Do Not Be Afraid To Go

Sunrise 1-23-15 Do not be afraid

In this passage from Genesis 46, Jacob is facing a major life transition. He has his doubts. His “days of sojourning” have been 130 years. He is in the twilight of his life.

But an opportunity disguised as a crisis came that perked his weary bones. He could be reunited with his long lost son. Because of the great famine and the invitation that would save their lives, his huge household had to pull up roots and relocate to a far away land.

It would be neither easy nor pain free. The older and more established you get, the less you like change.

So, right now as I’m writing this, I can relate to how Jacob must have felt.

We have a contract to sell our house. We’re relocating to be closer to the church I’m serving as worship director. We’ve been commuting an hour each way for almost 2 years, so this will be a good thing. Nonetheless, we’ll be downsizing from a wonderful house, setting and location that we have thoroughly enjoyed.

But it’s time to move on in the destiny of God.

Like Jacob I’ve had my apprehensions. I’ve wrestled, but also experienced amazing divine breakthroughs.

In his time of greatest need, God spoke to Jacob (aka. Israel) in a dream.

So Israel took his journey with all that he had and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. And God spoke to Israel in visions of the night and said, “Jacob, Jacob.” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “I am God, the God of your father. Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make you into a great nation. I myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again, and Joseph’s hand shall close your eyes.” Genesis 46:1-4

If God sends you, He will be with you every step of the way.

God is always willing to reveal His great love to each of us. Maybe in a dream, maybe in a still small voice, maybe in a prophetic word, maybe in a casual conversation, and most certainly through scripture.

God is speaking if we will seek and listen. Do not be afraid to go.

The Lord bless you today!

“God Sent Me Here To Save Lives”

Sunrise God Sent Me Here To Save Lives

I’ll assume you’re familiar with Joseph’s story from Genesis 37-50. You know – coat of many colors, sold into slavery by his brothers, falsely accused of rape and thrown into prison, has a prophetic interpretation of Pharoah’s dream, then is elevated to be prime minister of Egypt.  His is an epic story of riches to rags, to riches to rags, to riches again.

Famine plagues the earth, and his brothers show up desperate to buy food.

Now he has his chance for pay back.

Joseph is vindicated. His prophetic vision is validated.

Can you see the hand of God in the worst of circumstances?

Joseph did.

Anger, despair, and hopelessness are understandable reactions to injustice, discouragement and disappointment.

Joseph’s “dream” was as good as dead. But somehow in his spirit he knew that despondency would ultimately do him no good.

Trust in God with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5

In the moment when Joseph could have extracted vengeance, he modeled grace. He let his abusers off the hook.

“5 And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.

“So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God.”  Joseph in Genesis 45:5-8

For the worshiper, tapping into the perspective of heaven transforms our spirit and fuels our journey.

Joseph saw his story from a God-centered point of view.

“God sent me here to save lives.” 

What Joseph did, you and I can do too. Whatever your circumstance, if you trust the Lord and let the Holy Spirit lead you, you too will save lives.

We have His word on it.

The One True God Acts in a Faithful Manner

Sunrise 1-21-15 Psalm 18:30

In Psalm 18 David gives an in-depth testimony to God’s faithfulness through the roller-coaster of his life. David had lived the highest highs and the lowest lows.

Always the artist/leader, David instructs by sharing this chapter of his story in song. The conclusion he offers – the value proposition for the listener – are glimpses into “this is what God is like”.

God is faithful. He is acting kindly towards us even when it seems the opposite. There is protection in trusting God’s ways.

The truths of the Word and Spirit of God are more than abstract concepts, they are the foundations of the abundant life.

Oh come let us adore Him!


Practical Tip: Scripture Mashup

Often times I’ll find helpful nuances of expression through multiple translations of a scripture passage. Sometimes I’ll do my own “mashup” to communicate more fully what the scripture is saying and means.

This version of Psalm 18:30 included portions of the English Standard Version (ESV), New International version (NIV), The Voice, Living Bible, Amplified (AMP), and New English Translation (NET)

These translations are easily available at Biblegateway.com . We are so blessed in our day to have such rich resources at our fingertips.

Please borrow this idea!

When You Go All In, The Treasure Is Included

Treasure Included!

In The Parable of The Hidden Treasure, Jesus is illustrating the mindset of the kingdom of God. The greatest blessing is when you go all in. 

There is no greater blessing possible than the rewards, the riches of the kingdom of God. When you go all in, the treasure is included. 

Following Jesus wholeheartedly will cost you everything. But the return on investment is far more than you could hope or imagine.

To The Humble He Gives Favor

To the humble He gives favor

Hear the word of the Lord in Proverbs 3:34-35

God treats the arrogant as they treat others,
    mocking the mockers, scorning the scornful,
    but He pours out His grace on the humble.
In the end, the wise will receive honor,
    but fools will face humiliation.

The mentality of “the humble” is completely opposite to most of what we see in the world, the marketplace and the arts.

Humility should be the character trait that sets apart all worshipers.

May God Be With You Wherever You Go

May God answer you and be near you

This prayer of blessing is a paraphrase of Jacob’s encounter with God at Bethel recorded in Genesis 35.

Jacob’s long story throughout Genesis (beginning in chapter 25 )  is full of drama, delay, stress and conflict. His life seemed to be one long season of “character development”. Then God told him to pick up roots and live in a new area.

So much for finding, much less staying, in your comfort zone.

Jacob’s response was to give honor to the Lord by testifying to the grace He had received throughout his life.

Then let’s rise and go up to Bethel so that I can build an altar there to the God who answered me when I was in trouble and who has been with me wherever I’ve gone.” Genesis 35:3

May my testimony, and yours, be that God answered in times of trouble, and was present in every season and location of life.

Amen.

Worship is A Cycle of Love

Worship Is A Cycle of Love

God the Father pours out his love to all humanity through his son, Jesus Christ by his Holy Spirit. We in turn, accept His kind affection by offering thanks, gratitude, and adoration back to God through his Son, by his Holy Spirit.

This is a Trinitarian framework for understanding worship.

Worship is a cycle of love poured out, received and returned. 

He Must Increase, I Must Decrease

He must increase, but I must decrease.

What are the words the Lord has been speaking over you for this year?

God’s process of revelation and guidance is on-going, it neither begins nor ends with New Year’s resolutions, goals and plans.

Here’s one:

“He must increase, I must decrease”

These are the words of John the Baptist (John 3:30).

John reflects the spirit of humility that all servants of God must embody.

There may be seasons when our ministry and influence seem to decline.

The response of a “sprit and truth” worshiper is to rejoice in the kingdom of God advancing, whether we lead the charge or watch from the sidelines.

Amen.  

Proclaim The Year of The Lord’s Favor

The year of the Lord's favor Sunrise 1-2-15

Happy 2015! Take hold of the words God is speaking over you for this year. Here’s one:

The Year of the Lord’s Favor – Isaiah 61:1-4

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
    and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.

They will rebuild the ancient ruins
    and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
    that have been devastated for generations.

Sunrise Worship Devotionals 

A daily “worship ritual” I practice is to listen to The Daily Audio Bible podcast, take a photo of the morning sky, find a meaningful scripture or quote (usually from the DAB), and share it on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter. Please comment and share! #Sunrise #Worship #Devotionals 

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