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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Reflection: Walk: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions


1.     Can you identify the lures that pull your sight to the left or to the right of God’s path?

2.     How do you cope with them?

3.     What promises from God are you still wondering about?

4.     What would you need to have more confidence in His protection?


    Share: What previous word from the Lord has steadied your walk in a time of weakness?

Monday, April 27, 2015

Walk: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry


Reading: Joshua 23

“..that not one thing has failed of all the good things that the Lord your God promised concerning you; all have come to pass for you, not one of them has failed..” Joshua 23:14

Joshua’s time of leadership has come to a close. He reminds Israel that everything they have achieved came because they walked with God and that He fought for them. He warned them to not ever consider, “turning aside from it neither to the right nor to the left….but hold fast to the Lord your God.”

The California coast abounds in hiking trails with breathtaking views for beginning hikers through to accomplished rough terrain trailblazers. And each trail is marked by maps and signs where to beware—where not to go—where the seemingly solid cliff could become treacherous and unstable.  And yet residents and visitors alike often take their chances and go off the solid trails into danger. Some times they succeed and then others follow their example with life threatening results.

Satan tried to lure Jesus to take a different path that promised power and riches and fulfillment. His reply, “Begone Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’” Onlookers of Jesus’ ministry did not always see the promises behind His words. Even His disciples struggled to understand then and now.

Yet His promises never fail.

Lord, we need Your courage and strength to walk your path in faithfulness. And in seasons when we stumble and our hands begin to loosen our grip, please hold fast to us. Keep our sight fixed on You.


Psalm of Worship: Psalm 143: 8

“Let me hear of your steadfast love in the morning, for in you I put my trust.
Teach me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.”



Friday, April 24, 2015

Witness: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry

                     
                       Witness


Heart, soul

mind, strength

service all

witness—only

altar before

the Lord to

keep faith

day to day

generation to generation

protection against

false worship

He along refuge.

Hold fast.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Reflection Altar: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions


1.     What are some false altars that as Christians we need to be wary of?

2.     What are some false altars that divide your own heart from full obedience to the Lord?

3.     How can we protect our communities from drifting from His ways even while keeping worship?

4.     How can we begin to recognize the seeds of rebellion in ourselves or our  worship communities?


Share: What ‘witness’ do you keep as a foundation to hold onto your faith?




Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Altar: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry


Reading: Joshua 22

“The Reubenites and the Gadites called the altar ‘Witness’; ‘For,’ said they, ‘it is a witness between us that the Lord is God.’” Joshua 22:34

As Israel settled into their new land, Joshua released the tribes from across the Jordan to return their inheritance covering them with thanksgiving for keeping their charge, accolades that they had not forsaken their kindred in a time of need, and prayers “to love the Lord your God and walk in his ways, to keep his commandments, and to hold fast to him, and to serve him with all your heart with all your soul.” They also returned with great riches.

Then when the families of Israel heard the tribes had built a large altar on Israel’s side of the Jordan their own tribes rose in consternation and prepared to go to war against them for their perceived unfaithfulness. But first they begged them not to be unfaithful to the Lord by building a false altar and also extended the offer to be incorporated onto the Jordan side if their land was unclean. “Only do not rebel against the Lord, or rebel against us, by building yourselves an altar other than the alter of the Lord our God.”

Shocked by the accusations, and perceived intentions, the Canaan tribes hastily explained their intent. The altar was not to replace the Lord’s altar but rather an altar of witness to future generations of all the tribes on both sides of the Jordan that they all served the same Lord. For them the altar was a warning and a hope to the future generations to not rebel, to not forget their heritage, and to continue to serve the Lord in life and in His tabernacle.

They had seen their parents’ generation lose the promised land because of disobedience. They knew their exodus history and recognized how quickly a person, a family, or a generation, could become separated from the Lord’s altar and thought to prepare ahead for strength to remain faithful.

Do we? Many of our worship sites no longer have altars because under Jesus our altars are not on stone but written with a different style. “…. being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone, but on tablets of human hearts.”  2 Cor 3:3

Lord, help us to be faithful and true witnesses of Your truth at all times. Keep us diligent and compassionate towards others and ourselves when false words begin to influence our hearts and our service. Help us to recognize the dangers and hold tight to Your Holy Spirit’s counsel.



Psalm of Worship: Psalm 142: 3 & 5

“When my spirit is faint, you know my way..”
“…You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.”

Friday, April 10, 2015

Promises: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry


Promises


Words sworn

many years ago

kept in full

kept in faith

many despaired

wondered if truly able.


Lord gave

promises

not one failed

all delivered

all complete

none withheld

power His alone.


Light of life.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Reflection: Oath: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions


1.     Make a list of all God’s promises you have already received.

2.     Under what circumstances do you find doubts begin to cloud your trust even though you know His faithfulness?

3.     What promises are you still waiting upon? In anticipation or in anxiety? Why?


Share: What scripture promise are you holding onto for today?


Monday, April 6, 2015

Oath: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry


Reading: Joshua 21

“Not one of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.” Joshua 21: 45

As the Lord had sworn the Levites received an inheritance of towns and pasturelands within the lots of all the tribes.

As the Lord had sworn all Israel received the lands that He had promised their ancestors.

As the Lord had sworn to their ancestors He gave them rest on every side.

In His time.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

Jesus promised to preach the gospel to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives, to free the downtrodden, and recovery of sight to the blind.

Jesus promised to take up our burdens, and listen to our prayers, and send His Holy Spirit.

Jesus promised His Presence, His refuge, His strength, His forgiveness, His mercy and so so much more.

Jesus promised He will return.

In His time.

Forgive us, Lord, for the many times we allow our doubts to cloud Your promises. Help us to remain as faithful to You as You are to us. And to remember that in Your time all will be fulfilled.


Psalm of Worship: Psalm 141: 8

“But my eyes are turned towards you, O God, my Lord; in you I seek refuge; do not leave me defenseless.”

Sunday, April 5, 2015




      

"And this is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.  1 John 1:5

Friday, April 3, 2015

Refuge:Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry



Refuge


Refuge

safety from avengers

wracked with grief

fury

place to plead

mercy

be heart heard

delivered

from evil

within and without

Refuge.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Reflection: Protection: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions


1.     Do you have habitual sins of error or intent?

2.     What circumstances tend to magnify them?

3.     Do you sweep them away as  ‘human’ frailty or take them to the Lord for forgiveness?

4.     What damage do you need to see healed in relationships?



Share: What does the Lord’s refuge look like for you?


 
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