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Life Lesson: March 27

27 Mar

What drives you? What controls your thoughts and how you talk? Is it your personal goals or is it the love of Christ in you?

Meditate
Read and mediate on the words of 1 Corinthians 9:16-23

Sing: “How Deep The Father’s Love For Us”

Verse 1
How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory

Verse 2
Behold the Man upon a cross
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

Verse 3
I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

Message
Think about how often you act out of compulsion. We eat, sleep, and breathe out of necessity for life. Many of the things we do out of impulse or “lack of control” are negative or sinful. Paul was so impacted by the Father’s love that he had no choice but to preach the gospel! What is your response to the love of God? Are you compelled to tell others about the good things He has done in your life?

Blessing
Call a friend that you have not spoken to in a long time.

Move
Do stretches for 10 minutes. Work your whole body.

Create
Write a long note to your spouse, parent, sibling, or other closest relative or friend.

Nourish
Be thankful for what you eat today. Say a prayer of thanks before your meal, stop and pray again in the middle of your meal, and close your meal with a word of thanksgiving.

Rest
Find 10 minutes to be still. Do nothing during this time. This is God’s time to renew you in mind, body and spirit.

Recreation
Play a board game with someone.

Pray
For the person you wrote your note to.

Snacks
Eat a piece of fruit.

World Prayer
Pray for our nation and President today.

Sleep
Go to bed a few minutes early tonight. Plan to get up a few minutes early tomorrow and spend that time in prayer and Bible reading. Put your Bible next to your bed so that you have no excuse in the morning.

From morning until night, God wants us to worship and commune with Him. Start your day in His Word and then weave throughout the day these elements of devotion, worship, contemplation and service to others.

_______
LYRICS CREDIT: “How Deep The Father’s Love For Us” CCLI Song # 1558110, Stuart Townend, © 1995 Thankyou Music (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing), For use solely with the SongSelect Terms of Use. All rights reserved. www.ccli.com, CCLI License # 283314

Life Lesson: Feb 6

6 Feb

To be chosen and to be obedient. We desire one and we find it easy to shrink from the other. Yet, God’s best for us is when we say ‘yes’ to both.

Meditate: Jeremiah 1:4-10

Sing Rise Up O Men of God
Verse 1
Rise up O men of God
Have done with lesser things
Give heart and soul and mind and strength
To serve the King of kings

Verse 2
Rise up O men of God
His kingdom tarries long
Bring in the day of brotherhood
And end the night of wrong

Verse 3

Rise up O men of God
The church for you doth wait
Her strength unequal to her task
Rise up and make her great

Verse 4
Lift high the cross of Christ
Tread where His feet have trod
As brothers of the Son of Man
Rise up O men of God

Message
Have you ever received a call from a person who asked you to do something and you had a “perfectly good” excuse why you could not do it? Maybe you had several good excuses. Maybe it would have saved a great deal of time to just say, “No, I do not want to do that.” I have to admit that I have made excuses rather than just admitting that I did not want to do something.

I have also made excuses to God: “It is too cold”, “I am too tired”, “I am afraid of being laughed at or thought a fool”, “I do not have enough money”, “I do not have enough time”, “I cannot talk in front of people”, or “I do not have those abilities”. Maybe I forget that God created me and he knows exactly who I am. There is never a need to remind him or fill him in on the details that he may have forgotten.

Jeremiah let God know that he was simply too young to do what God was asking him to do. The ironic thing is that God had just got done saying, “I formed you in your Mother’s womb.” God knew exactly how old Jeremiah was. There was no need to remind him.

Moses also made excuses. He made so many excuses that God got angry.

It seems to me that Jesus had the most valid excuses, since he (unlike the rest of us) knew exactly what was going to happen. For Jesus, the purposes of God and his love for us trumped any excuse that could possibly have been made.

What is God asking of you today? Are you to speak to someone, call or visit someone, serve in some way, take a class, forgive someone, start a new ministry, give something away or something is it else? You know! Now what is your excuse?

