Sunday, October 26, 2014

Arise and Bless the Lord

On October 31st the people assembled again, and this time they fasted and dressed in burlap and sprinkled dust on their heads.  Those of Israelite descent separated themselves from all foreigners as they confessed their own sins and the sins of their ancestors.  They remained standing in place for three hours while the Book of the Law of the Lord their God was read aloud to them.  Then for three more hours they confessed their sins and worshiped the Lord their God.  The Levites—Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Kenani—stood on the stairway of the Levites and cried out to the Lord their God with loud voices.  Then the leaders of the Levites—Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah—called out to the people: “Stand up and praise the Lord your God, for he lives from everlasting to everlasting!” 
Then they prayed:  “May your glorious name be praised! May it be exalted above all blessing and praise!  “You alone are the Lord.  You made the skies and the heavens and all the stars.  You made the earth and the seas and everything in them.  You preserve them all, and the angels of heaven worship you.  “You are the Lord God, who chose Abram and brought him from Ur of the Chaldeans and renamed him Abraham.   When he had proved himself faithful, you made a covenant with him to give him and his descendants the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Jebusites, and Girgashites.  And you have done what you promised, for you are always true to your word.  “You saw the misery of our ancestors in Egypt, and you heard their cries from beside the Red Sea.  You displayed miraculous signs and wonders against Pharaoh, his officials, and all his people, for you knew how arrogantly they were treating our ancestors.  You have a glorious reputation that has never been forgotten.  You divided the sea for your people so they could walk through on dry land!  And then you hurled their enemies into the depths of the sea.  They sank like stones beneath the mighty waters.  You led our ancestors by a pillar of cloud during the day and a pillar of fire at night so that they could find their way.  “You came down at Mount Sinai and spoke to them from heaven.  You gave them regulations and instructions that were just, and decrees and commands that were good.  You instructed them concerning your holy Sabbath.  And you commanded them, through Moses your servant, to obey all your commands, decrees, and instructions.  “You gave them bread from heaven when they were hungry and water from the rock when they were thirsty.  You commanded them to go and take possession of the land you had sworn to give them.  “But our ancestors were proud and stubborn, and they paid no attention to your commands.  They refused to obey and did not remember the miracles you had done for them.  Instead, they became stubborn and appointed a leader to take them back to their slavery in Egypt.  But you are a God of forgiveness, gracious and merciful, slow to become angry, and rich in unfailing love.  You did not abandon them, even when they made an idol shaped like a calf and said, ‘This is your god who brought you out of Egypt!’  They committed terrible blasphemies.  “But in your great mercy you did not abandon them to die in the wilderness.  The pillar of cloud still led them forward by day, and the pillar of fire showed them the way through the night.  You sent your good Spirit to instruct them, and you did not stop giving them manna from heaven or water for their thirst.  For forty years you sustained them in the wilderness, and they lacked nothing.  Their clothes did not wear out, and their feet did not swell!  “Then you helped our ancestors conquer kingdoms and nations, and you placed your people in every corner of the land.  They took over the land of King Sihon of Heshbon and the land of King Og of Bashan.  You made their descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and brought them into the land you had promised to their ancestors.  “They went in and took possession of the land.  You subdued whole nations before them.  Even the Canaanites, who inhabited the land, were powerless!  Your people could deal with these nations and their kings as they pleased.  Our ancestors captured fortified cities and fertile land.  They took over houses full of good things, with cisterns already dug and vineyards and olive groves and fruit trees in abundance.  So they ate until they were full and grew fat and enjoyed themselves in all your blessings. 
“But despite all this, they were disobedient and rebelled against you.  They turned their backs on your Law, they killed your prophets who warned them to return to you, and they committed terrible blasphemies.  So you handed them over to their enemies, who made them suffer.  But in their time of trouble they cried to you, and you heard them from heaven.  In your great mercy, you sent them liberators who rescued them from their enemies.  “But as soon as they were at peace, your people again committed evil in your sight, and once more you let their enemies conquer them.  Yet whenever your people turned and cried to you again for help, you listened once more from heaven.  In your wonderful mercy, you rescued them many times!  “You warned them to return to your Law, but they became proud and obstinate and disobeyed your commands.  They did not follow your regulations, by which people will find life if only they obey.  They stubbornly turned their backs on you and refused to listen.  In your love, you were patient with them for many years.  You sent your Spirit, who warned them through the prophets.  But still they wouldn’t listen!  So once again you allowed the peoples of the land to conquer them.  But in your great mercy, you did not destroy them completely or abandon them forever.  What a gracious and merciful God you are!
“And now, our God, the great and mighty and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of unfailing love, do not let all the hardships we have suffered seem insignificant to you.  Great trouble has come upon us and upon our kings and leaders and priests and prophets and ancestors—all of your people—from the days when the kings of Assyria first triumphed over us until now.  Every time you punished us you were being just.  We have sinned greatly, and you gave us only what we deserved.  Our kings, leaders, priests, and ancestors did not obey your Law or listen to the warnings in your commands and laws.  Even while they had their own kingdom, they did not serve you, though you showered your goodness on them.  You gave them a large, fertile land, but they refused to turn from their wickedness.  “So now today we are slaves in the land of plenty that you gave our ancestors for their enjoyment!  We are slaves here in this good land.  The lush produce of this land piles up in the hands of the kings whom you have set over us because of our sins.  They have power over us and our livestock.  We serve them at their pleasure, and we are in great misery.”
The people responded, “In view of all this, we are making a solemn promise and putting it in writing.  On this sealed document are the names of our leaders and Levites and priests.”  Nehemiah 9:1-38 (NLT)
Captivity was over.  Rebuilding the city and its walls had taken a great effort, and yet the successful project had drawn the people together.  Jerusalem would stand high and proud once again.  There was just one “catch” – God was not done.  There was an unrest that had to be settled. 
Last week we saw how the joy of the Lord was presented to the people through the pathway of repentance.  It began a process which led to the revival of God’s people.
The process involved three readings of the Word of God over a period of twenty-four days:
READING #1 (day one) 
Nehemiah 8.4-8 led to conviction, weeping and repentance.  Nehemiah and Ezra saw the people’s deep sorrow over their sins and told them to stop and go rejoice.  Once repentance comes there is need to celebrate the forgiveness God promises!

