool You. Today, Lord, we come as humble servants before You. We ask for You to show us where we are prideful and where we try to take control of our callings. We ask that You examine us today, search our hearts, O God, try us and find any iniquities and lead us in Your way everlasting! We don’t want to be called something that You have not called us to be; we are beginning to understand that it makes our walk with You much more difficult. Lord, bring to our hearts that which is hindering Your calling over us from becoming anointed. Are we involved with things that You do not want for us? Reveal this to us. We ask for Your forgiveness in these areas, and for Your strength to begin moving along the path You have set before us. Lord, we cry out for a deeper relationship with You, we want to be able to test the Spirits as You have told us. Grant us discernment in our spirits, and Your eyes and ears. We want to please You Lord, and not man. In Jesus’ powerful name, we pray. Amen.

 Today’s Attitude of Worship: Pay careful attention to what you hear, read, watch and speak of. Pray for discernment in all situations, ask God for guidance when you are unclear, don’t readily accept the word of someone as God’s word without testing it against the Word of God.

 Additional Scriptures: See passage above; Jeremiah 14:14 & 23:32-40; Ezekiel 22:28

Shalom,

Prudence

Something About That Name

THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT THAT NAME

Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth (Philippians 2: 9-10).

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus! Who can ever get tired of saying it? I know I can’t! And yet, there are many who try to stop others from saying His name. Well, maybe they just haven’t said His name correctly enough to feel the power behind it. Maybe they have only taken His name in vain, or swore oaths by it. Go ahead, say His name – JESUS! Ooh, doesn’t that make ya feel good? Now, think of an area in your life in which you may be struggling…after you’ve thought of it, say His name again. Don’t you feel better now? The name of Jesus is power, it is strength, it is salvation, hope, peace, joy, love, acceptance, shelter, guidance and so much more! When we speak the name of Jesus, we are calling on the King of kings and the Lord of lords!

Jesus has given us power and authority in His name. When we pray in Jesus’ name, it is no joke. He will grant it; does that mean we’ll get the new car or HDTV we’ve wanted? Maybe not; God answers prayers according to His will. If it is God’s will to bless us with those new items, then so be it! However, throughout the gospels we see the authority we have in Jesus’ name – we receive Him when we receive children in His name (Matthew 18:5; Mark 9:37; Luke 9:48), where two or three are gathered in His name, He is there (Matthew 18:20), in His name we will cast out demons, speak with new tongues (Mark 16:17). There is no limit to what we can do in Jesus’ name, we are only limited by our inability to speak it and believe in it.

Let’s Pray: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for this day! You are great and mighty! You are our creator and our hope; our shelter and our peace! We know that we can trust You and that You desire to withhold no good thing from us! Father, we thank You for sending Your son Jesus to die so that we could live! We praise You for a living Savior! Jesus, we come to You, broken, hurting and in need of what You have for each of us. Jesus, we submit ourselves completely to You! Take our lives and guide us, speak to us, teach us, mold us, shape and fashion us into Your likeness. We exalt and praise Your name! We lift You up and sing to You! May our voices never stop shouting Your praises and glorifying You! May our lives be total worship of You in spirit and in truth. We bow before You, we love You Jesus! In Your name, we pray. Amen.

Today’s Attitude of Worship: Spend some time rolling the name of Jesus across your tongue today. When His name is spoken, all else seems insignificant in comparison. Enjoy Jesus today!

Additional Scriptures: See today’s passage

“The Gospel that represents Jesus Christ, not as a system of truth to be received, into the mind, as I should receive a system of philosophy, or astronomy, but it represents Him as a real, living, mighty Savior, able to save me now.” ~Catherine Booth

Shalom,

Prudence

 

 

Growing the Good Neighbor Seed

GROWING THE GOOD NEIGHBOR SEED

And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?”
So he answered and said, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’”
 And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”
But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.  Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side.   But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion.  So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’  So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?”  And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise” (Luke 10:25-37 New King James Version).

Years ago, I had the amazing opportunity to preach to an amazing group of women. Before the day arrived, the Lord had shown me a picture of how He wanted the room arranged and where He wanted the women to sit. He was very specific about the activity we were going to do, and why we were doing it this certain way. I cannot remember what exactly the word I preached was, but the message was based on the story of the Good Samaritan and how to be a good neighbor. It was geared toward reaching out and being there for someone else, it wasn’t very long. The tables were arranged in two rows, with the same number of chairs. Each woman was encouraged to sit at the table with her friends, with an equal number of women at each table (or as near as we had). At each place was a small flowerpot filled with soil, and each table had a packet of seeds next to the centerpiece.

