“Study: Bible Engagement in Churchgoers’ Hearts, Not Always Practiced” 8/04/2015 by Russ Rankin for www.lifeway.com

“Our Daily Bread” http://odb.org
The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie http://www.harvest.org/devotional

by Russ Rankin on Thursday, September 06, 2012 for http://www.lifeway.com

Original post @  http://www.lifeway.com/Article/research-survey-bible-engagement-churchgoers

Study: Bible Engagement in Churchgoers’ Hearts, Not Always Practiced

by Russ Rankin on Thursday, September 06, 2012

"Bible engagement" is one of the eight attributes of discipleship identified in the Transformational Discipleship study conducted by LifeWay Research.

“Bible engagement” is one of the eight attributes of discipleship identified in the Transformational Discipleship study conducted by LifeWay Research.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — While the majority of churchgoers desire to honor Christ with their lives and even profess to think on biblical truths, a recent study found few actually engage in personal reading and study of the Scriptures.

“Bible engagement” is one of the eight attributes of discipleship identified in the Transformational Discipleship study conducted by LifeWay Research. The study produced the Transformational Discipleship Assessment, which measures an individual’s spiritual growth in each of these areas of development.

The survey found 90 percent of churchgoers agree “I desire to please and honor Jesus in all I do,” and 59 percent agree with the statement: “Throughout the day I find myself thinking about biblical truths.” While the majority agree with both statements, there is a significant difference in the strength of agreement. Nearly two-thirds of churchgoers (64 percent) strongly agree with the first statement, but only 20 percent strongly agree with the second.

However, when asked how often they personally (not as part of a church worship service) read the Bible, a similar number respond “Every Day” (19 percent) as respond “Rarely/Never” (18 percent). A quarter indicate they read the Bible a few times a week. Fourteen percent say they read the Bible “Once a Week” and another 22 percent say “Once a Month” or “A Few Times a Month.”

“Bible engagement has an impact in just about every area of spiritual growth,” said Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research. “You can follow Christ and see Christianity as your source of truth, but if that truth does not permeate your thoughts, aspirations and actions, you are not fully engaging the truth.

“God’s Word is truth, so it should come as no surprise that reading and studying the Bible are still the activities that have the most impact on growth in this attribute of spiritual maturity,” Stetzer said. “As basic as that is, there are still numerous churchgoers who are not reading the Bible regularly. You simply won’t grow if you don’t know God and spend time in God’s Word.”

The survey also reveals six actions that positively impact the Bible engagement scores of individuals.

  1. Confessing wrongdoings to God and asking forgiveness.

  2. Believing in Jesus Christ as the only way to heaven and the number of years one has believed this.

  3. Making a decision to obey or follow God with an awareness that choosing to do so might be costly. Sixty-three percent of churchgoers say they have at least once in the last six months.

  4. Praying for the spiritual status of people they know are not professing Christians.

  5. Reading a book about increasing their spiritual growth. Sixty-one percent of churchgoers say they have in the last year.

  6. Having been discipled or mentored one-on-one by a more spiritually mature Christian. Nearly half of churchgoers (47 percent) say they have been discipled or mentored.

“Bible engagement points people toward maturity and maturing Christians have practices that correspond to Bible reading. Almost all churchgoers want to honor God, but more than a third indicate obedience is not something they have done when it is costly to them,” Stetzer said.

“The impact of the Word of God on people’s lives is seen in the relationship between Bible engagement and turning from wrongdoings and choosing to obey God – two indicators of higher Bible engagement scores,” he added. “Such tangible life changes show the transformational impact of Bible engagement in the life of a disciple of Christ.”

These findings on Bible engagement are part of the largest discipleship study of its kind. Results from each of the eight attributes of spiritual maturity will continue to be released over the coming months.

To help pastors, churches and individuals measure spiritual development, LifeWay Research used the study’s data to develop a questionnaire for believers, called the Transformational Discipleship Assessment (TDA). This online evaluation delivers both individual and group reports on spiritual maturity using the eight factors of biblical discipleship. The TDA also provides helpful and practical suggestions on appropriate next steps for spiritual development.