READING #2 (day two) 
Nehemiah 4.14-15 led to a further conviction to re-institute the celebration of Feast of Booths, reminding God’s people of His provision and protection all during the wilderness wanderings.  The people lived simply for 10 days in makeshift shelters remembering their total dependence on God. 

READING #3  (day twenty-four)
Nehemiah 8.18 – 9.3. During the entire 31/2 weeks there was continual worship and reading of God’s Word.  At the end, this public reading was the culmination of a revival begun.  The people had been fasting and concentrating on the goodness of God.

Notice how Nehemiah describes the final day of a national revival for the people of God:
9.4-5  Praise of God begins with the priests; the congregation joins in as they are instructed to “arise and praise the Lord.”

9.6-15  Exalting God for His great faithfulness to Israel in creation, calling Abraham to fatherhood of the race, deliverance from Egyptian bondage, leading and providence in the wilderness and giving of the Law.

9.16-37  Confessing to God Israel’s past sinful disobedience and the Lord’s continual mercy in forgiving and delivering them; also confessing that God was right and just in punishing them.

9.38  Covenanting with God to live obediently as His people in the future.

For Israel the events we read marked the beginning of a national revival – a high point of connection with God.  In this they did arise and bless the Lord God
This is available to us as well.  Here are some application points based on how this event should affect us today.


