Thoughts and Musings for Hope Connection The Mosaic – Finding Hope Ps 16

02
Aug

Bold To Victory – Disciple #2

Who am I in Christ?  That is a big question.  The weak and watered down gospel of rescue is far from what Jesus taught.  He taught victory over sin and situation.  He taught kingdom living.  He taught rescue from the power of the world, the flesh, and the devil.  He taught son-ship with the Heavenly Father.  He taught unity and peace.  He taught service to all.  He taught discipleship, following, and radical change of heart and direction.  Dare to be a Disciple.

Let’s examine three more aspects of the a Christian Disciple.  You want to know who you are now that you are following Christ in conjunction with His leaders.  Jesus worked through the principle of leadership. He selected 12 to be leaders to initiate the work of the kingdom in the church, the body of Christ.  He appointed 70 to be instigators of miracles and change.  He baptized 120 with His Holy Spirit to set off the historic birth of the church on the day of Pentecost.  Jesus lives through leaders and followers.

In Him I am a conqueror, I am confident and I am connected.  These three aspects will be our focus for the next few minutes.

I am a conqueror in Him.

Confess that.  Pray that.  Declare it over your heart and mind and body.  This life will strip you and attempt to get you to live in defeat.   Resist through your position in Christ and the power of the gospel, the good news of conquest.  A middle-aged truck driver pulled me aside for a talk.  “Pastor Phil, I want to tell you something.  When God began to send Black folk into the congregation, I became angry.  My whole life, I have hated Blacks.  But I decided I could be bigger.  So every time I come to service, I make it a point to sit by someone who is Black and get to know them.  At first, I would get angry and hot.  Now, after a few months, I have no problems.  I am joyful to sit with anyone in the congregation no matter how much they are different than me.” This man found himself in Christ.  He discovered that he was a conqueror, who is not bound to old ways and old ideas and old habits.  He expressed his conquering position through love and acceptance and repentance from dead ideas.   Romans 8:37  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

What area of life resists being conquered?  Have you taken the time to search out the Bible for a promise that empowers?  Have you let leadership guide you in your search?

I am confident in Him.

Confess that.  Pray that.  Cover your thoughts with it.  I am confident in HIm.  Loss breeds discontent. Discontent destroys confidence.  Confidence is a given in Christ.  It is a privilege and gift.  We don’t have to go and get it, but we do have the honor to live and use it.  A young director I know struggled with confidence.  At his annual appraisal with his senior executive, he admitted this had been his worst year yet.  It seemed that at the end of the year, no significant progress had been made on goals.  It was frustrating to him.  The executive looked directly into his eyes and told him that he would find that during his hardest years he would discover that he had grown the most.  His confidence boomed at that point.  He got it.  Results don’t build confidence.  It is an inside job.  In Christ, the inside job of building confidence goes on daily as the hidden man of the heart is developed over and over.  Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

What have you lost that makes you feel less than confident?  What has God given you to make up for that loss?

I am connected in Him.

Confess that.  Pray that. Resist the way of the world.  One of the biggest struggles of our century is an ailment title ‘attachment disorder’.   Many write of this ailment only in relationship to how it affects children.  Children grow up into men and women.

Attachment disorder is a broad term intended to describe disorders of mood, behavior, and social relationships arising from a failure to form normal attachments to primary care giving figures in early childhood.” Wikipedia

Our nation is full of adults, who grew up fatherless and detached.  It is an harbinger of domestic violence and constant change in relationships.  The average person only stays in a congregation from 18 to 36 months and then moves on.  Over and over we detach and struggle.  In Christ this is not necessary.  We have a healing attachment through Jesus to the Father from whom every family gets its name and call.  We are connected in Christ.

This connection needs to be chosen.  Like all of the positions and powers we are given in Christ, we must choose to live in them.  We are to put on Christ. We are to conform to His image of us and not the image of the world.  Get connected.  Stay connected.  Through problem and pain, there is no reason to escape connections.  That is the way of the world, not the position of a believer.  Get connected and stay connected.  It is your heritage.

Ephesians 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
Are you connected in a local congregation where you give love and service as much as you receive it?  Make the commitment.  Join.

Summary;

We are conquerors, we have confidence, and we have been connected in Christ.  These are our inheritance in Him.  In Jesus, we live and move and have our being.  Know who you are, what you have been given, and how to live your new life.  I love you and appreciate you.  Are you in Christ?  Then I love you and appreciate you.
Connect.  Tell me what you have learned that strengthens you today or share a prayer need phil@hclive.org

 

10
Jun

Balancing the Cart

Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more. I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods or take up their names on my lips. Psalm 16:4 NIV

Developing life, business, and community can at times take too much of us.  Our pursuit takes over our thought life and overall sense of well being.  When that happens, our balance is tipped and the joy begins to retreat. Thehi Lord sees that.  He wants us to enjoy balance.