To learn more about the transformational discipleship research visit LifeWayResearch.com. The TDA is available at TDA.LifeWay.com.


LifeWay Research Bible Engagement chart

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“Seen On a Church Sign-Are We Really Too Busy?” 8/03/2015 by Wally Fry

“Our Daily Bread” http://odb.org
The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie http://www.harvest.org/devotional

Seen On a Church Sign-Are We Really Too Busy?

Original post @ https://truthinpalmyra.wordpress.com/2015/07/15/seen-on-a-church-sign-are-we-really-too-busy/

Posted on July 15, 2015 by Wally Fry @ http://www.truthinpalmyra.wordpress.com

This post was previously published on November 19, 2014

Seen on a church sign

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If you’re too busy to read the Bible, you’re too busy!

How does God feel about Bible reading? Well, here are a few verses which place it pretty high on God’s priority list for Christian lives:

2 Timothy 3:16,17 God Himself literally “breathed out” every single word of Scripture and it is the only guide to faith we need.

Psalm 119:160 God’s Word is true and will last forever.

Matthew 4:4 God’s word is necessary for life, more so than literal bread.

Joshua 1:8 One of the greatest men of the Bible teaches us that if we meditate on God’s Word day and night, we will be rewarded.

2 Timothy 2:15 Here we are simply commanded to study God’s Word and why.

There are many, many more; in combination they clearly prove that God considers the daily reading, studying and meditating on His Word as something He wants Christians to do. To even try to debate that point would be beyond ludicrous, to tell the truth. So, everything in this post is written from that perspective. Why do I say that? Well, because some of what I say might seem to be inflexible to some readers; however, God’s own word teaches that He is pretty inflexible on that point Himself. Agreeing with God on areas He considers important is good policy, frankly.

So, then, just what is our problem? Here is some interesting data:

A couple of years ago, LifeWay Research released a study with some interesting findings.

The survey found 90 percent of churchgoers agree “I desire to please and honor Jesus in all I do,” and 59 percent agree with the statement: “Throughout the day I find myself thinking about biblical truths.” While the majority agree with both statements, there is a significant difference in the strength of agreement. Nearly two-thirds of churchgoers (64 percent) strongly agree with the first statement, but only 20 percent strongly agree with the second.

However, when asked how often they personally (not as part of a church worship service) read the Bible, a similar number respond “Every Day” (19 percent) as respond “Rarely/Never” (18 percent). A quarter indicate they read the Bible a few times a week. Fourteen percent say they read the Bible “Once a Week” and another 22 percent say “Once a Month” or “A Few Times a Month.” See the article here.

Here is some date from the American Bible Society:

If they do read it, the majority (57 percent) only read their Bibles four times a year or less. Only 26 percent of Americans said they read their Bible on a regular basis (four or more times a week). Read the article here.

So, again I ask, what’s our problem? We know what the problem is; I should have asked: What’s our excuse? Today, we are only talking about the, “I don’t have time” excuse. Here are some strategies that might be of some use for those readers really interested in getting with God’s program of daily time in His Word. For those NOT really interested, just move along I guess, as this won’t apply to you.

Commit to it. Our walk of faith is not accidental; it must be intentional. Remember Daniel? Early in his life Daniel and some friends were faced with a test of their faith. Most Christians know the story of Daniel and his friends refusing to eat the King’s meat. Daniel 1:8 tells us that Daniel “purposed in his heart” not to eat the meat offered by The King. The application here is that, for anything we want to accomplish for and through God, we still have to make an intentional decision to actually do it. Any talk of some daily study plan is irrelevant if we aren’t committed to doing it.

Make choices. The truth is, there are only 24 hours in a day; that is just a fact and a reality. We all make choices daily about the things we get to do or do not get to do. In some cases, it may be as simple as deciding which TV show to watch. We can’t watch two at once, so we choose. Do we go to this party or that party? The list goes on and on. We choose to not do things because of time every single day.

