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

Tuesday
Nov252014

November 25th deliberatePeople. post by Phil and Heather Joel + today's dP reading schedule:  

Daniel 1:1-2:23 / 1 Peter 3:7-4:6 / Psalms 119:65-80 / Proverbs 28:14

 

Standout verse:

Daniel 1:8
“Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the kings delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank.”

Even though certain cultural standards were being placed on Daniel, he was determined that he would live as God had called him to. HE WAS A MAN OF STEADFAST VALUES AND ZERO COMPROMISE. He knew that in order to remain obedient and pure before the Lord he would have to make the decision not to participate in the king’s mandate…simple as that.

Daniel’s fast (vegetables and water only) looked like it was going to cause him (and his 3 friends) to become unhealthy. But Daniel stood fast with the unshakable knowledge that GOD’S WAYS ARE SUPERNATURAL AND SOVEREIGN… SO MUCH HIGHER THAN OURS! Obedience to the Lord always produces health, growth, and maturity that is directly due to God’s mighty hand of protection, His GOODNESS and promise to give us a future and a hope.

Monday
Nov242014

November 24th deliberatePeople. post by Phil and Heather Joel + today's dP reading schedule:  

Ezekiel 47:1-48:35 / 1 Peter 2:11-3:6 / Psalms 119:49-64 / Proverbs 28:12-13

 

Standout verse:

1Peter 2:11-12
“Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain form fleshly lusts which war against your soul, having your conduct be honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evil-doers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.” This verse calls believers to action.  We can get ourselves in trouble when we profess the ideals of Christianity and claim them as our own, but live and behave in a way that is contradictory to these values.  Unfortunately, our culture often observes a ‘confused’ type of Christianity where people claim to be followers of Christ, but their behavior is actually no different to those that do not claim Christ as their Lord and Savior. 

LET’S CLEAR UP THE CONFUSION AND LET OUR ACTIONS REFLECT THE THINGS WE CLAIM TO BELIEVE (i.e. Walking closely with the Lord, trusting Him, obeying the things He calls us to do).  Living this way isn’t extraordinary or unachievable, or, only for pastors and scholars as we've grown accustomed to believing.  It’s just NORMAL, average, simple Christian living…totally possible for all of us “blue collar believers”…so easy a caveman could do it…seriously. 

Sunday
Nov232014

November 23rd deliberatePeople. post by Phil and Heather Joel + today's dP reading schedule:  

Ezekiel 45:18-46:24 / 1 Peter 1:13-2:10 / Psalms 119:33-48 / Proverbs 28:11

 

Standout verse:

Psalm 119:33-38
“Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes and I shall keep it to the end.  Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law; indeed, I will observe it with my whole heart.  Make me walk in the path of your commandments, for I delight in them.  Incline my heart to Your testimonies and not to covetousness.  Turn my eyes away from looking at worthless things, and revive me in Your way.  Establish Your way to Your servant who is devoted to serving You.

This Psalm is written by a sold-out, passionately devoted believer who deeply desired to be authentically yielded to the Lord.  Clearly this person wanted the fullness of an intimate walk with God.  Every sentence he writes is power-packed and practical.  Let’s break it down and make this Psalmist’s prayer one that we claim for our lives as well: Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes and I shall keep it to the end – Lord, I want to be teachable and learn the things You want to teach me.  As I learn, help me to be obedient to You by the power of Your Holy Spirit.
 Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law; indeed, I will observe it with my whole heart – Open my mind to the things You want to show me Father.  I long for Your powerful revelation for every area of my life.  I desire to be obedient to Your leading and remain passionate in my pursuit of knowing You and growing in my relationship with You.

Make me walk in the path of your commandments, for I delight in them – As I pursue You Lord, I love how I am recognizing the sound of Your voice – hearing from you is so incredible!

Incline my heart to Your testimonies and not to covetousness. Turn my eyes away from looking at worthless things, and revive me in Your way – Lord, as You are renewing my mind and heart, I thank You for the desires and purposes that You are placing in my heart.  I want to pursue the things You have for me – I don’t want to fall into old patterns of my flesh, sinful tendencies, fear, anxiety or feelings of discontentment.

Establish Your way to Your servant who is devoted to serving You – Lord, I want to make YOUR WAY OF LIVING, MY WAY OF LIVING. I am sold out and passionately committed to growing in my personal relationship with You!

Saturday
Nov222014

November 22nd deliberatePeople. post by Phil and Heather Joel + today's dP reading schedule:  

Ezekiel 44:1-45:17 / 1 Peter 1:1-12 / Psalms 119:17-32 / Proverbs 28:8-10

Standout Chapter: Ezekiel 44

Ezekiel talks about the priests’ “inner court” ministry (ministering to the Lord) and “outer court” ministry (ministry to the people).  A super interesting spiritual parallel can be seen here and applied to our lives today.

It is top priority to make sure that our personal “inner court” ministry to the Lord is thriving. It is that personal, ONE-ON-ONE RELATIONSHIP with Him that is the foundation on which we stand as individuals, and is the key to every other relationship in our lives.  When we are walking consistently (as opposed to a"pop in/pop out", rollercoaster relationship) with our Heavenly Father, yielding our hearts to the things He wants to show us, asking for His leading and vision, knowing that He is good and faithful to fill us with exactly what we need to accomplish the things He’s called us to and acknowledging His power and provision, we can be sure that our “inner court” is strong and growing.

Let’s not bypass or neglect our one-on-one relationship with the Lord falsely  believing we can thrive in those other areas apart from a growing walk with Him. It’s from that personal depth with the Lord that our “outer court” (our marriages, parenting, family, work, church, friendships) ministries will be healthiest and strongest.  

Friday
Nov212014

November 21st deliberatePeople. post by Phil and Heather Joel + today's dP reading schedule:  

Ezekiel 42:1-43:27 / James 5:1-20 / Psalms 119:1-16 / Proverbs 28:6-7

 

Standout Verse:

James 5:7-8 and 11

“Therefore, be patient brethren, until the coming of the Lord.  See also how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain.  You also be patient.  Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. (V.11)  Indeed we count them blessed who endure.  You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord – that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.”

We are not well trained in our world today regarding patience.  We are a generation that wants things FAST – fast food, high speed internet, “drive through” everything, microwaveable, “fast cash”, immediate results, instant communication, games and entertainment to fill every spare second, etc… We’ve become accustomed to expect to get what we want and get it NOW.  This kind of conditioning definitely makes walking in the kind of patience that God requires of us (for our good) quite a challenge.

It’s imperative that we STOP AND TAKE A MINUTE to think through God’s definition of patience if we hope to live in the peace and joy that He so desperately wants to give us.   God doesn’t operate by the world’s rules – He’s not into “quick fixes”, “tips and techniques” and temporary happiness…His rewards are long lasting, truly authentic, eternal and far more satisfying than anything the world serves up. God’s gifts can’t be gained at a “drive through window” or “on demand”.  What He offers only comes by way of walking in an ever-growing, real deal REALTIONSHIP with Him that can’t be purchased, fast-tracked or manufactured.

God asks His children to WALK WITH HIM and WAIT upon Him.– His timing, His plans, His purposes, His ideas, the gifts that He wants to give us here on earth and eternally.  He compares Godly patience to a farmer who plants, waters, cares for and waits for his crops to grow – a good, healthy harvest can’t be rushed!  As we wait patiently on Him, we can see Him working in our lives and our faith builds.  As our faith builds, our trust in His faithfulness and goodness grows.  Our Heavenly Father is long suffering, His love is enduring, His gifts are deeply satisfying to our souls…COMPLETELY WORTH THE WAIT!