A man Thank God at  mountains and nature.

Caught Up In The Static

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“You were running so well; who hindered you from obeying the truth?” – Galatians 5:7 (NASB)

In his book “The Crucified Life” A.W. Tozer covers what is called the “Static Condition” and what needs to be done to break out of it. Apparently, it was something the Apostle Paul covered as well in his epistle to the Galatians. Martin Luther would make this comment about the first part of today’s verse; “The words, “Ye did run well,” are encouraging indeed. Often our lives seem to creep rather than to run. But if we abide in the true doctrine and walk in the spirit, we have nothing to worry about. God judges our lives differently. What may seem to us a life slow in Christian development may seem to God a life of rapid progression in grace.”

That is certainly encouraging stuff to read, but this verse doesn’t end with encouragement. On the contrary, it asks the question, “who hindered you from obeying the truth?” To quote Tozer, “Along with this is the lack of moral dynamics, which every Christian ought to know.” Something happened, didn’t it? Now if you look at Galatians, the 5th chapter, you’ll see the word’s circumcision and obligation (other translations may use the debtor.) Guess even the early church had taken a step backwards thinking it was going to get them further along in their quest to live as children of God.

But Paul tells them pretty bluntly, “For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace” (Galatians 5:4 NLT). Ouch, dude!! So, what is a boy to do to get from this static state and back onto the narrow path? Well Tozer drops this verse on us, “Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel. Every place your foot treads, I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses” (Joshua 1:2-3 NASB).

Now, if you have an ear to hear what the Spirit says to the churches (Rev. 2:7), you may be able to catch what lies in these verses from Joshua: “Let us go on to perfection.” For the children of Israel, it was to the promised land, but once we run this through the Cross of Christ we can see it times for us to move beyond our own personal Egypts. Tozer put’s it like this: “Let us go beyond repentance from past sins, let us get beyond forgiveness and cleansing, let us go beyond the impartation of divine life. Let us first be sure we get things settled to the point of absolute assurance.”

WHAT???? That’s a tall order and almost an impossibility to achieve… but is it really? It’s the absolute assurance that is the key. “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9) Here’s your starting point. You need only be assured that you have been given a new life IN Christ Jesus, and the rest will come along the way. If you stay still where you are with a new life…you’ll get nothing but static.

Tozer says there are two things that “are necessary for a Christian who wants to go on and break the static condition of his life and become a growing, moving, progressive, dynamic Christian.” I am one of them and I’ll be covering what they are the next time I join you. Maybe you have been like me lately, nothing going wrong but nothing really going right either. Yes, you realize you’re blessed in many ways and acknowledge them in your everyday prayer life but God’s got you in a valley and He needs to deal with you…kinda like I feel I am right now. Well friend, be assured of this one thing… “And the LORD, He it is that doth go before thee; He will be with thee, He will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed” (Deuteronomy 31:8). In that may you, like me, be reassured. Amen?

Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married (Kathy) with two adult children (Kevin and Karen) and has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 18-20 | You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: “All the efforts toward a deeper life, the crucified life, will only bring disappointment unless we have settled the matters of repentance from dead works, the forgiveness of sins and the impartation of divine light and conversion.” — A.W. Tozer

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing to You, And my soul, which You have redeemed. Psalm 71:23

 

 

 

 

 

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Came From, Go To

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“Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.” -Mark 5:19b

I sometimes have a hard time with people who always seem to live in the past. The conversations start out with “I remember when…”

I have been guilty myself of reminiscing on times past, but to live there can be so defeating. We all have a testimony and should be able to tell of where the Lord found us and brought us out of, but if we only focus on where we came from, we never advance into the next stage of life. So, for me it’s always “Came from, Go To”. Yes, I was delivered but it’s for the purpose of going out with the message of where I came from and how I got here.

It can be comfortable to live in the moment of my salvation and desire the “feeling” of being accepted, but I can’t live off of past experiences. Some of the struggles I hear from men who came out of their addiction is that they want to go back to how they felt when they first got clean. Our conversations usually lead down a road of not continuing what was started. They came out, but never went to. I can sometimes feel consumed with discontentment when I’ve forgotten what my mission in life is.

