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Dry Times

Wednesday

March 29, 2017

Speak Out to Doubt

Read

John 20:25, “So the other disciples told him, [Thomas] ‘We have seen the Lord!’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the nail marks in His hands and my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe’.”

Think

Is it sinful to doubt? Is it considered a personal affront to God when we question His presence in times of trouble? No! God is bigger than every question or circumstance causing disbelief. And God is so great, that He even welcomes us to speak out in uncertainty as we seek Him and desire to be heard. In fact, if every person that doubted God were eliminated from the Bible, it would be a very short book. Why then, are we so afraid to admit such feelings? Every believer has dealt with moments of doubt—and to say otherwise is untrue. Doubt left unaddressed can spread like mold throughout our hearts and minds. Therefore, the most ineffective way to deal with doubt is the failure to share it with others.

If you are currently in the throes of doubt and feel too ashamed to admit it—don’t be! You are in very good company. John the Baptist, after being unfairly imprisoned and awaiting execution, began to question if Jesus was truly the Messiah. Did he keep it to himself? No, he sent his disciples to ask Jesus directly if He was the One. Poor old Job, in the midst of immense pain and suffering, conveyed his doubt to his four uninformed friends for twenty-seven chapters. Even King David, whom God called a man after His own heart, cried out in Psalm 13 saying, “How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?” And we can’t forget to mention the most famous doubter in all of history—Thomas. Within the presence of his fellow disciples, he expressed unbelief that Jesus had risen from the dead. Therefore, doubt your doubts and confess them out loud. Ask questions within the power of community, allowing trusted friends to speak the truth to you in love. And become an encourager for others to do so as well.

Pray

Father God, You are faithful and true; I know this even in moments of doubt and confusion. Help me to keep my eyes fixed on You no matter the circumstance and guide me to share my feelings with others.

Act

Memory verse: “But I am trusting You, O Lord, saying, ‘You are my God!’ My future is in Your hands.” (Psalm 31:14-15)

 

Tuesday

March 28, 2017

Cycle of Circumstance

Read

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”.

Think

We’re all familiar with the circle of life: birth, childhood, adulthood, and death. As babies breathe their first breath others are breathing their last on this side of eternity. But isn’t it true, especially as adults, that we overlook the cycle of circumstance: change, conflict, and growth? We get so caught up in the what and the why questions that we fail to maintain focus on the Who—God. We start out in a place of orientation, we have clarity and understand our calling. We feel at home and at peace with where we’re at, when suddenly a big change occurs and we are thrust into a season of disorientation. Life no longer makes sense. We begin to worry and question God. We feel at odds with the world around us. This is the precise moment when we need to shift our focus from ourselves to God. Eventually, as things begin to resolve, we enter into a time of reorientation. Here we feel at home again and clarity returns, yet we’re experiencing life in a totally new way. As we push past the breakthrough, we’re thankful not only to be on the other side, but for this new level of understanding and growth.

Where are you in the cycle of circumstance? If you’re in a period of disorientation, keep on praying even when you feel as if God’s not listening. He’s at work in our lives whether we realize it or not. Remember, His ways are higher than ours and His thoughts are not our thoughts. So even when it seems as if the bottom is falling out and nothing makes sense, God has a plan. There’s purpose behind the pain. Trust God, and amazing things will happen in ways you’ve never before imagined.

Pray

Father God, thank You for always meeting me where I am and not where I think I should be. I put my trust in You, knowing if I lean on Your understanding, You will faithfully illuminate by path. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Act

Today, spend a few Psalm 46:10 moments being still before God. Open your heart and allow Him to flood you with His presence.

 

Thursday

February 23, 2017

Going G.O.M.O.

Read

Revelation 3:15-16, "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of My mouth." 

