THE SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES :: SACRIFICE

AT RHW WE PUBLISH A NEW COLUMN EACH FRIDAY. WE’RE GOING THROUGH FOUR SPECIFIC STUDIES WITH EACH SERIES BEING PUBLISHED ON A DIFFERENT FRIDAY OF THE MONTH.

In The Spiritual Disciplines series we’re learning 12 disciplines that will guide us as we grow deeper in our walk with God. These columns post on the second Friday of each month in 2020.

Spiritual Disciplines are not a list of religious duties but rather habits that nurture and mature our spiritual growth. They are inward, spiritual attitudes walked out by behaviors and actions. These habits are critical for lasting spiritual growth and true life transformation.

SACRIFICE: Deliberately forsaking the security of satisfying our needs with our own resources in the faith and hope that God will sustain us. ~ The Life With God Bible

I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. ~ Romans 12:1 NLT

The Spiritual Discipline of Sacrifice is nourishment to our faith. As we step out into the uncertainty of giving up something we need to help a more needy person, we can be sure God will step in and reward our efforts in surprising and unusual ways.

As we give sacrificially out of our own need to meet the needs of others we are putting our security in God’s hands and not our own. We’re showing Him that we trust He will provide for our needs even when we don’t know how.

Sacrificing our comforts to help others becomes an act of worship. It takes our relationship with God to a different level. Not only for the purpose of our salvation, we’re giving God a sacrificial trust for provision of our needs. Then the needs of others can be met through the blessings God has provided for us. Sacrificing our comforts to help others becomes an act of worship.

We can’t out give God. The more we give, the more He will give to us.

Give generously and generous gifts will be given back to you, shaken down to make room for more. Abundant gifts will pour out upon you with such an overflowing measure that it will run over the top! Your measurement of generosity becomes the measurement of your return. ~ Luke 6:38 TPT

Contemplate the level of sacrifice in your walk with God as you listen/watch this lovely song by Planetshakers.

THE LORD’S PRAYER :: WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO TRESPASS AGAINST US

AT RHW WE PUBLISH A NEW COLUMN EACH FRIDAY. WE’RE GOING THROUGH FOUR SPECIFIC STUDIES WITH EACH SERIES BEING PUBLISHED ON A DESIGNATED WEEK OF THE MONTH.

In The Lord’s Prayer Jesus teaches his disciples how to pray. He’s not just giving them a prayer to recite, but a model prayer for everyone of us. Join me on the first Friday of each month in 2020 as we study this beloved prayer phrase by phrase and bring fresh application to our lives today.

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. ~ Matthew 6: 9-13

In today’s phrase of The Lord’s Prayer Jesus is teaching His disciples a core spiritual principle. Unless we are able to forgive others, we cannot accept the forgiveness given to us by God.

The other side of that principle is:  Who are we to accept forgiveness from God and not grant it to others? By not forgiving others we are saying we better than God.  So much  that we don’t have to forgive others when they have done wrong!

If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. ~ Matthew 6:14-15

Without Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit it’s impossible to forgive those who have hurt us.  But unless and until we do we will be a prisoner in a bitter jail of our own making.

Has God graciously forgiven you? Then graciously forgive one another in the depths of Christ’s love. ~ Ephesians 4:32

Forgiving doesn’t mean we have to continue in a relationship with that person if it’s unsafe or unhealthy. However, by forgiving others we have truly given them over to God. Our heart is now free from the overarching bitterness and resentment we felt when we thought of them before. With God’s help if we did ever have to be in their presence we could behave in a God honoring manner toward them.

With this beautiful song by Matthew West let’s contemplate God’s forgiveness in our life. Are we passing that forgiveness on to others?

MUSIC REVIEW :: WE THE KINGDOM

in the months with five Fridays I post a review. FOR MY 2020 REVIEWS I’M CHOOSING CHRISTIAN PROJECTS or artists THAT HAVE TOUCHED MY SPIRIT DEEPLY.

Today I want to introduce you to one of the freshest sounds to come from contemporary Christian music in a long time.

We The Kingdom is a multi-generational family band consisting of brothers Ed Cash and Scott Cash, Ed’s daughter Franni, his son Martin and dear friend Andrew Bergthold.

Birthed from four decades of shared difficulties and influences We The Kingdom’s music intertwines worship and gospel with a retro-fresh folk/country/rock reminiscent of 70’s greats: Doobie Brothers, Lynard Skynard, The Allman Brothers, Loggins & Messina, Creedance Clearwater Revival and many more.

