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

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. 

Wednesday
Jul232014

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

2 Chronicles 8:11-10:19 / Romans 8:12-23 / Psalm 18:16-34 / Proverbs 19:26

 

Standout verse:

Psalm 18:28-34

“For You O Lord will light my lamp.  The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.  For by You I can run against a troop.  By my God I can leap over a wall.  As for my God, His way is perfect.  The word of the Lord is proven – He is a shield to those who trust Him.

(v. 32) It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.  He makes my feet like the feet of a deer and sets me in high places.  He teaches my hands to make war so my arms can bend a bow of bronze.”

 

SUCH GOOD TRUTH…these are some particularly cool highlights:

1. Our God LIGHTS OUR WAY in the darkness

2. He gives us SUPERNATURAL strength to face challenges

3. He SHIELDS and PROTECTS those who put their trust in Him

4. Like a deer on a steep, rocky mountain ledge, He equips us to walk through HIGH LEVEL challenges.

5. He TEACHES US and EQUIPS US to FIGHT for those things in our lives that are most precious (Our relationship with Him, our marriages, our children, our families, our friendships, etc…)

LORD, YOU ARE SO FAITHFUL!  Thank You for Your awesome promises to us!  We want what You have for us!

Tuesday
Jul222014

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

2 Chronicles 6:12-8:10 / Romans 7:13-8:11 / Psalm 18:1-15 / Proverbs 19:24-25

 

Standout verse:

Psalm 18:2-3

“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my strength in whom I trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.  I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies.”

Sometimes life can feel so overwhelming and draining, but in the midst of difficulties, we must CHOOSE to stand on the FACT that YOUR WORD IS TRUE AND YOU WILL PROVIDE ALL THAT WE NEED TO HANDLE ANY SITUATION.  There is nothing that we are facing that is too difficult for You God!  You are our fortress, our deliverer, our shield, and our stronghold. 

Challenges, difficulties, sadness, and sickness are a part of living in a fallen world.  But, the great news is, that as we walk through these times (Psalm 23), YOU ARE EVER-PRESENT (ALWAYS WITH US) and YOU CAN BE COMPLETELY TRUSTED! YOU PROMISE TO GIVE US EXACTLY WHAT WE NEED to walk through any situation or season peacefully.

As we meditate on this TRUTH and stand securely on it.  Lord, let our faith arise!

Monday
Jul212014

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

2 Chronicles 4:1-6:11 / Romans 7:1-12 / Psalm 17:1-15 / Proverbs 19:22-23

 

Standout verse:

Psalm 17:5
“Uphold my steps in Your paths, that my footsteps may not slip.” Our daily relationship is so important if we want to walk in His ways step by step.  Satan has a plan to distract us and throw us off the path that God wants us to walk.  If we aren’t in consistent fellowship with the Lord with a deliberate plan to pursue Him, know Him, and hear His voice, we become vulnerable to the enemy’s strategies to “take us out”.

Even as Christians, we can walk apart from the Lord.  This doesn’t mean we don’t love the Lord or have a passion for Him; it doesn’t mean we aren’t saved.  It simply means that this world is continually competing for our attention and our affection and unless we are intentional and purposeful in our relationship with the Lord, we are opening the door wide open to things that would ‘cause our feet to slip’.  

Time alone with the Lord at the start of the day, connecting with Him by reading His word (the Bible), through prayer, thanksgiving, and fellowship are vital if we want to stay in step with the things He has planned and purposed for us.

Sunday
Jul202014

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

2 Chronicles 1:1-3:17 / Romans 6:1-23 / Psalm 16:1-11 / Proverbs 19:20-21

 

Romans 6: 11-13

“Reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus out Lord.  Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as being instruments of righteousness to God”.

Each day consists of a series of decisions. Sometimes we move so quickly through our days that we aren't conscious of the fact that we've even been making decisions.  We get so used to “doing our own thing” and “calling the shots”, we can forget WHO we are.  If we are Christians, we are no longer on our own – Christ lives in us and with us - a powerful team! He makes us ALIVE to the things of God and DEAD to sin!

All through the Bible there are stories of God's people (individuals and groups) who got themselves off track by making decisions based on their own desires and ideas. They forgot who they were and whose they were and, it didn't go well for them as they left God out of the equation.

As we slow down our speeding hearts, listen to Him and choose to do what He's saying then we find LIFE. As we seek Him, through His word, we find general truths that are utterly vital and life–giving!  We also find specific truths He knows we need for our day and for the decisions we need to make moment by moment.

It's mind blowing to realize that the God of the universe has specific plans, thoughts and direction for EACH of US, TODAY! This life truly is an adventure with God! HE IS PRESENT AND IS READY TO SPEAK AS WE CHOOSE TO LISTEN AND FOLLOW.