Jesus has an encounter in Mark 5 with a man who has an unclean spirit. After Jesus delivers the man from his bondage, it seems right for the guy to want to stay with Jesus, but Jesus says, “Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.”

I’m not saying you have to be a missionary in Africa (unless that’s your calling), but I am saying we need to move past our past. If you can’t think of how God has moved in your recent life then maybe it’s time to move out of your comfort zone and allow God to use you. Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” Luke 10:2. And again, after reaching out to the woman at the well when the Disciples came to Him worrying about Him eating,  he said in John 4:34-38 “…My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest?’ Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors.”

So, if today if you’re at a place where the distant past is all you live for or you feel it’s time to “Come From and Go To,” Pray, seek and be willing. Amen!

Written by Rob Russomano: Rob Russomano is married to Terri, he is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and a full time staff member. He is also available as a speaker of the grace of God with a message of Hope for church events. You can contact him at rrussomano@americaskeswick.org.

The Daily Bible Reading: Judges 7-11 | You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: “If we examine our thoughts, we shall find them always occupied with the past and the future.” – Blaise Pascal

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing to You, And my soul, which You have redeemed. Psalm 71:23

grace

God’s Grace

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Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began. 2 Timothy 1:9

Grace. It has become one of the words we sing about. We use the phrase as a part of our “Christianese.” But has it become just a word that we casually and haphazardly use without grasping its immensity or the depths of its richness in our lives? Welcome to this new week of Freedom Fighters. I am thankful today that you are part of our family. God’s family. A family blessed by and with the grace of God.

I recently read this powerful devotional that hones in on some of the richness of this word grace:

Salvation: You are saved by grace. The forgiveness of your sins, your justification before God, your redemption from the slavery of sin, your deliverance from evil, and your future home in heaven are yours today because of grace.

Sufficiency: Grace enables you to do all God calls you to do today. Success is not based today upon what you can accomplish, but upon what He will do through you. Grace is not about your strength, but about His mighty power working in you, even in the time of your greatest weakness.

Edification: Grace builds you up, lifts you up, and keeps you standing. Grace is heard in the sound of God’s voice speaking over and over into your ear, “I am for you today. I am with you today. I am the source of everything good, everything lovely, everything holy, and everything mighty.”

Hope: Grace assures you of a glorious future and an overwhelming inheritance that is yours in Jesus Christ. Grace leads you on, cheers you on, and moves you on into all that is in God’s heart for you.

Victory: Grace brings to you all that is yours in Christ. You are victorious today because Jesus is the triumphant One. You are more than a conqueror because He has conquered all. You are above all things because all things are under His feet. You reign in life because He reigns—King of kings and Lord of lords.

Abundance: Where sin once abounded, grace abounds even more. Where darkness ruled, grace overruled. Where death held you in cruel bondage, grace brought you into a glorious new freedom. Grace is never poured out to you like raindrops, but like a cascading waterfall.

Purity: Grace is the doorway into the beauty of God’s holiness. Grace is never a license to sin, a freedom to sin, or a cloak for sin. Grace brings us into a life that is greater than what sin could ever offer us. Grace extends the hand that lifts us out of the miry clay, throws the rope that pulls us from the deepest pit, and lights the flame that brings us out of the darkest cave.

Gifting: Gifts that come to you from God are grace gifts. His grace gifts to you will be different than the grace gifts He gives to others. Grace does not play favorites. The gifts that have been given to you from God are the perfect gifts that are needed for you to fulfill His will and His calling in your life. From Today is Your Best Day – Roy Lessin

This ought to leave us speechless! It should cause your heart to soar. It should bring tears to your eyes, and maybe make you fall to your knees in praise and adoration. God’s amazing grace! I trust that this reminder encouraged you today. Don’t take for granted the amazing grace of God.

Rejoice! Pray! Give thanks!

Written by Dr. Bill Welte, President/CEO of America’s Keswick: He has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 10 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.

