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Life Lesson: May 23

22 May

Meditate 
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. (Galatians 5:16-26)

Sing
Higher Ground
Chorus 1
Lord lift me up and let me stand
By faith on heaven’s tableland
A higher plain than I have found
Lord plant my feet on higher ground

Verses
I’m pressing on the upward way
New heights I’m gaining every day
Still praying as I’m onward bound
Lord plant my feet on higher ground

My heart has no desire to stay
Where doubts arise and fears dismay
Though some may dwell where these abound
My prayer my aim is higher ground

I want to live above the world
Though Satan’s darts at me are hurled
For faith has caught the joyful sound
The song of saints on higher ground

I want to scale the utmost height
And catch a gleam of glory bright
But still I’ll pray ‘til heaven I’ve found
Lord lead me on to higher ground

Message
We laugh about not praying for patience and we joke about not having self-control, but Galatians does not paint a picture that is funny. This passage talks about choosing freedom instead of serving the flesh, biting and devouring one another, gratifying the desires of our flesh, sexual immorality, impurity, idolatry, envy, conceit, strife, etc. We may be able to say that we are not likely to fall into drunkenness or sexual immorality, but what about divisions, anger or rivalries? Read today’s passage again and see some of the things that we are likely to fall into when we are not living by the Spirit.

Life in the Spirit is not about having a list of things to strive for. It is not about a check list to make sure we did not get angry today and we did not envy today, but it is about “loving our neighbor as ourselves” (Gal 5:14). If we strive to keep in step with the Holy Spirit, these negative things will be replaced with the positive things. We do not need to say, “I am going to be more patient today.” We need to say, “I am going to stay close to God today.”

I tend to have a short temper and I recognize that when I spend more time in the Word and prayer, the length of my temper grows. I do not concentrate on my temper, I consecrate on God. When I spend more time with God, it keeps the ground fertile and healthy so that the Holy Spirit can grow His fruit in me. Just like in a garden, this is not a onetime thing. Every day, I need to be pulling weeds with prayer, pruning the plants with Bible study, and tilling the soil with service.

Blessing
Consider someone who has shown some fruit of the Spirit, but does so in a quiet way and is not generally noticed. Call them and tell them what you have noticed. Encourage them on their journey up the mountain.

Move
As you sing the verses to this song, pretend to climb the mountain. Use high steps to get up to higher ground. When you sing the chorus, stand still and lift your hands. Let God plant your feet in the place that he has brought you.

Create
Draw a line from the lower left corner of your paper to the upper right. This is your mountain. Ask God to show you where you are on the mountain now and place a symbol there that indicates You. Remain in prayer and as God reveals, note those things that you have conquered by His grace. Place symbols, below you, on your mountain to signify these things that God shows you. Ask God what you still need to work on and place these things higher up on the mountain.

Nourish
Open a recipe book and find something new to try. Take a chance.

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
Find a mountain or hill to climb.

Pray
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Gal 5:22-23). Spend some quiet time and consider how God has shown you each of these characteristics in himself. Pray that the Holy Spirit will grow these things in you.

Snacks
Eat a piece of fruit for your snack. Try something you have never eaten before.

World Prayer
Pray for those who are stuck on the mountain and cannot move because they do not trust God to supply what they need, because they feel they can live life on their own, because they think they are fine where they are, or because they fear that God is not really on the mountain.

Sleep
As you fall asleep tonight, picture a mountain. Climb that mountain and feel the energy that God provides when we push onward and upward to His goal for our lives.

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:
Used with permission: “Higher Ground”, Johnson Oatman, Jr. & Chas. H. Gabriel, CFO Sings, pg 63

Life Lesson: May 1

1 May

Yielding to God and His ways is so rewarding. It is our choice, yet His response to us is so much more.

Meditate
Read Jeremiah 31:31-34.
Pay special attention to the end of verse 34: “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

Sing
Verse 1:
Have Thine own way Lord. Have Thine own way.
Thou art the Potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me, after Thy will.
While I am waiting, yielded and still.

Verse 2:
Have Thine own way Lord. Have Thine own way.
Search me and try me, Master today.
Whiter than snow Lord, wash me just now.
As in Thy presence, humbly I bow.

Verse 3:
Have Thine own way Lord. Have Thine own way.
Wounded and weary, help me I pray.
Power all power, surely is Thine.
Touch me and heal me, Savior divine.

Verse 4:
Have Thine own way Lord. Have Thine own way.
Hold o’er my being, absolute sway.
Fill with Thy Spirit, till all shall see.
Christ only always, living in me.

Message
Jesus Christ is the New Covenant, the spotless Yeshua, My salvation! Jesus tells us, Take my yoke upon you and learn of me. My yoke is easy and my burden is light. You and I were not created to carry the burden of the world, but to rest in Jesus. The battle is his and not ours to fight. Jesus has already won! Alleluia!

Blessing
Find a partner and take turns speaking affirmations to one another: “You are a child of God”, “Jesus has paid the price for your sins”, “God does not remember your sin anymore”, and “You are precious in His sight”

Move
Sit in a chair and move each body part, from your toes to your neck and head. Do not strain, but feel each body part work. Remember your fingers, tongue, eyes, and nose. Use quiet music to relax by.

Create
Take some quiet time to listen to God. Write a note of thanksgiving to Jesus. Date it and place it in a drawer or book where you may find it at some other time.

Nourish
Prepare a meal with the decision to drop one unhealthy habit. For example: Use a smaller plate, do not have seconds, cut out desserts, cut serving size in half.

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
Do something physical that you have wanted to try, but have never done.

Pray
Be still and ask God to show you how he has changed your heart. Ask Him who to pray for and commit to pray for them over the next several days.

Snacks
Have some apple slices with cheese.