How do we decide? We decide based on what is important to us; we decide on based on what matters to us; we decide based on what will bring us the most payoff and once again the list goes on and on. Because we have committed to some things, choosing them becomes quite easy. The same is true for daily Bible study; if we commit to it, then we have to make the choice of what NOT to do to make room for it.

Pick a time; make it a habit. How many things do we have a time assigned at which we do it? Once again, television comes to mind. I know people who would no more miss Monday Night Football than they would skip eating for a week. What about work? Most of us have a particular time we have to report in. The point is, we have a time at which we do those things. That time belongs to those things, and because of that we do them. They are habits.

The time doesn’t matter; pick what works. But do pick, and assign that time and don’t allow another thing to infringe or take that time. I like really early in the morning. It’s all mine, as nobody else is awake then. It’s quiet, as nobody else is awake then. It also happens to be the time of day when I am freshest and most able to concentrate. It is my most effective time of the day, and I feel God deserves my best time. And that’s not just my opinion, I got it from God, who has made many references to us giving Him our firstfruits in His Word. Get a Concordance and check out firstfruits if you don’t believe me.

Now, let’s sum up. The sign said, “If you’re too busy to read the Bible, you’re too busy.” That is simply true and non negotiable. I say non negotiable because that is how God sees it, and that seals it. I can cook up justification otherwise until the day ends, and I would simply be wrong. And guess what? If you do that, you are wrong as well.

So, commit to it, make choices, pick your time and begin a new habit that I promise will transform your Christian walk.

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“The Truth About Marriage: ‘Til Death Do Us Part” 8/02/2015 By Dave Jenkins

“Our Daily Bread” http://odb.org/

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie http://www.harvest.org/devotional

Written by Dave Jenkins, and posted in http://www.mensdailylife.me

Original post @ http://mensdailylife.me/2015/07/29/the-truth-about-marriage-til-death-do-us-part/

The Truth About Marriage: ‘Til Death Do Us Part

couple-praying

By Dave Jenkins

To download or view the the issue as a PDF please click on: Til Death Do We Part The Truth About Marriage

The past decade has seen an increase of attacks on the traditional definition of marriage between one man and one woman for the rest of their lives. Marriage was designed by God to be a covenant between one man and one woman, but in this day and age attacks from theological progressives, political liberals, and with increasing frequency from those who oppose the Biblical view of sexuality, have brought us to the point of no return on the traditional definition of marriage.

Those who hold to the pro-gay marriage view believe that homosexuals should have the same rights as heterosexuals. Instead of only pushing for rights for themselves to be acknowledged as couples, those who support “gay marriage” have brought the issue to such a point as to suppress the view of those who hold to the traditional (Biblical) definition of marriage. Under the old definition of tolerance, people could discuss issues and have a conversation about important topics. When a conservative Christian now attempts to discuss issues regarding gay marriage and how the Bible is not in support of it, he/she is shouted down and ridiculed for actually believing and applying what the Bible teaches.

Whenever I write or speak about homosexuality, I am immediately peppered with a barrage of questions. Most of these questions center around the lack of Bible based Christian churches and the desire to find such places of worship. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of churches, however, who have not bowed the knee of theological progressivism, with its socially-acceptable shifting-sand approach to theology.

As Christians, we have the Word of God which is inspired, inerrant, authoritative, and sufficient for faith and practice. Believing that the Bible is authoritative for faith and practice means that we’re not free to do as we wish. Instead our faith and our practice—what we believe, what we say, and do—must match. Theologians call this orthodoxy (what we believe) and orthopraxy (what we do and how we practice our Christian faith). The sad thing is many “Christians” who say they believe the Bible, dismiss biblical orthodoxy (that is what the Bible teaches) and thus call for a practice (homosexuality) that the Bible itself doesn’t support. To get there, they do gymnastics with their hermeneutic (how they intercept the Bible).