If you are going to arise and bless God, that is, get serious concerning your relationship to Him, don’t take it lightly; do your homework!  After all, you are not approaching a hot dog vendor on the corner of the street downtown – you are approaching Holy God, Author and Sustainer of the entire universe. 
A teenager was caught doing ninety-five in a thirty.  The traffic cop was caressing his citation book as he walked up to the youth’s car.  “I’ve been just waiting for you all day,” said the officer sarcastically.  “Yeah,” said the teen, “I got here as quickly as I could.” 
Rushing into “revival” can be hazardous to your health.  Rushing into revival can be a sign of false repentance, or a shallow understanding of what repentance really means.
To repent means turning your back completely on the old life, knowing that God expects you to reject sin and live for Him.  The scripture warns us how stubborn and unrepentant we are by nature:
Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, therefore the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.  Ecclesiastes 8:11 (NASB)
Then He began to denounce the cities in which most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent.   Matthew 11:20 (NASB)
But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,  Romans 2:5 (NASB)


In order to truly connect with God you have to deal in reality.  I am a great one to recommend connecting with reality.  I rationalize frequently when it comes to my automobiles.  Whenever I hear a noise under the hood, or that “thump” in the wheels, I rationalize that it is just “road noise” and it will soon go away.  Or I imagine there is only a twenty-cent fuse that needs replacing when I turn the key and the water faucet in my house comes on.  I don’t really want to deal with the reality of home repair, or the cost of keeping the old bus running.  Rationalizing our relationship with God is like that when we refuse to come to terms with sin. 
‘Only acknowledge your iniquity, That you have transgressed against the LORD your God and have scattered your favors to the strangers under every green tree, And you have not obeyed My voice,’ declares the LORD.  Jeremiah 3:13 (NASB)
He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.  Proverbs 28:13 (NASB)
The opposite of rationalization is confession.  Confession is not about making excuses.  Confession is what leads to revival and renewal in your life.  Don’t rationalize that your sin is someone else’s fault.  Israel really understood that at this point in their national existence.  They were willing to confess not only their own sins, but the past sins of their fathers.   Don’t rush, don’t rationalize, and…


But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”  Luke 9.62
If we are to arise and bless the Lord God it has to be the kind of decision that burns the bridges behind. 
It means we come just as we are, but understanding that God loves us much too much to leave us that way. 
It means we come in our brokenness and sin, remembering that our confession is a step without retreat, and He will do the cleaning up of our lives. 
It means we are committing to go wherever He leads. 
It means we are becoming part of a forever family, and this is a family you don’t leave behind when something “better” comes along.
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18 (NASB)
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.  Psalm 51:17 (NASB)
 “For My hand made all these things, Thus all these things came into being,” declares the LORD. “But to this one I will look, To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.  Isaiah 66:2 (NASB)
Ultimately our souls are searching for peace.  Apart from God we cannot have that.  Apart from an unrushed, unrationalized, unretreating commitment to the Lord God, there is no way to bless Him.
In your search for peace, you can be like the bright young man Rabbi Harold Kushner tells about in a wonderful story.   He was a Stanford sophomore pre-med student.  To reward him for having done so well in school, his parents gave him a trip to the Far East for the summer vacation before the start of his junior year.
While there he met a guru who said to him, "Don’t you see how you are poisoning your soul with this success oriented way of life?  Your idea of happiness is to stay up all night studying for an exam so you can get a better grade than your best friend.  Your idea of a good marriage is not to find the woman who will make you whole, but to win the girl that everyone else wants.  That’s not how people are supposed to live.  Give it up; come join us in an atmosphere where we all share and love each other."
The young man had completed four years at a competitive high school to get into Stanford, plus two years of pre-med courses at the university.  He was ripe for this sort of approach.  He called his parents from Tokyo and told them he would not be coming home.  He was dropping out of school to live in an ashram (a spiritual retreat).
Six months later, his parents got a letter from him: "Dear Mom and Dad, I know you weren’t happy with the decision I made last summer, but I want to tell you how happy it has made me.  For the first time in my life, I am at peace.  Here there is no competing, no hustling, no trying to get ahead of anyone else.  Here we are all equal, and we all share.  This way of life is so much in harmony with the inner essence of my soul that in only six months I’ve become the number two disciple in the entire ashram, and I think I can be number one by June!"[1]
Genuine revival on a personal, church or global level requires a consistent faithful commitment to a connection-with, and obedience-to almighty God. 
A by-product, a blessed by-product of that obedience is a peace that passes all understanding.  It is no wonder people who live in revival arise and bless the Lord!

