Miracles — Day 23

Believe It

Mark 16:15-18: “He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.  And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.’”

Live It

We can learn three lessons from today’s text.

  1. Jesus still works miracles. A very common characteristic in the New Testament church was that miracles and preaching went together. Preaching continued, but where are the miracles? Does Jesus still work miracles? The answer is a resounding “Yes!”
  2. Jesus works miracles using us as His instruments. Perhaps we’ll never understand why a perfect, holy, and infallible God chooses sinful, fallible, imperfect people like you and me. Why does He do it? We don’t know why, but we do know that he does. If you let Him use you, God can work miracles through you.
  3. Conversion is the greatest miracle. Think of all the miracles Jesus did while He was on earth. All those people he healed and even resurrected, every one of them ended up dying eventually. When we think of miracles, many think of a blind person recovering sight or a paraplegic that starts to walk. I propose to you, that the greatest miracle of all is the conversion of a human being. It has an eternal effect. Anyone who might doubt the fact that miracles exist, needs only to get to know a transformed Christian, and he’ll quickly recognize the efficacy of God’s power.

Share It

Ask God to send you someone you can share your conversion story with. Start with your family.

My Prayer Today: For those who have decided to be baptized, but face complications.

– Pray that God will give them the strength to go forward with their decision.

– Pray that God will resolve anything that stands in the way of going through with their decision.

My Thoughts: ________________________________________________________________________

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Patience — Day 22

Believe It

Psalm 37:7, 9: Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.  For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.

Live It

We can learn three lessons from today’s text.

  1. You cannot hasten your blessing, but you can delay it. When God has a blessing planned for you, there’s not much you can do to make it happen sooner, but there are things you can do to delay it. Take the example of the Children of Israel. A trip that should have taken days took decades. The Bible mentions several examples, of people that postponed their blessings because they took matters into their own hands. Some examples of this are Moses when he hit the rock instead of talking to it, or Abraham sleeping with Hagar because his promised son had not arrived. God is not asleep, nor is he disconnected to what is happening to you. He is in control. Wait.
  2. Watch your attitude while you wait. A factor that contributed to Israel’s wandering in the desert for four decades, was their desperately negative attitude. Each time they complained, murmured, and disobeyed, God would say, “Another round.” As you wait, don’t compare yourself with others, don’t get angry, and don’t become anxious. If you seem to be going in circles in the desert of your life, if there is a lot of movement but little progress, first check your attitude. May God never need to say to you, “Another round.”
  3. The reward is better, after waiting. Today’s text tells us that to those who wait, God will give the Promised Land. What a marvelous promise! The longer the wait, the greater the blessing. Someone reading this section may have been waiting a long time for God to change a situation in his or her life. Take heart! God has not forgotten you.

Share It

Perhaps you’ve given up on something, or someone, in your life. Today begin praying again, trying again, dreaming again.

My Prayer Today: For those we will invite who have never attended church before.

– Pray that they may find the church with ease as they drive there.

– Pray that they will continue attending, every night.

My Thoughts: ________________________________________________________________________

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Testimony — Day 21

Believe It

Matthew 24:14: “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

Live It

We can learn three lessons from today’s text.

  1. Keep your testimony genuine. Before Jesus comes again, our testimony will be shared with the nations, and that begins with our loved ones, neighbors, and friends at work. When you talk about Jesus, be positive, but genuine. Talk about how good God is, but don’t make promises that aren’t found in the Bible, like telling them that all their problems will disappear if they accept Jesus in their life.
  2. Keep your testimony short. The gospel is eternal, but your testimony shouldn’t go on forever! Better to keep the conversation short, while there’s still interest in hearing more. Witnessing is like salt. An appropriate amount in the food enriches the taste, but too much can overwhelm the taste buds and can produce outright rejection.
  3. Keep your testimony focused on Jesus. Many testimonies I’ve had the opportunity to hear include a lot of information about things that happened before encountering Christ. This period of time is presented so attractively, that some become confused and develop an interest in non-spiritual topics based on the testimony. Instead, focus on Christ, on His power, on the blessings you have received after your conversion, and the peace He brings. Don’t glorify sin. Lift up Jesus.

Share It

It would be a good idea to write down your testimony, and divide it into three parts:

a. What was your life like before Jesus?

b. How did you come to know Jesus?

c. How has walking with Jesus changed your life?

My Prayer Today: for the families of the leadership.

– Pray that God will keep the families connected to Him and each other.

– Pray that their lives may remain in balance, during this very busy time.

My Thoughts: ________________________________________________________________________

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This weekend at TAF…

We hope you can join us tomorrow.
 
