Thursday, April 23, 2015

Devotional Reading for Thursday, April 23, 2015 (the day after!)

Today's Reading: 1 Samuel 27; 1 Chronicles 9; Psalm 141; Matthew 10

“Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.  Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.  Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.  — Matthew 10:37-39

Jesus’ mission is well-established, and now is the time for Him to send out the 12 apostles with His power and message.  He prepares them for the opposition and persecution they will face:  that the battle is not against flesh and blood but against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Eph 6:12); that our strength and victory come as we learn to let go and give Jesus priority over everything in our lives. 

We can think of these 12 apostles as one of the greatest generations of the church.  They were ordinary men and women, called out under the persecution of the Roman Empire to lay the spiritual foundation of the church, and most were killed in the process.  Somewhere in their discipleship journey, there was a RELEASE that moved them from double-minded followers to Revolutionaries for Christ.

Welcome home! I’m so proud of each of you working together as the body of Christ.  As we settle back into our routines, I pray that you will reflect how your walk with Jesus has been transformed.  It starts with our own awareness of and repentance of the Pharisee in our own lives.  How easy it is in our culture to be double-minded and hypocritical. 

But I have hope that if God can transform the lives of the 12 apostles, he can definitely transform mine.  On this trip, we each have had a glimpse of what it means to truly live by faith…to lose your life for Jesus and then find it.  To be weak and vulnerable so He can be glorified.  To choose to BECOME less so HE can become greater.

Your role as missionary disciples is to be hot coals within the church, your families and community; to be a testimony of what it means to deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Him; to not FEAR rejection and persecution because of the rare and deeper fellowship that it brings with our Savior.

Almighty Father, Creator of heaven and earth, so humbled that I am called to be your son.  Continue to transform my walk with you.  Help me to trust and obey you more…to be open to your revelation that allows me to see areas that FEAR has prevented me from embracing your promises for my life.  Give me the faith and courage to let go and trust in you.  To be patient in your work in my life…trusting that you will be faithful to complete the work you started.  I pray that as I continue to walk in faith and obedience, you will transform me to become more like Jesus.  That in Him, I will find the peace and love and hope that He gave to so many until He was united with you in heaven.  In the awesome name of Jesus I ray.  Amen. 

~Pastor Creighton

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Devotional Reading for Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Today's Reading: 1 Samuel 25,26; Psalm 63; Matthew 9

“As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s booth.  ‘Follow me and be my disciple,’ Jesus said to him.  So Matthew got up and followed him.”   – Matthew 9:9 NLT

Matthew was a tax collector and in his time tax collectors were well off.  He probably had a comfortable and secure life with his career.  Here he meets Jesus.  Well, Jesus sees Matthew and invites him to be his disciple.  Matthew leaves his career and accepts the invitation. 

Some of you may have made some very tough decisions prior to accepting the invitation for this trip.  I trust that as you look back you will see it was well worth it.  Now heading home the past week and a half may seem like a blur.  Did that really happen?  It’s already over?  Nonetheless, an eternal impact has been made in the lives of the people you’ve encountered and in your own life.

“So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable.  Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.”  – 1 Corinthians 15:58 NLT

Now what?

Remember this time, the unity, the relationships, God’s faithfulness and provision.  Share your stories with others.  Listen.  What is God saying to you?   Rest and refuel? leave a career?  start a career?  start a ministry?  build or mend a relationship?  The list can go on…

It probably wasn’t easy for Matthew, but Jesus was leading his life.  As we follow Him, we can trust in His plans and provision.  Disciple of Jesus, be grateful for each day, and choose to follow Him daily.  As David McCracken says, “Pay the price to hear His voice and have the courage to do what he says.”

