Permanence — Day 12

Believe It

John 15:4, 5: “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.  I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

Live It

We can learn three lessons from today’s text.

  1. Growth comes from being connected. Spiritual growth doesn’t come through one’s own efforts. There was once a boy who wanted so badly to grow, that he would hang by his arms from a metal bar, trying to stretch his body (that was me!). The only result of that experiment was that he got sore arms. Your job is to stay connected. His job is to help you grow. He won’t do yours, and you can’t do His.
  2. We produce fruit by being connected. Another result of remaining connected to Jesus is that not only do we grow, we also produce fruit.  Not only is staying connected a blessings to us, other people also see the fruit that God produces in us, and can be inspired to get connected as well. In plant life, the fruit is usually the part that carries the seed to produce other plants. What a marvelous privilege to work to expand the Kingdom of Christ in this world as we plant His seed in our communities.
  3. It’s dangerous to disconnect. “For without me, you can do nothing.” Think about these words of Jesus for a moment. Sobering, no? Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Not even a little bit. Now, think of them another way. If we can do nothing if while disconnected, how much more effective will we be if we remain connected to Jesus? Staying connected to God, is the secret to growth, expansion, freedom.

Share It

Pause three times during this day and ask God to keep you connected to Him. Become a blessing to others today.

My Prayer Today: For the sound equipment.

– Pray that everything functions properly.

– Pray that the sound engineer will be able to make it with no problems.

My Thoughts: ________________________________________________________________________

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Intimacy With God — Day 11

Believe It

John 10:14, 15: “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.”

Live It

We can learn three lessons from today’s text.

  1. Know. We all know who our president is. He is the leader of our nation. But do we know Him personally? Most don’t. Same thing happens with God. You need to know Him, not just about him. The first step toward intimacy with God is to know Him as He knows us. We become acquainted by reading about Him, talking with Him, and hearing about Him. As we spend more time in His presence, we will know more about what He wants for our life. Take the time you need to know God. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you, and He will.
  2. Hear. Conversations with God are usually “one way.” People talk with God, present their requests and concerns, and rise from their knees without giving Him time to speak to them, too. In any other relationship we might have, such a practice would not bring good results. So why do we do with God what we do not do with others? Let God speak to you. Wait silently, while you meditate on his Word, and let Him help you feel His love and guidance.
  3. Thank. The bible tells the story of ten lepers who were healed, but only one returned to give thanks. In my experience, this is about the same percentage of the things we thank God for. For every ten things He does for us, we thank Him for one of them. Take time to thank God for salvation, for family, for problems that draw you closer to Him. There are millions of reasons to be thankful; you just have to look for them.

Share It

Take time today to thank God and another person for something you may not usually give thanks.

My Prayer Today: For the hospitality committee.

– Pray that God will help them engage and make guests feel at ease.

– Pray that their words and attitudes can be a blessing to those who come.

My Thoughts: ________________________________________________________________________

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Peace — Day 10

Believe It

John 14:27: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Live It

We can learn three lessons from today’s text.

  1. Peace has imitations. Pills. Passion. Music. Yoga. Relaxation techniques. Mental pictures of far-off beaches. Alcohol. Drugs. The world tries to imitate God’s peace, and that’s what it gets—imitations. It’s only temporary, for only a moment. Imitations are never the same as the original. Only God can give permanent peace, free and full.
  2. Peace is a gift. If someone could package “peace” and sell it, they would become multi-millionaires. If you need peace, go to the source of peace. You don’t need a middleman, and you won’t have to pay for it. It’s a gift God gives us. We can have peace because Jesus won it for us. Its value is beyond calculation; it’s the life of His Son, Jesus.
  3. Peace is not the absence of problems, but the calm in the midst of problems. Sometimes God calms the storm. But he always calms His child. He does not promise peace from the storm, but peace in the storm. Many times we want God to take away from our life those things that cause stress, but God makes no such promise, but He does promise you peace in the midst of tribulation, pain, and sorrow.

Share It

Among your family and friends, does someone need to experience peace? Call and offer to pray for them.

My Prayer Today: for the speaker.

– Pray that God will give that person peace. (Nervousness, go away!)

– Pray that God will bring peace to the people through his words.

My Thoughts: ________________________________________________________________________

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Good News — Day 9

Believe It

1 Timothy 1:15-16: “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.  But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense

patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.”

Live It

We can learn three lessons from today’s text.