World Prayer
Pray for each of the nations of South America, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”

Sleep
Commit to getting 7-8 hours of sleep tonight. Go to bed at a time that you will have that many hours available.

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:
“Have Thine Own Way Lord”, used with permission, CFO Sings, page 296

Life Lesson: January 23

23 Jan

Meditate

Read Matthew 6: 5-15 and Luke 11:2-4 Let God speak to your heart about His Will being done on earth.

Sing
Vs 1 Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me
Let there be peace on earth. The peace that was meant to be
With God as our Father, brothers all are we.
Let me walk with my brother, in perfect harmony

Vs 2 Let peace begin with me. Let this be the moment now.
With ev’ry step I take, let this be my solemn vow.
To take each moment and live each moment in peace eternally.
Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.

Message
We so often speed through the Lord’s prayer without much consideration of the words. I am not sure how fast Jesus said these words, but I am certain he meant every word.

Notice that before anything else, Jesus praises the Father. This is not a matter of flattery, but a matter of fact. God is Father and God is Holy. Praising God first, puts us in the right frame of mind to seek God and His will in our life and in asking for our needs to be met.

Secondly, Jesus lifts his requests. He asks for substance, forgiveness, and righteousness. He is not looking ahead, but just considering today’s needs. He is not just concerned about just the physical needs, but takes into account, body, mind and soul.  God’s goodness does not have to be gathered in great amount, but He will provide for us each day. We can depend on him one day at a time. Jesus gave us this prayer as a model. It would do us well to use it each day and consider what we are asking for.

Blessing
Pray and ask God to place someone on your mind. Send them the card you will make in creatives.

Move
Pray the Lord’s Prayer with actions:
Our Father in heaven, (look up, and begin to reach up with both arms)
May Your name be honored.  (bow your head)
May Your Kingdom come soon. (bring one hand down, close to your body)
May your will be done here on earth (bring the other hand down and swing low, brushing hand over the ground)
Just as it is in Heaven. (swing arms back toward the sky & wave hands back and forth like tree branches)
Give us our food for today, (bring your arms down, with palms up)
And forgive us our sins (cross arms across your chest)
Just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us. (put palms together)
And don’t let us yield to temptation, (push hands down and across body, left to right)
But deliver us from the evil one. (cross wrists, then break away, as if chains have been broken)
(make up your own movements for the last three lines)
For Yours is the kingdom,
And the power,
And the glory forever.

Create
Open your Bible to the Psalms and read the first one you find. Read it two or three times. Pick the verse or verses that strike you and write them on a card. Make two copies. One to memorize this week and one to send to a person that God will show you.

Nourish
Stick with fruits and vegetables today. Drink an extra three glasses of water.

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
Visit the local animal shelter today.

Pray
Make a list of your local, state and federal leaders. Pray for them. Send them a note of encouragement.

Snacks
Find a style of cheese you have never eaten and try it. Share it with a friend.

World Prayer
Pray for those who do not know Jesus. Ask God if there is anyone He wants you to pray specifically for and if there is anyone you should speak to and share the Good News.

Sleep
As you fall asleep, say The Lord’s Prayer. Say it over and over until you drift off.

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.

_______
LYRIC CREDIT:

CCLI Song # 93690. Jill Jackson | Sy Miller. © 1955. Renewed 1983 Jan – Lee Music, CCLI License # 283314T

Life Lesson: November 14

14 Nov

Meditate
Read Exodus 15:22-27. “I am the Lord who heals you.” (Exodus 15:26)

Sing
“I am the God that healeth thee. I am the Lord, your healer. I sent my word and healed your disease. I am the Lord your healer.”

Message
Several years ago, when my daughter was about 5 years old, she was playing on the play ground with her friends. One moment she was happy and the next, she had fallen from the monkey bars, right on her nose. In fear and pain, she came running to me for help. I was certain there was nothing I could do for her little nose and so I sat on the floor, held her in my arms and rocked her gently, as she held a cold compress to her face.

As I rocked and quietly prayed, a song came to mind. The song is based on Exodus 15:26 and says, “I am the God that healeth thee. I am the Lord your healer.”  Over and over I sang these words until she felt better. When I looked at her, the swelling and bruising went down and she ran off to play.

It was 2 years or so later that I took her to an ears, nose, and throat doctor because she was having difficulty with her adenoids and tonsils. The first thing the doctor asked when she looked at her nose was, “When did she break her nose?” Since that day my daughter would tell people, “God heals me, even when I do not know I am broken”.

Blessing
Send a card a shut in. Write out a prayer and include it in the card.

Move
Stand up and relax your body. Start with your head and let your chin drop to your chest. Carefully lift it back up. Tense your arms and then relax. Tense your stomach muscles and then relax. Do the same with your thighs, legs and toes. Notice each part of your body tensing and the relaxing. As your muscles relax, allow God to minister healing and health to your body.

Create
Take a small piece of paper and begin to doodle. You remember, when you were younger and bored, you would make lines, boxes and interconnecting circles. When you feel finished, take a look at it. Look closely. Do not concern yourself with what you see, notice what does God wants you to see.

Nourish
Eat some fresh fruit today and be thankful for the great variety that God has provided.

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
Get out and ride a bike today. If you do not have one and can not borrow one, at least take a walk.

Pray
Contact your Pastor and spouse and see what you can pray about for them. Do it with them if possible.

Snack
Make a smoothie tonight, using fresh or frozen strawberries. God’s food it so good.

World Prayer Broadcast
Pray for the people of Africa and the spread of HIV/Aids.

Rest
As you go to sleep tonight, ask God to be with you in your dreams. Ask him to speak to you in your dreams.

———————
Lyrics Credit: From “I Am the Lord That Healeth Thee” © 1986 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music Don Moen. CCLI#283314

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