Our breakfast, Bible studies and fellowship begins at 10:00am.  Our worship service will begin at 11:00am.  Thomas Watkins will bring us a message entitled Strangers In The Eyes Of Men.  Join us for lunch afterwards as we are having haystacks.  
 
Don’t forget to check-in on Facebook each week.  TAF will make a donation to Second Harvest Food Bank for each and every check-in this month.  Last month, we were able to provide 896 meals to the hungry in our community.  
 
Who have you invited to the Roger Hernandez series?  It’s not too late to start praying and asking people to come.  Registration is now open.  You can register at registerforhope.com.  There is a flyer attached to this email.  Start sharing it with your friends.  
 
We still need helpers for the Children’s Program during the Roger Hernandez series.  If you are willing to help, please talk to Janelle Argueta.  
 
Don’t forget to support TAF financially.  Together, we can continue to reach our community and present the love and saving grace of Jesus Christ.  
 
We hope to see you tomorrow!!
 


Commitment — Day 20

Believe It

Acts 5:29 “Peter and the other apostles replied: ‘We must obey God rather than human beings!”

Live It

We can learn three lessons from today’s text.

  1. Commitment is action, not words. A more complete reading of Acts 4 shows us that when the disciples spoke of their commitment to God, they showed it more with acts than with words. They were even ready to give their lives for what they believed. Now ask yourself this: Are you willing to do for truth what others are willing to do for lies?
  2. Commitment is permanent, not temporary. We live in a world without much commitment. People get married and divorced, and married again without giving it much thought. They change their jobs, their homes, their business partners, and even their way of thinking, based many times on how they feel. Loyalty is rare. But notice what the apostles said when confronted with hardship: “We must obey.” For them, commitment was not influenced by their present situation. Hardship made them even bolder!
  3. Covenants are made with God, not with others. The apostles put it well when they said that it was necessary to obey God, rather than human beings. Obedience is not based on votes, surveys, or popular opinion. It always must be based on “Thus says the Lord.” It’s to Him we must give an account.

Share It

Perhaps there is a difficult decision you have been putting off, because of your reluctance to ruffle feathers and/or upset people. Maybe you need to revisit that whole process and ask yourself whether it is time to make a difficult, but right, choice.

My Prayer Today: For the local church pastors.

– Pray that God will protect them from each of Satan’s attacks.

– Pray that they will maintain balance in their lives, during this difficult and busy time.

My Thoughts: ________________________________________________________________________

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Family — Day 19

Believe It

Romans 12:8-10: “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.  Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”

Live It

We can learn three lessons from today’s text.

  1. Be loving. Here’s some good counsel regarding relationships: In the essentials, unity; in the non-essentials, liberty; in everything, love.
  2. Be understanding. An old proverb says: “If you wish to understand another person, walk a mile in his shoes.” It’s easy to label and categorize other people. It’s harder to take the time to understand them. But that’s the right way and it’s what God commands us to do.
  3. Be respectful. One way we show disrespect to others is when we try to force them to change. The following story illustrates this concept. A child was standing in the back seat of a car, as the father was driving on the highway. His father commanded him to sit down. He refused. After repeated threats, he finally sat down. Then he told his father: “Daddy, on the outside, I’m sitting down, but on the inside, I’m still standing.” Our objective is not to pressure others to change. We must respect their individuality. We can give suggestions, make recommendations and give counsel, but don’t make demands and threats.

Share It

Take time today to talk to a person with whom you don’t see eye to eye. Ask if he or she has a need for which you can pray, make that request to heaven today.

My Prayer Today: For special people we have invited.

– Pray that they will arrive safely.

– Pray that God will help them see for themselves the importance of starting a relationship with Him.

My Thoughts: ________________________________________________________________________

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Healing — Day 18

Believe It

Psalm 147:2-3: “The LORD builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the exiles of Israel.  He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”

Live It

We can learn three lessons from today’s text.

  1. Your wounds are real. We need to be healed because we have real wounds. These wounds come from the hurtfulness of others and through our own wrong choices. But whatever the causes, we’re still wounded. It’s dangerous to overstate the seriousness of those wounds, but it’s equally dangerous to ignore or minimize them. Your wounds are real.
  2. Your wounds need not hold you back. Some allow the wounds of the past to determine their success in the future. You can do nothing about what has already happened. But you can control your reaction and attitude toward the past. You are not a victim. You are special to God. I would go a step further. God can transform the hurts of your past to be a blessing to others. Out of the greatest pain, God can produce the greatest blessing.
  3. Your wounds can be healed. You can choose healing. God has already prepared people, circumstances, materials, messages, and places to bring healing into your life. Ask Him today to help you find what He is already preparing for you. Remember that recovery is a process. You don’t get well in just one day, but you can get better every day.