Blessing
Send a note to someone thanking them for being obedient to God’s call. Let them know how their obedience touched your life.

Move
Get out and walk. If you see someone during your walk, ask God if you are supposed to bless them in some way.

Create
Write down what you feel God is telling you to do. Write down your excuses. Think of the attributes of God that negate your excuses.

Nourish
Make sure that you eat breakfast! This is the most important meal of the day!

Rest
Find 10 minutes to be still. Do nothing during this time. This is God’s time to renew you in mind, body and spirit.

Recreation
Go to a nursing home and take some (you only need a few) carnations. Without saying anything, pass them out to the staff and clients. Offer the people you meet a flower and a smile.

Pray
Pray for those who feel hopeless because they have told God, “No!” for too long. Pray that God will give them a fresh mission. Pray that you will not find yourself there someday.

Snacks
Treat yourself to a small ice cream cone and buy one for a friend.

World Prayer
Go on-line and search for a site that offers mission trips for youth. Look at the pictures and pray for the young people who are answering God’s call. Pray that the hearts of the people they serve will be changed. Pray also that the hearts of each young person would be changed.

Sleep
As you fall asleep, thank God for all of the obedient people who have led you to Christ.

From morning until night, God wants us to worship and commune with Him. Start your day in His Word and then weave throughout the day these elements of devotion, worship, contemplation and service to others.

_______________________
Lyrics Credit:
“Rise Up O Men of God”, William H Walter, 1894. Used by permission, CFO Sings, Page 220

Life Lesson: Nov 7

7 Nov

How do you live? What are your goals? The promise of life-change hinges on loving others not ourselves.

Meditate
Read Mark 8:31-38. Meditate on verse 33.

Sing
Chorus 
I surrender all, I surrender all
All to Thee my blessed Savior, I surrender all

Verse 1
All to Jesus I surrender, All to Him I freely give
I will ever love and trust Him, In His presence daily live.

Verse 2
All to Jesus I surrender, Humbly at His feet I bow.
Worldly pleasures all forsaken, Take me Jesus take me now.

Verse 3
All to Jesus I surrender, Make me Savior wholly Thine.
Let me feel the Holy Spirit, Truly know that Thou art mine.

Verse 4
All to Jesus I surrender, Lord I give myself to Thee.
Fill me with Thy love and power, Let Thy blessing fall on me.

Verse 5
All to Jesus I surrender, Now I feel the sacred flame.
O the joy of full salvation, Glory glory to His name.

Message
Be in silence to hear from God.

Blessing
When you are out today, speak a blessing to the first person you see.

Move
Convert your exercise program into a spiritual time. Every movement of your body has a cadence that can be set to prayer, such as the Lord’s Prayer, Hail Mary or the Doxology.

Create
Draw a picture, using the hand you don’t write with. Ask God what is the point of your drawing.

Nourish
Consider eating half portions or fasting today.

Rest
Find 10 minutes to be still. Do nothing during this time. This is God’s time to renew you in mind, body and spirit.

Recreation
Have you been wanting to play? Let yourself be a child. Visit a playground in a park. Watch the children at play. Buy a coloring book and crayons. Laugh out loud.

Pray
Picture Jesus sitting surrounded by a large assortment of wrapped boxes. He invites you to unwrap each one, because they are gifts for you! Unwrap the gifts of love, joy, peace, forgiveness, good health, strength, endurance, provision of all kinds, hugs, kisses, and good will toward you from others. Lastly, Jesus wraps himself up and presents himself to you. He beckons you to come and accept this gift. As you do, realize that all the other gifts are straw and dust without the gift of Jesus. Realize also that when you accept the gift of Jesus, you must give up yourself in return. Through this exchange, the concerns of God become your concerns and  your concerns begin to fade.

Snacks
Skip your snack today and pray for those who do not have anything to eat.

World Prayer
You have built yourself up in this day with God. Use this energy to pray for things outside yourself.

Sleep
Ask the Lord to help you empty your mind of all the day’s woes and problems and fill it with his peace. Be silent and drift off to sleep.

