"Front Stoops"

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"Front Stoops"

May my faith be made stronger in my morning time with you Father, Son, and Spirit.

“Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Mathew 19:24

Monday night we went prayer walking in a neighborhood in Huntsville.  It is not the “nicest” neighborhood.  It has its share of crime.  A block over the neighborhood gets worse.  Both neighborhoods are lower income.  What I have found is that prayer walking is much easier, more fruit is produced and stories of life and connections are made in the lower income neighborhoods than in higher income neighborhoods.  Why, because lower income neighborhoods have a “front stoop mentality,” higher income neighborhoods have a “back deck mentality.”

Lower income neighborhoods need their neighbors, form bonds with them and rely on a community to help them get by.  Moms, especially single mom need other moms to watch kids while they work because they can’t afford day care.   Dads need other dads to look after each others houses while they work and also to help them find work.  Families need other families to be there for each other when they are sick, or in need. Even houses in these neighborhoods that don’t have front porches or stoops, they bring chairs out in the front yard and sit and talk.  They live in and like community.

There comes a certain income level that an individual or family reaches they trade in their front stoops for fenced in back decks. People reach a financial level that they no longer need their neighbors to get by.  Moms can afford expensive daycare for their children, and other moms expect them and judge them by what daycare their children attend.  Dads can afford to put fences up, security systems, and electronic garage door openers so they can drive through their neighborhood on the way home from work with rolled up car windows, hit the garage door opener, pull in garage, push button again and step out of car inside closed garage without stepping a foot in their neighborhood.  Families peer at other families through the blinds on their windows. And the goal is a home in the suburbs of neighborhood that gives them private space from those around them. Where they can guard their stuff, hide and protect their material  goods and emotional baggage from  those around them.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus stood up to those around Him,

“And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” (Matthew 5:2-7)

So does Jesus’ words sound like He is describing “front stoop” or “back deck” people as those who will inherit and enter into the kingdom of God?   When you meet Jesus, which do you feel you will have a better time justify building and spending your time on, a front stoop or a back deck?  

Jesus also said, “In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?" (John 14:2)  There are different ways of interpreting this verse that I will not get into now, but two things I am pretty sure of;  First, none of those rooms will have a back deck.  Second, the Father’s house has an amazing front stoop on it.   And Jesus is going to be sitting on it talking with his neighbors, probably sipping wine from Canna and laughing when I come through heavens gates.  And He is going to get up, give me an embrace, hand me a glass of wine, and say "Well done good and faithful servant!" (Matthew 25:21). And we are going to sit on that stoop and catch up with each other and laugh.  Many will be surprised to find heaven is more like a front stoop in “the hood” than the back decks of "the hills.”

My family, I pray today you create an amazing and welcoming front stoop on the house that Jesus in His Spirit currently resides, you heart.   May your life be an inviting stoop that all who sit with you will  “comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ.” (Ephesians 3:17)  In Jesus’ name!  Please pray the same for me.  God bless you my friends!

Please share your thoughts and reflections in the comment box below.

Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower

One Direction Community

Email: garyl@onedirection.community

Website:https://www.onedirection.community

Facebook: One Direction Community-ODC 

I could use your financial support for One Direction Community, my family, and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around. Please partner and support myself and One Direction community through setting up a monthly donation or a one –time gift by clicking the link below. Donation checks can be made out to ODC, PO Box 1293 Madison, Al 35758.  

Thank You!

 

 

 

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 Dedication, Dependence, Discernment

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Dedication, Dependence, Discernment

Good morning, Lord Jesus. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit of God -- I draw near to You in my prayers as You draw to me in Your presence.  

"And the Lord took note of Hannah; she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. And the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord.... Now the boy Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favor with the Lord and with the people.... Now the Lord came and stood there, calling as before, 'Samuel! Samuel!' And Samuel said, 'Speak, for your servant is listening'" (1 Samuel 2:21-3:10).

Samuel's mother dedicated him and all the days of his life to You. And dedication grew into dependence and discernment. As he grew in stature, he grew in favor. As he grew in favor, he grew in the intimacy of his relationship with You and his dependence upon You until he was able to discern Your voice beyond anyone else's. Then from that place of intimacy and discernment and dependence, You empowered him for ministry. "As Samuel grew up, the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Fan to Beer-sheba knew that Samuel was a trustworthy prophet of the Lord" (1 Samuel 3:19-20).

Father God, I thank You for parents who dedicated me to You and raised me in the church.  I thank you for my wife who encourages me in my faith.  I thank You for all who have loved me and prayed for me to grow in spiritual stature from dedication to dependence and discernment and favor and intimacy and ministry. Help me keep growing. Help me "grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ" (Ephesians 4:15). Help me never stop growing in "the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ" (Ephesians 4:13).

As best as I can and all by Your grace, in humility and faith, I willingly choose to dedicate my life completely to You, in desperate dependence upon You alone. I surrender all. Apart from You, I can do nothing (John 15:5). But in the intimacy and favor of God growing in me -- as I daily abide in You and You abide in me -- I embrace the promise of Your Word that my life will "bear much fruit" (John 15:1-5). Thank You for the promise of Your Word:  "I have said these things to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete" (John 15:11). In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

My family,  I pray this morning  you will take a moment, as long as necessary, and rededicate your life and surrender all to Jesus.  That you seek a deeper intimacy with Him to keep you growing in spiritual stature by the grace of God at work in you in dedication, dependence, and discernment, that your life will bear much fruit to the glory of God so that your joy may be made complete. If you have never dedicated your life to Jesus, or find yourself in a place now where you are struggling to surrender all or an area of your life to Him, please reach out to me, or reach out to your pastor, friend, family member, or whoever God has placed in your life for spiritual guidance, in Jesus' name! Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friends! 

