Tag Archives: foreign

The Heavens Declare 17/40

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 approach the halfway mark of The 40, know this, God is with you.  He has promised to never leave you or forsake you.  Another tactic of the enemy to pull you out of The 40 is to make you feel alone.  I pray that you are encouraged by the community and words that are being shared here.  It is always easier to share struggles with someone who is going through everything right alongside you, and that is why we are here.  However, Jesus is even closer and able to help far more than those in your spiritual family.  Never forget, He is here to help, love, and support you no matter what.

I encourage you today to focus on the goodness of GodHe is faithful to us and every one of the promises he has spoken over us.  He blesses us with His abounding grace and abundant mercy. He overwhelms us with the gifts of heaven, and too often, we forget to be thankful.  In some way, we think that we deserve for God to be this good to us or that we have earned it by our right living.  We must learn to be thankful at all times and declare the wonderful works of God continually.  What did Jesus say about this?

Jesus reveals something interesting when He is told to make his disciples be silent:

Luke 19:40 But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.”

The rocks in creation who have done nothing but sit there from the beginning of time are thankful for who God is and would cry out giving glory to God in their own way if we they were able.  How much more should we worship Him, who have been given wisdom to see the glory and speech to say it?  David also has some interesting things to say along these lines:

Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.

Creation itself is continually declaring the glory of God just in the day to day things that happen.  Sadly, we get used to seeing the beauty of nature and it no longer impresses us.  The beauty of a sunrise is eclipsed by the fact that we have to get up early again and go to work.  We are tired and inward focused and rarely catch the beauty of God’s creation declaring His glory.  The majesty of a rain storm is drowned out by our complaints that now we are going to get wet and be uncomfortable.  Selfishness and inconvenience often cause us to overlook the glory of God being manifest in our midst.

After an extended time of bearing the punishment of their people by being in captivity in a foreign land, the people of Israel return to the land of their inheritance.  Everything is broken down and in disrepair.  Nehemiah leads the people into a time of returning to the law.  They read the law for seven days straight and agree to obey it.  They set about to keep the feasts in the word and worship God.  This is when we see the people worshiping God in a special way:

Nehemiah 9:1-3 Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, in sackcloth, and with dust on their heads. Then those of Israelite lineage separated themselves from all foreigners; and they stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers. And they stood up in their place and read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for one-fourth of the day; and for another fourth they confessed and worshiped the Lord their God.

The people have been reading the word for day, and this causes them to come to God in worship by repentance, confession, prayer, and fasting.  They read more of the word and then worship more, and then they begin to bless the Lord:

Nehemiah 9:5-6 “Blessed be Your glorious name, Which is exalted above all blessing and praise! You alone are the LordYou have made heaven, The heaven of heavens, with all their host, The earth and everything on it, The seas and all that is in them, And You preserve them all. The host of heaven worships You.

Your fasting is worship to God.  Your prayers are worship to God.  Your repentance and confession is declaring the glory of God.  As we spend time seeking Him and pressing into all that He has for us, true worship with come forth from our hearts and our lives that will declare God’s glory in a way that no other thing can.  How can the choice to give up a legitimate pleasure as a sacrifice give glory to God?  By this, we are saying, “Jesus, I love you more!  You are worth it!”  What joy comes to The Father’s heart when his children voluntarily give Him a gift from what little they have to give.  This is true worship and truly declares the glory of God to all the hosts of heaven.  Today, we choose to worship God once again with the sacrifice of our humble hearts.

Jesus, I choose to declare Your glory today.  In my thoughts, words, and actions, help me to recognize and declare Your glory.  Help me to continually give you worship in everything I say and do.  In all I do may I glorify Your Name!

Practical – 

  • Set a time to watch a sunrise, sunset, or spend time watching at the stars
  • Ask Holy Spirit to reveal the glory that creation is declaring to you in this
  • Commit to worship God in thought, word, and action today

Be blessed with the God given ability to recognize the glory of God in the tiniest of details.  May your very life declare the glory of God in all you think, say, and do!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

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Boots on the Ground (Belize)

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Day 1 – Boots on the Ground
Gathering at DFW airport, the mission had already begun… or the attacks had, though I am sure everyone has had their fair share leading up to the trip.  A girl named Sarah did not have a consent form from her father.  This was her first mission trip, and she has dreams of being in medical missions, so it was a rocky start.  I waited with her and told her stories until her dad came back and narrowly missed the cutoff time.
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As we entered through security, this minor calamity averted, it was obvious that the enemy was trying to keep us all from coming to Belize.  However, we did not let fear or worry get in the way, but pressed in with faith.
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More complications when we arrived and getting our luggage through customs, but no big deal.  Here, I am in my element.  With this being my 28th foreign mission trip though I have never been in Belize, I was ready for the adventure once again!!!
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L.J and Sheldon transported us to the Belize sign after we had loaded our luggage and I was blessed with being in the van with a very nice luxury AC.  Probably the only time I will have it on this trip, but for half the team or more, this is their first mission trip, and I was glad to let them have the true cultural experience riding in the window-conditioned bus.  Belize has surprised me at the poverty level and run down appearance even near the airport.  It reminds me of Cambodia in many ways.  The air is muggy though the temperature is less hot than Texas.  It does not seem like it when you are constantly sweating.
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At the Belize Sign, I approached a man named Ashton.  I spoke with him a bit and invited him to take a picture with us.  He seemed to have other intentions when he hugged several of the attractive females, and I even had to pull him out of an embrace and ask him questions about himself to keep him focused on other things.  I ended up praying for him and asking God to show him his true family and His love.  Paul happened to be there and gave him a word about God restoring a broken relationship in his life.  Here it was, real-time ministry in Belize, and it was so easy.
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We left here and ate together at the Cheers restaurant where I was able to get to know Santie a little better.  Then we journeyed to the base and had an orientation before heading to bed… later than most wanted.  After taking a nice cold shower, I write this basking in the glory of the foreign mission, where I have been privileged to be once again.
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Devotion – Boots on the Ground
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Matthew 6:10 Your kingdom come.Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 
 
Romans 8:37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 
You are in a battle!!!  Every day of your life you are warring for the freedom of your soul.  Sometimes, you will be given the opportunity to fight for others as well.  As we travel to Belize, we are warring for an entire nation, souls to be prepared and revival to be harvested for the Kingdom.  Wherever you are, God is able to use you in a mighty way as long as you do not let the enemy make you back down.  Sarah did not give up but pressed in because she has a purpose on this trip. I stepped in to encourage where I could have passed by only looking out for myself.  Brothers and sisters, we are in this battle together and we cannot afford to leave anyone behind.
God is calling you to do great things for Him wherever you are.  When you obey, you are His boots on the ground.  It is up to you to take the fight to the enemy and forcefully advance the Kingdom of God.  The enemy will not stand by and do nothing, but you partnering with God makes a majority in any and every situation. Never back down from what God has called you to do and never settle for less than all He has for you.  You must stand for Him and do what’s right because so many people are counting on you!!!
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Challenge – Ask God to help you be His boots on the ground today. Now, step out and be obedient to what He tells you to do no matter how big, small, or silly it may seem.  Your obedience has the power to invite God into a situation so He can move in the greatest way possible.