This is a season of time when I am most joyful. I want to let the word of God express what is in my heart:
“Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders you have done.” Psalm 40:5
“You make me glad by your deeds, O Lord; I sing for joy at the works of your hands. How great are your works, O Lord, how profound your thoughts!” Psalm 92: 4-5
You have indeed made “everything beautiful in its time.” Ecclesiastes 3:11
“Blessed be your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise.” Nehemiah 9:5
“I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever.” Psalm 86:12
“Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Timothy 1:17
Monday, December 15, 2014
Monday, December 8, 2014
I’m writing this devotion on Friday, December 5, and I will warn you in advance that this probably is not your typical pre-Christmas devotion. There are a lot of things to look forward to with Christmas and all that it brings, but that isn’t what is on my mind. I am preoccupied with something else at this point in time, something that probably seems a little odd to other people. I am preoccupied with the fact that December 7th will fall on a Sunday this year, just as it did in 1941.
Ever since I was in high school, December 7th has had a special fascination for me. I was in our high school band and every December 7th we would board the bus and head to the state capitol to perform patriotic songs in front of the anchor from the U.S.S. Arizona. There were speeches, songs, more speeches, testimonies from people who were directly involved, and other such things that really got me to think. What was it like for those individuals who were, more than likely, looking forward to their own Christmas celebrations, to witness first-hand the radical transition from peace to war? The world changed in a radical way for the United States that December, and yet Christmas came that December 25th just as it had in the past. Prayers were certainly different that Christmas and worship may have been more intense, perhaps in some way we were pressing into God with more dedication than usual.
So I have been thinking about that and about just how quickly our plans, ideas, and commitments can be changed by the events of life. Sometimes our plans come together just like we think they will, and sometimes plans change for better or worse. To me, that accentuates our need to place ourselves in the unchanging, unwavering hands of God. Please don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that Jesus came at Christmas and I hold dear everything that means for us as believers. One of those things I cling to is Jesus’ statement, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:20) There have been many times in my life when that promise was the gift I needed the most.
Posted by Phoenix Christian Preparatory School at 8:38 AM
Monday, December 1, 2014
I recently spent some time reading 1st and 2nd Kings, along with Deuteronomy. At first it was depressing to read about how all these kings ruled Israel and failed in so many ways. They broke so many of the stipulations God had laid out for his nation in the book of Deuteronomy. Manasseh burnt his son as an offering (2 Kings 21:16); Solomon loved many women, set up an Asherah pole, worshiped an Ammonite god named Milcom, and built a high place for Chemosh, a Moabite god (1 Kings 11); Saul disobeyed God and let Agag live (1 Samuel 15:8). And the list goes on and on. All the kings of Israel failed. Not one of them was perfect.
This led me to reread Revelation where I read about a perfect king (chapter 19) who is called Faithful and True. He will judge the ungodly and rule with an iron scepter, but he will also make all things new (chapter 20) and will give his bride, whom he made pure and flawless, a beautiful new city where sin is no longer reigning. He will wipe away every tear, get rid of death, and remove mourning, sadness, and pain.
This brought comfort to me. Even though all the kings failed, God is our eternal king who will some day come back and rule with truth and grace. While we celebrate the Christmas season, we celebrate Jesus’ first coming, but his second coming should also be on our minds. I love the song “Joy to the World” because it captures Jesus’ second coming.
Joy to the world! The Lord is come
Let earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare Him room
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven, and heaven and nature sing
He rules the world with truth and grace
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness
And wonders of His love
And wonders of His love
And wonders and wonders of His love
In the midst of the commercialized craziness, remember Jesus and why he came, but also remember to live a life that is full of daily repentance and obedience to Christ, and that is ready for Jesus’ second coming where he reigns as our perfect, just, loving king.
Monday, November 24, 2014
I love the story in John 9 about the blind man Jesus healed. I love it because of the connection the healed man made when he realized he’d had a spiritual healing as well as a physical healing. Verse 25 c has always been one of my favorite…”I was blind, but now I see”. I also love how he stood up to the Pharisees afterwards. He even taunted them…I’ve already told you what he (Jesus) did…do you keep asking because you also want to become one of his disciples?”
