Urgency — Day 29

Believe It

Romans 13:11: “And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.”

Live It

We can learn three lessons from today’s text. We need to be:

  1. Awake. A sleeping person, though alive, has become disconnected from reality. It doesn’t matter to Satan if you’re alive or not, so long as you’re asleep, for he knows that a sleeping Christian is an ineffective one. Hence the call to wake up. The reality of Jesus’ soon return as well as the millions that live far away from Him, should be the alarm that awakens a slumbering church. Wake up!
  2. Aware. It usually takes someone a few moments to get oriented after he wakes up. When we are already spiritually awake, we start to understand the times in which we are living. It’s a lot harder for the devil to overcome us while we’re awake and aware.
  3. Active. Once we are awake and conscious of the reality that surrounds us, it’s time to take action. As Christians we cannot stay on the sidelines. Motivated by a sense of urgency, we need to be active participants in reaching our communities with the everlasting gospel. We need to see every person we come in contact with, as a candidate for the Kingdom of God. 

Share It

Ask God to place someone in your path this week—one who needs to hear the good news of Jesus.

My Prayer Today: For the local church leadership.

– Pray that God will keep the members awake, aware, and active.

– Pray that God will bring a spirit of unity to the leadership.

My Thoughts: ________________________________________________________________________

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Sabbath — Day 28

Believe It

Isaiah 58:13, 14: “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the LORD’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the LORD, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land….”

Live It

We can learn three lessons from today’s text.

  1. The Sabbath is to be respected. Today’s text mentions three things to avoid: business, non-spiritual activities, and idle words. Why? Because God is a God of relationships. He knows we can’t do two or three things at the same time and pay attention to them all. He wants that time for Himself. By not doing what he asks us to avoid, our attention will be focused on God and on His love, instead of on ourselves and our problems.
  2. Enjoy next Sabbath. Get up early. Pray with your family before leaving for church. Look forward to being a blessing as well as receiving one. Sing with joy. Take an active part in the service. Sit near the front. Greet visitors. Invite someone over to eat at your home. Rest. Do good to others. Spend quality time with the family. Close the Sabbath with worship, and begin looking forward to the return of the Sabbath, next week.
  3. The Sabbath brings great blessings. As the only day blessed by God, the Sabbath brings blessings that are unique in nature. Today’s text mentions three: experiencing joy, climbing to new height, and indescribable delight. Claim these promises for yourself.

Share It

Invite someone to eat in your home, next Sabbath. Do it today! Preferably invite a newly baptized member or visitor.

My Prayer Today: The weather.

– Pray for appropriate weather, so it does not interfere or discourage people from attending the event.

– Pray that the weather will be our ally, not our enemy.

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.  Matt Stockdale will bring us a message entitled Heromaker.  Join us for lunch afterwards as we are having barbecue and cheesy potatoes.  
 
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.  
 
Don’t forget to register for the We All Have Hope series.  Everyone needs to register even if you are volunteering.  You can register at www.registerforhope.com.  Keep inviting people to come to the series.  
 
Volunteers are needed to go out after lunch tomorrow and deliver flyers for the We All Have Hope series.  Please stay and help get the word out to those in our community.  
 
Join us in serving breakfast to homeless individuals at Center City Park in downtown Greensboro on Fridays from 7:15-8:30am.  Use the link below to sign-up.  If there are no formal slots available, still considering joining us as a compassionate listener.
 
There is a community member that needs some help cleaning up her overgrown yard.  This is an excellent opportunity to help someone in need without expecting anything in return.  If you are willing to help, please see Olga after church.  
 
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!!


Trouble — Day 27

Believe It

John 16:33: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Live It

We can learn three lessons from today’s text.

  1. Pain is a gift. Imagine for a moment what it would be like to live in a world with no pain. A bone breaks, you feel nothing. You burn your hand, but you can’t tell. You puncture your skin and don’t even notice. Good or bad? Could it be that the feeling we call pain is a gift from God—a gift God created to protect us.
  2. Ask yourself “what for” rather than “why? When a person finds himself being afflicted, he asks himself, “Why me?” Why now? Why this? Answers to those “whys” belong to God. Instead ask yourself, “What for?” Focus on the purpose, not the cause, of your pain.
  3. There are places you can reach only through pain. The path to the next level of your spiritual life can be called pain. Sometimes that road is unrelenting, sometimes complicated, but always blessed. There are no shortcuts for those who wish to experience the fullness of God’s blessing.

Share It

Knock on the doors of two neighbors and ask them if they have any request that you can pray for. Then go home and pray for them.

My Prayer Today: For the decision calls to commitment that will be made each evening.