As Christians, we have one Word (the Bible), one Lord in Jesus, and have been called to proclaim the gospel in faithfulness to God’s Word. This means that what we believe must inform our lives and our practice. When people minimize or deny what they believe, and then people call to support a practice the Bible doesn’t support, they are not being honest. Instead, they are intentionally misleading people away from the revealed Word. Christians can have full confidence in the Word of God. In this issue, we want to help you to grow in your confidence in the authoritative Word by helping you to deal with those who hold to wrong ideas about marriage, and especially homosexuality. This issue isn’t going away, rather it’s becoming more and more a part of our everyday lives and experience each passing day.

My prayer is that this issue will help build your knowledge base and equip you to serve the Risen Christ, by helping you grow in your confidence in His Word, and thus in the work of the gospel.

For the Glory of Christ,

Dave Jenkins
Executive Editor, Theology for Life

_________________________________________________

Dave is a servant of Christ, husband to Sarah, writer, and Seattle sports fan. He serves as the Executive Director of Servant of Grace Ministries, the Executive Editor of Theology for Life magazine, and in a variety of capacities as a member of Ustick Baptist Church in Boise, Idaho.

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“What Non-Christians Really Think About Christians” 8/01/2015 by Thom Rainer for Outreach Magazine

Our Daily Bread” http://odb.org
The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie http://www.harvest.org/devotional

Written by Thom Rainer for Outreach Magazine 7/23/2015 @ http://www.outreachmagazine.com

Original post @ http://www.outreachmagazine.com/features/5031-thom-rainer-what-non-christians-really-think-about-christians.html/1

What Non-Christians Really Think About Christians

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These surprising insights about what non-Christians think of Christians can profoundly impact your outreach.

One of my greatest joys in research is talking to and listening to those who clearly identify themselves as non-Christians. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not celebrating their absence of faith in Christ. My joy comes from listening to those who don’t believe as I do, so that I might be better equipped to witness to them.

Over the past several years, my research teams and I have interviewed thousands of unchurched non-Christians. Among the more interesting insights I gleaned were those where the interviewees shared with me their perspectives of Christians.

In this article, I group the seven most common types of comments in order of frequency. I then follow that representative statement with a direct quote from a non-Christian. Read these comments and see if you learn some of the lessons I learned.

1. Christians are against more things than they are for.
“It just seems to me that Christians are mad at the world and mad at each other. They are so negative that they seem unhappy. I have no desire to be like them and stay upset all the time.”

2. I would like to develop a friendship with a Christian.
“I’m really interested in what they believe and how they carry out their beliefs. I wish I could find a Christian that would be willing to spend some time with me.”

3. I would like to learn about the Bible from a Christian.
“The Bible really fascinates me, but I don’t want to go to a stuffy and legalistic church to learn about it. I would be nice if a Christian invited me to study the Bible in his home or at a place like Starbucks.”

4. I don’t see much difference in the way Christians live compared to others.
“I really can’t tell what a Christian believes because he doesn’t seem much different than other people I know. The only exception would be Mormons. They really seem to take their beliefs seriously.”

5. I wish I could learn to be a better husband, wife, dad, mom, etc., from a Christian.
“My wife is threatening to divorce me, and I think she means it this time. My neighbor is a Christian, and he seems to have it together. I am swallowing my pride and asking him to help me.”

6. Some Christians try to act like they have no problems.
“Harriett works in my department. She is one of those Christians who seem to have a mask on. I would respect her more if she didn’t put on such an act. I know better.”

7. I wish a Christian would take me to his or her church.
“I really would like to visit a church, but I’m not particularly comfortable going by myself. What is weird is that I am 32-years old, and I’ve never had a Christian invite me to church in my entire life.”

Do you see the pattern? Non-Christians want to interact with Christians. They want to see Christians’ actions match their beliefs. They want Christians to be real.

In one study we conducted, we found that only five percent of non-Christians are antagonistic toward Christians. It’s time to stop believing the lies we have been told. Jesus said it clearly:

“The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest” (Luke10:2, HCSB).

Satan is the author of excuses. There is no reason to wait to reach those who don’t know Jesus Christ. We must go now. The harvest is waiting. And the Lord of the harvest has prepared the way.

