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Wednesday, November 22 2017

2 Corinthians 1:3-4, NIV

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”

What’s most comforting about Thanksgiving - the turkey, dressing, or pumpkin pie? Perhaps for some, it’s the beauty of the season with leaves changing to vibrant colors of red, orange, and yellow. Maybe it’s the cooler temperatures as frost begins to cover the grass. As we welcome the warmth of home, family, and friends, let’s take a few moments to give thanks for the many blessings we have received.

As we give thanks, is it possible to take this act a step further? Could there be times in our lives when it is difficult to receive what is being given to us? Is it possible we could become prideful or perhaps so self-sufficient we lose sight of the way others try to bless us? This Thanksgiving, may we continue giving but let’s not forget to receive. Let’s remember to accept what is graciously being given to us.

Praise Work: May our hearts be grateful, and receptive to all the abundant blessings from God and each other. Reflect on the blessings in your life. How can you bless someone else? Let’s give encouragement and compassion. Let’s receive joy and grace.

Further Reflection: Isaiah 55:10-11

Happy Thanksgiving! KL

Posted by: AT 10:43 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, November 22 2017

Galatians 6:9, NIV

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

I’m late. There has been too much to do. All week, the yield of my work has declined, and I’ve wanted to give up. Essentially, I haven’t measured up, and as a result, I’m worried my basket will come out empty with nothing to show. A failed crop? No harvest?

During our time on earth, there will always be a deadline and the pressure to perform or produce. At times, it may be impossible to keep up with the demands, and we will get tired. This fall season, let’s discover an abundant harvest that is sowed for the glory of God. Let’s dig into the Word of God with anticipation and gather strength, faith, and hope.

Let us not become weary – “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.” (Ephesians 3:16-17a, NIV)

In doing good – “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” (Colossians 3:23-24, NIV)

For at the proper time – “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, NIV)

We will reap a harvest – “Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love.” (Hosea 10:12a, NIV)

If we do not give up – “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:12, NIV)

Sowing a harvest for the Kingdom of God instead of this world, is more rewarding, and with faith, more attainable.

Praise Work: Take a moment in the midst of a busy world to recognize God’s grace and power working in your life.

“We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 1:3, NIV)

Dig Deeper: 2 Corinthians 9:6-15, Hebrews 12:11, James 3:18

Have a blessed week, KL

Posted by: AT 10:28 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, November 09 2017

Isaiah 55:8-9, NIV

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Hurricanes. Fires. Earthquakes. Death.

When we experience grief, confusion, helplessness, and compared to everything, feel very small, let’s try to remember that God is greater, larger – higher.

When millions of people are humbled and in prayer for one church – that’s higher.

When families, churches, and communities grow closer and stronger after loss and tragedy – that’s higher.

When entire cities and nations rebuild after destruction – that’s higher.

At times, higher results can seem impossible or invisible.

It’s during circumstances like these, that hope allows us to press forward. Thankfully, as followers of Christ, we are called to move forward into community. In community, we can stand and walk together even in difficult times. We struggle and endure together. We grieve and heal together.

The power of community – that’s higher.

Praise Work: Think about the greatness of God and the power of community. Consider spending time in the book of Isaiah (book of comfort) or Psalms (book of emotion and praise). Find verses that speak to your heart and write them down. Try something greater and memorize those verses.

If you’re interested in hearing more about the power of community, Jay’s sermon series “The Last Arrow” encourages us to walk forward, together.

Have a blessed week, KL

Posted by: AT 09:37 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, November 04 2017

Jude 24-25, NIV

To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy – to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power, and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.

It’s Fall Back Sunday – don’t forget to turn the clocks back an hour.

Time isn’t the only thing that falls back. Spiritually, there will be times when we fall back in our walk with God. It is one thing to walk forward when we’re strong, focused, and life is well-balanced, but hurts, failures, and living in our past, can all work to hold us back. How can we walk forward when we have fallen back?

In the Sunday sermon series, “The Last Arrow,” Jay has been walking us down the road of moving forward into the purpose and future God has for us, and here’s what we’ve learned:

As followers of Christ, we are called to live out a destiny - to live boldly and move forward. God will empower us and give us strength. We were not made to fall back; we were made to move forward. If we want to step confidently into our future, we will have to walk away from our past. We are more than conquerors no matter the circumstance because God wants to turn difficult situations into opportunities for good.

Moving forward is living a life without regrets. It’s not the easy road, but it is the road God has laid out for us. When we take a step of faith and risk a little, God will show us more. Even when we fall back, we are loved, accepted, and pleasing to God, and He wants to use us for His glory. Let’s move forward into our destiny!

Praise Work: Take time this week to praise God for how He is working in your life. How are you moving forward into your destiny? Who is in your life that will walk with you? How can you encourage someone else to move forward?

Have a blessed week, KL

Posted by: AT 04:30 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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