Please share your thoughts and reflections in the comment box below.

Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower

One Direction Community

Email: garyl@onedirection.community

Website:https://www.onedirection.community

Facebook: One Direction Community-ODC 

I could use your financial support for One Direction Community, my family, and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around. Please partner and support myself and One Direction community through setting up a monthly donation or a one –time gift by clicking the link below. Donation checks can be made out to ODC, PO Box 1293 Madison, Al 35758.  

Thank You!

 

 

 

 

 

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"Bride of Christ"

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"Bride of Christ"

Good morning, Lord Jesus. You are One with the Father and One with the Holy Spirit. Be One within me and make me more like You today.  

"I found him whom my soul loves. I held him, and would not let him go" (Song of Songs 3:4). "Let us rejoice and be glad ... His bride has made herself ready! (Revelation 10:7)

I spent some time yesterday in pre-marital counseling with a couple getting married in a few months. I know and love them both and it is an honor and a blessing to be invited to be a part of their Holy union with each other.  I am so delighted in the reverence they have for each other and their upcoming wedding and their hearts desire to enter into their covenant in the pleasing will of God.  I prayed over them this morning, and the covenant they are about to make with each other reminded me of the covenant you made with us.

Their covenant of love is to be a picture of Your covenant of love with us and ours with You (Ephesians 5:32). It's to be an "everlasting covenant" sealed by the promises and empowered by the grace of our "everlasting God" (Genesis 9:16; Isaiah 40:28). You are our Bridegroom and we are Your bride (Ephesians 5:25; Revelation 22:17). And just as we will celebrate the joy of this beautiful bride and her bridegroom, we long for the day all heaven and earth will proclaim, "Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory. For the wedding day of the Lamb has come, His bride has made herself ready!" (Revelation 19:7 NAB)  In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

My family, I pray you know in your heart that with one glance of your eyes you ravish the heart of your Beloved and He loves you with an everlasting love, in Jesus' name! Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friends! 

Please share your thoughts and reflections in the comment box below.

 

Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower

One Direction Community

Email: garyl@onedirection.community

Website:https://www.onedirection.community

Facebook: One Direction Community-ODC 

I could use your financial support for One Direction Community, my family, and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around. Please partner and support myself and One Direction community through setting up a monthly donation or a one –time gift by clicking the link below. Donation checks can be made out to ODC, PO Box 1293 Madison, Al 35758.  

Thank You!

 

 

 

 

 

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"Serve As A Priest"

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"Serve As A Priest"

Good morning, Lord Jesus. Help me start this day and every day embraced by the Father, centered in Christ, and filled with the Holy Spirit. 

"Now this is what you should do to them to consecrate them, so that they may serve Me as priests.... You shall bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance of the tent of meeting, and wash them with water. Then you shall take the vestments, and put on Aaron the tunic and the robe of the ephod, and the ephod, and the breastpiece and gird him with the decorated band of the ephod; and you shall set the turban on his head, and put the holy diadem on the turban. You shall take the anointing oil, and pour it on his head and anoint him" (Exodus 29:1-7).

 

Last night in our House Church we pressed and prayed into our identity as Christians.  There are photos from last night on our Facebook page One Direction Community-ODC.  In Christ, we are Your "chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, in order that (we) may proclaim the mighty acts of Him who called (us) out of darkness into His marvelous light" (1 Peter 2:9). Together, we are Your "holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ" (v. 2:5). Embracing Your Good News of the Kingdom of God, as You save us and heal us and free us, we are now "called priests of the Lord" and "named ministers of our God" (Isaiah 61:6).

So here in this tent of meeting of my morning prayer, I deliberately dedicate and completely consecrate my heart and my life to You today. Anoint me with Your Holy Spirit and clothe me in Christ. Lead me and empower me to minister to You and hold Your people in my heart, throughout the moments of my day. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

My family, may the Holy Spirit anoint you and lead you and empower you as a priest of our God throughout the moments of your day. Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friends!

 

Please share your thoughts and reflections in the comment box below.

Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower

One Direction Community

Email: garyl@onedirection.community

Website:https://www.onedirection.community

Facebook: One Direction Community-ODC 

 

I could use your financial support for One Direction Community, my family, and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around. Please partner and support myself and One Direction community through setting up a monthly donation or a one –time gift by clicking the link below. Donation checks can be made out to ODC, PO Box 1293 Madison, Al 35758.  

Thank You!

 

 

 

 

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"You Are Bethel"

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"You Are Bethel"

Good morning, Lord Jesus. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I worship You, Lord God, in spirit and truth, as I start my day focused on You.  ...

"God appeared to Jacob again when he came from Padan-aram, and He blessed him. God said to him, 'Your name is Jacob; no longer shall you be called Jacob, but Israel shall be your name.' ... Jacob set up a pillar in the place where He had spoken with him, a pillar of stone; and he poured out a drink offering on it, and poured oil on it. So Jacob called the place where God had spoken with him Bethel" (Genesis 35:9-15).

I was talking to a person yesterday when a song by Bethel was playing.  They asked me what does "Bethel" mean? "Bethel" means house of God. Now that God has poured out His Holy Spirit upon all Your sons and daughters of God, we are Your Bethel -- the place God dwells is in our hearts as Your house. We are "a holy temple in the Lord, in whom (we) also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God" (Ephesians 2:21-22). "Do you not know that (we) are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in (us)?" (1 Corinthians 3:16)

So today, wherever I am, I can hear Your voice speaking to me. Wherever I am, I can sense Your Presence abiding within me. And wherever I am, You invite me to pour out my praise as a offering of my life and trust in You only as my pillar of strength, remembering every place and every moment where You've met with me and assured me that I am Your child and You are my God. You are my God who knows my name.

