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
Jul282014

July 28th deliberatePeople. post by Phil and Heather Joel + today's dP reading schedule:  

2 Chronicles 21:1-23:21 / Romans 11:11-36 / Psalm 22:1-18 / Proverbs 20:7

 

Standout Verse:

Psalm 22:5

“They cried to You, and were delivered. They trusted You and were not ashamed”.

It’s no news flash that tough things will happen as we walk this life. It’s a broken world in which we live and it’s inevitable that at some point, we will face painful challenges and experiences. As believers, WE MUST KNOW WHERE TO TURN and WHAT THE TRUTH IS in order to stand firm and to not allow our hearts to be swayed. In tough seasons we must cry out to the Lord and settle the fact in our hearts that:

HE’S COMPLETELY AWARE OF OUR SITUATION (Psalm 46:1)

HE’LL NEVER LEAVE US OR FORSAKE US (Hebrews 13:5)

HE IS WORKING ALL THINGS OUT FOR THE GOOD OF THOSE WHO LOVE HIM (Romans 8:28)

We are a people who walk by faith and not by sight. We don’t always see everything that is going on behind the scenes.  Sometimes our trust in God can seem ridiculous to others (just like Joshua and the Israelites who marched around Jericho). But, as we simply put one foot in front of the other and keep walking by faith without demanding that God would explain what’s going to happen, we will see miracles and “breakthrough” happen. The peace of God will fill our hearts as we watch God “make a way in the wilderness”, tear down walls and bring deliverance to seemingly impossible circumstances.  OUR HEAVENLY FATHER WILL ALWAYS COME THROUGH – HE’LL NEVER LET US DOWN!!

Hebrews 13:6 – “So we may boldly say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear.  What can man do to me?”

Sunday
Jul272014

July 27th deliberatePeople. post by Phil and Heather Joel + today's dP reading schedule:  

2 Chronicles 19:1-20:37 / Romans 10:14-11:10 / Psalm 21:1-13 / Proverbs 20:4-6

 

Standout verse:

2 Chronicles 20:12
“O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.”

When faced with opposition, the first thing Jehoshaphat did was go before the Lord in prayer, humbly asking for His saving power and deliverance from the powerful army that was positioned to strike. Clearly, in his flesh, Jehoshaphat didn’t have a clue how his people would be able to defeat their enemy or escape from the impending attack. Even so, he was determined to walk through this challenge standing steadfastly on God’s truth and His past track record of faithfulness.

He chose to fight the battle with the weapons of faith, prayer, fasting and spoken praise. He trusted that God was able to deliver His people and, that His power would be a sign and wonder throughout Judah.

When we find ourselves facing incredible odds, when the outcome seems impossible or the attack seems too strong, we need to realize that God is waiting for us to run to Him. He wants to use these situations to build our faith as He demonstrates His faithfulness and power.

LET’S CHOSE TO RUN TO THE LORD FIRST WHEN WE FACE OPPOSITION - keeping our eyes upon Him and His power instead of the intimidating circumstances; asking Him to fill us and strengthen us with His truth. When we do this, we allow Him to move in mighty ways that our finite minds cannot fathom!

Saturday
Jul262014

July 26th deliberatePeople. post by Phil and Heather Joel + today's dP reading schedule: 

2 Chronicles 17:1-18:34 / Romans 9:25-10:13 / Psalm 20:1-9 / Proverbs 20:2-3

 

Standout Verse:

Psalm 20: 7

“Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.”

All it takes is turning on the news each night to see how topsy turvy our world is.  The economy is a high-speed rollercoaster that can be in our favor one day and against us the next.  Gas prices, Housing prices, bank loans, jobs/joblessness, unexpected layoffs, the “promise” of employment with a degree in higher education… all of these “systems” (the “horses and chariots” of our times) have been set up around us and we are told that we must rely on them in order to “make it”, become successful and find security in this world.  The problem is, these systems are ever-changing and unstable.

OUR AWESOME GOD IS THE ONLY THING WE CAN TRULY COUNT ON AND MEASURE OUR WORTH BY.  He is true, lasting, faithful, reliable, NEVER-CHANGING, and steadfast through the ages.  HIS GREAT LOVE FOR US NEVER FAILS and He promises never to leave us or forsake us even in the most trying times. 