The women wondered about the little flowerpots, so as we progressed through the message, I explained they would be planting a seed in their pot. After the women planted their seeds, the women exchanged their flowerpot with the women at the table next to them whose chair was in the same place as theirs. The idea was to trade flowerpots with a woman they may not have known very well. Then, we shared prayer requests and prayed for each other. Each woman left with someone else’s plant and as they took care of it, they would be reminded to pray for the woman.

God is pretty adamant we love our neighbors. Jesus said in Mark 12:30-31 “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.  This is the first commandment.  And the second, like it, is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  There is no other commandment greater than these.” The parable of the Good Samaritan is a wonderful illustration of this love towards others.

Let’s Pray: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for this blessing of a brand new day! This is the day You have made, we will rejoice and be glad in it. May we recognize opportunities where we may be good neighbors and bless those who need it, whether we bless with word, deed, or prayer, may we be poured out upon Your people. May we be willing to look after someone else, may we be willing to care for others, may be reach out and do what may not come naturally to us. Father, Your grace is sufficient for all things, may we grow in grace and love towards others, and may we never hesitate to share You. We give You all glory and honor, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Today’s Attitude of Worship: It is exhilarating to share the love of Christ with others, keep your eyes open for openings to love on people!

Additional Scriptures: See Passage

Shalom,

Prudence

Got Enough Salt In Your Diet?

GOT ENOUGH SALT IN YOUR DIET?

Can flavorless food be eaten without salt? Or is there any taste in the white of an egg (Job 6:6 New King James Version)?

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men (Matthew 5:13).

Most people think we should cut salt out of our diets to maintain optimal health. While it’s agreed widely too much salt is unhealthy, it is necessary. A small amount of salt in the diet helps maintain cell structure and keep bodily functions running normally. Too much salt and we could over load and make ourselves sick. Large amounts of salt and sodium in the diet have been linked to weight gain, heart disease, high blood pressure, and water retention among other things. It’s important to maintain a healthy balance.

Salt is one of the most widely used substances, not only do we season our food with it, but it is also used as a preservative or a cleaning agent, one only has to look on the internet to find many uses for salt. Job speaks of salt as a seasoning to add flavor to food, Jesus speaks of salt in reference to who we are as His followers. Over the course of my life, I’ve eaten many things bland and tasteless, and I am one for tasteful spice. I don’t care for overly seasoned foods or under seasoned foods. Most of us, I believe, feel this way. God’s word is salt; it’s the seasoning for life! Just as there are many salt products with additional spices, God’s word has additional spices which include, prayer, fellowship, worship, praise, exhortation, intercession, watchfulness, songs, hymns and more. The difference between salt and God’s salty word is we only need a minimum of salt in our physical diets to survive and we could do without the added spice, but with God’s word for our spiritual diets– we need more and more and more of it, complete with the additional spices.

What’s one noticeable thing salt is known for? It creates thirst. This is true of God’s word, the more we eat of it, the thirstier we become for more of it! Praise God! When Jesus calls us the salt of the earth, He is calling us to be seasoning sprinkled throughout the world, leaving in our wakes the thirst and hunger for more of God. Rise up Church! Rise up and spread out! Get out there and be the spicy seasoning you were designed to be!

Let’s Pray: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You so much for this gift of another day! We are touched by Your love and mercy with the blessing of a new morning, which brings with it new opportunities and fresh anointing to carry the salt of Your word into this bland and tasteless world. Father, may our speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that we may know how to answer each question or how to speak into every situation today. Grant us new insights into Your character through the seasoning of Your word that we may increase our desire to know You more. Lord, through Your word, preserve us and strengthen us to meet the challenges we face each day, may the hidden word in our hearts be brought to mind when You desire to remind us of things. We love You Lord and seek to please You! We give You all glory and honor, in Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Today’s Attitude of Worship: Sprinkle every conversation you have today with truth from God’s word. Maintain an attitude of prayerful humility, and think before you speak!

“He that loves the Word and the purity of its precepts cannot turn traitor.” ~William Gurnall

Shalom,

Prudence

Bread

BREAD

 “I am the Bread of Life” (John 6:48 New King James Version).

“This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world” (John 6: 50-51).