You are constantly saying to me,"My son. I am in you and you are in Me. Trust in Me to lead you today by your heart that you've entrusted to Me."

Yes, Lord. Abide in me as I abide in You (John 15:4). Put Your thoughts in my mind and Your desires in my heart. Remind me that Your Spirit is within me, guiding my path and ordering my steps, changing my heart into Your nature. Dwell in Your house, here in my heart, throughout the moments of my day. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

My Friends,  I pray you will remember throughout the moments of your day that your heart is God's house. May you hear His voice and sense His Presence wherever you  are. Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friends!

Please share your thoughts and reflections in the comment box below.

Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower

One Direction Community

Email: garyl@onedirection.community

Website:https://www.onedirection.community

Facebook: One Direction Community-ODC 

I could use your financial support for One Direction Community, my family, and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around. Please partner and support myself and One Direction community through setting up a monthly donation or a one –time gift by clicking the link below. Donation checks can be made out to ODC, PO Box 1293 Madison, Al 35758.  

Thank You!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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"The Spiritual Dimension"

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"The Spiritual Dimension"

Good morning, Lord Jesus. Help me start this day and every day embraced by the Father, centered in Christ, and filled with the Holy Spirit. ...

"But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart" (Luke 2:29).

Do we treasure our spiritual encounters and supernatural experiences? Do we “treasure” the words of God spoken into our spirits and confirmed by the witness of others? Do we ponder them and think on them? Do we allow ourselves to be aligned with them, expecting them to come to pass, all in Your time and all in Your way?

Or do we just say, "Oh, that was a nice moment" or "Hum, that was really interesting?" or “That was really weird.”

Do we take lightly the spiritual dimension of our lives or treat it as strange and hide it away, as if we're afraid someone will know that we really do believe in the unseen realm and supernatural things of God?

Your Word encourages us to take seriously this spiritual dimension, to seek out, treasure and ponder our supernatural experiences with trusting faith and expectant hope: "We look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal" (2 Corinthians 4:18). "Seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God" (Colossians 2:2-3). "Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than a two-edged sword" (Hebrews 4:12).

My family, I pray you will take a moment now to reflect on some recent Divine encounters you've had with God.  May you treasure them and ponder them in your heart in trusting faith and expectant hope that every good thing of God will come to pass in your life in His timing and His way. Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friends!

Please share your thoughts and reflections in the comment box below.

Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower

One Direction Community

Email: garyl@onedirection.community

Website:https://www.onedirection.community

Facebook: One Direction Community-ODC 

 

I could use your financial support for One Direction Community, my family, and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around. Please partner and support myself and One Direction community through setting up a monthly donation or a one –time gift by clicking the link below. Donation checks can be made out to ODC, PO Box 1293 Madison, Al 35758.  

Thank You!

 

 

 

 

 

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"Reap What You Sow"

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"Reap What You Sow"

Good morning, Lord Jesus. Help me start this day embraced by my Father, centered in Christ, and filled with Your Holy Spirit.  ...

"Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back" (Luke 6:38).

In the ways of Your Spirit, we reap what we sow. The harvest of our lives reveals the seeds that were sown in our hearts. And every seed bears fruit after its own kind. "Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow. If you sow to your own flesh, you will reap corruption from the flesh; but if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit. So let us not grow weary in doing what is right for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up" (Galatians 6:7-9).

You've given me good seed -- Your Scriptures, Your Holy Spirit,  Prayer, Christian Fellowship, Your Life to sow into my soul.  There are also seeds of my flesh- selfishness, pride, hate, envy…ect. Let me choose today to plant the seeds from you in my heart. Let my words and my actions today be an expression of what your seeds have done and are doing in me. You've sown so much of Your grace into me -- a "good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over." Give me the wisdom and the desire to sow Your grace into every encounter I'll have today. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

My family, I pray you experience the good measure of God's grace in your life today -- a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, in Jesus' name. Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friends! 

Please share your thoughts and reflections in the comment box below.

Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower

One Direction Community

Email: garyl@onedirection.community

Website:https://www.onedirection.community

Facebook: One Direction Community-ODC 

 

I could use your financial support for One Direction Community, my family, and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around. Please partner and support myself and One Direction community through setting up a monthly donation or a one –time gift by clicking the link below. Donation checks can be made out to ODC, PO Box 1293 Madison, Al 35758.  

Thank You!

 

 

 

 

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"Jesus Jacuzzi"

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"Jesus Jacuzzi"

It’s your breath in my lungs, so I pour out my praise to you only Lord…

“so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.” (2 Chronicles 5:14)

Last night by human metrics, our House Church did not measure up.  People who attend started texting throughout the day and up to the time we start that they would not be there tonight.  Various good reasons: sickness, having to work late, traveling out of town, grand children, reaction to a medicine prescribed, and another event to attend.  During the day as I prepared for our gathering though I prayed on it, no clear focus for the night came to me.  I lead worship and no songs I was to lead came to me.   So when we gathered in my living room, instead of a house full of people there were only four of us.  And instead of my leading worship we  streamed worship music, and we simply became quiet before God.

And His presence fell on us.