Having individually been behind the scenes on songs sung around the world, We The Kingdom band members came together to tell their own stories with lyrics that are vulnerable yet edgy. Their songs span the full spectrum of human emotions, embracing  brokenness, honesty, and the redemptive power of God’s love.

“The heart of We The Kingdom is to create music that candidly tells how God reached into the middle of our brokenness, and drew us into His story of redemption. Songs of testimony and worship have been a healing salve for us. We want to share our journey with others with the hope that God will use that as a catalyst for healing in others. Our heart’s desire is to see captives set free, relationships restored, and people brought to the Cross. We pray that God would sew the thread of His promises through the stories of each song we write, and weave together a tapestry that points straight to the great love of Jesus.” – We The Kingdom

WTK’s first EP Live at the Wheelhouse released in the fall of 2019. Their debut album: Holy Water is scheduled to release August 7, 2020.

Below are three of my favorite videos We The Kingdom has released: God So Loved, Child of Love and Holy Water. Each song /video stands on its own as a beautiful work of music and visual artistry with wonderful Christian messages.

I hope you will take time to soak in some truly great music that will tug at your heart strings while uplifting your spirit and soul. Enjoy!

I was introduced to We The Kingdom with this anointed church session video featuring Tasha Cobbs Leonard.

We The Kingdom dropped this single July 2, 2020. Filmed like an old home movie road trip with a 70’s retro-rock soundtrack this music video is my personal favorite today.

Another fav of mine. With exquisite scenery and a lovely representation of different nationalities of people, this video shows that God truly loves the whole world!

Check out We The Kingdom YouTube channel here for all their amazing music. Blessings…  

THE RED SEA RULES STUDY :: WHEN UNSURE, JUST TAKE THE NEXT LOGICAL STEP BY FAITH

AT RHW WE PUBLISH A NEW COLUMN EACH FRIDAY. WE’RE GOING THROUGH FOUR SPECIFIC STUDIES WITH EACH SERIES BEING PUBLISHED ON A DESIGNATED FRIDAY OF THE MONTH.

In THE RED SEA RULES series we’re using the wonderful book by Robert J. Morgan as our guideline for a deep study of Exodus 14. Join me on the fourth Friday of each month in 2020 as we apply Morgan’s “10 God-Given Strategies for Difficult Times” to our lives today.

RED SEA RULE 6: When unsure, just take the next logical step by faith. 

The Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward.” ~ Exodus 14:15

It’s not for us to know what lies ahead. Whether it’s good things coming or bad, God protects us from knowing too much in our future.

If we knew bad things were coming tomorrow, we might give up on God altogether and go down in a tailspin of anxiety and depression,

If we knew good things were coming tomorrow we would become prideful and we might decide we don’t even need God’s help at all.

“So don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time.”  ~ Matthew 6:34

God wants us to faithfully depend on Him every minute of every day. Looking for His perfect Light to shine on our path for guidance. Listening for His gentle whisper for direction.

“When you don’t know what to do next, cast out fear and seek light for the next step. Trust God for guidance in small increments; and if you can’t see what lies dimly in the distance, do what lies clearly at hand.” ~  Robert J. Morgan

Contemplate your walk of faith with this beautiful song by Jeremy Camp.

THE NEW LIFE :: A NEW WARDROBE

AT RHW WE PUBLISH A NEW COLUMN EACH FRIDAY. WE’RE GOING THROUGH FOUR SPECIFIC STUDIES WITH EACH SERIES BEING PUBLISHED ON A DESIGNATED WEEK OF THE MONTH.

In THE NEW LIFE series we’re studying one of my favorite chapters in the Bible: Colossians 3:1-17. As you will see in the coming months, this is a rich chapter full of valuable life transforming lessons. Join me on the third Friday of each month in 2020 for this in-depth Bible study with real world applications.

“Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it.” ~ Colossians 3-10 MSG

Many jobs have a particular uniform, a specific wardrobe required to be worn while working that position. Airplane pilots, military personnel, chefs, doctors, nurses and police officers all wear a specific uniform while on duty. It’s much the same in new life position in Christ. We have taken on a new identity which requires new clothing.

A new wardrobe comes with our new life!

We have removed the old ragged clothes that were part of our past lifestyle and have received a new wardrobe made especially for us. A special benefit of our new wardrobe is that it is being renewed each day in the knowledge of its unique Creator. God refreshes our wardrobe everyday!

Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. ~ Colossians 3:10 NLT

It’s up to us to take off the old life and to intentionally put on the new life. We must make a decision to put on our new wardrobe each and every day so we won’t try to walk in this new life unprepared and unprotected.

