Welcome 2014!

This is going to be an amazing year!  It’s such a fun thought to know that there are bunches of us who want to know God better and are waking up and beginning everyday meeting with Him.  It makes those blurry-eyed mornings a little more “doable” when you know you’re not the only one in the world who is going for it! 

The Daily Reading section is going to be used for notes about the daily readings. The purpose is to simply highlight the fact that God wants to speak to us every day.  He isn’t silent!  Sometimes we just need a little extra perspective to see the things He may want us to see.  Our hope is that these daily comments would provide encouragement, open your heart in a new way or simply just “add to” your own personal time with Him. Wewill have new entries each day that correspond with the daily reading schedule – so keep checking in! 

God bless,

Phil Joel

 

Daily Reading

Monday
Oct202014

October 20th deliberatePeople. post by Phil and Heather Joel + today's dP reading schedule:  

Jeremiah 35:1-36:32 / 1 Timothy 5:1-25 / Psalm 89:14-37 / Proverbs 25:25-27

 

Standout Verse: Proverbs 25:26
“A righteous man who falters before the wicked is like a murky spring and a polluted well.”

When keeping company with other people who are walking with the Lord, it is much easier for a person to keep their mind stayed on Him and make choices that are in line with God’s design. 

However we can’t assume (because we live in this fallen, crazy world) that we will be able remain in the safety of our Christian “bubble” at all times.  Remember, there is an enemy out there who hates God and hates us, and his number one job is to come in between us and the Lord and destroy our walk with Him (which will in turn compromise and damage every other relationship we have.)

Our own firm, personal, foundation, rooted and grounded in God’s truth and our relationship with Him is KEY.  We can’t live off other people’s strength/relationship with God.  We can’t live off a spiritual experience we had “years ago” – we need to be actively filling ourselves with God’s truth and growing in our relationship with Him currently if we want to remain strong and steadfast. 

God promises us that when we encounter things that oppose Him (and we will – especially if we own a computer, cell phone, a television, or simply leave the "safety" of our homes and venture out to the grocery store) WE DON”T HAVE TO FALTER OR BECOME POLLUTED!  We can be PRUDENT, FORESEE EVIL and walk through any situation STEADFAST AND UNSHAKEABLE IF WE KNOW HIS LIFE-GIVING TRUTH AND CHOOSE TO KEEP OUR MINDS AND HEARTS STAYED ON HIM!

This is GREAT, ENCOURAGING news!  If our God is with us, NOTHING CAN STAND AGAINST US!

Sunday
Oct192014

October 19th deliberatePeople. post by Phil and Heather Joel + today's dP reading schedule:  

Jeremiah 33:1-34:22 / 1 Timothy 4:1-16 / Psalm 89:1-13 / Proverbs 25:23-24

 

Standout verse:
1 Timothy 4:8
“For bodily exercise profits but a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having the promise of life that now is and of that which is to come.”


Our world gives a great deal of value to physical exercise. Gym memberships, home exercise equipment and work out plans are big businesses that continually compete for consumer dollars.  We’ve become a culture that believes if a person is physically fit, they are doing well overall. The problem is, we can have a “six-pack”, ripped muscles and be at the top of our cardio game, and still have lives that are falling apart. 

Physical health is important, but our spiritual health FAR OUTWEIGHS IT BY A LONG SHOT!

God says, “Seek FIRST My Kingdom (your relationship with Me/My ways) and all these things will be added to you.” Matt 6:33

When we place our relationship with God as the TOP PRIORITY in our lives, He will redirect all the other priorities of life, including physical. He promises to direct our path, give us His awesome strategies for how He wants us to “do life”, and open our eyes to His LIFE-GIVING TRUTH.  This allows us to be healthy, strong and profitable in EVERY WAY!

Saturday
Oct182014

October 18th deliberatePeople. post by Phil and Heather Joel + today's dP reading schedule:  

Jeremiah 31:23-32:44 / 1 Timothy 3:1-16 / Psalm 88:1-18 / Proverbs 25:20-22

 

Standout Verse:

1 Timothy 3:5
“…for if a man (or woman) does not know how to rule his own home, how can he takes care of the church of God?”

Timothy is laying out the qualifications for leadership (elders and deacons) within the church.  This verse in particular is one that is a general challenge across the board for anyone who is married, with children – the leaders of their homes. 

We can find ourselves so consumed with the desire to do “church stuff” - to “plug in”, “get involved”, join 85 different small groups and Bible studies and be about the “call of ministry” that we bypass the biggest, MOST IMPORTANT mission field that is right before our eyes – our very own marriages and our very own children!  All of the for-mentioned church activities can be very good and right, but we must make sure we are getting our priorities in the right order not letting our “treasure” get lost in the shuffle.