We prayed as led, we read Scripture, we shared the Lord’s Supper, and we soaked in what I call a “Jesus Jacuzzi” of His presence.  All four of us gathered there are leaders of various ministries. We lead apostolically, Shepard, and pour out into others on a daily basis.  And for us to not have to lead anything, but just simply sit, worship and pray and be poured into by God for an hour and a half was amazing.  “It Is Well” by Bethel played, and it reminded us that it is well. “Still Believe” by Kim Walker Smith spoke into the faith we cling to.  The prayers The Holy Spirit led us to speak over each other and our ministries encouraged and re-centered us on Christ and Him alone, and enabled us to release things we were carrying not of  Him. So thankful.  And it reminded us all that a church gathering is not about “measuring up” to metrics man presents, but the “falling down” of the presence of God.

My family, I pray today you open your heart in prayer, seek God in His word, play Worship music and sing out loud, by yourself or with others, and enter into a “Jesus Jacuzzi” of His presence and simply soak in it.  In Jesus’ name.  Please pray the same for me.  God bless you my friends.

 

Please share your thoughts and reflections in the comment box below.

Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower

One Direction Community

Email: garyl@onedirection.community

Website:https://www.onedirection.community

Facebook: One Direction Community-ODC 

 

I could use your financial support for One Direction Community, my family, and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around. Please partner and support myself and One Direction community through setting up a monthly donation or a one –time gift by clicking the link below. Donation checks can be made out to ODC, PO Box 1293 Madison, Al 35758.  

Thank You!

 

 

 

 

 

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"Infinite Value"

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"Infinite Value"

Good morning, Lord Jesus. Be at the center of all I am and all I do. 

"I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared to the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with Him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God's way of making us right with Himself depends on faith. I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised Him from the dead. I want to suffer with Him, sharing in His death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead.... Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things" (Philippians 3:7-15).

Come, Holy Spirit. Bring me to the place in my heart where knowing Christ is the most important thing in my life. Bring me to the place in my heart where I see every struggle of suffering, every disappointment or delay, every failure when I stumble or fall, everything I experience during this small sliver of time of my journey while I'm on this earth in the flesh, as a opportunity to grow in spiritual maturity to become "one with Christ." 

Let this be the one, most valuable thing I seek above all else. The treasure of "infinite value" - "the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord." I admit, I'm not there yet. Like the apostle Paul, "I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things... but I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.... I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling (me)" (Philippians 3:12-14). In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

My family, I pray the Holy Spirit stirs in your spirit to this morning to pursue the treasure of infinity -- knowing Jesus and experiencing His Presence and power in your life as you are becoming one with Him. “Press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling (you)" in Jesus' name! Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friends! 

Please share your thoughts and reflections in the comment box below.

Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower

One Direction Community

Email: garyl@onedirection.community

Website:https://www.onedirection.community

Facebook: One Direction Community-ODC 

I could use your financial support for One Direction Community, my family, and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around. Please partner and support myself and One Direction community through setting up a monthly donation or a one –time gift by clicking the link below. Donation checks can be made out to ODC, PO Box 1293 Madison, Al 35758.  

Thank You!

 

 

 

 

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"Holy Conferencing"

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"Holy Conferencing"

“For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written,

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined,what God has prepared for those who love him”—these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.

The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 1:18-2:16)

Yesterday I attended the Annual Conference of  the North Alabama Conference of the UMC.  Dr, Kevin Watson shared with us to began the day with a time of teaching.  He used the passages from 1 Corinthians I shared with you above.  My morning reflection today is a reflection on his teaching and this passage.

In his teaching, Dr. Watson said that renewal in the church always comes about out of a complete reliance to the Holy Spirit and preceded by repentance and prayer.  And our churches today are in a desperate need of revival.  The local church is desperate for spiritual leaders.  People who know the living God.  People who can give witness to what Jesus has done for them and our passionate about that they have a story that needs to be told. 

Leaders who faith and knowledge of the living God are forged and flow out of Holy Conferencing.   We at ODC call them Bands, some call them accountability or reunion groups.  Small, close groups of all men or all women, 3-5 in number, that form a safe and holy connection in which it is ok to say, “I am not fine.” Where members ask each other weekly, “How is it with your soul?”  Where this and other honest, searching, questions can be asked and answered and real transformation can take place. A group in which active sins can be confessed so that forgiveness of sin and removal of shame can take place. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1John 1:18)

A holy group in which by by talking about our present experiences of God we will grow and prosper in faith and healing of the soul and be transformed by God.  A group that is about real transformation, not more information.  To experience holiness that is only possible in a holy community.  Holy isolation is no more holy than holy adultery.  And adultery is not holy.  Holiness is social.  There is no holiness apart from social holiness.

My family, if you know me at all, you know these words spoken by Dr. Watson are from a shared heart with mine and are the same words I have spoken to you over and over.  I was so encouraged to hear them from him, and I pray that you are as well.  I pray if you are not in a Band group yet, today you will contact one or two people and set a date and time to begin.  Or if you are in a band group already, but Gos has placed it in your heart to mentor another person(s) you will contact them today. In Jesus’ name!  Please pray the same for me!  God bless you my friends!

Please share your thoughts and reflections in the comment box below.

 

Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower

One Direction Community

Email: garyl@onedirection.community

Website:https://www.onedirection.community

Facebook: One Direction Community-ODC 

I could use your financial support for One Direction Community, my family, and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around. Please partner and support myself and One Direction community through setting up a monthly donation or a one –time gift by clicking the link below. Donation checks can be made out to ODC, PO Box 1293 Madison, Al 35758.

 Thank You!

