Tag Archives: branch

Press In to Press On

Belize Day 6 –
Emerging from our shelter we were greeted with an unfamiliar sight.  Trees as large as houses were strewn everywhere. Branches and leaves had been stripped from the trees and scattered on every inch of the ground.  With the welcome morning light, this is what our eyes came upon.  A new world lay before us, somehow similar to the old, but oh so different.
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Some of us got to work cleaning up immediately and others went off to sleep in their beds and make sure their rooms were not torn apart.  We had a lot of things get wet in our room and some leaves had blown in, but besides that not much trouble.  The power being out is inconvenient for a lot of people, but just another effect of the storm. We worked all morning to pile branches and leaves. Sometime during the night, Santi had forgotten to move his vehicle to a safe place and it had been partially crushed by a monstrous tree.  The highlight of the morning was when we were finally able to get the tree off the truck and see that it was dented and had some broken windows but was still usable.
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Our next task was to clear the downed power lines so that we could get them repaired. Along, the way, we repaired the horse pen while many continued to stack the seemingly endless supply of broken branches and downed trees.  By lunch, most were exhausted and I had to sleep for a few hours.  After a quick nap, I got back to work until dinner when I found out that Sarah was apparently suffering from heat exhaustion and lack of sleep.  I know she worked just as hard as, if not harder than, the majority of the guys and never took a break for water or anything.  She was paying for it. Heidi and I went and prayed for her, and we saw an immediate improvement.  We sat around for about an hour around a candle talking and finally turned in for the night.  This has become a rather interesting real mission trip that most people were unprepared for.
Interestingly, a day or two before I left for Belize, God had spoken something to me during my prayer time.  I was praying and preparing spiritually for the trip and got a strange impression.  It was not even what I would call a word, but I felt as if this mission would be more than what we knew or expected and that we may not come back when we planned on it.  I know now that it was God, but then I had this feeling that this trip was going to be bigger than anyone expected and that something was going to happen that no one planned on or prepared for.  Like I said, it was not clear enough for me to tell the leaders, but it was this nagging thought.  I was unsure of what to expect or if I was just being silly, but I made plans in the physical to have everything taken care of in case I did not come back when I thought I would.
Now, I know that was a word from the Lord.  I doubt any of us would have gone if we had known that we would be in the middle of a hurricane.  However, God was preparing me even before the trip for unexpected things that would take place.  Even on my 28th mission trip, God is still giving me adventure and allowing me to experience something I had never done before and may never do again, endure through a hurricane.
Devotion – 
These are difficult times that we all live in.  God has chosen you to live at this time and He gives you everything that you need to succeed.  The more troubling things that are around you, the closer you need to get to Him!
 Press into Him and He will give you the ability to press on no matter the lack of sleep, uncomfortable conditions, pain, or whatever you may be going through.  
Interestingly, God revealed to me something that I never really could have known or been prepared for, experiencing a hurricane, during my time with Him.  I was close to Him even before the hard times came, and because of this, He was able to prepare me for the unknown hard times to come so that I was ready to endure when the time came.  This demonstrates how important it is to press into Him during the easy times as well as the difficult. 
Challenge – 
Today, ask God to help you to come closer to Him than ever before.  As you do this, look for the encouragement, strength, and life that will come as a result of deepening devotion and intimacy with Him!!!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!
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Intimacy/Love of God

 

Simple Discipleship

This is the second week in a series called Simple Discipleship:

1. Being a Leader/Disciple

The topic for next week will be Worship/Sacrifice and we will be discussing:

2 Chronicles 20:1-30, Genesis 22:1-19, John 4:20-24, Malachi 1:6-14, 2 Samuel 24:18-25, and Luke 7:36-50

intimacy-with-God

This week, we are learning about Intimacy/Love of God.

Here are my notes: Simple Discipleship Week 2

Here is the recording of the teaching, Feb 10, 2016: Intimacy/Love of God

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This week’s teaching is what I would consider as the most important one to come to understand in the whole series.  The love of God and the relationship that we have with Him will affect every other aspect of our lives.

What is Intimacy? to know deeply, completely and have a greater love for then when you did not know as much.

What is Love? A deep, selfless, pure closeness and knowing of a person no matter what their words, actions, or behavior.  This closeness is promised with words, but proven by action.

Our revelation of the Love that God has for us will color every other thing that we come into contact with.  How can we love others if we do not love God?  How can we even love God if we do not understand the enormity of His love for us?

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In John 15 Jesus speaks of an illustration of how close we should be in relationship with Him.  He is the vine and we are the branches.  We must be in such a relationship that we are a part of Him, and we are getting everything we need for us to live from Him .  Without this relationship with Him, we can do nothing.  I know that all of us want to be doing great things for the Lord.  However, if we are not constantly and consistently connected with Him, we are doing absolutely nothing no matter how great we may look.

If you don’t remember anything else remember this, everything we do flows from our relationship with Jesus!!!  You want to do great things? You must have a great relationship with Jesus.

fire-heart-love

1 Corinthians 13 gives us a picture of the perfect God kind of love.  Paul is very clear at the beginning that no matter what you may be doing, saying, or giving to the Lord if it is not done in love, it is worthless.

Paul is very intentional about describing the God kind of love because it is so different than our view of love.  This love is God’s love for us and the kind of love we should be seeking to have for him and for each other.  We have a long way to go until we are able to obtain a love that begins to look like this perfect God kind of love.

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Ephesians 3 speaks even more to how important this love is for us to have and know.  We are strengthened in our inner selves by this love.  In fact, this power, the Love of God and our revelation of this love, is the power with which God works out exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask for, hope for, or imagine.  Our faith opens the door for this love to come in and each new revelation of this love that we have unlocks a greater power to work in and through us in every area of our lives.

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It is evident in Deuteronomy 7:6-9 that God has chosen you as a special treasure and set you apart for holiness.  There was nothing that you have done or ever could do to deserve this, but God did it because He loves you.  God is full of mercy or he never would have chosen any of us sinful creatures.  He is faithful because He continues to pour out His mercy when over and over again we prove that we do not deserve it.

I challenge you to sit down in a quiet place by yourself with a pen and some paper.  Ask Holy Spirit to come and speak to you.  Ask Him a simple question “How much do You love me?”  Then, simple write or draw whatever He speaks to you.  The voice of God is always loving, encouraging, and full of life.  This is what He will speak to you.

After you have completed the above exercise, I would encourage you to pray and ask Holy Spirit:

Do I have a deepening relationship with you? Does my life sustaining force flow from my relationship with You?

Am i being obedient to You out of love or am I trying to prove I am worthy of Your love?

Am I glorifying You through my love for You?

Finally, pray this with me:  “Father, bring a new revelation of the love that you have for me.  Show me how much you truly love me and help me to do better at showing that love to the people around me.”

May the Lord bless you with new revelations of His love ever-increasing and ever-strengthening you with power for great and mighty works.

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!