I don’t know about you, but when I bake bread, the very scent of it in the air has my mouth watering. Hot from the oven bread has a way of making us feel comfortable and at home, and can make the most humble of meals seem like a feast.

Jesus made a bold statement when He called Himself the Bread of Life. He lets us know He is where we will find our home and where we will be comfortable. He is our sustenance, our all in all. With Him, we have life, we have hope, and we build our faith. Because of His grace, we are forgiven, and given more than enough to carry on. With Christ, we will not lack, nor will we have to face our days alone. Psalm 34:8 says to taste and see the Lord is good, the one who trusts in Him is blessed. Come, let’s claim our blessing today and taste the Bread of Life!

Let’s Pray: Dear Jesus, thank You for being our Bread.  Thank You for sustaining us, for feeding us, for caring so much for us.  Help us to keep ourselves totally in Your loving care so that we may be nourished enough to bear fruit through You in order to pass on our blessings.  In Your name, Amen.

Today’s Attitude of Worship: Are you hungry?  Do you long for substantial sustenance?  Jesus is all you need for survival.  He is the Bread of Life.  Open your Bible and dig into the meat of God’s Word.  Speak with Jesus and feast yourself on life!

Additional Scriptures:   John 6: 47-58; Matthew 6:11; 1 Corinthians 11: 23-26

Shalom,

Prudence

Fierce

FIERCE

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13 New King James Version).

You therefore must endurehardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.  No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier (2 Timothy 2: 3-4).

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).

“Strong like bull, mighty warrior, master swordsman” – years ago, I came up with this little phrase to remind myself of who I am in Christ. When the enemy comes at us hard, who we are and where our strength comes from can often be forgotten. We all need reminders now and then and God is always happy to give them!

“Strong like bull”:  Our strength comes from Christ. No matter what we face, where we go, or who we are around, the strength to endure, to push through, to pray, to do what needs to be done, and even strength to wait patiently comes from Jesus and our reliance on Him. In John 15:5, Jesus tells us we can do nothing without Him, so we must abide in Him. When we fully abide, we truly are strong like a bull!

“Mighty warrior”:  Every one of us has been enlisted into the army of the Lord, whether we realize it or not. We fight our battles in the spiritual realm. Ephesians 6:12 says we do not wrestle with flesh and blood, but against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. What we see and deal with in the natural is a battle being fought in the spirit. As warriors, God has provided us with armor (Ephesians 6:10-18) and given us brothers and sisters to stand and fight with.

“Master swordsman”:  We have an offensive weapon in our arsenal; it’s the Word of God. How well we wield our sword indicates our level of faith and trust in it. The bible is known as the sword of the Spirit, and it is living and powerful. The Word cuts, it wounds, it soothes, and it heals all at once. Just as warriors practice their sword skills in the natural, we must also practice and strengthen our skills through prayer, bible study and standing firm in our faith. Our trials, tests, and circumstances are methods of teaching and areas we can use to practice our sword fighting skills.

Let’s Pray: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for blessing us with a new day! There is nothing more wonderful than knowing You and the life You give. We thank You for making us strong, for enlisting us into Your army and for giving us a mighty weapon, we truly are strong like bull, mighty warriors and master swordsmen! Father, lay ourselves down to be used by You, send us out and we will go. We give You all glory and honor, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Today’s Attitude of Worship: Always remember who you are, especially in the middle of your battle when you are weary and worn.

Additional Scriptures: see passage above

Shalom,

Prudence

 

Dig Your Heels In

DIG YOUR HEELS IN

My eyes fail from searching Your word, Saying, “When will You comfort me?” For I have become like a wineskin in smoke, Yet I do not forget Your statutes (Psalm 119:82-83 New King James Version).

When we are going through something, no matter how big or small, sometimes we may feel as though we are spiritually empty and shriveled up. We may feel as though God is not listening to us, or we can’t sit before Him because we feel so empty, or perhaps we just go through the motions.  These are the moments when God really wants us to cry out to Him, He wants to fill our wineskins with His living water, and He longs to revive us.  He is standing there, waiting for us to reach for Him.  He doesn’t want us to come before Him with lots of big words and fluff, creating excuses; He already knows. For us to heal, though, He wishes us to be honest with Him.