The Daily Bible Reading: Gen 24-27 | You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: God enables you to do all that God calls you to do today. – Roy Lessin

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing to You, And my soul, which You have redeemed. Psalm 71:23

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The Almighty’s Prize: You

 

 

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Over the years, I have come to realize that the greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity, or power, but self-rejection. Success, popularity, and power can indeed present a great temptation, but their seductive quality often comes from the way they are part of the much larger temptation to self-rejection. When we have come to believe in the voices that call us worthless and unlovable, then success, popularity, and power are easily perceived as attractive solutions. The real trap, however, is self-rejection. As soon as someone accuses me or criticizes me, as soon as I am rejected, left alone, or abandoned, I find myself thinking, “Well, that proves once again that I am a nobody.” … [My dark side says,] I am no good… I deserve to be pushed aside, forgotten, rejected, and abandoned. Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the “Beloved.” Being the Beloved constitutes the core truth of our existence.”  ~ Henri J.M. Nouwen

But now thus says the LORD, He who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in My eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life. Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you. I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Do not withhold; bring My sons from afar and My daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by My name, whom I created for My glory, whom I formed and made.”
~ Him, in Isaiah 43

Oh beloved, it is true.

But we don’t believe it. Not. One. Tiny. Little. Bit. Because, if we did, everything would be different.

Our fear would be Laughter.

Our sadness would be Giddiness.

Our Faith would be adamite.

Our Strength would wax unabated.

Our Freedom would know no bounds.

Our Hope would be sight.

Our doubts would be infinitesimal.

Our disease would be Healed.

Our Sense would be sharp.

Our blindness would be Sight.

It is so hard to see it, because we are often running throughout our lives in some sort of a panic. Or, we are jacked in to some sort electronic gadget. Or, we are looking at anything, but the truth. Because, if we stopped just long enough, this truth would change everything. Absolutely. Everything. About. How. We. Live.

Can we actually see it?

Don’t miss it. Let us not miss it in our false humility…

You are the very prize of G_d. You, beloved brothers, are the only thing that could make the fullest of the Greatest of Hearts – even more full. The very Triune Maker of eternity; The King who has absolutely everything, and Whose creation is but a sparkle of a glint of everything He already was, is and will be – is made even more joyous, by simply knowing: YOU.

Oh, don’t think that this is just some sort of something to make you feel good (though it may do just this). No, knowing you are loved by Love Himself, does something much more than this. Love like this sets guys like us free from our slavery to the lies that we used to listen to. Now, the whining of the world, and the screeching of demons in their temptations, and even the screaming of our flesh, is something we no longer even need listen to.

We are the prize of The Almighty. And He is intent upon showering us with the very fullness of Himself; all the glory, all the joy, all the fellowship, all the Life – forever.

So, are you feeling like you are nothing? Are you constantly cutting yourself down, thinking that this is showing humility? It isn’t. Pride like this is the worst affront to a Lover. Tonight is your night, beloved. Time to let Him Love you as He already does.

Written by Makala Doulos: Makala Doulos is a child of G_d, a husband to his wife, a father to his children, and a teacher to his students. But mostly, he is a prisoner set free by Jesus. Love has invaded his life, crushed it, and made it new. Now, G_d’s Love is what constrains him to live in full surrender to the freedom The Father and Son and Holy Spirit have bought for us all. Grace and Peace to you all.

The Daily Bible Reading: Isaiah 29-33| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: “Silent solitude makes true speech possible and personal. If I am not in touch with my own belovedness, then I cannot touch the sacredness of others. If I am estranged from myself, I am likewise a stranger to others.” ~ Brennan Manning

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Because You have been my help, Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. Psalm 63:7

 

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Sometimes Obedience Can Be Wrong

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“Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the fattened calf!” – Luke 15:30 (NLT)

I’ll bet your eyebrows raised a bit when you saw todays Freedom Fighter title, but there is a lot of truth in it. Now, out there in Secularland, the rules are different when it comes to obedience. It seems that obedience takes on a whole different truth, as to say what was true yesterday has now become today’s lie. So even in the world of public opinion, what ‘once was’ is now a ‘should have never been.’ Displaying obedience in Secularland is constantly changing, but for the Christian it should be a one-way street…but is it really?