 

 

 

 

1 Comment

"Give Me Oil In My Lamp"

1 Comment

"Give Me Oil In My Lamp"

Good morning, Lord Jesus. Good Shepherd, I'm listening.  ...

"Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps" (Matthew 25:1-4).

My Father God, I thank You for Your Word. "Your Word is a Lamp to my feet and a Light to my path" (Psalm 119:105). And I thank You for the oil of Your Spirit, the Anointing of the Presence of God. "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor" (Luke 4:18; Isaiah 61:1-2). With Your Word and Your Spirit in our hearts, we are the body of Christ here in our world. "It is God who establishes with (one another) in Christ and has anointed us, by putting His seal on us and giving us His Spirit in our hearts as a first installment" (2 Corinthians 1:21).

I want to be wise with all You've entrusted to me. I don't want to ever settle for the level of oil of Your Holy Spirit I have in my lamp in my heart.  I want more oil-- more of You, more of Your Spirit, more of Your Presence, more of Your heart, more of Your nature, more of Your anointing of Your power and Your love flowing more freely through my life. I want to be being filled with Your Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). I want "a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over!" (Luke 6:38)

So keep making me hungry and thirsty for more.  Help me to make a priority in my day to go into your Word for more oil.   Thank You for the promise of Your Word: "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled" (Matthew 5:6). I want to be one who is filled -- filled up and ready for Your coming, ready to embrace You with my lamp full and my flame burning (Matthew 25:10). May You "fan into flame" the Gift of God within me (2 Timothy 1:6).

 My family, I pray you will hope for the one day Jesus will come again in glory in the clouds.  I pray at the same time, you will hunger and thirst for more oil of the Holy Spirit. For Jesus to come in glory in your heart, right here, right now and every moment between this day and that day to come. In Jesus' name.   Please pray the same for me.  God bless you my friends!!

Please share your thoughts and reflections in the comment box below.

 

Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower

One Direction Community

Email: garyl@onedirection.community

Website:https://www.onedirection.community

Facebook: One Direction Community-ODC 

I could use your financial support for One Direction Community, my family, and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around. Please partner and support myself and One Direction community through setting up a monthly donation or a one –time gift by clicking the link below. Donation checks can be made out to ODC, PO Box 1293 Madison, Al 35758.  

Thank You!

 

 

 

 

1 Comment

"Fire Of God"

1 Comment

"Fire Of God"

Good morning, Lord Jesus. O Lord, my God -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit of God -- stir in my spirit with a passion for Your Presence, as I entrust my life and my day completely to You.  

"So Ahab sent to all the Israelites, and assembled the prophets at Mount Carmel. Elijah then came near to all the people, and said, 'How long will you go limping with two different opinions? ... Let two bulls be given to us; let them choose one bull for themselves, cut it pieces, and lay it on the wood, but put no fire to it; I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood, but put no fire to it. Then you call on the name of your god and I will call on the name of the Lord; the God who answers by fire is indeed God.' All the people answered, 'Well spoken!' ... As midday passed, (the prophets of Baal) raved on until the time of the offering of the oblation, but there was no voice, no answer, and no response.... At the time of the offering of the oblation, the prophet Elijah came near and said, 'O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel, that I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your bidding. Answer me, O Lord, answer me, so that this people may know that You, O Lord, are God, and that You have turned their hearts back!' Then the Fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering, the wood, the stones, and the dust, and even licked up the water that was in the trench. When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, 'The Lord indeed is God! The Lord indeed is God!'" (1 Kings 18:20-39)

Holy Fire, fall on me! I offer afresh my life as my sacrifice (Romans 12:1).  I don't' want to be one limping between the ways of this world and the Word of God, between the gods of man and the God of the Word. I don't want to compromise or be complacent,  be double-minded to question the authority of Your Word or wavering to doubt the power of Your Spirit. In the name of Jesus, I renounce the "baals" that would seek to take Your place in my heart and Your authority over my life. And I command them, "Go now, away from me and out of my life, in the mighty name of Jesus and by the power of the Blood of the Lamb!" (Mark 16:17; James 4:7; Revelation 12:11) Come fill me afresh and overflowing with Your Presence and Your power! (Ephesians 5:18; Acts 1:4-8)

Come, Holy Spirit! Consume my offering in the Fire of Your Spirit! Burn out of me all that is not yet like You. Purify me and sanctify me--wholly, completely, entirely -- in my spirit and soul and body, that I may be sound and blameless at the coming of my Lord Jesus Christ! (1 Thessalonians 5:23) You indeed are God! You indeed are God! You are the God who answers by Fire! Let Your Holy Fire fall! Fall on me and everything around me!  

O Lord, my God, keep on consuming me so that the Fire down in my soul is forever fanned into flame and never burns out! (2 Timothy 1:6; Leviticus 6:12; Matthew 25:1-13) In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

My family, I pray the Holy Fire of God falls afresh on you today and every day, fanning into flame the Fire of the Lord hat will never burn out, in Jesus' name! Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friends! 

Please share your thoughts and reflections in the comment box below.

 

Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower

One Direction Community

Email: garyl@onedirection.community

Website:https://www.onedirection.community

Facebook: One Direction Community-ODC 

 

I could use your financial support for One Direction Community, my family, and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around. Please partner and support myself and One Direction community through setting up a monthly donation or a one –time gift by clicking the link below. Donation checks can be made out to ODC, PO Box 1293 Madison, Al 35758.  

Thank You!

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Comment

"No Preferential Treatment"

2 Comments

"No Preferential Treatment"

Father, Son and Spirit, I love you, I need you, I desire your presence in every area of my being and life.