Let’s place our trust in Him, look to Him and keep our hearts and minds fully devoted to Him, because no matter what is going on around us, He will give us His perspective on the world’s systems of “security and success” and provide EXACTLY what we need in the midst of them. 

GOD IS OUR ULTIMATE SOURCE, OUR GREAT AND MIGHTY PROVIDER – JEHOVAH JIREH!  As we seek Him, He promises to to give us the strength and strategies to walk through any “battle”, financial crisis, job loss, or economic downturn we are facing.  This is AWESOME news we can stake our hearts and lives on!

Friday
Jul252014

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

2 Chronicles 14:1-16:14 / Romans 9:1-24 / Psalm 19:1-14 / Proverbs 20:1

 

Standout Verse:

2 Chronicles 15:2&15

“And he went out to meet Asa, and said to him, “Hear me Asa, the Lord is with you while you are with Him.  If you seek Him, He will be found by you, but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you. (V.15) And Judah rejoiced at the oath, for they had sworn with all their heart and sought Him with all their soul, and He was found by them…”

Very simple and straight forward.  God clearly tells His people over and over again that WHEN WE SEEK HIM HE WILL BE FOUND. He’s not hiding, He’s not stand-offish.

If we turn our backs, choose to walk away and forsake Him, He won’t stop us.  He will give us over to those things that we desire and allow us to pursue the things our heart longs for.  His hope is that we will come to our senses and realize the deep emptiness of a life apart from Him.  And, if we return to Him with yielded hearts and an authentic desire to pursue Him, He will be there ready and waiting to receive us back (remember the father in the story of the prodigal son…a beautiful picture of God’s Father Heart for each of us!).

He created us with a free will that isn’t controlled.  A relationship with our Heavenly Father is a decision on our end to seek the Him and yield our hearts to Him – He’s already made the decision on His end…the answer is “YES”…He is steadfast, always here and absolutely wants us to experience and enjoy a relationship with Him!

Thursday
Jul242014

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

2 Chronicles 11:1-13:22 / Romans 8:24-39 / Psalm 18:35-50 / Proverbs 19:27-29

 

Standout verse: 2nd Chronicles 12:1

“Now it came to pass when Rehoboam had established the kingdom and had strengthened himself, that he forsook the law of the Lord, and all Israel along with him.”

Rehoboam represents a “roller coaster” way of living.  A few verses prior to this talk about how he “walked in the ways of David and Solomon for the first three years of his reign” and that he strengthened the kingdom of Judah.  When times were tough and he was vulnerable and desperate for help, he turned to the Lord.  Yet, when he felt stronger and “up on his feet”, he no longer felt the deep need to walk closely with Him.  He quickly developed a “thanks God, I’ve got it from here” attitude.  

When his heart shifted away from the Lord, things quickly took a downhill turn.  Because he’d turned from God, he’d left himself and his people wide open to enemy attack.  The king of Egypt came against Jerusalem with a vast army and threatened to destroy them. 

With trouble surrounding him, Rehoboam realized his pride, humbled himself and turned back to the Lord.  God was gracious toward Rehoboam - He heard his cries for help, saw his humbled heart and received him back. 

After a period of time, when he was “out of the woods” and his situation improved, his heart turned away AGAIN.  The last verses of chapter 12 say, “And he (Rehoboam) did evil, because he did not prepare his heart to seek the Lord.”  A sad way to finish.

Rehoboam’s life is a great example of “how NOT to live”. Up, down, twisting here and there depending on what season we are in and/or level of difficulty (or ease) we are facing. 

The deal is this: this kind of living is completely unbeneficial and unhealthy.  It’s confusing, damaging and TOTALLY NOT WORTH IT.  Though our God is gracious and will receive us back when our hearts are humbled and yielded, this lifestyle is absolutely NOT His best for us.  HIS BEST FOR US IS TO GET CLOSE AND STAY CLOSE TO HIM IN EVERY SEASON, difficult and easy.