When we look at Luke 1:26-38, a young woman in an insignificant part of Palestine had been chosen by a mighty God to bear His Son. An Archangel is sent to deliver the message, and there isn’t much of an argument on her part as she tells the Archangel Gabriel, “Behold the bond slave of the Lord; be it done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38) In this case, Mary’s obedience is so instant that it makes Jell-O instant pudding look like a slow poke. But we have other times in the Bible where the practice of obedience took on that of a performance rather than the putting on of humility. Actually, we can say that performance of obedience was a more of a shunned humility rather than the instant kind that Mary chose to exhibit. Let’s go to Luke 15:25-32…

This is the passage about the elder brother coming in from the fields, who heard a party and got angry. Being an eldest myself (though I surrendered that position when I fell into a world of addiction), I guess I could see the reckoning of it. After all, you’ve been doing as you are expected (or, as some translations say, “commanded”), and you see a younger sibling getting loved on just because he makes it back from the hell he puts himself through…all at the expense of your father, and it just ain’t right. But the kicker here is your father, in whom you’ve obeyed, has made yet another concession to someone who you feel deserves a party held at the back of wood shed, not in the family living room. It all starts with a fattened calf and then the heart condition unravels.

Entitlement. This is a word that has been used a lot these days, but in this sense the elder brother has been doing what he should and therefore should get what he, actually, rightfully deserves. Well, the thing here is that you can follow the rules to the letter and still be in sin just like the rest of us prodigals. Why? Because your performance of obedience is perverted by your heart’s desire for reward for doing so, meaning you’re only in it for yourself – the whole reason I think I’ve fared better as a prodigal. What makes me say that?

Grace!! You can’t earn God’s grace, and I’ll go a step further and say that it isn’t a random thing He provides. God may have His reasons, and they may include what good you do, but you have to understand that grace doesn’t happen by earning it or meriting His favor. This way, you can’t take pride in what you are doing out of obedience, because the consequence for all that is this: God is going to just let you keep on thinking that it’s all true, and when that fattened calf is killed to celebrate someone else, all your performance of obedience has gotten you is a session of huffin’-n-puffin’ with whimpers of “it’s unfair”.

Now, we all need to be aware of shunned humility because the bottom line is that God opposes the proud. And we need to remember that we aren’t entitled to anything. You can have your inalienable rights all you want but are you, CHRISTIAN, really entitled to life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness? Are you entitled to the next breath you take? Are you really entitled to YOUR stuff?

Jesus didn’t finish His parable on prodigal/elder brother but I think we are to walk away with this thought: we need drop our pride and be open to receive God’s grace. We need to understand that we can’t earn it but can grow into spiritual maturity because of it. And finally, we shouldn’t cheapen the grace of God by exploiting it or by keeping score and live as if we are begun to pave our own roadway into the Throne Room so we can join the angelic chorus by singing, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!” Sometimes it’s about standing there and saying, “Behold the bondslave of the Lord; be it done to me according to your word.” Amen?

Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married (Kathy) with two adult children (Kevin and Karen) and has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.

The Daily Bible Reading: Job 11-12 | You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: “As long as you live by your old nature you will be open to all of the injustices of men. Your temper will get you into fights, your passions will clash with your neighbors, your desires will be like tender spots to your enemies’ arrows.” – Fenelon

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Because You have been my help, Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. Psalm 63:7

 

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The Spirit of Oneness

 

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“Fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” – Philippians 2:2

This ‘oneness’ concept has been a mystery to me since beginning my walk with Christ. First, I was wondering how three Gods could be one; we are only to worship One God but are obviously three entities.  Then, it was marriage; how can two people, who are extremely selfish, self-centered, and independent, become one flesh? And how can a body of believers be one if everyone has different views, opinions, perceptions – you name it?Reading through scripture, it seems, many of the Saints had the same issues.

One of Paul’s many assignments was to share the Gospel to a generation that were lovers of themselves, culturally driven, and who lacked unity. Husbands were leaving their wives and males and females were abandoning natural relationships for unnatural partners. Jews against Gentiles, believers against believer, bond servant against owner, children against their parents, law verses grace… sound familiar?

Here we are, 2000 years later, dealing with same issues of unity. The flesh, the World, and Satan have governed us so long that we cause divisions covertly and overtly. We understand truth and make doctrines, but there are times we don’t see the division we cause. Wikipedia defines it this way, “A schismatic is a person who creates or incites schism in an organization or who is a member of a splinter group.” This could be you, this could be me, this be could going on in your church body right now.