“Faith gives you an inner strength and a sense of balance and perspective in life.” Gregory Peck

Many gods consume attention. Social climbing, physical beauty, happiness, perfect health, good works, education, personal fulfillment, recreation, profit, and religion are a few of these gods. They do not need to be of wood or stone or precious metals. They only need to take our primary attention away from The God.

Every one of these gods mentioned is good. They build us.  They build our lives and the lives of others. Each develops a component of life and society. You need to develop socially, physically, mentally, financially, well being, personally, benevolence, and expression of faith. They only become a god when we worship and serve above our worship and service to The God and His desire. Anything that becomes bigger than Him destroys. Our creative design is upset.  Enjoy all of life starting with the God component only He can fill.

Businesses and organizations become skewed. Over focus on profit and mission disallow balanced lives of colleagues. The corporate man or woman must conform to the corporate look, feel, and religion at unreasonable levels. Eventually, it fails. A certain freedom of personal balance needs support.

Personal lives become skewed. Drive to look good or have the best or promote personal opinion stifles faith, family, and friendship. Love becomes violent. Hurt replaces health. Anger stirs and streams.

Three of the Ten Commandments focus on: 1. God first 2. God honored and respected 3. Keep His days separated to worship and rest. The others speak also to family, finances, friendships, community, and order. The Lord of Creation wants us to be balanced and fulfilled in Him and others and self. He is not hung up on hard living.  He is hung up on us living fully and healthily in spirit, soul, body, mind, will, emotion, wisdom, wellbeing, relationships, and family.

Consider the layout of your week.  Prioritize time in each day and the Lord’s Day to worship Him. Prioritize your relationship with Him. Many distortions can be healed through a simple and top priority friendship with the Creator.

Have a great day. The Lord of All is on your side. He is FOR you.

Phil@shepherdok.com 

08
Jun

Stand and Stare

I say to the Lord , “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.” Psalm 16:2 NIV
When I pray, I pray to the Creator of All.  Remember to whom you are speaking. Realizes He is able to do whatever is needed. Acknowledge Him in His greatness. Stand before Him as a child of greatness.

When I pray, I pray to The Great Love. His love is outstanding above  all human expressions of love. Come repentant. Acknowledge gratitude for this love through a changed life. Yearn to be like Him.

When I pray, I pray to The Good God. His goodness challenges me to step up my life. He is good to all. His mercy covers all His creation. Acknowledge love and acceptance for others unlike yourself. All are Hs creation and objects of His goodness and affection.

 Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. Lao Tzu

Struggle through life issues with a confidence and reliance on the Great Lord. He is Lord. He is Master. He is Boss. He is In Charge. He is King. He is not here to do my bidding but for me to express His will and way.

In employment and business relationships I try to remember the parable of the talents. Jesus tells the story of a business operator who assigns assets to be managed by three men. Two are faithful and increase the value. One does nothing. In the end the businessman says to the two, “Enter into the joy of the Master.”

The joy and reward is most defined by the owner of the asset and the most powerful in the transaction. When I recognize that, I open myself to greater reward in negotiation and relationship.

Approach God open. Allow Him to define the terms of reward. Drop preconceived ideas of what you want and understand He only has good to give.

Stand before the Lord, Creator, Great Love, Good God and stare into His power and presence. He will change you and your circumstance.

07
Jun

Morning Moment – Position in Prayer 

Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge. Ps 16:1

The writer positions in God as he prays. We need that. We need to position to posture and to pose in our our mind and heart as we approach the Living God.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

How do You Stand in Front of the Lord of All?

Position with humility. Recognize He is God and I am nothing. Yet, in my nothing , He makes something. He makes worthy. He makes valuable. He makes able to stand before Him. No longer am I nothing. I deserve nothing and receive by grace everything as a free gift.

Position with gratefulness. Thank Him for all He brings. He brings life and life with abundance. He gives forgiveness and the freedom to walk without bondage of depression and anxiety and defeat.

Position with power. The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is on my side and your side. Stand there in His favor. Allow Him a place.

Position with confidence. Confidence builds through conquest. Problems rise and fall. We rise and fall in and through them. Rise more than fall. It is said the average strong business leader fails five times before striking on the right formula to success. Get up and go again. Stand up and sing again. Never stop singing. Never stop standing.

Approach the Lord of All with a calm dependence on Him and a sure readiness to act. Be ready for Him to support and you to work without tiring. Position heart and mind to succeed. Shake off failure and put on confidence. He invests in you. He believes in you. He will not make a bad investment.