Let’s lay every piece of our life down before the cross of Christ… Our thoughts, doubts, failures and mistakes; our hopes, dreams, desires and purpose. As we give them to Jesus He will take them and make them all new. He will make them all work into His perfect plan for our life.

Contemplate your new life and your new wardrobe with this beautiful worship song by G12 Worship.

THE SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES :: GUIDANCE

AT RHW WE PUBLISH A NEW COLUMN EACH FRIDAY. WE’RE GOING THROUGH FOUR SPECIFIC STUDIES WITH EACH SERIES BEING PUBLISHED ON A DIFFERENT FRIDAY OF THE MONTH.

In The Spiritual Disciplines series we’re learning 12 disciplines that will guide us as we grow deeper in our walk with God. These columns post on the second Friday of each month in 2020.

Spiritual Disciplines are not a list of religious duties but rather habits that nurture and mature our spiritual growth. They are inward, spiritual attitudes walked out by behaviors and actions. These habits are critical for lasting spiritual growth and true life transformation.

 

GUIDANCE: Experiencing an interactive friendship with God that gives direction and purpose to daily life. ~ The Life With God Bible

The Spirit shows what is true and will come and guide you into the full truth. ~ John 16:13 CEV

The Spiritual Discipline of Guidance is critically important whether we are giving guidance or following guidance from others. We can receive guidance from God through Scriptures, directly from the Holy Spirit and also from other believers in our community. At all times advice from other people should be checked to make sure it lines up with God’s Word.

If any of you need wisdom, you should ask God, and it will be given to you. God is generous and won’t correct you for asking. ~ James 1:5 CEV

All through Scripture we see examples of the importance of good counsel. These examples show us what to do and what not to do. Old Testament kings repeatedly followed bad advice from their advisors which inevitably cause the nation and people of Israel to suffer painful consequences.  The kings who heeded godly advice from God fearing counselors were less likely to make fatal errors in judgement.

Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. ~ Galatians 5:25 NLT

Whether we are leaders in our community, church, or family, our decisions effect more than just ourselves. It’s critical we have a sensitive spirit that is listening for the gentle whisper from the Holy Spirit,  looking for direction in Scripture faithfully, or when necessary seeking counsel from a trusted godly advisor.

One thing we know for sure is that we can trust Jesus to always lead and guide us into the way of truth!

Take a few minutes to contemplate how you can trust Jesus to guide you at all times with this classic hymn sung by Casting Crowns.

THE LORD’S PRAYER :: FORGIVE OUR TRESPASSES

AT RHW WE PUBLISH A NEW COLUMN EACH FRIDAY. WE’RE GOING THROUGH FOUR SPECIFIC STUDIES WITH EACH SERIES BEING PUBLISHED ON A DESIGNATED WEEK OF THE MONTH.

In The Lord’s Prayer Jesus teaches his disciples how to pray. He’s not just giving them a prayer to recite, but a model prayer for everyone of us. Join me on the first Friday of each month in 2020 as we study this beloved prayer phrase by phrase and bring fresh application to our lives today.

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. ~ Matthew 6: 9-13

Jesus teaches multiple times on the subject of forgiveness. It’s vital that we turn to God in repentance for forgiveness of the wrongs we’ve done against Him, ourselves and others. Our relationship with God depends on us asking for God’s forgiveness and accepting it from Him.

Though we’re taught here in The Lord’s Prayer to ask for God’s forgiveness, we must never forget that because of the blood of Christ we have already been forgiven. All we have to do is accept it!

Take a few minutes to contemplate how God has forgiven you with this heartfelt song from David Crowder.

THE RED SEA RULES STUDY :: STAY CALM AND CONFIDENT, AND GIVE GOD TIME TO WORK

AT RHW WE PUBLISH A NEW COLUMN EACH FRIDAY. WE’RE GOING THROUGH FOUR SPECIFIC STUDIES WITH EACH SERIES BEING PUBLISHED ON A DESIGNATED FRIDAY OF THE MONTH.

In THE RED SEA RULES series we’re using the wonderful book by Robert J. Morgan as our guideline for a deep study of Exodus 14. Join me on the fourth Friday of each month in 2020 as we apply Morgan’s “10 God-Given Strategies for Difficult Times” to our lives today.

RED SEA RULE 5: Stay calm and confident, and give God time to work. 

Moses said to the people: “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” ~Exodus 14:13-14

If there was ever a reminder I needed to hear everyday it is this one. With all the unrest in our world, family, financial and health issues… I need to be reminded almost on a daily basis to…

Stay calm, confident and give God time to work!