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“Get up and Eat!” 7/31/2015 by Karina Lam

“Our Daily Bread” http://odb.org/
The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie http://www.harvest.org/devotional

Written by Karina Susanto for http://karinasussanto.wordpress.com/

Original post @ https://karinasussanto.wordpress.com/2015/07/20/get-up-and-eat/

Get up and Eat!

Jul20

GET UP AND EAT- KARINA'S THOUGHT
Hello dear readers. In my previous post titled “Never give up”, we’ve learned something from the story of Elijah. We have learned although we could successful overcome big problems, we also could stumble to the small problems and it makes us depressed and want to give up. With God Elijah was successful defeated the 450 Baal’s prophet but it turns out Elijah was really scared when Jezebel threatened him. He depressed and wanted to die. (1 Kings 19:4 NIV)

Well, in this post I want to continue the Elijah’s story. Let’s look further what happened after he came to broom bush and prayed. Let’s have a look what the God’s answer of his prayer. After Elijah prayed, he lay down under the bush and fell asleep, and then an angel came touched him and said: “Get up and eat.”(1 Kings 19:5 NIV) Here there are two important words. This is God’s answer to Elijah’s prayer. This is what God wants so that Elijah can return to the path as God wants.

“Get and up and eat” I ponder deeply to these words and we can get two important and valuable lessons. Let’s focus on the first word, Get up. In other word we can say wake up! Arise! In our lives, when we face so many hard problems and failed to overcome it all, sometime we feel so tired and difficult to rise again. We feel too tired to start again from the beginning. Even worse we tend to hide behind our tiredness; we are frustrated, depressed, and shy away from the realities of life that should be faced. No hope and no desire to rise again. Verily, God doesn’t want it happens to us. God does want us remain strong to face any kind of problems that always exist and when we failed, God doesn’t want us drowned in failure. God always want us to get up again! Not so easy! I really know it. But we have to remember that with God’s inclusion we will able to rise again. God will strengthen us to get up facing every problem. As He said:

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”(Joshua 1:9 NIV)

God even promises will uphold us in His right hand. He said:

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10 NIV)

Life will not always be easy; problems will always be there and there times we have to fall and experience a failure. But it does not mean we should give up. As long as God is still with us, as long as we remain live in the shade of His glory, we have to stay eager to get up and go fight. What The Lord said to Elijah also applies to us. God does not want us to be discouraged or lose hope when faced with pressure or failure. He wants us to always remember that His love and faithfulness upon us will make Himself always be with us forever.

Now let’s take a look to the second word. Eat! After Elijah did a great job defeating 450 prophets of Baal, he got extremely tiredness. His psychical and spiritual energy drained away so he didn’t have reserves power to face Jezebel’s threat. Then God asked him to eat!

He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank… (1 Kings 19:6 NIV)

But what happens after that? Elijah was lying again. It could mean that the food wasn’t enough to recover his energy and then what happened next was:

The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” (1 Kings 19:7 NIV)

Elijah was eating again, and through the food he was able to walk again. Not simply walk for short distance but he was able to take 40 days and night until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.

What kind of valuable lesson from this part? Here we talk not just about the real food that we need to recover our energy, but here we are more talking about the needs of spiritual food. After we could to get up again, we also need the spiritual food which can make us strong and able to walk back to face all the problems of life. Jesus said:

“It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God “(Matthew 4:4 NIV)

…that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. (Deuteronomy 8:3 NIV)

It is a very important message. We could eat anything to make us full physically. but if we let our spiritual hungry and thirsty, then we will easily infiltrated by fear, anxiety, easy to depressed, making us easy to give up, even make us forget that God is really cares and is always with us. We are not only need food to alive, to stay strong and to get back on our feet, but we also need food for our soul and spirit. Not only our body could sick, but our spiritual also get sick if doesn’t get good and enough nutrition. Therefore we need to continue to equip ourselves with God’s word, which will be able to strengthen us when we want to rise from failure and facing the life’s problems. God’s word is a nutrition source that will never run out. God’s word is the very best nutrient because it already contained all the needed aspects for our spiritual health and growth.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,                 (2 Timothy 3:16 NIV)

God’s word also guides and directs us when we walk in the dark path and don’t know which way should to go.