  1. Our message is one of hope. Everywhere you look there’s bad news. If it’s not swine flu, it’s war. The economy is ailing, schools are failing, and crime is on the rise. But Christ’s church does not ally itself with this negative momentum. We bring a message of hope and faith. We bring good news. Notice these words from today’s passage: “Save… mercy… trustworthy…eternal life.” God is good. Share the hope today.
  2. Our message is for everyone. The message we preach isn’t only for those whose lives are all in order, who have solved their problems, and have everything under control. It’s for everyone, ourselves included. Paul calls himself “the chief of sinners.” An assassin and conspirator, Paul knew what sin was, but even more important, he knew what true forgiveness was also.
  3. Our message first makes a difference in our own life. Paul used his life as an example. Our message is not one of words. It’s a real message that begins with us. We cannot be negative people giving a positive message. Remember, before it can be good news for others, the message must be good news for you.

Share It

Call the three people you’re praying for and tell them God loves them, and ask them if they have a need you can pray for.

My Prayer Today: For promotional campaign (fliers, announcements, and invitations.)

– Pray that God will help people notice the announcements.

– Pray that God will help people accept the invitation to attend.

My Thoughts: ________________________________________________________________________

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Prosperity — Day 8

Believe It

1 Chronicles 29:11, 12: Yours, LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.  Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all.

Live It

We can learn three lessons from today’s text.

  1. Open your mind. One of the first things you need to understand is that God is the owner of all things. We are just administrators of His possessions. What a blessing to understand who the source of all is! God is behind every job, opportunity, or sum of money. The first step to real prosperity is to understand the concept that He is in charge, not you.
  1. Open your heart. A familiar bible text that speaks clearly about the heart’s attitude towards finances is: “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Who has your heart? For whom do you work? Why do you save? Like a noted author on finances has said, sometimes we work to buy things we don’t need, with money we don’t have, to impress people we don’t even like. Once God has won our hearts, our priorities change. May God help us change our heart to be more like His.
  1. Open your hand. Two things happen when we open our hands. Those who open their hands, receive. But those who open their hands also give. The person God blesses keeps its hands open. Open your hand and receive blessings, but don’t close it; leave it open so the blessings can reach others.

Share It

Pray that God will show you a person with whom you can share something tangible, a person that has a need, and do it.

My Prayer Today: For the evangelism budget.

– Pray that God will help us avoid unexpected expenses.

– Pray that the resources match the needs.

My Thoughts: ________________________________________________________________________

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Reconciliation — Day 7

Believe It

2 Corinthians 5:17-19: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!  All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

Live It

We can learn three lessons today.

  1. God is not angry with you. One of the first things we should take into account as we talk about reconciliation is that God is not angry with us, He loves you. He’s not waiting for us with arms crossed, to see if we’re good enough to have an opportunity in His kingdom. He is working actively to restore his relationship with you, which sin had destroyed. God is good.
  1. Reconciliation is a divine act. In a certain way, reconciliation goes hand in hand with forgiveness. They have similar characteristics. First, one cannot exist without the other. Second, both are the result of God’s work in the human being. The bible shows a picture of God searching for his lost children, trying to restore His relationship with them. He is sometimes ignored, sometimes forgotten, but that doesn’t stop his love towards us. If you have disconnected from Him, Isn’t it time to surrender and stop running away from Him?
  1. You and I are agents of reconciliation. In this world, so many people are angry with one another. We are angry at the mother-in-law, the spouse, the parents, the neighbor, and even at God. When God reconciles you to Him, we become an agent (but not a secret one) for reconciliation in your world. Choose to become one today.

Share It

Ask God to show you today people who need reconciliation. As you interact with conflict this week, be the glue, not the knife.

My Prayer Today: For the bible instructors.

– Pray that they may find people at home, when they visit this community.

– Pray that they may be God’s instruments and that many may make decisions for Jesus.

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.  Join us for an interactive panel discussion and stay for lunch afterwards as we are having spaghetti and meatballs.  
 
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.  
 
We are currently in the middle of 40 days of prayer in preparation for the Roger Hernandez series.  Have you been going through the devotionals?  How have they impacted you?  It’s not too late to start.  Please pause each morning at 8am to go through the devotional.  
 
We will again be providing the evening meal at the Open Door Ministries shelter in High Point Saturday night.  If you can help, please see Roy Foster.  
 
Our church social will be tomorrow (Saturday) night from 7:00 to 9:00pm at the TAF Outreach Center.  This will be a dessert social with games, a bake off and music.  Come out and join us!
 
