Jesus loves me this I know. Debra Wants me this I know. My kids appreciate me this I know. My church encourages me this I know. My Life Group cares for me this I know. Everything else I know, I will share with you.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Dangerous Steps

Who could forget the bible story of Daniel and the Lions den? It was one of my favorites as a Child. The imagery of this innocent young man being falsely accused and placed on deaths door only to miraculously be protected. Then through the providence of God the bad guys all get eaten up. Love it.

But lets not forget.

Daniel was in this position because he was Faithful. (Verse 3)
Daniel was in this position because he was Fearless. (Verse 10)

It was Daniels Prayer life that got him noticed but also got him in trouble. I say this because I believe that most people think that their prayer lives ought to get them out of trouble but to be honest many times it only leads us to more.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego prayed BEFORE going into the Fiery furnace
Daniel Prayed BEFORE going into the lions den.
Jesus Prayed in the Garden, BEFORE going to the Cross.

I know that it was their prayer that protected them, but prayer didn't keep them from having to live by faith. And this made me wonder.

What difficult circumstance are you about to be led INTO and then THROUGH by prayer? What area of FAITH are you seeking God about that will end up with a Miraculous Provision through prayer?

Or are your prayers kept until a Lion is standing on your chest, or your already in the fiery furnace, or your already hanging on the cross.

Daniels prayer life was one that led him into danger, not just through it and its this prayer life that changed the heart of a king.

That should be our prayer ~ Lord, Lead me into a Step of Faith to show your Faithfulness.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Dads Study Chapter 5

Daniel chapter 5 is the story of the handwriting on the wall. Belshazzar, a new King, went into his treasury and brought out the cups from Gods temple and began to get drunk with them. What happens next is important.

A strange figure of a hand appears and writes on a wall.  MENE, MENE, TEKEL, and PARSIN. This freaked the king out not only because a hand writing on a wall without a body would be strange, but the king didn't know what it meant and soon he was sending for Daniel.

Again because Daniel was a man of Character and Faith God gave him insight into the realm of God. The writing was a judgment upon Belshazzar's godless life.
Daniel 5:26-28 (ESV)
26 This is the interpretation of the matter: MENE, God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end;
27 TEKEL, you have been weighed in the balances and found wanting;
28 PERES, your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”

But how does that impact us today? I believe that God is still bringing judgment upon those who reject Him and especially those who mock Him. I mean what if God said to you.............
God has numbered the days of your Job and brought it to an end.
Or, God has numbered the days of your marriage and brought it to an end.
Or, God has numbered the days of your life and brought it to an end.

Why? Because you have been weighed in the balances and found to be stealing your tithe from Him
Because you've been weighed in the balances and found to be unloving to your wife.
Because you've been weighted in the balances and found to be an enemy of God.

and your job will be given to another.
and your spouse and children will be given to another.
and your life (blessings from God) will be given to another.

God is at work in the affairs of men and if we are paying attention to the WRITING ON THE WALL and repent, you will find that God is with you, supporting you, strengthening you, and honoring you. But if not don't be surprised when the wage of sin is death.

Praise God for men like Daniel who are open to seeing beyond the physical realm to understand and explain what God is doing in the Spiritual realm opening our eyes to what God might be saying to us.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Dads Study Chapter 4

How can anyone say that the bible is boring? Seriously, chapter four of Daniel is what blockbuster movies are made of.

The Greatest King ever to Live has a horrible dream. He dreamed of a Great Tree where the world was fed and kept safe under its shade. But then a "Watcher" came down from heaven can cut the tree down. He understood that the tree was himself and that the "Watcher" told that he was going to be changed into a beast to humble him to accept who the TRUE God is.

Really, this is good stuff.

The Kings pride led the dream to come true and soon he was eating grass for seven years until he humbled himself before God, to which by the grace of God, the king was restored to his kingdom

Daniel interpreted the dream perfectly but was able to because of Daniels Character and Connection with God.

Every human being is prideful and many like the King believe that they are godlike. You see it in how they live. Its as if they don't even need Him. But unlike the King, there are few Daniels whose Character and Connection with God cause those to whom God might be speaking with to be sought out.

That is our lesson for today. We who are believers, who are faithful (chap 3), who are prayerful (chap 2), and who are standing up for God (chap 1) ought to have the kind of faith life that exhibits the kind of Character and Connection with God that leads others to seek us out when God is speaking to their hearts.

It ought to be the cry of our hearts to see those to whom God has humbled through difficult life circumstances restored unto a new life through the Love of God and that our faith in Him is so trustworthy that we would be sought out as a part of it.

I love this book!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Dads Study Chapter 3

As I kid, this was one of my favorite bible stories as it contained all of the necessary parts to an exciting time in the word of God.
There was the Enemy ~ Certain Chaldean's in verse 8
A Prideful King ~ Nebuchadnezzar
Three innocent young men ~ Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
A Popular Band ~ verse 5
A dangerous situation ~ Fiery Furnace
A showdown ~ False god verses True God

and while most of us know the story and how it turned out, what do we know about these young men that would encourage us to hear more from God?

#1 They were Faithful ~ The would not bow down to a false god
#2 They had Faith ~ Verses 17-18

Real Faith
Not situational faith

What can we learn from their faith? There are things that are more important than life.
Their faith led them to believe that it was better to be DEAD and OBEDIENT to God, than ALIVE and DISOBEDIENT to Him. They truly believed that it was better to walk with God at the cost of your life than to live for yourself. They knew that God always honored faith and as a result they met Jesus in the midst of the Fire, came out of the Furnace alive, and were promoted by the world.