“And they bound Jesus and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate. And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he answered him, “You have said so.” And the chief priests accused him of many things. And Pilate again asked him, “Have you no answer to make? See how many charges they bring against you.” But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed….. And Pilate again said to them, “Then what shall I do with the man you call the King of the Jews?” And they cried out again, “Crucify him.” And Pilate said to them, “Why? What evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him.” So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.”  (Mark 15:1-12)

A group of us from ODC have spent the last year going through the Gospel of Mark.  We are nearing the end of our study and I read the verses above this morning.   As I read it I understand the account of Jesus before Roman authority was of great importance to those who read Mark’s Gospel when it was written.  The Church in this time was under great persecution and many Christians were being arrested, tortured and put to death.   Those Christians reading this Gospel realized that if they stood firm in their faith, many of them would also stand before a tribunal as well and be subject to the same treatment as Jesus suffered.   Reading this Gospel they understood, as followers of Jesus they were to expect no preferential treatment.  Jesus clearly had said that his followers would be “handed over” to governors, various authorities, and kings for his sake and hated and held in contempt.  Christians needed to come to the deep understanding of the meaning behind the humiliation and suffering of Jesus as in the context of the will of God.  They then could prepare themselves for their own “passion narrative” they would face with faith and dignity.

In the midst of the “Prosperity Gospel” that is being proclaimed by many today, this passage in Mark reminds us that following Jesus as a true disciple of Him on earth does not lead to preferred treatment in our life, financial and other situations, it leads to a cross.  Following Jesus does not lead to a “preference narrative” but a “Passion Narrative,” understanding “passion” to mean suffering.  As Paul plainly speaks this in his words to Christians, “To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things.” (1Corinthians 4:11-13)  

My family, I pray today a difficult prayer over you.  That you will spend time in Scriptures and deep prayer and understand that following Jesus is not about gaining preferential treatment in the affairs or your life, but persecution.  Accepting this understanding will free you to love God and others like never before and prepare you to accept your upcoming “Passion Narratives” you will face with the faith and dignity of Jesus.  In Jesus’ name.  Please pray this same difficult prayer over me.  God bless you my friends!

Please share your thoughts and reflections in the comment box below.

 

Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower

One Direction Community

Email: garyl@onedirection.community

Website:https://www.onedirection.community

Facebook: One Direction Community-ODC 

I could use your financial support for One Direction Community, my family, and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around. Please partner and support myself and One Direction community through setting up a monthly donation or a one –time gift by clicking the link below. Donation checks can be made out to ODC, PO Box 1293 Madison, Al 35758.  

Thank You!

 

 

 

 

 

2 Comments

"You are Precious"

1 Comment

"You are Precious"

Good morning, Lord Jesus. Be in the midst of my heart and my thoughts and every moment of my day-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit of God.  ...

"I will give you shepherds after My own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. And when you have multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, says the Lord, they shall no longer say, 'The ark of the covenant of the Lord.' It shall not come to mind, or be remembered, or missed; nor shall another be made. At that time Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the Lord, and all nations shall gather to it, to the Presence of the Lord in Jerusalem, and they shall not longer stubbornly follow their own evil will" (Jeremiah 3:15-17).

The ark of the covenant of the Lord was made of wood, covered with gold, and carried the law of the Lord and evidence of the power of the Lord in its chest (Exodus 25:10-22; Hebrews 9:4). But today the ark of the covenant of the Lord seems to be lost or hidden from view, though many have searched for it. Even the ark of the covenant of the Lord--carrying the ten commandments of Moses, the budded staff of Aaron, and the manna of the wilderness journey, sealed with the mercy seat and covered by the holy cherubim-was but "a shadow of things to come" pointing toward "the substance of Christ" (Colossians 2:16-17; Hebrews 8:5). 

Lord Jesus Christ, You are the Presence of God. You are Immanuel, God with us, always with us, always within us, abiding in us as we abide in You, that we may carry the Word and the Spirit of God in our hearts and along our journey (Matthew 1:23). Father, Son, and Holy Spirit of God, You are One and Your are holy and You are within us (John 14:18). We don't seek after or worship a box covered in gold; we seek after the One we were created to worship in spirit and truth-for "the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth" (John 4:23-24). That “hour” is today.

Thank You, Lord, that our bodies are Your temple and our hearts are Your ark of the covenant of the Lord (1 Corinthians 3:16). You surround us with Your holy angels and lift us up into Your holy Presence, where we are safe and secure, forgiven and free, in the fullness of Your salvation (Psalm 91:1-16). Thank You that in Your Presence there is fullness of joy!" (Psalm 16:11) Thank You for Your shepherds after Your own heart you have placed in our paths who lead us into Your truth to feed us with knowledge and understanding of Your Word and Your Spirit (Ephesians 4:11). "Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!" which is "the surpassing grace of God that He has given (us)" in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 9-14-15). In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

 

My family,I pray this morning through prayer to the Father you come to know just how precious you are to God.  As you look in the mirror this morning please see and understand that your body is His temple and your heart is the ark of His Presence! As He abides in you and you abide in Him simply, right where you are, worship the Lord our God in spirit and truth, in Jesus' name! Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friends! 

Please share your thoughts and reflections in the comment box below.

Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower

One Direction Community

Email: garyl@onedirection.community

Website: https://www.onedirection.community

Facebook: One Direction Community-ODC 

 

I could use your financial support for One Direction Community, my family, and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around.  Please partner and support myself and One Direction community through setting up a monthly donation or a one –time gift by clicking the link below. Donation checks can be made out to ODC, PO Box 1293 Madison, Al 35758.  

Thank You!