Jesus knew this would be, and he gave us his life, his testimony, His Word, His love and His Spirit to combat separateness and cling to one another in Love. Contrary to what we believe, believers were not created to survive on their own fruition. We were created for each other, to love each other, pursuing Jesus and doing His will together. Less of me, more of Him.

“…Like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” Philippians 2:2

Prayer: Thank you Lord for giving us the perfect example of selflessness. Lord, give us unity that we may be of one accord. Bless our work, our actions, and help us to lay down our opinions. Help us to be a united front and as we grow stronger with you, we grow stronger with each other. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Written by Juan Mendez: Juan is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and full-time staff member at America’s Keswick.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 15-17| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: “God’s family, which comes into being by regeneration, is more central and more lasting than the human family that comes into being by procreation.” – John Piper

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Because You have been my help, Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. Psalm 63:7

 

What ?

Can You Hear Me Now?

I don't understand

“Listen, O coastlands, to Me, 

and take heed, you peoples from afar!”

Isaiah 49:1a

 

Hindsight is 20/20, there are so many things I wish I had listened to. Some of the most dreaded words you’ll hear is, “I told ya so.” That sting of a reminder that follows an action on our behalf that has taken place after being told beforehand. Now, there’s a difference between hearing something and listening to that same something. Or, some of us who have had teenagers or people we care about enough to give advice to, you know how frustrating it can be when people don’t listen. I too can remember a time when I was told something and I chose not to listen. I wonder how much heartache I could have saved myself if I would have simply listened.

I think one of the main reasons I choose to go my own way was because I believed my way was better and ultimately I’d do what I wanted to do. It’s not until I came to the conclusion that God’s ways are higher than my ways, that I could trust God at His word. In Romans 15:4 we read, “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” When I meditate on verses and can see what happens when others have chosen not to take heed, I’m walking with the assurance that I will be kept safe. Though’safe’ is not always comfortable, the discomfort that comes with obedience always produces the fruit of the Spirit in us.

God is always calling us to listen – not just to listen, but to take heed. God uses Isaiah to communicate to His people that He has a plan, and like any instruction, it only benefits those who listen and take heed.

This proclamation in Isaiah maybe what Jesus built His hope on, all the promises of the Father concerning His Son were written and foretold for Jesus’ glory and our benefit. Maybe we have an insight to the answer to the prayers Jesus prayed to His Father, I encourage you to go and read Isaiah 49 where we see verses like verse 8,

“Thus says the LORD:
‘In an acceptable time I have heard You,
And in the day of salvation I have helped You;
I will preserve You and give You
As a covenant to the people,
To restore the earth,
To cause them to inherit the desolate heritages
.’”

I wonder what our days would look like if we would only listen and take heed?

Here’s one example, Luke 6:47,48:

Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like, he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built”.

Sounds like a plan, God is calling and asking, “Can you hear me now?”

Written by Rob Russomano: Rob Russomano is married to Terri, he is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and a full time staff member. He is also available as a speaker of the grace of God with a message of Hope for church events. You can contact him at rrussomano@americaskeswick.org.

The Daily Bible Reading: Judges 1-6 | You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: “Beware of reasoning about God’s Word – obey it.” – Oswald Chambers

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Because You have been my help, Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. Psalm 63:7

 

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A Prayer for Peace

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Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6

Good morning, brothers. I am so very thankful for this new week, and want to once again thank you for being a part of the Freedom Fighter blog family.

I have shared a number of prayers with the past few weeks, and I sometimes wonder if people think I am just being lazy in not sharing my own stuff.

Sometimes a fresh perspective helps you and I am reading through this little book called Fret Busters (Dayspring) by Roy Lessin. His prayers have been such an encouragement to me and so refreshing.

My guess is that someone needs this one today as well. We live in a world that is crying for peace. We have seen a number of our Colony grads pass away in recent days and it has been discouraging. One guy right now is using and “missing in action.” Some of our staff are going through physical battles that are wearing them down. I know a bunch of folks looking for employment, having trouble with their kids, and facing HUGE financial struggles.