What a lesson ~ God honors Faith and its this type of faith that God speaks to.

How does your stack up when your tempted to compromise to protect yourself from the flames?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Dads Study Chapter 2

If you have read Daniel chapter 2 you will find King Nebuchadnezzar having a dream that was troubling to Him. The problem the King had was though he was troubled, he forgets the dream. So calling upon his wise men, he asks them to tell him not just the interpretation of the dream, but to tell him the dream as well.

Tough job that of being a wise man. They are asked to reveal a dream they have not had, and interpret that dream they've never heard or else they would die. Makes sense though, whats the purpose of having wise men if they cant tell you what you don't know.

But its here that we find part of the reason for Chapter ones testing. One because Daniel didn't succumb to the pressures of life, and two because Daniels God was the only one who could give the answer the King is seeking.

But its what Daniel did next that can help us with our Faith walk.

Daniel 2:17-19 (ESV) Then Daniel went to his house and made the matter known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions,
18 and told them to seek mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his companions might not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.
19 Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.

Daniel simply went to his friends and asked them to pray because he knew that the only one who could answer his need was God. Yes we have a God who has answers to questions that affect our lives and every believer is in a position to which if they are faithful (Chapter 1), and obey God (Chapter 1) they are given insight that others do not have.

As I have said over and over again, God wants to speak to us, to comfort us, especially when we are under pressure. He wants to give us wisdom.Why? Because not only does God want to reveal Himself to us but also unto the world. Our God is not Dead and He is at work in the lives of men.

James 1:2-8 (ESV)
2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,
3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.
7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;
8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

As a Christian, we lack nothing that we cannot receive from God. Even the Answer to a dream we never had, to give an answer to a man who does not know God. It only takes prayer.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Dads Study ~ Chapter One

As I shared yesterday that my father had a mini revival occur in his later years as he went through a study of the book of Daniel. It wasn't a study on Prophesy as many seem to do, but was a study of how Daniel received that Prophecy from God. It really was a study on Prayer. and with that lets begin.

Daniel Chapter 1

As we enter this chapter, we find some young men (teens) in a very awkward position. Captive in a foreign land, they are confronted with a change in their diet. For most of us that would be a good thing except the diet of these men was given to them by God. This diet was special to them as it was a form of obedience and the food to which they were being offered was actually foods that were offensive to their God.

What should they do? The King that controlled their lives was the most powerful king on the planet. If he wanted them dead it was as simple as a command. So they knew that they either had to comply or die.

What could they do? Oh the pressure. I am sure they heard all the things we hear today when we try to live by faith. "Everyone else is doing it" "So what, if God cared you wouldn't be in this position" With their country left in ruins, and their nation all but destroyed many said, "Who will know or care if we compromise?"

They felt that pressure, but these young men chose to hold on to their beliefs and God honored them. In the end, they were exalted by receiving authority and responsibility in the Kingdom.

Throughout this book the Pressure to compromise never lessened, but they never gave in.

What can we learn from this chapter?
If you want to hear from God, you will need to decide that no matter what pressure you face you will stay faithful.

Study your bible and you will see how many who compromised lessened their usefulness to God while those who stayed faithful especially in the midst of difficulties were rewarded with a closer relationship with God.

When it comes to communicating with God, its important to remain faithful no matter the pressure you face to compromise.
When someone says it doesn't matter, it does to God.
When you hear, "God forsake you, give up" know its a lie.
When you get tired, scared, weary, worn down and want to give in to the flesh, please, HOLD ON. Don't Let Go. God will never leave you nor forsake You.
God is there, no matter the temptation.

This is not about God showing up but God already being there. For these young men, they knew that no matter what was going on in their lives, God still LIVED and LOVED them.

This lead to even greater communication with God.

Step one to Hearing from God ~ Stand Up for God and Stay True to His word

Monday, October 14, 2013

Its nice to Share

When I was a younger man my father experienced an amazing Spiritual transformation. He was always a strong Christian or so I thought until one bible study changed him forever. So great was this change that my father could not help but tell everyone he knew about it, but to me it was just another irritating bible thing that he was pushing on me. (I think I have seen Every Billy Graham Special ever done~Ugh)

I understand why my father Loved Jesus so much as he played a huge part in my falling in love with Him as well. I also understand that while as a younger man, all of this bible stuff irritated me, the change in my father has never left my mind.

Why am I sharing all of this? Because God has done an amazing work in my own heart recently. I began a similar study as my father had and have come to the same conclusions as he did so many years ago And over the next couple of weeks I want to share parts of what I have learned to encourage you as well.

I do want to add this though. Thank you NewLife for allowing me the time to seek God on these matters. Your service as well as your sacrifice gives me the opportunity to spend time with God that without you would be impossible to do. It is my hope that you see the benefits through a growing personal relationship with God through our Savior Jesus Christ.

I do "Love my Life"

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

WWF of Angel Wrestling ~ Just Lay Down

Last Night a question was asked in LG wondering how someone who has experienced a relationship with God could so easily (seemingly) fall away. While I do not think that there is always an simple answer as we are complex beings, I do know this for sure.
No matter WHY we do it, WHAT He responds to and is waiting for is this...

Wednesday, October 2, 2013