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Friday, September 30, 2016

Timeless: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry



                       Timeless


                        Time before time

                        stands next to each one

                        today, tomorrow

                        until day’s end

                        through all nights

                        regardless how dark

                        tramples.

                        Gladdens hearts with courage

                        therefore speak truth

                        hope always in His light.

                        Trust timeless words.

            

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Reflection Hope: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions


1.     Why do you think Peter used this quote of David’s to his audience?

2.     What circumstances, either personal or global, shake your hope?

3.     How can we bridge our emotional fears with words of truth as David did?

4.     In what ways can we step out in faith even when our fears grip us?


Share: What scripture has the Lord given you to cling to in times of struggle?




Monday, September 26, 2016

Hope: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: Acts 2:25-26

“For David says concerning him, ‘I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand so that I will not be shaken; therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; moreover my flesh will live in hope.’”

Peter shifts his audience’s knowledge once again to remember history—to remember prophecy fulfilled in David, by God’s hand.

Despite the battles—the betrayal—the barriers David faced throughout his life he never doubted God’s word.

I will not be shaken,” he said. Despite his own sin, his family torn apart, political power struggles, lies, jealousies and much more, David chose life and faith and hope.

“To live in hope,” he had continued. How under the grueling wars he waged did he claim gladness of heart?

I wish I could say that even when I’m holding tightly to my beliefs I maintain gladness of heart and am not shaken, but I cannot. Even when I cling to hope my emotions still ricochet all over the place at times. I think because I keep looking at the darkness resignation enters and courage weakens.

But David looked at the Lord at his right hand. His sight kept focus on God’s promises and power. A power that overcame Jesus’ death.

Lord, help us to see Your light and live in it—regardless of our sin and our circumstances. Let us see the gladness of Your timeless Presence in the midst of our own history and respond with a thanksgiving that cannot be ignored or silenced.


Psalm of Worship: Genesis 1:24

“And God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind.’ And it was so.”


Friday, September 23, 2016

Admit: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry


            Admit


            Man’s methods use

            sabotage, lies, murder

            to erase competition

            distance ourselves from

penalities. Hide behind

alibis.


God’s way enters

sin’s territory

tears fa├žade open to

die innocent, blameless

purges death’s grip


Altogether.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Reflection Power: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions


1.     In what ways do we still hide our sins behind guilt and facades, often to ourselves?

2.     Why do we hesitate when truth is made evident in situations before us?

3.     What barrier of fear or disbelief still keeps you from accepting Jesus’ power?

4.     Where do you most need His freeing grace right now?



Share: How have you experienced His creative love recently?

Monday, September 19, 2016

Power: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry


Reading: Acts 2:23-24

“this man, handed over to you according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of those outside the law. But God raised him up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held in its power.”

Handed over to you, Peter says.  He goes beyond heritage now and includes the entire crowd. Making Jesus’ actions personal, individual, powerful.

Making the choices each listener now makes individual.

No excuse for confusion or misunderstandings. No hiding behind ignorance or peer pressure. No hiding behind our own sins.

God has upended man’s concept of power and sovereignty. He has replaced political and geographic and religious facades with a staggering fact. Jesus conquered death.
As a victim.  And as Creator. Giving new life each day.

Splitting wide open death’s consequence. Shattering sin’s regime.

Who will listen?


Psalm of Worship: Genesis 1:23


“And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.”

Friday, September 16, 2016

Come: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry



            Come


            Crowds eager to follow

            name dropping headlines

            catch a glimpse of show

            nice reviews

            stumble into power

            wonder beyond expectation

            signs of Messiah come

            whisper questions at edges

            choice to be made

            nervously pretend ignorance than

            connect—commit in public

            need to blend instead.

            Still cannot deny truth.

            Word remains, speaking ‘Come’.


            

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Reflection Listen: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions


1.     What are some reasons we hesitate before accepting or acting on things we know to be true?

2.     In which areas of our lives do you think peer pressure, or the possibility of misunderstanding, keeps us from living out our belief?

3.     Is there any situation in which silence in the face of truth is appropriate?

4.     Jesus spoke truth to Pilate but stayed silent before Herod. What was the difference between the two?


Share: What barriers make it difficult for you to listen to God’s words?




Monday, September 12, 2016

Hear: Word Ambassadors:Prayers and Poetry

My apologies for the long delay. And thank you for your prayers for myself and my family as we dealt with cancer. The blog will continue to discuss what we began last year’s August if you would like to reread the introduction for this portion of the series. What does it mean to be sent back into the world as Jesus said only now as ambassadors for God. How does He define the role of envoy or messengers of His words? What does He mean by all the world and the whole creation?

Hear: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: Acts 2:22

“You that are Israelites, listen to what I have to say! Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, works and signs that God did through him among you, as you yourselves know---.”

Peter called out a challenge to the Israelites to acknowledge words of truth.  To be accountable. To not hide from the scriptures and prophecies that to them were as natural as breathing. Words from history. Words from worship. Words from Yahweh Himself.

He called on them to take a stand on a personal faith. To own their heritage as individuals and not simply as theoretical bystanders.

He called on them to step out from the curious crowd and to act on words they already knew. Attested to by God in ways they were privileged to understand and connect the dots that to many in the crowd seemed confusing.

He called on them to respond to truth with honesty. To have the courage to follow. Regardless of the Roman occupation. Regardless of the betrayal of their own spiritual leadership.

If we substitute “Christians” for “Israelites” what will we hear? Will we remember what we know?

Lord, please give us heart and soul courage to come before You with honest hearts, and be willing to listen and to obey and to follow Your words of life.



Psalm of Worship: Genesis 1:22


“God blessed them saying, ‘Be fruitful, and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.’”
 
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