It’s Not MyJob To Find The Solution

Like most people, I’m always trying to find the solution to my seemingly impossible dilemmas and life dramas. But I must remember God specializes in the impossible.

With men this is impossible, but all things are possible with God. ~ Galatians 6:9

God Sees Our Impossible Situations

Cornered by the Egyptian army at the edge of the Red Sea, the Israelites faced impossible odds. Scripture tells us God doesn’t show favoritism. Meaning that I am just as important to God as the Israelites were. My impossible situation is just as important to God. Just like the Red Sea opened up for the Israelites, my impossible situation can be solved by God. It’s up to me to stay calm, confident in whom I trust, and wait for God to work the solution out in HIS timing.

So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! ~ Hebrews 10:35

Join me in recommitting “Red Sea” situations to God.

Let’s take a few minutes and prayerfully listen to this beautiful song by Hillsong Worship. Trust God to do His work.

THE NEW LIFE :: SPEAK TRUTH

AT RHW WE PUBLISH A NEW COLUMN EACH FRIDAY. WE’RE GOING THROUGH FOUR SPECIFIC STUDIES WITH EACH SERIES BEING PUBLISHED ON A DESIGNATED WEEK OF THE MONTH.

In THE NEW LIFE series we’re studying one of my favorite chapters in the Bible: Colossians 3:1-17. As you will see in the coming months, this is a rich chapter full of valuable life transforming lessons. Join me on the third Friday of each month in 2020 for this in-depth Bible study with real world applications.

Do not lie to one another, for you have stripped off the old self with its evil practices.~ Colossians 3:9

In this portion of our study the Apostle Paul reminds us that because we’re walking a new life we must strip off our old ways and words.

From Anger and Deception to Peace and Truth

Before Christ made us new creatures we were spiritually dead. Our old self would put on anger and deception to manage ourselves and others. But now with Christ enlivening us we can live in peace and truth.

The Ultimate Voice of Truth

Christ, the ultimate Voice of Truth, speaks into our spirit. It’s up to us to listen and believe; to allow Him to live and speak through us to others.

Live Up to The Higher Standard

As Christ followers we hold to a higher standard–we must intentionally put off our old words and ways to walk in this new life. Others are watching and waiting for us to live up or fall down. Let’s live up to Christ with the Voice of Truth in our mouth!

Listen / watch this classic song by Casting Crowns as you contemplate the Voice of Truth living in and through you today.

THE SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES :: STUDY

AT RHW WE PUBLISH A NEW COLUMN EACH FRIDAY. WE’RE GOING THROUGH FOUR SPECIFIC STUDIES WITH EACH SERIES BEING PUBLISHED ON A DIFFERENT FRIDAY OF THE MONTH.

In The Spiritual Disciplines series we’re learning 12 disciplines that will guide us as we grow deeper in our walk with God. These columns post on the second Friday of each month in 2020.

Spiritual Disciplines are not a list of religious duties but rather habits that nurture and mature our spiritual growth. They are inward, spiritual attitudes walked out by behaviors and actions. These habits are critical for lasting spiritual growth and true life transformation.

 

STUDY: the intentional process of engaging the mind with the written / spoken Word of God and with the world God has created; conforming the mind to that on which it concentrates. 

Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. ~ Psalm 119:105

At the foundation of all The Spiritual Disciplines is God’s Word. The best way we can learn more about God and grow closer to Him is to study the Bible. As a young boy Jesus studied the Torah. Scripture records him spending time with the teachers in the Temple. We must follow Jesus’ example and spend time studying Scripture. What we study becomes implanted in us. And the best way to be transformed from the inside out is to not just study but meditate on and even memorize Scripture.

Quality Time With God

When we spend time alone with God in His Word we can learn about God’s love for us and the truth that will bring us salvation. Through our faithful study of God’s Word we will be taught, directed, protected and even healed. God wants a relationship with us and a healthy relationship takes time to build.

Be Intentional About Study

The Spiritual Discipline of Study encompasses more that just learning about God from the Bible. We can spend time in nature and with other valuable books to grow closer with God. What’s most important is that we are intentional about what we study, making sure that where we spend our time and energy, what we focus and meditate on, is what we want to be planted in our heart, mind and soul. We will become like what we meditate on.

Transformation Will Come

God’s Word can speak to our circumstances/pain/heartache in the most mysterious way. However, for that to happen requires that we sacrifice our time to study. When we do, with the help of the Holy Spirit, the Living Word of God will bring about the transformation that’s needed.

Watch/listen to this touching song by MercyMe and allow the Word of God to speak to your heart today.