So today, this prayer is right on. How about for you?

A Prayer of Peace Lord Jesus, I thank You that You are the Prince of peace, and that You’ve promised to give me Your peace. I receive Your peace—the peace that passes all understanding, the peace that assures me of Your presence, the peace that confirms Your love, the peace that guards my every thought and every emotion.

Thank You that You came not to trouble me, but to give me rest; not to confuse me, but to give me clarity; not to bind me, but to free me; not to stress me, but to quiet me. Thank You for Your peace that endures the trials, overcomes in battles, conquers foes, and keeps me steady through storms.

Thank You, Lord, for Your complete peace, for Your perfect peace, for Your peace that keeps my heart from being troubled. Come now and fill me with Your presence. Thank You for the perfect peace that flows when I put my trust in You. Let it wash over me and flood my innermost being. Show me the ways of peace, keep me on the paths of peace, guide me in the decisions that lead to peace. Jesus, be my peace today.

Amen? I’d love to be praying for you. Let me know your request. Rejoice! Pray! Give thanks!

Written by Dr. Bill Welte, President/CEO of America’s Keswick: He has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 10 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.

The Daily Bible Reading: Gen 20-23 | You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: Every prayer request (and every scenario that triggers a prayer request) is actually another opportunity for us to witness God’s glory firsthand. – from Living the Battle Plan

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Because You have been my help, Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. Psalm 63:7

Clasped hands of prayer. Low key photo.

Courage in the Presence of G_d.

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Oh, If only once we could be convinced of God’s goodness towards His children and of His desire to reveal Himself to them! We would no longer seek out own selfish desires. We would not be so quickly discouraged from pursuing what He is so long to give us: Romans 8:32 – “He who spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not, with Him, also freely give us all things?” We only need a little courage and perseverance. Actually, we have enough of both in our earthly affairs, but none at all in the only thing that really matters (Luke 10:42). ~Jeanne Guyon

So Moses continued to speak these words to all Israel. And he said to them, “I am 120 years old today. I am no longer able to go out and come in. The LORD has said to me, ‘You shall not go over this Jordan.’ The LORD your God Himself will go over before you. He will destroy these nations before you, so that you shall dispossess them, and Joshua will go over at your head, as the LORD has spoken. And the LORD will do to them as He did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites, and to their land, when He destroyed them. And the LORD will give them over to you, and you shall do to them according to the whole commandment that I have commanded you. Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God Who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land that the LORD has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall put them in possession of it. It is the LORD Who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
~ Moses, a man of The Presence, in Deuteronomy 31

Oh beloved, it is true.

Throughout our lives, we find people to look up to. And no, this is not wrong. It is wonderful for us to have examples in our lives. It is wonderful for us to have people in our lives, that show us how to live better, love better, and be better.

The problem, though, is that whoever we look up to, it will never be enough.

Good people fail. Also, there are plenty of bad people, who try to look good, but take us through the the wringer. They look good on the outside, but they aren’t. This problem is relatively easy to comprehend, because many of us guys from the Colony were like this. We really tried to present like everything was OK, when truly we were coming apart on the inside. And in our coming apart, we pulled people down and wrung them dry as well.

Joshua, The Captain of The Hosts of Israel, really did have someone to look up to. He had served with and under Moses for decades. He watched this powerfully humble man lead a stubborn and stiffnecked people through the wilderness. And Moses did not just gain experience through His second forty years in the wilderness, he had the best of education from the finest schools of Egypt – then integrated into his soul through an earlier forty years of desert meditation in the rolling hills of Midian.

Joshua was well trained by Moses. He was an able leader who had observed and served in some very difficult circumstances. But now, he was coming up on a situation that not even his mentor could have handled alone. But, both of these men had a secret…

Moses had learned it first. First, at the burning bush, where the ground was so holy that the very fabric of space within the plant was alight with the Presence of G_d. Later, in a forty day gauntlet of experiencing the very near Presence of G_d, which he only survived by YHWH putting Moses into the cleft of a rock, and placing His hand over him, whilst All His Goodness passed by. And finally, in an ongoing, face-to-face conversation with The L_RD of Hosts, in the tent of meeting. The Presence of G_d is everything. It assures victory, and healing and the courage needed to do what we need to do.

