Friday, March 25, 2016

We Call It Good Friday...Because it was for Our Good!

The Word:
Read: Matthew 26:36-28:15
Additional Reading: Mark 14:32-16:14, Luke 22:39-24:53, John 18-21:14

It was the darkest day of all time. The day Jesus Christ the Savior was crucified. Humanly speaking, there was nothing good about that day. Everything went south in a hurry! The Gospels recount for us the physical and verbal abuse that was inflicted on Jesus and that He bore on our behalf. The shouts of, “crucify Him, crucify Him,” The blows to His body by the whips and rods, The suffering of carrying the cross on the road to Golgotha. The nails driven into his wrists and feet, the anguish as He hung on the cross with a sign above Him mockingly stating who He was, yet with no crime committed, He was crucified.

The vinegar given to Him to drink instead of water when He was thirsty, Then His last words and last breathe- it was finished. Simply unfathomable what He endured! Yet, because of the Father's divine plan of redemption, Jesus, long before He would come to earth in the humble form of man, God chose to send Him as the payment for our sins and the way of salvation. The scriptures also state in the prophetic books of the Old Testament that the Father was pleased to crush Him. This was because He loves us so much He wanted to do everything possible for us to see the folly of our ways and that Jesus is, and came as - the Savior. Jesus is the only plan of Salvation for us from the heart of God. There is no other way we can earn or work our way to heaven. Because of sin we aren’t worthy of God’s forgiveness. Through Jesus Christ we are worthy- only because of His death on the cross.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Our Patient Savior - A Reflection On The Saving Work of Christ


The Word:

Read: 2 Peter 3:9, John 19, Galatians 5:22-23

There have been many occasions in my life and most likely yours, when I needed to refer to a dictionary. I remember when I was a kid I always asked my mom what a word meant or how it was spelled. As I recall, most of the time she would say to me, "Use the dictionary." She wanted me know what the words meant for myself and to rely on the dictionary as a constant resource for my spelling needs. As an adult you'd think I'd stop asking what something means or how it was spelled, but I've found as I search the scriptures that there is always a use for a regular or a Biblical dictionary. It is amazing what you'll find as you refresh your memory of a spelling or a definition. 


On one occasion I looked up the word "patient". I found the word in the dictionary and read the definitions that accompanied it. I was in for a surprise on this occasion because we all use the word patient but do we know what it totally means? In the particular compact Webster's Dictionary I was using it laid out the following as the first definition:
        "Patient - Enduring affliction or pain without anger or complaint."

Pause for a moment and let that definition soak in...

Monday, March 21, 2016

A Prayer For More Passion for Christ as we remember the Passion of Christ - Monday, March 21, 2016


Read: Luke 22:39-46, John 19, Luke 23:34 and Luke 9:23

Heavenly Father, 

As we enter "Passion Week", please help us to have more passion for Christ and live more passionately as we follow Christ. 

Father, we so often reserve our awe, wonder and reverence for all You've done for us through Jesus, for different times of year, but, I ask that You help us to live in the awe, wonder and reverence day-to-day as we seek to make Your name great. 

May we live for Your Kingdom and glory all the more as we recall His ultimate sacrifice. 

Help us to remember the events leading up to Him taking the cross on our behalf. May this keep us sober at all times and never take Your love, grace, truth and sacrifice for granted. 

As we remember how He was betrayed, please help us to never betray You or the people You bring into our paths. 

As we remember His prayer in the garden in anticipation of what He was soon to take on for us, even to the point where He sweat blood, helps us to pray fervently at all times for Your Will, Your Heart, Your Kingdom, Your People, Your Glory and Your plan. 

Help us to toil, sweat and sacrifice it all if You ask it of us. 

As Jesus asked while nailed to the cross, "Father Forgive them as they no not what they do", help us to readily forgive others for even the most trivial things they do to us. 

Help us to willingly take up our cross daily and follow Jesus as He willingly took the cross for mankind. 

