Tag Archives: branch

God’s Witness (Know) 31/40

You are invited to join us for The Propel Fast! Please review Propelled To The Next Level and other words for the reasons behind the fast as well as daily encouragement

As we move into the last 10 days of The 40, do not forget to focus your eyes on The King of The Kingdom. He rewards us as we diligently seek Him.  If you are able to give more to The Lord, let’s do it together. He is worth so much more than we could ever give. Let us worship Him in a special way the last 10 days of this fast. 

Yesterday’s encouragement was a shift in what God has been speaking and revealing.  God is speaking about seeking Him and growing into the powerful witness, He has created us to be. Over the next several days, we will see how we can become Holy Spirit filled witnesses of the good news!!!

Today, we will start at a place that we are familiar with, but it can never be neglected, forgotten or emphasized enough.  We must come to know God more and more and grow in our relationship with Him. When I speak of knowing God, I am not just talking about a head knowledge that we are accustomed with.  I am speaking of the old Biblical sense of know.  “Adam knew his wife and conceived a son” (Genesis 4:1).  This kind of intimate relationship goes far beyond a mental aspect of knowing.  Jesus is the vine and we are the branches without Him we can do nothing (John 15:5). 

What is the key to bearing fruit? Abiding, remaining, knowing Him!

This is not a new concept that Jesus brings us during his time on earth. Let’s move back to the prophet Isaiah long before Jesus and see the constant, faithful, unchanging heart of God for us to know Him.

Isaiah 43:1-3 “But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior…

God is our creator and redeemer. He has a plan and purpose for designing us and creating us. He has called each one is us by name to come to Him.  We are His.  We may not live walk or act like it, but we have been called and chosen by the Creator of the universe.  He did not make us and leave us on our own as some believe, but He is always with us.  Even in the darkest, most difficult times in our lives He is with us!  The flames of the enemy will not destroy us when we are near to Him. When we are near to The Lord we will not be overcome. 

Why does He do all these things for us?

He is The Lord our God, our Savior!!! Before we move on, know this, you are never alone when you are seeking The Lord.  It may seem like your prayers are going unanswered.  Situations are difficult, the storms, floods, and fire may be coming against you, but you will stand firm as you stand with God in His strength for you are His!

As we walk through the fires, floods, and storms of this life, we have come to know God our Strength, our Sustainer, our Provider, our Savior.  From this place of real life revelation and testimony of what God has done for us, we are called to be His witnesses.

Vs 10-12 “You are My witnesses,” says the Lord, “And My servant whom I have chosen, That you may know and believe Me, And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, Nor shall there be after Me. I, even I, am the Lord, And besides Me there is no savior. I have declared and saved, I have proclaimed, And there was no foreign god among you; Therefore you are My witnesses,” Says the Lord, “that I am God.

There is nothing wrong with Christian apologetics and logical historical evidence that gives witness to the reality of a historical Jesus, but your very life and the testimony of what He has brought you through is an undeniable witness on display that brings glory to God.   The more each of us come to know God, trust in Him, and are transformed into His image, the greater testimony we have. As we come to know Him and our testimony increases, we become a growing witness to God’s goodness, faithfulness, and are able to give Him greater glory from our lives.  Nothing and no one else can cause such a transformation as has taken place in the lives of those who are daily coming to know Jesus more.

This is the first step of being a Holy Spirit empowered martyr-level witness and my encouragement for you today.  Come to know The Savior, Redeemer, and Sustainer more than ever before.  Come to know Him, and recognize what He has taken you through and out of. This has caused your very life to be a witness of who God is.  You are God’s undeniable witness right where you are today. Never be afraid to share who He is that has done such a mighty work in your life!

Jesus, help me come to know You more than ever before! Than, you for touching, changing, and transforming me from a rebellious, selfish sinner into a faithful, righteous saint. Use my life as a witness and testimony of You for Your glory. Even in the middle of the storms of life, I want my life to radiate Your glory because You are with me keeping me from harm.  I want to be Your witness and testimony in every aspect of my life!

Practical –

  • Ask Holy Spirit to help you come to know Him in a greater way today
  • Remember where you have come from, and what He has brought you out of
  • Thank God for His mighty work in Your life
  • Ask to be used as a greater witness and testimony for His glory

Be blessed today with revelation of the life-changing power of knowing Jesus more. May you see clearly where you have come from and how He has been with you through the journey.  May you be a living testimony and witness that continually gives glory to God!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

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!!!

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?

vine

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.

fire heart

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.

heart

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!!!