Think

Isn’t it amazing how many internet acronyms there are. One website listed 668! And not only do more keep cropping up, there’s even one for a new phobic phenomenon called FOMO, which stands for the ‘fear of missing out’. It’s defined as “an anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on social media”. Hmm… seems ridiculous, right? Wrong! It happens all the time; it’s an epidemic. Well, sometimes in our walk with Jesus we experience FOMO about what’s happening elsewhere. But what we need to do is forget about our FOMO and think GOMO, which means ‘God offers more opportunities’ than anything people are posting about on social media.

Yesterday we talked about the importance of leaving the past behind, growing more like Christ, and the necessity of staying on track with God’s plan. But once we’ve committed to our faith, we might be trekking right along when we encounter a new challenge that befalls all Christ followers somewhere along the way—spiritual lethargy. In fact, in today’s verse, Jesus is rebuking the church in Laodicea for being lukewarm. Surely He caught their attention with, “I’m about to spit you out of My mouth”. Yikes! However, the key word here is ‘about’, which leaves a small space for grace. It makes room for reigniting a passion for the gospel. Yet it’s also an imperative command meaning don’t wait, do it now! Are you taking a spiritual nap? Are you more concerned about what others are doing than you are for what God wants to do through you? Forget about missing the meaningless, and be mindful of all the amazing opportunities God has in store for your life.

Pray

Father God, I take to heart Jesus’ warning about being lukewarm. Make me hot! Reignite in me a new passion to be active in my faith and help me to treasure my relationship with You. I’m sorry for allowing myself to elevate my own interests and desires above Yours. And I thank You in advance for all of the amazing things I know You will do in and through my life.

Act

Check your spiritual temperature by asking yourself the following questions:
• Do I depend on God on a daily basis?
• Do I rarely share my faith because it makes me feel uncomfortable?
• Do I care more about being free from the penalty of sin than being saved?
• Do I live by faith or do I always prefer to play it safe?

 

Friday

November 15, 2013

Fri, Nov 15

Read

“…because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” Ephesians 2˸4-5

Think

When God brings a situation back to life; when He restores life to something that was dead, dry, despondent, and depressed, the result is nothing short of supernatural. The transformation is amazing. It’s seen time and time again in stories of lives changed. People who were once lost in their transgressions and sins are no longer lost. God, through Jesus Christ, has transformed their lives.

Have you experienced that transformation? If so, are you doing all you can to help others experience it as well? Because your transformation could very well be the thing that points someone else to experience their own.

Pray

Thank God for His transformational power. Praise Him for the sheer fact that He can – and does – change and save lives.

Act

Think about your role in the transformation of others. Are you doing what you can to reach the people around you with the message of life in Jesus? Pick three people in your contacts, and text them an invite to join you for our new series, “Happiness Is…” and help them discover what transformation is all about!

Thursday

November 14, 2013

Thu, Nov 14

Read

So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. Ezekiel 37˸7

Think

Ezekiel was standing in the middle of a valley of bones. The situation seemed hopeless and helpless. Dry, dead, depressed bones surrounded him. And it seemed like a situation where no life would ever exist again. Yet, God used Ezekiel in a powerful way to help bring life and hope.

We've all been in a similar situation. Maybe you find yourself in a position and a location and thought there was no way God could use you, because things seemed hopeless. But He can. No matter what you are facing, allow God to use you to have the conversations you need to have to help take life to the world around you.

Pray

Thank God for His power and ability to resurrect any situation. Ask Him to use you to reach out to those around you to help take life to them through strategic conversations.

Act

Use your voice to bring life to those around you. Be strategic in reaching out to those people in your life who need to hear words of hope and help.

Wednesday

November 13, 2013

Wed, Nov 13

Read

“He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’ I said, ‘Sovereign Lord, You alone know.’” Ezekiel 37˸2-3

Think

Everyone, no matter what situation they are in, is in a position of influence. We all have the possibility or reaching out to those around us, of impacting their lives for God. Maybe you find yourself in a situation like Ezekiel, in a valley of seemingly dead, dry bones. You may look around and think there is nothing that you can do. But the truth is that God can use you right where you are to make a difference.

Think about your situation. Think about those who are around you. Are you making the most of your situation to reach those people?