Help us to live fully for You!

Again, Father, I ask that You help us by Your Spirit to have more Passion for Christ as we reflect on The Passion of Christ this week and beyond. 

In Jesus Name I praise You and Thank You, Amen. 

rlk

Share this with someone this week: "It's important that we live passionately for Christ beyond Passion Week!" 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Will the Real St. Patrick Please stand up?

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Even if you’re not a wee bit Irish, there is a lot we can learn from the life of St. Patrick. There are a lot of legends/myths about Him but it’s good to separate fact from fiction and today I’m posting a few links to articles about his life which you’ll find below. Also, if you ever have an opportunity to watch an hour long docudrama about his life that was narrated by Liam Neeson, I’d highly recommend it. I believe it was simply called, "Patrick". I'm sure you'll be able to locate it via your favorite search engine.

While I agree that St. Patrick's life is one to celebrate and it's OK to have some fun in celebrating, St. Patrick's Day is not about hitting the pubs, shamrocks and the "Luck of the Irish" like many make it. His life was far more significant to the faith community and in the history of Ireland in comparison to these temporal things. 

After a brief glimpse into the life of St. Patrick you'll see some great reminders and examples regarding God's grace. 

One of those lessons I see is that we need to allow God to use and direct our path no matter what the circumstances and no matter if what we're going through makes sense or not. God is more than able to take someone out of slavery, (like Patrick) or any dire situation and use them for His glory in proclaiming His message. 

St. Patrick wasn't even from Ireland but God used him there to bring His message to the Emerald Island and because of this - many came to a saving grace thanks to God!

Here’s a selection of articles for your edification:

http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/ChurchAndMinistry/ChurchHistory/colson_stpatrick.aspx 
http://www.joyfulheart.com/stpatrick/pat.htm
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ch/news/2004/stpatricks.html

Lastly, I wanted to leave you with an Old Irish Blessing:

"May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back."

"May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields."

"And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand."

                                ~An Old Irish Blessing

Have an excellent day!

Many Blessing in Christ,

rlk


























#stpatricksday #stpatrick #faith #hope #wisdom #life #liveforGod #freedom #Christian #ChristIsAll #ashepherdsheart

Monday, March 14, 2016

A Prayer for When We Battle Anxiety - Monday, March 14, 2016


Read: Matthew 6:25-34 and Philippians 4:6

Heavenly Father, I pray for those who are battling or suffering from anxiety...or may in the future.

When we face these times, please help us to...

 ...abide in Your Word so we know and are growing in Your truth. 

...insert Your truth where any anxious thought comes to mind. 

...not worry about the basic provision, food, clothing, shelter, etc as You have all these things covered. 

...remember that You even provide for the birds so again, You will provide for us.

...remember that You even clothe flowers in the field....You will provide all the more for us because You love us!

...remember that we can't add even a day to our lives...only You can!

...not worry about anything and instead put our hope, trust, confidence and faith you.

...not worry about anything but instead, pray.

...remember our battle is also often a spiritual one.

...armor up...pray on Your full armor to fight the spiritual battle. 

...be grateful for what we have so we don't feed ungratefulness for what we don't which in turn can cause anxiety. 

...be thankful in all things. 

...to have joy even amidst sadness.

...seek You immediately when people hurt us and cause us to become anxious. 

...not dwell on things that we know will cause us to withdraw, become anxious, sad, lonely or experience further pain. 

...be thankful for Your grace and love.

...be there for others who are having anxiety issues....helping encourage them and also point them to You!

In the midst of fear, please give us Your peace. 

When we feel alone, please surround us with your presence helping us to remember we're never alone because You're with us always. 

Please give us an extra portion of Your strength during these times.

Please help us make it through each day with Your Holy Spirit's help. 

Thank You for the gift of prayer. 

In Jesus name I praise you and thank you, Amen! 