There is a particular thinking that has infiltrated the church over the years that says, “Lord, please take care of my flock while I’m about the business of taking care of Yours.”  This idea allows people to feel like they can dedicate the majority of their time pouring themselves (their best energies) into ministry activities believing that despite their absence, lack of time and energy, and “left-overs” they offer their own family, everything will some how turn out splendidly at home.

Timothy speaks directly to this very issue in Chapter 3.  SPIRITUALLY HEALTHY, STRONG, INDIVIDUALS, GOD-CENTERED MARRIAGES AND HEALTHY CHILDREN WHO KNOW AND LOVE THE LORD IS OUR FIRST CALL ANOUR TOP PRIORITY! (DEUTERONOMY 6:5-9) This requires a great deal of our time, energy and focus - just as all growing, thriving, fruitful relationships require commitment and effort!  It is an investment that yields awesome, peaceable “fruit” we will get to enjoy right here on earth PLUS it holds eternal promise!

Sometimes it’s essential to do a “simplicity check” in order to re-focus our eyes to the lives we’ve been given charge of within our own 4 walls making sure we are keeping first things first and not bypassing our NUMBER 1 CALL!  If we need to make adjustments to our priorities, let’s be brave and decisive enough to do it – our families are depending on it! 

Friday
Oct172014

October 17th deliberatePeople. post by Phil and Heather Joel + today's dP reading schedule:  

Jeremiah 30:1-31:22 / 1 Timothy 2:1-15 / Psalm 87:1-7 / Proverbs 25:18-19

 

Standout Verse:

Jeremiah 31:1 and 9

“…I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be My people. (V.9) I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way in which they will not stumble.  For I am a Father to Israel.”

“Family” is the building block, the core unit of any nation.  Healthy, growing, strong families whose marriages and homes are built on the rock solid foundation of God’s TRUTH are VITAL for a healthy society.

It makes sense why the family unit is under such attack today.  Satan would love nothing more than to divide, separate, distract and dumb down this precious institution that God ordained. If he can destroy marriages (the foundation of family) and divide parents and children eliminating the opportunities to teach and train the next generation so they will grow strong in the Lord and emerge as healthy, passionate followers of Christ, he wins.

We MUST IDENTIFY his STRATEGY AND SAY, “NO WAY!”  We must stir ourselves to fight to take the land that God has given us.  He promises that as we place Him “in the center” of our lives, marriages and homes, HE WILL BE OUR GOD – HE WILL CAUSE US TO WALK BY RIVERS OF WATERS IN A STRAIGHT WAY IN WHICH WE WILL NOT STUMBLE! 

Let’s take God at His word and ZEALOUSLY and EXPECTANTLY take Him up on His promises!  A nation built on healthy families is a MAJOR KEY to this country becoming strong once again.  It has nothing to do with the political climate we are facing and EVERYTHING TO DO WITH the climate, culture and TRUTH we are fighting for within our own 4 walls!

 

Thursday
Oct162014

October 16th deliberatePeople. post by Phil and Heather Joel + today's dP reading schedule:  

Jeremiah 28:1-29:32 / 1 Timothy 1:1-20 / Psalm 86:1-17 / Proverbs 25:17

 

Standout Verse:

Jeremiah 29:11-14
“For I know the plans I have for you”, says the Lord. “Plans for peace and not evil, plans to give you a FUTURE and a HOPE. Then you will call upon Me and pray to Me and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me WHEN YOU SEARCH FOR ME WITH YOUR WHOLE HEART. I WILL BE FOUND BY YOU”, says the Lord, “and I will bring you back from captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from the places where I have driven you”, says the Lord, “and I will bring you to the place from which I caused you to be captive.”

Here in Jeremiah we see more about the character and heart of our loving Heavenly Father.  He is involved (as opposed to distant), He has great vision for our lives - plans and purposes for PEACE, not evil.  Life with Him gives us a clear and certain FUTURE and HOPE.  He wants nothing more than to rescue us from a lifestyle of captivity and heal us (if need be) so we can get back on the adventure He created us to be on (and enjoy) with Him.

God clearly tells us that in order to know Him, walk with Him, and experience the abundant life He has made available to us we need to “SEEK HIM AND SEARCH FOR HIM WITH OUR WHOLE HEART!”  As we choose to wholeheartedly pursue Him, He promises that HE WILL BE FOUND!  He’s not hiding, He’s not standoffish – He’s waiting with open arms to walk closely with His children.