Devotional: Learning to Fly

Eagle 15Deuteronomy 32: 10-11:  “In a desert land He found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; He guarded him as the apple of His eye, like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them on its pinions.”

A mother eagle builds her nest on top of a mountain, usually on an unreachable crag jutting out of a cliff that oversees a chasm, thousands of feet below.

After the eagle builds a sturdy, safe nest, she feathers it.  She cushions it for her babies to make it comfortable and cozy.  When her eagles are hatched, she spends the first weeks feeding them, sheltering them, keeping them nestled and safe.

In this happy setting, they grow fat and strong.  Soon they’re wrestling around in the nest, elbowing each other for room, fighting to be first at the food. Wise mom knows it is time to disturb the nest.

Little by little, she starts pulling out the soft and cushy things.  The eaglets must wonder, “What’s with Mom?” as their nest begins to prickle and poke them. It’s not so comfortable anymore.  So, they start working their way up from the bottom of the nest, trying to get away from mom’s antics, until they find themselves near the edge.

Wow!  What a big world out there!  They peek out at the horizon.  It looks interesting, so they venture a little higher until they are perched right on the edge.  Suddenly Mom comes up from behind, thrusts out her strong beak and pushes one little eaglet over the edge.

Well, at this point our little hero is convinced that mom is crazy.  He’s falling and falling, apparently plunging to his death. Fighting the currents in the wind, vainly flapping his baby wings, tumbling around out there in the middle of the air, scared to death.

Then, right before he hits bottom, Mom swoops down with her big powerful wings and catches him, carrying him up, up, up back to the safety of the nest—until next time.

Over and over the eaglet tries to escape the new thorniness and prickliness of his nest.  As he climbs toward the perch, mom sneaks up once again and pushes him out, and again he falls.  Each time, she catches him, but she knows that one day she won’t need to.  Each time he falls, his flapping at the wind gets stronger and more sure.  Finally the day comes when he is capable of flying on is own, soaring on the wind and learning to navigate by himself.

Eagle sunAnd do you know how eagles navigate?  By the sun.  They look to the light for their guidance.

777 An Urgent Call to Prayer – Day Two

DAY TWO

“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation…that you may know…what are the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe….” —Ephesians 1:17–19

May we seek God’s power poured out through His Word, praying to be empowered by His spirit of wisdom and revelation. Let us pray with wisdom and compassion for these perilous times, both in America and abroad.



Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive all
WEALTH

“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers
by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has
appointed Heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds.”
Hebrews 1:1-2

  • We worship You, Lord Jesus Christ, as the Father’s only begotten Son, the One to whom the Father has given everything. You are His Heir of all things. You made the world at Creation, You bought it at Calvary, and it’s Your right to own and rule it…and us. You hold the world in the palm of Your hand, yet You are the same One who sees when a sparrow falls.  The same One who clothes the lilies of the field. The same One who fed 5000 hungry men and their families with five loaves and two fish. You have promised to meet all our needs according to the riches of Your glory, because You are Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord Our Provider.
  • I worship You as _______________
  • We repent of hoarding our own wealth when You have freely given us all things.
  • We repent of our greed that has run up trillions of dollars of national debt.
  • We repent of closing our eyes and ears to the needs of others around us because we want more for ourselves.
  • We repent of allowing the material blessings You have given us to deceive us into thinking we don’t need You.
  • We repent of feeling entitled to and demanding what someone else has earned, instead of taking responsibility for ourselves and our families as we trust You.
  • We repent of living as though material wealth and prosperity will bring happiness.
  • We repent of being consumed with worry over our financial, material needs as though You are not sufficient for all things.
  • I repent of___________
  • We choose to give You all that we have and all that we own, not just 10%.  We trust You to give us, in return, our next breath and to supply, not everything we want, but everything we need.
  • I choose now to__________
  • We ask You to reveal to us the debt we owe You so that we can sincerely acknowledge it, then forgive us as we forgive our debtors.
  • We ask that You open our eyes to the spiritual as well as the material needs of others, and use us to act on Your behalf to meet those needs.
  • We ask that You give us a fresh vision of Your power and wealth, so that we would be encouraged as we look forward to the Home You are preparing for us.
  • We ask that You give us courage to see, believe and live in the Light of eternity, so that we resist the attractiveness of temptation, sin, selfishness and evil and abandon ourselves to Your will.
  • I humbly ask that________

FOR YOUR GLORY,
AMEN

777 An Urgent Call to Prayer

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We are joining Anne Graham Lotz in an urgent call to prayer, for seven days, July 1–7. You can sign up here to receive a daily email devotional: http://maranathachapel.org/events/777–an-urgent-call-to-prayer/accept-the-challenge

Please pray with us!

 

Day 1

“And Asa cried to the LORD his God, ‘O LORD, there is none like you to help, between the mighty and the weak. Help us, O LORD our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this multitude. O LORD, you are our God.  Let not man prevail against you.’” —2 Chronicles 14:11

May we cry out in faith to the LORD JESUS for our nation and the world, as Asa did! 
To the God of the Angel Armies!