 

 

 

 

1 Comment

"Pardon and Hope"

1 Comment

"Pardon and Hope"

Good morning, Lord Jesus. Embraced by my Father, centered in Christ, filled with the Holy Spirit-let this day be good day for Your glory through my life.   ...

"Behold I will bring it health and healing; I will heal them and reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth. And I will cause the captives of Judah and the captives of Israel to return, and will rebuild those places as at the first. I will cleanse them from all their iniquity by which they have sinned against Me, and I will pardon all their iniquities by which they have sinned and by which they have transgressed against Me. Then it shall be to Me a name of joy, a praise, and an honor before all nations of the earth, who shall hear all the good that I do to them; they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and all the prosperity that I provide for it.... Again there shall be heard in this place ... the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of those who will say:  'Praise the Lord of hosts, for the Lord is good, for His mercy endures forever'-and of those who will bring the sacrifice of praise in the house of the Lord!" (Jeremiah 33:6-11 NKJV)

Even in the days of great judgment against Israel for her sins and rebellion against You proclaimed through the prophet Jeremiah, You were always pointing their hearts in faith and hope to the time of repentance and restoration. Though they experienced the darkness of the depths of their sin and all the consequences that followed, even then Your heart was to bring "health and healing," the "abundance of peace and truth," Your "pardon" and Your "goodness" and Your "prosperity." Your heart was to return to Your people "the voice of joy and the voice of gladness."

I pray that for all the people of the nations of the earth. I pray that for the people of my nation, I pray for my neighbors, I pray for you my family, and I pray for my own heart. Let repentance bring revival! Let our sadness and sorrow, our darkness and gloom, be turned to joy and praise!  Though we have sinned and experienced the consequences of it, I pray for pardon and healing.  I praise You, Lord, for You are good and Your mercy endures forever! I praise you here in my heart and I praise You and thank You for Your forgiveness and grace, Your mercies that are new every morning, and Your heart to heal and restore. 

Father God, You are "longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9). Through Jesus Christ, the Messiah of Israel and the Savior of the world, You "so loved the world that (You) gave (Your) only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For (You) did not send (Your) Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved" (John 3:16-17 ) And when it's all be said and done, Your Word even says that "all Israel will be saved, as it is written:  'The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; for this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins" (Romans 11:26-27 NKJV).

With confidence in Your mercy and faith in Your Word, I look forward and pray for "the times of restoration of all things" (Acts 3:21). I join now with all who are moved by Your Spirit to pray Your will, may all who call upon Your name to be forgiven, free and receive hope through repentance and faith to be to You!" Let it be so here in my heart and here in my generation. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

My family, I pray this morning you begin with repentance of your sins and seek restoration so God will forgive you of you transgressions and you can experience "health and healing," the "abundance of peace and truth," the Lord's "pardon" and "goodness" and "prosperity," with "the voice of joy and the voice of gladness" rising up in your spirit this day and every day, in Jesus' name! Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friends! 

 

Please share your thoughts and reflections in the comment box below.

Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower

One Direction Community

Email: garyl@onedirection.community

Website: https://www.onedirection.community

Facebook: One Direction Community-ODC 

 

I could use your financial support for One Direction Community, my family, and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around.  Please partner and support myself and One Direction community through setting up a monthly donation or a one –time gift by clicking the link below. Donation checks can be made out to ODC, PO Box 1293 Madison, Al 35758.  

Thank You!

 

 

 

 

1 Comment

"Loving Our Neighbor In The Holy Spirit"

Comment

"Loving Our Neighbor In The Holy Spirit"

I begin my morning centering my thoughts and desires on you Father, Son and Spirit, 

“And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  Matthew 28:18-20"

In this popular passage of Scripture, Jesus commissions everyone there in hearing of his voice to go and make disciples of the nations, and he promises them through the presence of the Holy Spirit, that he will always be with them.  All who hear his voice today are called to the same commission, to go and make disciples of the nations by and in the same continuous power and presence of the same Holy Spirit.”

What does it mean to “Go and make disciples” in the power of the Holy Spirit?  For my main reflection today I am going to allow Fracis Chan to speak to you in short 9 minute video on experiencing, the calling and sending of the Holy Spirit.  Take some time now to watch it. Then read Acts 1:4-8, Matt. 28:18-20; John 20:21-22. 

My family, I pray today the Holy Spirit opens your ears to hear you call to “go” and opens your eyes to “see”those around you to whom you are sent.  Please pray the same for me. God bless you my friends!!

 Please post your comments and reflections in the comment box below.

 Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower

One Direction Community

Email: garyl@onedirection.community

Website:https://www.onedirection.community

Facebook: One Direction Community-ODC 

 

I could use your financial support for One Direction Community, my family, and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around. Please partner and support myself and One Direction community through setting up a monthly donation or a one –time gift by clicking the link below. Donation checks can be made out to ODC, PO Box 1293 Madison, Al 35758.  

Thank You!

 

 

 

 

Comment

Expectancy of Power

1 Comment

Expectancy of Power

Good morning Father, Son, and Spirit and begin my day asking you to lead, guide and direct me throughout my day today.

John Wesley,  the founder of Methodists states as he looked into the future of the growing denomination, “I am not afraid that the people called Methodists should ever cease to exist either in Europe or America. But I am afraid lest they should only exist as a dead sect, having the form of religion without the power.”

 This passage is one that haunts me,. Wesley’s quote applies not just to Methodism, but to all denominations, non-denominations, the church as a whole in America.  A Barnes study revealed that 70% of Protestant evangelical Christians do not encounter any form of the power of God through the Holy Spirit in their Sunday morning services.  It should challenge all who call themselves Christians.  I can’t read Wesley’s quote without asking myself the obvious question: Is the Church in America a dead sect, does it have the form or religion without the power? 