From morning until night, God wants us to worship and commune with Him. Start your day in His Word and then weave throughout the day these elements of devotion, worship, contemplation and service to others.
__________________
LYRICS CREDIT:
“I Surrender All” CCLI Song # 23189, Judson Wheeler Van De Venter | Winfield Scott Weeden, Public Domain, For use solely with the SongSelect Terms of Use. All rights reserved. www.ccli.com,CCLI License # 283314

Life Lesson: October 9

9 Oct

Meditate: Read Jonah 2

Sing: It Is Well with My Soul

Chorus:   It is well with my soul. It is well, It is well with my soul. 

Verse 1
When peace like a river attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say
It is well. It is well with my soul

Verse 2
Tho’ Satan should buffet. Tho’ trials should come
Let this blest assurance control.
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate
And hath shed His own blood for my soul

Verse 3
My sin O the bliss of this glorious tho’t
My sin not in part but the whole
Is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more
Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord O my soul

Verse 4
And Lord haste the day when my faith shall be sight
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll
The trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend
Even so it is well with my soul

Message
            How can this man, Horatio Spafford, write a song that basically says, “Even though life is hopeless and horrible, I am ok!” There have been times in my life when I was not ok. I was afraid, lost, alone, hurt, or angry. I was NOT ok! But today, I am ok. How can that be? It can be, because God is faithful. God gives grace to the lost and mercy to the suffering. God forgives and God gives hope. Horatio Spafford did not say, “It is well!” because life circumstances changed. He said, “It is well!” because God is good and nothing in this life is worth hanging on to except God. Horatio did not focus his attention on the sea billows, trials, and suffering around him, he turned his eyes to the one who pardoned all of his sin and promised to come again to take him to a better place.

Jonah was in the belly of the big fish when he prayed to God for help and mercy. He proclaimed “when my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord (vs7).” When all seemed lost, Jonah turned from his circumstances and grabbed hold of the only thing that mattered, God! My favorite verse in this chapter is verse 8. Jonah realizes and says, “Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.” Jonah discovered, just as Horatio Spafford discovered, there is nothing in this life that is more important than our relationship with God, through Jesus.

Jesus tells us, in Luke 14:26-27, that we must set everything else aside (even family) to be a disciple. Nothing can stand in the way of our relationship with Jesus. Then, no matter what happens once we pick up our cross and follow, we must keep focused on the most important thing. If we try to hang on to things in this life, we will forfeit the grace that God has for us.

Blessing
Go to the grocery store and pick up a few extra items that you can donate to a food pantry or take to someone in need.

Move
Sing: ‘Let Go, Let the Spirit Flow” and do some motions. Make your motions as big as you are able. Remember that we have some “worthless idols” that we need to let go of.

Let go, let the Spirit flow. (3x) 
Let go, and let God.

Additional verses: Clap you hands, raise your arms, lift your knees, etc.

Create
After some time in prayer, make a list of “worthless idols” to which you hold on. Next to the list, make a new list of where you have seen God’s grace in your life.

Nourish
Keep track of what you eat today. Are you getting a well-balanced diet?

Rest
Find 10 minutes to be still. Do nothing during this time. This is God’s time to renew you in mind, body and spirit.

Recreation
Swim today. If you are not able to swim, take a long hot bath. Enjoy the feeling of the water around you.

Pray
Rewrite Jonah’s prayer in your own words and in relation to your own life circumstances.

Snacks
Treat yourself to your favorite cookie.

World Prayer
Read the paper or watch the news. Jot down the first four situations you read or see. Take several minutes to pray for each one.

Sleep
Are you getting enough sleep? What can you do to improve your sleep time?

From morning until night, God wants us to worship and commune with Him. Start your day in His Word and then weave throughout the day these elements of devotion, worship, contemplation and service to others.

_______
“It Is Well with My Soul”, pg. 61 CFO Sings, H.G. Spafford & P.P. Bliss

“Let Go, Let the Spirit Flow”, pg. 262 CFO Sings, Frank Wilson & LaVerne Krull Caton

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