– Pray that God will help people make decisions for Him every night.

– Pray that God will help the speaker use the right words as he invites people to respond.

My Thoughts: ________________________________________________________________________

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Refine — Day 26

Believe It

1 Peter 1:7 These [tests] have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Live It

We can learn three lessons from today’s text.

  1. God allows us to be tested, to refine and purify our character. I wish I could tell you that the system God uses to refine and purify us is different than the one taught in this text. We have been programmed by society to avoid anything that produces pain and awkwardness. Reality is, we can’t avoid, or eliminate, the very situation God intends to use to transform our character, i/e pain. As weird as it sounds, pain can be a good thing.
  2. The process of refinement is sometimes painful. Without the cross, there is no glory. Without contractions there can be no childbirth. Without exercise there can be no physical conditioning. Without testing, there can be no purity. They are like the two faces of the same coin. Look for one, and the other shows up too. Remember that the devil will attack everything God blesses, so if you feel you are under attack right now, be of good courage, God will be glorified and you will be blessed from this experience.
  3. Refining begins on the inside. Jesus called out the Pharisees for their interest in purifying outward behavior, while they neglected transformation of character. True change begins when you give God the control He needs to change your character. That change may happen more slowly, but it will be more permanent.

Share It

Ask someone, “How are you?” and take time to listen to their answer. Ask God to send you someone this week who is going through a hard time, and minister to them.

My Prayer Today: For all the church volunteers.

– Pray that they may be attentive to the needs of visitors.

– Pray that they will maintain a positive, cheerful attitude.

My Thoughts: ________________________________________________________________________

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Prayer — Day 25

Believe It

James 1:5, 6: “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”

Live It

We can learn three lessons from today’s text.

  1. Ask. A famous writer has said, “It is God’s will to give us, in response to the prayer of faith, those things He would otherwise not give us, had we not asked.” The first characteristic of a prayer God answers is that it involves a specific request. By asking, we demonstrate our dependence on God, and that pleases Him.
  2. Ask God. Not only is it important to ask, we need to ask the right person. Some people want to help, but can’t. Others can, but don’t want to. God not only wants to, He can. It is not only important to ask God, it is also important to ask Him first. I see many Christians going to God as a last ditch effort, once they have tried everything else. Go to God first. I heard a pastor once say, that the more you pray, the more coincidences happen in your life.
  3. Ask God with faith. The third secret of answered prayer is to ask with faith. It is in this third step that many struggle. They might ask God, but when they do, they ask without faith. If you are going to go through the process of asking, ask with faith, believing that if it is God’s will, you will receive. The Bible goes even further, telling us that we should thank God in advance for answering, even before He has responded.

Share It

If possible, today take a walk through the neighborhood where the event will take place, asking God in faith to soften the hearts of the people who live there.

My Prayer Today: For the conversion of the people who will attend the meetings.

– Pray that God will use their struggles, pain and problems to draw them nearer to Him.

– Pray that God will lay on their hearts the desire to return every night.

My Thoughts: ________________________________________________________________________

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Fasting — Day 24

Believe It

Isaiah 58:6-7 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the

naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?”

Live It

We can learn three lessons from today’s text.

  1. Fasting should be practiced. Fasting is a spiritual discipline often admired, but seldom practiced. Jesus said, “when you fast,” not, “if you fast.” Jesus’ disciples made a habit of fasting, and so did biblical characters and well known Christians throughout history. It’s not something done only emergencies, but it should be a natural part of a disciple’s life.
  2. Fasting should be combined with action. When we think of someone fasting, it may bring up an image of a downcast person on their knees praying, looking pale, somber, and hungry, with a great need of a mint. Very few see the word “fasting” as synonymous with action. Fasting is seen as something that stops action so a person can focus on his or her own spiritual life. Notice the verbs in today’s verses: loose, untie, share, provide, clothe. Fasting should be combined with activity, centered on others, not spiritual navel gazing.
  3. Fasting results in blessings for ourselves and others. Today’s text presents a clear picture of the true fast. Rather than focusing on not eating, it emphasizes heightened concern for others. The common concept of fasting is that of an intensely personal, self-centered discipline. God turns that idea on its head. True fasting affects one’s own spiritual life, as well as the lives of those who surround us.

Share It

Fast this week. Lift up in prayer someone who is far from God; if possible, demonstrate God’s love through an act of kindness.

My Prayer Today: For the physical structure where the meetings will take place.

– Pray that there will be no accidents, especially in the children’s department.

– Pray that everything will function as it should in the building.

My Thoughts: ________________________________________________________________________

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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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