Joshua was a disciple of Moses, and a close one at that. And so, we find in Scripture that Joshua was an attendant in the meeting tent where Moses and YHWH spoke to each other. Most of his training in how to actually do things was learned in observing the conversations between The Very Maker of The Universe, and Moses, the man of powerful humility – in the Presence.

Can we see it?

But, when they went out of the tent, Joshua watched how Moses dealt directly with the people. And he had probably come to a place where he had thought that Moses was a vital aspect of how G_d was dealing with His chosen people. Oh, to be sure, Moses was important. But, Moses was not the key factor in the success of Israel as it came up on her entrance into the promised land.

Time had caught up with Moses. His first forty years in Egypt, his second forty years in Midian, and his final forty years in the wilderness had brought his physical frame to an end. However, he did have one final and truly vital piece of learning to give to Joshua: It was not Moses’ strength, it was G_d’s all the time. And now Joshua was going to receive the message Moses had just received directly from Him.

G_d fights our battles. He is with us. He goes before us. He never leaves us. In Him, we always win. And, Joshua took this to heart. His valor and courage is legend, even to today in military writings. This guy could not lose, as long as he dwelt in the place where G_d was.

So, are you feeling your courage (the fullness of your heart) waning? Maybe it is because you honestly do not know the truth that Moses learned over 80 years, and has passed onto the next leader of the team. You are never alone. G_d is always with you. You cannot lose.

Tonight is your night, beloved. Time to understand that He is with you, and He has some victory to bring about in your (and this fool of a writer’s) life.

Written by Makala Doulos: Makala Doulos is a child of G_d, a husband to his wife, a father to his children, and a teacher to his students. But mostly, he is a prisoner set free by Jesus. Love has invaded his life, crushed it, and made it new. Now, G_d’s Love is what constrains him to live in full surrender to the freedom The Father and Son and Holy Spirit have bought for us all. Grace and Peace to you all.

The Daily Bible Reading: Isaiah 23-28 | You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: “Never, never, never give up.” ~ Sir Winston Churchill

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; Let such as love Your salvation say continually, “The Lord be magnified!” Psalm 40:16

 

 

Old man sharing God's Words with a young man

Teach All Nations

 

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“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” (Matthew 28:19)

Yes, I went King James, and I love the phrase here: ‘teach all nations.’ The reality is that we all have been involved in teaching, even in our early informative years. We’ve just not always been  teaching for Jesus. In that, teaching derives from many avenues. Who are you following? How are you influencing the people watching you?

Here three ways we teach, or in this case, make disciples.

 

The Word

The most basic understanding of teaching is to communicate the truth. “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31,32) Communicating the Word is one the most powerful weapons we can use to teach people the things of God. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing comes from the Word of God. Right handling God’s Word, has the ability to change hearts, conform lives, transform mind etc…

A Living Apostle

Are we living in such a way that people are seeing Christ? How are we using our Words, is our service reflecting a life indwelled by Holy Spirit? Right now, I’m being convicted writing this thought. After Jesus washed the disciple’s feet, he commanded them to do likewise. Furthermore, he even washed the feet of Judas, knowing who he was and what he was about to do. “Let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel.” (Philippians 1:27)

Dealing with Sin/issues

I know with hyper-grace movement, we don’t think we can talk about sin… but the realty of our sin, our issues, will in fact hinder the disciple-making process. “The night is nearly over; the day has drawn near. So let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” (Romans 13:12) Sin affects our ability see God clearly, to hear truth, be an effective minister and the like…

These are three of the many ways we can teach people the things of God and for ourselves stay teachable. Remember: We are disciples and we are making-disciples.

Written by Juan Mendez: Juan is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and full-time staff member at America’s Keswick.

The Daily Bible Reading: Job 9-10 | You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here

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Daily Quote: “Live as a credible witness. If our actions don’t line up with the message we’re proclaiming, we risk losing our credibility.”

– David Jeremiah

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; Let such as love Your salvation say continually, “The Lord be magnified!” Psalm 40:16