One of the more effective tactics the enemy uses is “divide and conquer”. He accomplishes this by planting seeds of doubt, depression, oppression and feeding us lies which we then buy, cutting ourselves off from the Lord and fellowship with other Believers. This is why it is so important to go to God even when we feel spiritually empty and shriveled up. Staying focused on God and waiting for Him keeps us from falling victim to the “divide and conquer” strategy of the devil.

Dear sweet, loving, faithful and Holy Lord, we come before Your presence today as real as we possibly can.  We humble ourselves before You knowing that we can’t go through this struggle on our own.  We are crying out to You, O Lord, and only You for comfort, for healing.  Fill our wineskins, Lord.  Pour Your Holy, Living water down upon us and help us to stand on our feet and catch the drops on our tongues.  Lord, help us to take our eyes off our struggles and place them on Your lovely face.  Lord, close our ears to the negative and help us to focus on Your voice.  Teach us how to bring every thought into captivity to Your obedience.  We thank You for hearing us today; in Your precious name we pray, Amen.

Today’s Attitude of Worship: When we go through things, those are not the times to pull back from the Lord.  Those are the times when we need to dig our heels in and set our faces towards Him, pray and listen.  If you are faced with a situation and you have felt empty and far from God, reassess your attentiveness to His word and prayer life.

Additional Scriptures: Psalm 23; 2 Corinthians 10:5; Psalm 121

Shalom,

Prudence

Walking By Faith

WALKING BY FAITH

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1 New King James Version).

PATHA couple of years ago, my family and I went to an amusement park.  We had a great time and I was excited to discover I can still get on all those rides I loved when I was a kid.  My husband and I enjoyed spending time with our daughters, and son-in-law.  My husband is not much of a spinning ride person, but I am.  There’s one ride I went on with my daughter, and it reminded me of how, when we walk by faith, we may be walking blindly, but God sees everything.  The ride we went on went forward at first.  I like forward, I can see where I’m going and get an idea of what’s up ahead.  But then, after a couple minutes of going forward, the ride slowed, then stopped and then switched to reverse.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t like going backward.  Not just because of the strange sensation of riding backward and having no control, but being at the mercy of the ride itself.

When we walk by faith, in a sense it’s as though we are walking backwards.  We can’t see what is ahead of us, and we don’t know where our feet will end up; however, the trust we place in God that He will take us where we need to go is how we build our faith.  Walking by faith means we let go of control.  We give God the wheel and move from the driver’s seat.  We may come to what appear to be obstacles, but in God’s eyes they are opportunities for faith building.  Every obstacle we overcome increases our faith.  God may be calling you to step out in faith for a ministry; for a family member; for a new job; He may be calling you to move and go where you’ve not been before.

As we learn to walk by faith, we learn to not look with our natural senses, but with our spiritual.  Trusting and building faith are ways that God uses to strengthen our Christian walk and we can’t have one without the other.  We cannot say we have faith in God when we still want to maintain control and ignore where He wants to take us.  We cannot say we trust God when we seek people and worldly ways to remove our obstacles.  We have no faith or trust when we give up and turn from those obstacles and remain where we are. Our Christian walk is not a walk if we are not moving.

Let’s Pray: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for this blessing of a new day.  Thank You for the encouragement that today brings, for every new opportunity to overcome the obstacles that are placed before us.  Thank You for loving us so much that You desire to build our faith and trust in You.  We know that all things are for our good and Your glory!  Father, guide us on our walk today.  Jumpstart those that have become still and unmoving.  Turn those that have gone back; may our hearts become filled with growing faith and trust.  Father, we love You and we desire to go where You lead us.  Give us ears to hear, eyes to see and wisdom to know when You are moving us.  We give You all glory, all honor, all our praise and all our worship.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Today’s Attitude of Worship: If God is trying to take you somewhere and you are too scared to go, get your Bible out and begin to read and be encouraged by those who went before you by faith.  Hebrews 11 & 12 are great chapters to be encouraged by.  Begin to seek His face, read His word and increase your faith and trust.  God is moving forward and we need to be with Him.

Additional Scriptures:  Hebrews 11 & 12

Faith sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable, and receives the impossible. ~Corrie Ten Boom

Shalom,

Prudence

Faithful Steward

FAITHFUL STEWARD

Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful (1 Corinthians 4:2 New King James Version).

Everything we have is a gift from God, and I mean everything- from our homes, jobs and ministries to our clothing, pets and children. God has given us all we have and He wants us to take care of it. His word says we are to do all we do as unto the Lord, so why is this so hard for some of us to comprehend? Some think being a faithful steward has only to do with tithing and ministry, while others don’t even think along those lines, not wanting to part with their money or make commitments to ministry no matter where their passions are. Still others don’t envision their jobs as gifts from God, and fail to be good stewards of their jobs, making their performance and work relationships weak and unseasoned.