[1] SermonCentral PRO,

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Wise Snakes; Harmless Doves

Friday, October 24, 2014
“Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves.  So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves.”      Matthew 10:16 (NLT)
Jesus knew that idealism in the extreme accomplishes little other than gridlock or martyrdom.  

Every harmless dove needs a little shrewdness; every shrewd snake could use some harmless tempering.  This may be have been John Wesley’s muse for developing the Middle Way

While I’m no expert on Wesley (or much of anything else) it seems the founder of Methodism understood “moderation in all things” to be something we should take seriously.

Current day Methodists seem to miss that.  We are embroiled of late in a push from sociological (not theological) extremes:
          ·        On the right, weighing in at 320 lbs of pure conservative Pharisaism are those who would ban anyone who isn’t heterosexual from planet earth.
          ·        On the left, weighing in at 320 lbs of purely liberal progressive humanism are those who would do away with every commonsense appraisal of Scripture’s take on sin.

Neither group gets Wesley’s understanding of “hearts holding hands”.

The Middle Way understands that we are not all cut from the same cloth, and always will differ in opinion on issues.  We stay together and work together because the middle is where you meet to find common ground to finish the mission; the fringe is where plans are made to dismember the body of Christ.

I hate hidden agendas. 

Having revealed my “snakey-shrewd” pessimism, I will temper it with “dovey-nice-nice” – we all have our agenda issues.  Progressives who twist Scripture to validate sinful behavior, and Traditionalists who react with hatred in self-righteousness are moving more on agenda than Spirit breath.  Church life becomes all so agenda-driven

Cutting to MY real agenda today:

I just hate the falseness of when someone hides their real intentions to gain your trust; it’s then that the rug underneath gets shaky.  I am of the opinion, and willing to stand there – that every person who holds a different point of view than I hold, is welcome to stand with me in worship and in working for the Kingdom of God. 

I really mean that.

And by that I mean – worshiping God, not self’s agenda.  If you’re into that, I’d rather not be in the room.

The “baggage” of our sin (progressives and traditionalists alike) only belongs on an altar – not on a calendar of issues for the Judicial Council to bless or ban.

At this point I have to say shame on we Methodists for calling ourselves United!

OK…Rant over!

For You, Today

To my traditionalist friends:  Have you worked through the Pharisee-hardened side of your heart?
To my progressive friends:  Have you worked on that Zealot-humanism side of your heart?
Let’s be shrewd; let’s be harmless…there’s a middle way.

An invitation:  Let’s go to the altar, place our sins where they can be handled by the proper authority…and then let’s do communion; let’s be communion.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

One Will Be Taken

Thursday, October 23, 2014
Two students in a seminary, or two pastors at a denominational meeting, or two church members are arguing; the topic is typical – is there a rapture or not?

(Disclaimer:  my personal belief is that there will be a rapture – but hang with me for a bit if you believe differently)

There is no shortage of opinions on what is going to happen in the future.  I get invitations in the mail to prophecy seminars which will end all speculation, because this teacher from Des Moines or Indiana, or South Africa has finally figured it out for the rest of us; she has cracked the Revelation End Time Code.

Despite all the charts, time-lines and footnoting you stumble over in the intensive, impressive presentations on Bible prophecy concerning the Last Days, no matter which theory a teacher holds – rapture or not – at least one side is wrong. 

     (Of course, it could just be that everybody’s wrong and Jesus has something else planned.  But that wouldn’t be at all like Him, would it?  He never does anything unexpected, eh?)

“Rapturists” believe Jesus will call the church away from this earth to a meeting in the sky.  This is the theme of Left Behind thinking – at some future (maybe today) date the archangel will blow that horn to begin the Great Tribulation on earth – sans believers.

“Non-rapturists” believe differently – that the next great event is the Return of Christ, or that His return is somehow embodied in Christians working to create the new earth.

Whether you believe one way or the other is less of a concern (to me) than how either belief system might affect you.  In both (and all the little sub-beliefs) are the seeds of fatalism – the kind of logic that says:  I can’t do anything about the future, so I won’t give my best, and I refuse to think about it all.