February is the month to apply for the North Carolina Opportunity Scholarship for the 2018-2019 school year.  If you have any questions, you can contact Tri-City Christian Academy.  
 
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!!


Forgiveness — Day 6

Believe It

Colossians 3:12-13 “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

Live It

We can learn three things from today’s text.

  1. Forgiving is a decision. Forgiveness is not a feeling. If you wait to feel like forgiving, you probably will never do it. First you must forgive with your mind, then with your heart. This does not mean it will be easy, especially if you have been deeply wounded. Forgiveness doesn’t depend on whether or not the other person deserves it. Decide to forgive today.
  1. You must treat the person who has hurt you as if he or she is forgiven. You may have asked yourself, “How does a person forgive?” The answer is simple. Treat the other person as if you have forgiven him or her. Acts that reflect forgiveness can eventually produce feelings of forgiveness. You may feel strange as you treat with kindness one that has injured you. Don’t let it bother you. Those awkward initial feelings will be replaced later by something much more beautiful.
  1. A forgiven person forgives. The main reason we forgive others is that God has forgiven us. Think for a moment how He has treated you. He’s patient. He holds no resentment. He gives you another chance. You can say, “That’s God.” But God is in you, though his Holy Spirit, to help you forgive. Call on that power in your life, and forgive the one who has offended you.

Share It

• Pray and ask God to show you someone you need to forgive.

• Make the decision to forgive that person, and try to connect with them soon.

My Prayer Today: For the person in charge of the music.

– Pray for their health, their family, and for their spiritual life.

– Pray that God, through their music ministry can heal, encourage, and bring unity.

My Thoughts: ________________________________________________________________________

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Mercy — Day 5

Believe It

Isaiah 55:6-8 “Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.  Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.  ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD.”

Live It

We can learn three lessons from today’s text.

  1. Mercy is when God does not give us what we deserve.  Grace is when God gives you what you don’t deserve. Mercy is when God doesn’t give you what you deserve. Just like the new birth, grace, the Holy Spirit and mercy, they are all God’s gifts. The truth is, we are all born bad, and get worse with age. We deserve nothing less than eternal death. Even so, God show us his goodness, and his mercies are new every morning.
  1. It’s hard to be lost. If you want to be saved, God can do it. Notice all the words that describe God’s attitude in the verse above: “Near,” “generous,” “forgiver,” “merciful.” John the Revelator tells us of a vision he had, where he saw an open door to heaven. God has no interest anyone being lost. He is not interested in seeing how many people he can keep out of heaven, but how many he can have join him there.
  1. I should make good use of this time of mercy to share the Good News with others. I have good and bad news for you. The good is that God is full of mercy. The bad is that someday that opportunity for mercy will end. The Bible is clear that a time will come when there will be no more opportunity. That’s why it’s important to get the Word out now, for a time is coming when this opportunity will no longer be available.

Share It

Think of someone at work who needs God’s mercy and love. Share some positive words of encouragement today with that person.

My Prayer Today: For people who live their lives very far from God

– Pray that God will allow them to realize how merciful God is.

– Pray that God will give you an opportunity to invite them to the week of changed lives.

My Thoughts: ________________________________________________________________________

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Holy Spirit — Day 4

Believe It

Galatians 5:22-25: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law.  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

Live It

We can learn three lessons from today’s text.

  1. The work of the Holy Spirit is to transform us. Some people believe the Holy Spirit is just a force, and that its primary work is to help us speak in other languages. From this text we can see that its first assignment is to make us like Jesus. It is not through emotional events, but by day-by-day contact with God that we are transformed.
  1. Don’t try to do the Holy Spirit’s work. We waste a lot of time and energy trying to change ourselves, and worse yet, to change others. Psychologists tell us, “Only you can change and control yourself.” This saying contains some truth, but if we carry it further, we must say, “Only you can permit the Holy Spirit to control and change you.” Decide today to let Him do His work.
  1. It’s your job to create an environment where this change can occur. There’s a part we can play in this process. Our key text for today encourages us to crucify our sinful nature. This is done personal bible study, taking time to pray, attending church regularly, and sharing Jesus with others.

Share It

If you have already started trying to change someone, turn the work over to God.

• Ask your family: If you can change one thing about me, what would it be?

• Do you feel that God is calling you to be an intercessor? Contact your pastor or prayer coordinator. Special things happen when we pray.

My Prayer Today: The intercessory prayer group.

– Pray for God to send us intercessors.

– Pray that God will protect the intercessors from the devil’s attacks.

My Thoughts: ________________________________________________________________________

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