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. (Psalm 119:105 NIV)

Now we come to the last thing. This is my personal thought based on the Elijah’s story. After we successful get up again and fill our soul and spirit with the good spiritual food, we need one more important thing. Courage to step up! Elijah will never get to the Horeb if he didn’t dare to move. If he only get up and eat but without move, he will not get anywhere. It is also the same for us. We must have the courage to tread to face all the problems and challenges of life. We must have the courage to step up make a big change in our lives and achieve what we hoped. When God asked Joshua to continue The Moses leadership to brought the Israelites into the Promised Land, God said to Joshua: “…Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses.”(Joshua 1:2-3 NIV) The underlined word means Joshua should to make a step, because if Joshua didn’t move, then he will not stepping on anything. Without stepped up he will not get the God’s promise.

My beloved readers, the process of our lives will continue to run and during the journey we will have so many problems and challenges. We may be facing a lot of failures. We may be so tired, frustrated, depressed, and loss of hope. This evening allow me to encourage all of us to remember these three things. The first, Get up! God doesn’t want us to be discouraged and loss of hope. God wants us to get up again, and again! God really cares to us and He will always strengthen and help us to rise again! As he promised to us He will uphold us with His own righteous right hand! And when we fall, He promises:

Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand. (Psalm 37:24 NKJV)

We will never successful to overcome our problems unless we are willing to get up to make something better. Don’t be afraid to get up again. We are not alone. There is God who always be with us.

The second thing is eat! Let’s constantly fill our soul and spirit with God’s word as the best spiritual nutritious food. Don’t let our spiritual starving and thirst just because it will make our spiritual get sick. By maintaining our personal relationship with God through our prayer, quiet time, reading, pondering God’s word every day, and do it in our daily lives will strengthen and make our spiritual lives healthy.

The last thing, don’t ever be afraid and doubt to step up! We have God who always be with us and He always watches over the way where we steps. He will never make us stumble.

He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber. Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps. (Psalm 121: 3-4 NLT)

Let us vigorously step up to reach what has been promised by God. Without stepping we will not be able to make any change for the better future. Please remember God will never leave us of forsake us, as He promises:

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV) Amen!

Karina – Living by faith

Image source: sothl.com

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“Spark” 7/30/2015 by Ann Friend

“Our Daily Bread” http://odb.org
The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie http://www.harvest.org/devotional

Written by Ann Friend for “afriendofJESUS2013Blog” @ http://afriendofjesus2013.com/

View original post @ http://afriendofjesus2013.com/2015/07/28/spark/

Spark

by Ann V. Friend

A strong friendship doesn’t need daily conversation, doesn’t always need togetherness, as long as the relationship lives in the heart, true friends will never part…
~ Unknown Author ~

Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
~ Proverbs 27:17 ~

Hello friends. (smile) A smile. A hug. A look. A word. A call. A text. A prayer. __________(fill in the blank).

Any of these can rekindled a spark to keep moving forward, get out of bed and face the day, change focus or ___________(fill in the blank).

True connections always have a spark. (smile)

It’s a beautiful thing, when friends get us.

It’s heartwarming, when friends just listen at times when we need a safe zone.

It comforting, when friends call or show up when we’re challenged and pray.

Its amazing when friends can grow and sharpen each other.

It’s wonderful to hang out and laugh with friends.

Praise The Lord for those, in life, who provide the spark when needed most.

Blessings and enjoy today reminiscing about those spark moments. (smile)

Your comments or thoughts are always welcome. (smile)

©afriendofjesus2013Blog, Aug 2013.