-rlk

P.S. Share this with someone today:

"Being anxious doesn't do anything for you but having faith in God, abiding in His Word and constant prayer does!" 

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Do you want lasting change? Then check out the Put Off and Put On Principle!


So often in life we need to make changes or adjust the way we are doing things. 

Some things are serious and or drastic changes while others are smaller changes that need to be made.

Maybe you have a bad habit you need to quit? Maybe you are trying to reach a goal and in order to reach that goal you have to stop doing something in order to do something better?


So, how does someone do this?

Monday, March 07, 2016

A Prayer for New Mercies and New Beginnings - Monday, March 7, 2016

Read: Lamentations 3:22-23 and 2 Corinthians 5:17

Heavenly Father,

Your Word reminds us that Your Love Never Ceases, Your Mercies never come to an end, Your mercies are new every morning and your faithfulness is great. 

It's hard to remember this when we feel like we're struggling or are hurting. 

It's hard to experience this when we are in the midst of a tough season, feel unloved, forsaken and completely hopeless which is the unfortunate truth sometimes due to the circumstances of life.

Life is hard sometimes and You are always right there with us!

May You daily help us see, experience and know your mercies are truly new every morning as you give us life each day to live for you!

When we're struggling, maybe hurting because someone who loved us left or a friend or loved one was unloving or unkind - please help us to see that Your love is still evident and it never ends no matter how we may feel.

When we're feeling hopeless, please be our hope...help us break the thought patterns we're stuck in because of the circumstances we're facing so our vision can clearly see You are our only true hope!

Your Word also reminds us that in Christ, We are new creations and the old has past away and new things have come!

Because of this we can rise and experience a new beginning each day. A fresh start...with the past behind us. Not that we won't face consequences of our sin and or mistakes but none-the-less You give us each day to dust ourselves off and begin anew! 

May You helps see and live out the truth that in You, we are new creations and You've given us a new beginning...a new lease on life. 

As we rise and take in the air You've given us to breathe, may we see that moment, that day as  gift from You. May we see that You love us and have a purpose for us here on earth to live out for you.

No matter what we're going through, may You stir our hearts so we might begin again. 

Help us to actually live our lives in such a way that people see the new life You've given us!

Helps to live as if we're truly alive seeking to make every moment count!

Please help us to wrap our minds around the truth of your Word as we awake and strive to live out each day for your Kingdom and Glory. 

Please show the evil one and his demons the door because our lives are Your dwelling place and there's no room for him in Your house! May his influence diminish daily as we abide in You and Your Word as darkness and light cannot coexist.

I praise You and thank You.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen. 

-rlk 


P.S. Share this with someone today: 
"The past is the past. Your history is now and always will be HIStory as He's always known the beginning and end of your story!" -Randolph Koch

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

New Creative Bible Study Through The Gospel of John - from my friend at the Stone Soup For Five Blog!


A long time friend, Kari Denker of the Stone Soup For Five Blog has just written and launched a creative and in-depth 21 week study through The Gospel of John!

This Study is for Adults and youth alike and this week only - it also comes with a companion lap book for kids to do right along with you!


There is nothing out there like it (other than her previous study series of course :-) ) that mixes in-depth Journal Study of God's Word with doodling. Very cool way to remember God's Word!

Item Description From The Author:

"Dig deep into God's word and remember it better than ever. The special package for the launch of the newest Journal and Doodle study through John ends this Saturday! Don't miss out on the study and a lapbook to help your children to join along!
For more information and to purchase your own copy go to:

http://www.stonesoupforfive.com/p/store.html

Also, if you act now and use this special code she created for my followers, SHEPHERD20, you'll get 20% off! The code is good for this week only! Plus, don't forget the special lap book that will come with it if you purchase it this week! Nice bonus beside the 20% off!


Kari has once again poured her heart into creating an incredible resource to help people grow in their knowledge of God's Word and their walk with God!

This would also make a wonderful gift so...Check it Out!

In Christ,

rlk