I contrast this blind man who was healed with the lame man by the pool of Bethesda in John 5. This man is also miraculously healed by Jesus, but instead of being thankful, he “told on” Jesus. Verses 15 and 16 say that he told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him whole and therefore the Jews persecuted Jesus. I don’t understand why he would do that after receiving such an amazing gift. It’s so easy to ask the Lord for things but then not even show appreciation.As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, may we be truly thankful – and to the one who deserves our thanks
Posted by Phoenix Christian Preparatory School at 7:48 AM
Monday, November 17, 2014
My God with his loving kindness shall come to meet me at every corner. Psalm 59:10
Not one good thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spoke concerning you. Joshua 23:14
I was at my sister's cabin in Prescott in early October, and took a walk about the hillside. Memories of my earlier visit this past summer came to me, and I thought, "Time is passing and now it's autumn." My contemplation brought on a melancholy mood, but then I thought anew, "It's the autumn of life." I'm not a poet, but that sounded poetic. The autumn of life could mean the years of our life, circumstances in our life or a point in our life. Whichever one it is, God is there and He will walk with us through this season. That's a wonderful consolation. Isn't autumn beautiful?
Posted by Phoenix Christian Preparatory School at 7:41 AM
Monday, November 3, 2014
Content Whatever the Circumstances Because Jesus Raised You UpBy Paul Banta
Philippians 4:10-14 says, “I’m glad in God, far happier than you would ever guess—happy that you’re again showing such strong concern for me. Not that you ever quit praying and thinking about me. You just had no chance to show it. Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. I don’t mean that your help didn’t mean a lot to me—it did. It was a beautiful thing that you came alongside me in my troubles”. The Message
God has given a mission to you in this school and it's not an impossible job for you to achieve. He tells us that He'll never leave us or forsake us and His promises are real, true and justified. He wants you to significantly impact others. Most successes we've had have been by the world's standards and have been based on our personal hard work. This is a natural part of success-work that is! God wants us to look past the immediate impact of success to a higher level of thinking, acting and repeating, that being impacting your students for His significance. We're to remain on this continuous and conscious journey from success to significance.
In Philippians 4:13, the key concept is that through Him (not ourselves) we have strength for success to be significant. You see, Christ gave up His life so that He could give life to you so that He could live His life through you. The Lord's promise in John 10:10b says, "I have come that you might have a great life and have it abundantly." We're on a journey and a process of growing that takes a lifetime, but being like Him your journey will happen. Romans 8:29a, 30 and 31b says, "For those [you and me] He foreknew [before you came to earth] He also predestined [had a special plan for] to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, and you who He predestined, He called, He justified and glorified you. If God is for you, who can be against you? God did not even spare His own Son for you, but gave Him up for you; how He will not also, along with Jesus, graciously give you all things." Wow! What a purpose, an empowering and a promise. Christ died for you, was raised to life for you, is with the Father right now and is interceding for you. This is true love and shows the successfulness of God's special plan for you and me. How significant is this? Verse 39 in the same chapter says, "In all the things we do, we are more than conquerors." Our journey is dependent on our faith in the living Savior.
Remember what our Lord told us, "Apart from me you cannot do anything." He wasn't joking. He really meant it and that why He said it. Our power to be significant comes from Him only. If you believe He's your Savior, then you'll believe in the reality of His Word. His words are true and they set you free to do His purpose and your passion. If you want to be freed up to do significant things for God, let His truth set you free! Stop fantasizing about who you think you are, some-big-time coach or teacher who's on an ego trip. Just be that simple, humble character that shows love, grace and mercy to their players and is ready to die for being significant.
Well, are you ready to take your success to levels of significance? Are you ready to do what you've been appointed to do before you hit the turf the next time? What choice do we really have? When you think about it, it would be far better for us as coaches and teachers to be raised up spiritually through life as God intended for us and grow in soccer knowledge to develop our passion to impact our players. If you’re still not sure maybe the lyrics from this great song will know who you can depend on. They did for me.
You (Jesus) Can Raise You Up
When I am down and, oh my soul, so weary;
When troubles come and my heart burdened be;
Then, I am still and wait here in the silence,
Until you come and sit awhile with me.
You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up: To more than I can be.
There is no life - no life without it's hunger
Each restless heart beats so imperfectly
But when you come and I am filled with wonder
Sometimes, I think I glimpse eternity
You raise me up so I can stand on mountains
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas
I am strong when I am on your shoulders
You raise me up to more than I can be
What’s your next move?
May our God bless you............