Church, it’s time to rise up and be what God has called us to be. It’s time to act as though Christ lives in us! To take care of what He has given us; to take our money, because He has allowed us to be paid, tithe and spend wisely. Let’s not get sucked into the “latest and greatest” fad, if what we have works, we should take care of it, instead of replacing it. If we have children, then we should make the most of our time together because one day we will blink and they will be out of the house. If we didn’t nurture them and care for them the way God cared for us, they may not be inclined to come home too often. If we’ve got a job, then we should treat our job seriously by walking in integrity, cultivating relationships – especially those of non-believers because the way we live our life for Jesus may be the only Bible they read.  Let’s not steal paperclips or pens…our boss may not be watching, but Jesus is.

As a believer in Christ, we have an ever-present companion and all we do is under the watchful eye of Christ. When we don’t take care of what He has given us, when we don’t treat the things He has blessed us with as though they are gifts from God, when we are greedy with our money and distrustful of God’s provision, we are not faithful stewards. When we take what God has given us and nurture it, take care of it, take it seriously, He will bless our efforts and multiply them so we are able to bless others.

Let’s pray: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You so much for blessing us with a brand new day! We thank You for showering us with mercy and grace this morning and we pledge our hearts to You today! Father, may we become good and faithful stewards of the gifts You have given us. May we take our jobs and our tithing seriously; may we serve in Your ministries with renewed hearts and joyful spirits; may we nurture and care for our children the way You have nurtured and cared for us. Father, may Your ever present Spirit convict us of bad stewardship when we step out of line and become tempted to sin. May we recognize Your chastening and come to repentance. Father, we love You and desire to do all as though You were the recipient of our actions. Lord, show us opportunities to live out our faith, to be Your light and salt to those around us. We love You and give You all glory and honor. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Today’s Attitude of Worship: If God tells you to do something today that you feel uncomfortable about, go ahead, do it. He’s got something better for you and wants Your complete obedience.

Additional Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 4:1-4; Colossians 3:23; Matthew 25:21; Genesis 22:1-14

Shalom,

Prudence

The Right Equipment

THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT

 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand (Ephesians 6: 11-13 New King James Version).

Due to the nature of the company I work for, I am required to attend mandatory safety training annually. Yesterday was my turn to go. We discussed a variety of topics, including the importance of proper footwear and correct techniques for heavy lifting, as well as new safety guidelines. As I have been reflecting on the class, my mind wondered how this impacts my walk with Christ. When it comes to proper footwear at work, women are discouraged from wearing high heels and flip flops as the capacity for slips, trips and falls becomes greater in certain areas of the building and lot. Shoes that are flat-soled and non-skid are preferable since the dealership environment has various floor and lot conditions which are not high heel or flip-flop friendly. Most people know the potential for back injuries is greatest when we do not lift items using our knees while properly aligning our bodies.

As Christians, Jesus gave us the right equipment to stand and serve. It is called the armor of God – it includes the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the belt of truth, the shield of faith, the shoes of the gospel of peace and the sword of the Spirit. We must clothe ourselves in this daily to resist the devil and be strong against his attacks. When we don’t, we risk becoming weary and battle-worn from the constant barrage of spiritual attacks, which manifest themselves in a myriad of ways. Our battle is not fought in this tangible realm, yet we feel the effects of the battle here. Prayer and praise help us to wear the armor of the Lord while strengthening our arms to wield the sword of the Spirit. When we don’t put our armor on, we can easily succumb to slips, trips and falls along our path. The devil places hidden traps of temptation, oil slicks of deception, and various other cunning ruses to cause us to stumble and fall. With the proper equipment, we are able to avoid each of these and more. So, suit up!

Let’s Pray: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for a brand new day, filled with new mercies and Your great faithfulness! Thank You for Your armor, may we put it on daily and wear it proudly. May we have discernment to know the traps of our enemy, and may You grant us grace sufficient for this day. Father, we love You and glorify You, adore and honor You, we lift our hands in praise and bow our hearts in worship. We come before You in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Today’s Attitude of Worship: Do you have the right equipment to face your day?

Additional Scriptures: Ephesians 6: 14-18

Shalom,

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