If you’re a rapturist, fatalism can lead to spiritually sitting on a hill and waiting for the relief of being caught-away with Christ….forget paying the mortgage and those credit cards…you’re outa here!

If you’re a non-rapturist, a fatalistic view might include frustration over political and world events….so much so, that you lose hope and just live with the depressive effects of human experience which is most often two steps forward and three back!

Now, this is not to demean anyone’s theology (or start any arguments – hold off on those cards and letters, folks).  I want to present a different perspective for both rapturists and non-rapturist believers…the urgency of evangelism.

Almost all believers affirm God’s hand on creation and His involvement in the affairs of humanity, and that God is somehow guiding/moving events, past, present and future to conform to His will.  There will be an accounting and judging time, rapture or not!

In like fashion, most followers of Jesus also affirm that following Him means bending our will to His…doing what he commanded…spreading the Gospel…helping others know Him too.

If these two statements are true…God’s sovereign will and Jesus’ great commission…we have more important fish to fry than how it’s all going to end in rapture or not.  Our immediate concern should be for the souls of lost people – not the fatalism spawned by doctrinal wrangling.  I’m not certain I ever read in Scripture about rewards for that!

You might be one of those workers in the field or women grinding at the mill.  If there is a rapture, shouldn’t you be at work for the Master until He comes?  And if there isn’t a rapture, shouldn’t you be at work for the Master until He comes?

For You, Today

Take away this positive thought – your day will be blessed if you share Jesus with someone.  There is a reward promised in Scripture for that!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Mixed Signals

Wednesday, October 22, 2014
I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to Him.      Acts 10:34b-35  (NLT)
One look at our culture tells you that people are confused about a lot of things! 

If you really want confusion try understanding church committees.  A church cemetery committee was discussing at some length the price of lots. The chairman, wishing to bring the thoughts together, summed things up with one of those statements that need to be taken the way they are meant, not the way they are said:  We should have two prices—one for those local and another rate for those from out of town.  The people buried there from out of town never come back to help maintain the grounds.[1] 

(Well, I hope not!  But you understand what he meant even in the confusion.)

The apostle Peter had a confusing vision one day.  In the evening, while he was waiting for dinner to be ready, he went up to the flat roof of the house to catch the cool evening breeze of the open space.  While he waited he prayed.  In this prayer time Peter had a vision of a sheet being let down from heaven by its’ four corners.  In the sheet were all sorts of animals – but all of them forbidden to eat by Jewish law.  Peter heard a voice say, Get up, Peter; kill and eat

Now some folks might attribute that kind of experience to a simple Methodist desire for the sermon to be over and the pathway to the buffet table cleared.  Peter tried to refuse on the grounds that he never ate what the Lord had forbidden.  The voice told him he needed to rethink – because whatever God has cleansed should not be thought to be unclean. 

It took three tries, but God finally got through to Peter.  Whatever Peter actually thought about his vision he could not have had a clue as to what God was up to. 

The day before Peter’s vision, thirty miles to the north in Caesarea, a Roman military officer named Cornelius was also having a vision.  Cornelius saw an angel who told him to send for Peter. 

Cornelius obediently sent servants to bring the apostle to his home.  After a night’s travel the servants arrived just after Peter had his vision.  After the servants explained why they had come, and a prompting by the Spirit of God, Peter swallowed his Jewish nationalistic pride and went with the Gentile soldiers. 

When they arrived in Caesarea he swallowed even more pride and entered Cornelius’ house – something that was also forbidden, because, by Jewish law and custom a Jew was never supposed to enter a Gentile’s residence.

After a brief exchange of what’d-you-see, why’d-that-happen, what’s-next and who-said-what…God’s Spirit took over the meeting and Cornelius’ whole family and household servants got saved.  What a revelation for Peter; what a blessing for the house of Cornelius! 

What started out as a very confusing time in the life of a Gentile soldier and a Jewish apostle became a blessing to both of them and to the entire world.  What everyone would have missed without the obedience of both!