Abba, Thank you for this amazing opportunity to serve our brothers and sisters in India!  Holy Spirit, continue to guide and strengthen me in my daily walk.  May I be open to any invitation you offer in my life and have the courage to do what you say.  In His name, Amen.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Devotional Reading for Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Today's Reading: 1 Samuel 24; 1 Chronicles 8; Psalms 57,58; Matthew 8

When Jesus arrived at Peter’s house, Peter’s mother-in-law was sick in bed with a high fever.  But when Jesus touched her hand, the fever left her. Then she got up and prepared a meal for him.  That evening many demon-possessed people were brought to Jesus. He cast out the evil spirits with a simple command, and he healed all the sick.  This fulfilled the word of the Lord through the prophet Isaiah, who said, “He took our sicknesses and removed our diseases.” —Mathew 8:14-17

Jesus is our Healer!  When we have faith in Him and believe, He can Heal!

Through your actions, faithfulness, and love, the girls, the staff and the people in India will believe that Jesus is REAL!

Dear Father God, I thank you for sending our Hawaii team to meet Your needs.  Wherever there is a prayer that is needed, be there with the team to do Your will.  Thank you for the girls and the caretakers who watch over them.  I ask You to bless them abundantly! Protect them from head to toe.  Bless and protect the adults around them, their home and the surroundings.  I ask for protection as our Hawaii team ministers to the girls and travel mercies as they end their mission.  I lift up the leaders of our team for protection and guidance.  In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen.

~Aunty Chris

Spirit Break Out

I am continued to be left in awe, almost speechless as I see the POWER of our living God move throughout the nation of India. The promise God had given was that a small town of 26,000 people would be living streams of water to reach a nation of nearly 1.3 billion for Jesus. I love how God uses the humble to shame the proud, the weak to shame the strong, small things to make a BIG difference, and ordinary people to do EXTRAORDINARY things. 

Yesterday, our team had the privilege of heading the local church's Sunday service. Our pastors were able to reinforce the promise God has for his people; that there was a Promise Land for each of them to be conquered. But standing in the way of the land flowing with milk and honey, were giants- the thoughts of self-doubt and worth, disabilities, broken family backgrounds, etc. What God spoke was that in order to walk into our Promise land, we need the same Spirit God gave Joshua and Caleb: a Spirit of courage, boldness, and overcoming! That in order for each and every one of his people to walk into their purpose (their Promise Land), chains needed to be broken.

It was a humbling experience, to pray for our brothers and sisters. To pray for courage. To pray for boldness. To pray for an increase of faith and the power of the Holy Spirit. As we prayed and I looked around the room, I saw chains being broken and giants being slain. Freedom was being unleashed! 

" For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." -Jeremiah 29:11

I believe in the promise and plan he made for our brothers and sisters, for this town, and his nation: That all would come to know and worship the one true God. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Devotional Reading for Monday, April 20, 2015

Today's Reading: 1 Samuel 23; Psalms 31,54; Matthew 7

But I am trusting you, O Lord, saying, “You are my God!” —Psalm 31:14
David is being chased by Saul for his life, and in this chapter of Psalm 31, verses 1-13, David is expressing his raw emotions of fear, agony, tiredness and loneliness because of this "
season" that God has him in. There is a promise to David for him to be king but up to this point, it certainly doesn't feel like it. It just feels like a life of a fugitive, never sleeping in the same bed twice.

And then we read David write in verse 14 that he trusts in the Lord and exclaims, "You are my God!" In the midst of his misery and discomfort, when his own friends don't want to be seen with him for fear of their lives, David digs into his well of relationship with the Lord and says, "You are my God!" He then continues to write words of hope and trust and surrender to conclude chapter 31.

For us today, as we follow Jesus, we will face many uncomfortable seasons in our life. The perspective of walking with Jesus is less a matter of "if" but more "when" storms may come. Having been away from home for the past 8 days, some of you may have experienced a storm or two along the way. My challenge for you today is to take a moment to be real to God and tell Him how you really feel in the moments of trial. After you've got it off your chest, begin to center your heart back to the Lord by meditating and audibly thanking God for all that He's blessed You with and then end by proclaiming as David did, "You are my God!"

Father, I pray for my brothers and sisters in India that You would cover them with Your joy and hope today. Reveal Your love to them as the time in India is soon coming to a close. Heal those that may not feel well and allow their relationship with You to grow deeper in likeness to how we read about David and his relationship with You. We love You. In Jesus Name, Amen.

~Kamu & Bugs