Pastor Ray

 

Praying with Anne…

 Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,

to receive all POWER

 

“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True.  With justice He judges and makes war.  His eyes are like blazing fire, and on His head are many crowns…on His robe and on His thigh He has this name written:  King of Kings and Lord of Lords.”

– Revelation 19:11-12, 16

  • We worship You, Lord Jesus Christ, as the Lamb who was slain, but who is now enthroned at the center of the Universe as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, soon to return in power and glory.  You are Jesus, who calmed the stormy seas with just a word.  You turned water into wine.  You created sight in a man born blind. You raised the dead. You are the same One who set the boundaries for the oceans. The same One who hung the stars in space and calls them all by name. The same One who strides the winds of the earth so that the clouds are the dust of Your feet.
  • I worship You as ___________
  • We repent of complaining as we wring our hands in despair, thinking our nation and our world are falling apart when they are really falling into place—right at Your feet.
  • We repent of striving to control our own destiny, or our church’s ministry, or our nation’s priorities so that they conform to our standards and agenda.
  • We repent of caring more about what our neighbor says, than what You say; of being more afraid of what our employer or government official thinks, than what You think; of grasping earthly position to gain earthly power.
  • We repent of being so intimidated by the opinions of others that we are silent and do not boldly proclaim who You are.
  • I repent of ___________
  • We choose to surrender our lives to Your power and authority, in utter moment-by-moment dependence on your moment-by-moment control.
  • I choose now to ____________
  • We ask that You would manifest Your power in such a way that we, Your people, would stop pointing our finger at others, and instead fall on our faces in repentance of our own sin; that the church would wake up in its relationship with You and wake up to the urgency of the times in which we live; and that our nation’s attention would once again be so fixed on You that it would return to the faith of our founding fathers.
  • We ask that Your power would permeate our lives, our churches and our nation; that in the light of Your presence, evil spirits would flee; that Your strong arm would protect us from the encroaching evil and deliver us.
  • I humbly ask that _____________

 

FOR YOUR GLORY,

AMEN

Devotional: Was David a Good Role Model?

king-david-251x300“I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.”—Acts 13:22

Everything? Did David really do everything the Lord wanted him to? Apparently, or He wouldn’t have said it. What earned him the title “a man after God’s own heart” and also gave him more space in the Bible than any other person—including Jesus?

 Is David the role model to which we aspire? Is his life something to emulate? The strength of David’s story, says Eugene Peterson, is that “David deals with God. As an instance of humanity in himself, he isn’t much. He has little wisdom to pass on to us on how to live successfully. He was an unfortunate parent and an unfaithful husband. From a purely historical point of view he was a barbaric chieftain with a talent for poetry. But David’s importance isn’t his morality or his military prowess but in his experience of and witness to God. Every event in his life was a confrontation with God.”

Wow.

For some of us with a heroic ideal of David in our minds, that statement feels harsh and disillusioning. But we can’t skirt the facts of David’s life. He did what he did, and that statement is accurate. That’s what makes David so important!

John Calvin wrote of David, “Let us therefore remember that David is like a mirror, in which God sets before us the continual course of His grace.”

David did what God wanted him to do —he learned from his mistakes, repented of his sins—he paid dearly for some of his sins—and he always turned back to the Lord, always cried out to Him for mercy and strength. He proclaimed, out of the depths of his heart, “You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart…” (Psalm 51).

David had it right. He wasn’t much of a role model for life, but he was an example of loving God with passion, and of allowing God into his life, to love him and mold him into the man after God’s heart.

 “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned … Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me…You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart.” —Psalm 51, a prayer of David

Devotional: God’s Word and the Heart of a Boy

hands_in_worship_2_(400_x_180)“So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace.”—Isaiah 55:11-12

A friend of mine remembers sitting in the basement of an old church in Los Angeles when he was seven years old and earnestly raising his hand to accept Jesus into his life. He wasn’t a regular churchgoer; he had been invited by a friend’s family. Nothing in his short life up to that moment gave him any understanding of what this decision was all about. For years, he had no idea what really happened. He eventually shook it off as one of those childhood things.

 Years later, in a moment of great need, he cried out to God and everything he had heard in that basement rushed to the forefront of his memory—the love of God, Jesus’ declaration that He would never leave him nor forsake him. My friend recalls feeling as if his whole life hinged on the spiritual transaction he made with God as a young boy. He remembered someone telling him that “all things work together for good to those who love God” and he found great comfort and reassurance in those words (Romans 8:28).

God’s Word never comes back void. My friend barely remembers the faithful Sunday School worker who spoke to him that day, but the message of love reached the heart of a young boy and came back many years later to comfort a hurting man, and bring a wandering soul home.

“He sent forth His Word and healed them; He rescued them from the grave.” — Psalm 107:20

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