Share It

Ask God to show you a person who is suffering because of his or her wounds. Make a commitment with God to be a part of their healing process.

My Prayer Today: For the parking attendants.

– Pray that the personal interaction with guests will be positive.

– Pray that the personal impression they make will cause guests to want to come back.

My Thoughts: ________________________________________________________________________

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Love — Day 17

Believe It

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Live It

We can learn three lessons from today’s text.

  1. God loves you. It’s very easy to say we love someone. Every year tens of thousands of couples declare their love and get married. How long does that love last? For three out of five marriages, not very long. But God’s love is different. Love is part of his very being. If God stopped loving you, He would cease to be God, for God is love.
  2. God loves you unconditionally. God does not love you more when you do good, nor less when you behave badly. It’s difficult for us to understand a love like that. We love conditionally, and when conditions chance, we usually change the level of love we express to others. Thank God He is not that way! The real question is not whether God can love you, but whether you can accept His love, even when you know you don’t deserve it.
  3. God also loves those close to you. The love of God is not limited and does not run out. There is plenty for all. A sad reality is that although God loves the whole world, the whole world doesn’t know it or understand it. In a love-impoverished world, it’s our privilege to tell others of the breadth, height, depth, and extent of God’s love.

Share It

We can express love in five different ways: Through gifts, words of affirmation, time spent together, physical affection, and acts of service. Choose one of them and share God’s love with a person who needs it today.

My Prayer Today: For the ushers.

– Pray that God will help them express His love to everyone, especially the guests.

– Pray that God will help them arrive on time each evening.

My Thoughts: ________________________________________________________________________

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Joy — Day 16

Believe It

Nehemiah 8:10: “Nehemiah said, ‘Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.’”

Live It

We can learn three lessons from today’s text.

  1. Joy is natural for the Christian. Joy is more than happiness, more than contentment. Joy runs much deeper. It is a result of the Holy Spirit’s presence in our life. As with peace, the world has tried to invent a substitute for joy. But real joy is “the joy of the Lord.”
  2. Joy does not come from outside. What is the joy of the Lord? If we’re honest with ourselves, there are many reasons not to be joyful. It seems that there is a shortage of joy. Outside of ourselves, we see many tribulations and problems. But the joy of the Lord focuses us on God and His power. Where is your focus?
  3. Joy helps your emotions. Today’s text mentions various positive consequences of having the joy of the Lord. Strength is one of the most important ones. Strength is the capacity to remain steadfast, even though your world may appear to be crumbling around you. This steadfastness does not come from a bottle of pills or the counselor’s office. It comes from Jesus Christ.

Share It

Today try to smile at people. When they ask why (and they will) just tell them God has been good.

My Prayer Today: for the children who will attend the meetings.

– Pray that God will help them understand the messages each night, making decisions to follow Jesus as their Savior and leader.

– Pray that God will cause many families to attend, bringing with them their children.

My Thoughts: ________________________________________________________________________

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Health — Day 15

Believe It

Psalm 73:4: “They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong.”

Jeremiah 33:6: “Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.”

Live It

We can learn three lessons from today’s text.

  1. God is interested in my health. The two Bible texts for today are two examples among many that express God’s intense desire for His people to be healthy. One of the most terrible consequences of sin is sickness, and this is why Jesus came to earth to redeem us. Not only does He care about our spiritual wellbeing, He wants us to be healthy in every area of life.
  2. Claim Bible promises, while receiving medical care. In a study of heart-attack patients, it was shown that those for whom prayer was said experienced fewer complications, died less frequently, and recovered more quickly. Are you sick? Claim as yours God’s promises regarding health. There are two extremes to avoid. Some discount medical care and thumb their noses at anything that has to do with dependence on medicine, pills, hospital care. Others depend so much on medicine that they forget God’s promises concerning physical healing. The best option is to do both.
  3. There is a connection between physical and emotional health. The connection between body/mind/spirit is real. One affects or benefits the other. Jesus wants you to be healthy in all areas of your life. Wouldn’t you like to invite Jesus right now to touch your body, your mind, and your emotions with His health?

Share It

To promote emotional well-being, psychologists recommend doing something good for another person. What can you do today for another person?

My Prayer Today: For those who will volunteer in the children’s program.

– Pray that God will help them lovingly attend every child as Jesus would.

– Pray that God will help them maintain high energy levels throughout the week.

My Thoughts: ________________________________________________________________________

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