P.S. (from bruce) Go to original post above for comments…

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“Worshipful Wednesday: The Impact of a Righteous Foundation” 7/29/2015 by Denise Pass

“Our Daily Bread” http://odb.org
The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie http://www.harvest.org/devotional

Written by Denise Pass for “Seeing Deep Ministries” @ http://denisepass.com/home/

Original post @ http://denisepass.com/2015/07/22/worshipful-wednesday-the-impact-of-a-righteous-foundation/

Worshipful Wednesday: The Impact of a Righteous Foundation

July 22, 2015 by seeingdeep1

Photo Credits: jimbomkamp.com
Photo Credits:
jimbomkamp.com

Psalm 89:14

“Equity and justice are the foundation of Your throne. Loyal love and faithfulness characterize Your rule. 15 How blessed are the people who worship You! O Lord, they experience Your favor. 16 They rejoice in Your name all day long, and are vindicated by Your justice.”

Isaiah 16:5

“In love a throne will be established; in faithfulness a man will sit on it– one from the house of David– one who in judging seeks justice and speeds the cause of righteousness.”

Proverbs 16:12

“Kings detest wrongdoing, for a throne is established through righteousness.”

Psalm 9:7

“The LORD reigns forever; he has established his throne for judgment.”

Proverbs 25:5

“Remove wicked officials from the king’s presence, and his throne will be established through righteousness.”

Isaiah 41:10

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

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A king or ruler in this world system is not often characterized by being gracious, loving and faithful. In fact, their predominant traits are based more in pride, power and politics. Godless leaders in our age seek to subjugate their people by both the laws they impose and the freedoms they allow. But our King chooses instead to embrace and exhibit perfect humility, mercy and justice toward His people. While we are ultimately His creation and slaves, He calls us His children and cares for us and grants us access to His throne room.

It seems that the key to success in this world is all wrapped around clawing our way to the top, usually by dishonest means or political ploys. Yet any position on this earth is merely temporal and the influence of our rule will perish, unless righteousness is at its foundation.

Unlike the politicians of this world, our King keeps all of His promises and not one of His promises are evil. A man might gain popularity for His promises to provide for the people’s flesh, giving them laws that permit a sinful lifestyle, but a righteous leader knows that laws based in unrighteousness will ultimately destroy his people and his nation.

Any leader on the face of this earth who is worthy of esteem will bow his knee before God and seek to be His servant first. So, we, too, have that same responsibility. Whatever our positions of leadership, we have an opportunity to embody a worldly philosophy, seeking popularity with man or to seek the favor of our God.

We might not be kings or queens, presidents or even administrators, but we can pray for those in positions of power. God has placed us in an area of influence and leadership somewhere in our lives, too. Perhaps the greatest role of leadership on this earth is not seen as that. As parents, we set boundaries for our children that are based in righteousness or we allow the pressures of this world to dictate our leadership.

Parents are undermined by government and this culture, but not by God. We need to rise up and be faithful, for God is seeking godly offspring to affect the next generation. Much like a political figure who is watchful over his affairs, we need to constantly be on guard for wickedness and worldliness that seek to enter our home, but we also need to be demonstrating the right path daily.

The tricky thing about leadership is that is is not just telling people what to do, but showing them. If my children see me seeking the face of God, that has a much more far reaching impact than just preaching at them. Parenting is one of the toughest positions of leadership. We must correct our children in love, knowing that they might not understand. But if we are not faithful to discipline and watch over their souls, we are loving self more than them and not following the example of our Savior who led like a Shepherd.

Any position of leadership in this world is all about God and not us, all for His glory and purposes. Every position will one day end, but the affects of how we lead can have an eternal impact. Praise God that we have a sure foundation in Him. He is holy, righteous and no uncertainty exists in His reign. Wow. May we apply His style of leadership to our lives and rest in the confidence that while the kingdoms in this world will all fall, we worship a God whose throne is established for all eternity.

Lord, thank You for showing us how to live, love and lead. You are so Holy and we fall so very short, but please enable us to lead where You have called us to. Help us to influence those in leadership above us in righteousness, by prayer and action. Thank You, God, for the security we have in You, our Righteous King.

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