Sometimes, just stepping-out in obedience to the Spirit’s prompting, before we try to wrap our minds around the circumstances, we discover we could never have imagined the blessings God’s got going on for a follower of Jesus Christ.

For You, Today

God may have some pretty interesting paths for you to walk today. 
Why not decide in this moment to watch for, and be obedient to His leading?

[1] Pastor Glenn Swanson, Mallaig, Alberta, Canada. Christian Reader, “Lite Fare.”

Monday, October 20, 2014

Afraid to Die?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love.  Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.  No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.       Romans 8:38-39 (NLT)
Many people say they’re not afraid of death – but they are misinformed.  Death should be feared, because death is to be separated from God for eternity.  Death isn’t just when you stop breathing, and you therefore think you don’t have the struggles and worries anymore.  Your soul and your consciousness are never going to die.  And even your body is going to be resurrected.

The Bible talks of two resurrections.  One is a resurrection to life; the other, resurrection to eternal death – separation from God.  Jesus came to buy you out of that.  He died for your sins, gave his life on the cross in your place, so that you can have an eternal life, not eternal death! 

There is only one intelligent way to not be afraid of death – and that is when you have eternal life.

When you are in the Master’s hand, you can look at death and truly not be afraid, because the hand of death can never touch you – you will never be separated from the One who loves you more than is humanly possible. 

You will be able to talk to death like 16th century poet and priest, John Donne did in a poem[1]:

DEATH be not proud, though some have called thee                                            
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so,   
For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow,                                                     
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
   Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,            
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,       
   Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.             
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,           
    And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,        
    And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,    
    And better than thy stroake; why swell'st thou then;   
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,           
    And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.     

For the believer who truly rests it all on Christ, death holds no fear.

For You, Today

To give your life to Christ is to celebrate the death of your death!

[1] Divine Sonnet X

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Redeeming the Time

Monday, October 20, 2014
Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should.  Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity.  
Colossians 4:4-5 (NLT)
Paul asked his Christian family to pray that he might make the most of every opportunity to effectively proclaim the message of Jesus for as long as God allowed him life and breath.  The apostle understood the tyranny of time and the rushing tide of evil in his times Eph 5:16.
Last week Elizabeth was hunting through a kitchen cabinet for something to use in a recipe and stumbled across a box of chocolate pudding.  As she considered using it, the expiration date caught her eye – a mere 10 years ago!  As much as I love chocolate, I had to agree – that stuff was not to be trusted!
Let’s face it, the 5-second rule (about dropping food on the kitchen floor and choosing whether to eat it or not) is easier on my brain than decade-old pudding!
And now, for the million dollar question:  would YOU have used it? 
This little integrity-when-using-pudding event got me thinking about putting time and expiration dates to good use…something about which I am plagued.  I have a natural tendency to procrastinate – to put things off because I can’t get my mind around the complexity or enormity of a project. 
I keep imagining that the apostle was (like me) a charter member of the procrastinators club.  His simile of a tortured mind…the things he wanted to do, he didn’t; the things he didn’t want to do, he did…I know this all too well.  Like Paul, I try to fight for clarity and decisiveness in what to do next and simply getting started.
And so, redeeming the time is a very prophetic and valuable phrase to me – all the time!
I’ve got several allies in my fight to redeem the time:
1.     God’s Spirit.  When Paul asked others to pray it was because he knew himself; he knew he needed a holy support system.  And Paul knew himself, because the Holy Spirit reveals who we are to our minds.
2.     God’s Word.  Scripture is authoritative and beneficial to teach us how to serve God and each other 2 Timothy 3:16.  This includes helping us know how to be proactive, decisive and effective…when we’d rather just sit and procrastinate.
3.     Elizabeth!  If ever God knew who to put me with for lifetime partnership, this one is no doubt.  My bride looks at a task or project…and begins!  She helps me stay focused on trusting God for the outcome…just begin, for heaven’s sake!
(I hate it when she’s right like that…but don’t tell her, ok?)

For You, Today

Now…you’ve got some time to redeem today. 
What is it you haven’t started on,
or worked on,
or let the expiration date slip 10 years into the past?

What will you DO today?