Pray

Thank God for where you are. Ask Him to use you in your situation to make a lasting, meaningful difference for Him.

Act

Use your situation to reach out to someone else around you. Invite them to join you at Men of the House or Flavour tonight. Don’t assume you know what they will say. Just be available to be used by God…right where you are!

Tuesday

November 12, 2013

Tue, Nov 12

Read

"The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones.” Ezekiel 37˸1

Think

Everyone, at some point, has been somewhere they didn't necessarily want to be. Maybe it was in a career that seemed to be going nowhere. Maybe it was in an emotional state that didn't look like it would ever turn around. Wherever it was, our location was not where we hoped to be.

Ezekiel found himself in a valley full of bones; not necessarily where he wanted to be. But one lesson he was going to learn was that our current location doesn't have to be our final destination.

Where you are is not where you will end up. If you are in a location that seems hopeless and helpless, remember that God can get you out; you just need to trust in Him.

Pray

Ask God to help you see past your current location and instead to see where He wants you to go. Ask Him for the discipline and discernment to get to where He wants you to be.

Act

To get where God wants you to go, you've got to recognize where you are. Take some time to write down the "location" you are in (emotionally, relationally, financially, spiritually). Then write next to it, "My current location doesn't have to be my final destination!"

Monday

November 11, 2013

Mon, Nov 11

Read

“Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Ephesians 5˸14

Think

So many people are wandering aimlessly through life. They have no direction, no purpose, and no hope. They have convinced themselves that their situation is dead, that there is no chance of revival, and no point in moving forward. But God has so much more in store for each of us!

No matter what your situation is, God can shine His power on your life. It often just takes a wakeup call. Use today’s verse as a wakeup call for your life. And discover the light God wants to shine onto you!

Pray

Thank God for His ability to reawaken any circumstance or situation. Ask Him to shine His light into your life as you turn to Him.

Act

Write down Ephesians 5˸14 on a card. Carry it with you throughout this week as a reminder that it’s time to WAKE UP to God’s call on your life!

Friday

October 18, 2013

Fri, Oct 18

Read

“Taste and see that the Lord is good;” Psalm 34˸8

Think

There are times when we might feel as though we are the only one who has ever experienced what we are dealing with.  But you may be surprised that the Bible is full of people who have experienced the very things we do today.  You may have heard of Abraham, Isaac, Joseph David or Job just to name a few. The people dealt with the same kind of highs – and lows – that we deal with today. Their experiences can all be read in the Bible.

The lessons we can learn from these biblical icons is vast.  Through each circumstance, you can see God’s hand move in their lives and use them in powerful ways.  They tasted and truly testified just how good the Lord really is.

Tough times in families happen – blended or not blended.  We have to stay in the family octagon and fight through those times.  Don’t believe you’re the only one who has endured the circumstances you may be going through.  Learn from God’s Word how to fight through those tough times.   Because as you to, you’ll be able to taste God’s mercy and grace and see that the Lord is good!

Pray

Ask God to remind you that you are not alone in fighting for your family.  Ask Him to protect and strengthen your family for His glory.

Act

Take time to pray together as a family today. A praying family can be a great blended family!

Wednesday

October 10, 2012

Wed, Oct 10

Read

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1˸7

Think

At 29,028 feet, Mount Everest is the tallest mountain in the world. It is considered to be the most difficult mountain to climb. Yet, over 5000 people have made the climb, and every one of them started the same way. They all started by taking the first step.

Maybe you are facing a mountain in your life. It could be financially, relationally, or emotionally. Whatever it is, that mountain can be overcome. You simply need to start with the first step.

God has given you the kind of discipline that you need to overcome anything you face. He has given you the ability to tap into His power, to overcome the fear and to move forward with strength. Have you tapped into that power?

Pray

Whatever mountain you are facing, admit to God that you know He can overcome it. Pray for His strength and focus to help you begin by taking the first step.

Act

Discipline to overcome your mountain starts with the first step. On a sheet of paper, write out the name of your mountain. Then write down the first step you are going to take to overcome it.