If I were to stand up in a church and ask, “How many people believe Jesus can raise dead?”  Many, hopefully all hands would raise up.  If I asked again, “How many people believe Jesus is raising the dead today?” How many hands would raise?  Believing that The Holy Spirit can raise the dead is different from expecting that the Holy Spirit is raising the dead.  The first belief contains past nostalgia and reminiscence, the second belief contains power for today.

In talking to and my experience with many churches and Christens there is a real lack of expectancy and power in their faith.  A lack of expectancy that the power of God is going to do very much at all.  Really.  Do you really think your prayers for somebody has the power to see the sick healed?  Or the whole time you are praying for their healing you are thinking in your head they better go see a doctor.  Now this is opening up a can of worms I know.  It is really not an either/ or.  But do we really believe we will see the power of God at work?  If someone who never stepped a foot in a church before however they read the Book of Acts and then walked into your church service.  Would they experience “church” and the power and presence of God like they read about?   Do we really believe we will see the kingdom come in the world around us?  Do I expect the most deprived neighborhood in Madison or Huntsville to come to Christ, become free of their addictions, have their lives be filled with love and turned around? Do you when you walk out your door in the morning really expect for God to do amazing things so that by the end of the day or the end of the week you will have amazing stories to tell about the power of God and what he is doing?  Because He Is!  And you have been invited to be part of it.  You have the indwelling of the power of the Holy Spirit to complete it.  What is ministry except a day by day, moment by moment invitation to step into something amazing and powerful that God wants to do in somebody’s life and have the privilege of seeing it happen.  However, to be able to expect the power of God to be present and happen in someone else you have to first embrace and expect the power of God in your own life. 

My family, Read Acts1:4-8, 4:29-33, Rom. 8:26-27; Eph. 3:14-21.  Then reflect on the power, confidence, and strength of your faith and ministry through the Holy Spirit.  Is your experience one of displays of the power of the Spirit or is it a “dead sect, having the form of religion without the power.” Pray for an expectancy of the power of God in your faith, in Jesus’ name.  Please pray the same for me.  God bless you my friends!!

Post as a comment below any prayers requests for power in your life or ministry so we can pray the power of the Holy Spirit over it.  Share an example to encourage us of how you have seen the power of the Holy Spirit recently in you ministry.

Please share your thoughts and reflections in the comment box below.

Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower

One Direction Community

Email: garyl@onedirection.community

Website: https://www.onedirection.community

Facebook: One Direction Community-ODC 

 

I could use your financial support for One Direction Community, my family, and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around.  Please partner and support myself and One Direction community through setting up a monthly donation or a one –time gift by clicking the link below. Donation checks can be made out to ODC, PO Box 1293 Madison, Al 35758.  

Thank You!

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Comment

"Baptized In The Spirit"

Comment

"Baptized In The Spirit"

Holy Spirit, come this morning and set a fire inside my soul, that I can’t contain, that I cant control.

All throughout both the Old Testament and the New Testament anointing of people, altars, places, and ministries was an act in which they were set- apart, commissioned, consecrated, sealed as God’s chosen instruments for his glory and his purpose.   You were anointed by the fire of the holy Spirit.  You were sealed in your baptism. 

In the lexicon BDAG, Baptism, in Greek “Baptizo” from the word “Bapto,” means to dip or dye.  A person in the first century would take his plain cloth to a “bapto” and if they dipped it in a pot of red dye, the dye would penetrate every fiber of the cloth and the cloth that came out would forever be identified as the color red.  You in your baptism were covered in the blood of Christ through the Holy Spirit that penetrated every fiber of your being and you are forever now identified in Christ. (Rev. 13:19)

Baptizo, baptism also has another meaning.  As a military term it means “to  completely overwhelm, annihilate, and conquer.  Josephus, Antiquities, a Jewish historian at the time of the life of Jesus, wrote in 70AD describing Rome’s invasion of Israel and destruction of the Temple, “Israel was baptized by Rome.”  The Temple was completely overwhelmed, conquered, and over-run by Rome..  When you were baptized, the Holy Spirit “invaded” every aspect of you spiritually and physically and your flesh was overwhelmed, conquered, and over-run by the Spirit. Just like the “Baptism” of Christ in his death and resurrection was a violent and cataclysmic event, so was your baptism, as you were baptized with and in Christ. (2Cor .5:17)

In Matt 3:11 John the Baptist cries out, “I baptize you with water, for repentance, but the one coming after me is more powerful than I am - I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.  You were anointed by the Holy Spirit at your baptism and marked, set apart, consecrated, and sealed for God’s glory.  You were overwhelmed and over run by the Holy Spirit and surrendered to the Lordship of Christ.  How long has it been since you were baptized?  Do you remember it?  Are you living out that anointing and setting apart you received for being washed by the blood of Christ?

My family, I pray you read Acts 2:1-13, Joel 2:28-32 and the passages I’ve listed above.  Then spend some time this morning in prayer remembering your baptism, and the anointing you received.  Ask the Holy Spirit for a new anointing and refilling of his Spirit into your life.  If you never have yet accepted being baptized and receiving the anointing of the Holy Spirit through faith in Jesus and been made new, I pray to will accept it today.  I’d love to talk to you about it, and I am sure your pastor, youth leader, spouse or a friend would as well.  Please pray the same for me.  God bless you my friends!!

Please share your thoughts and reflections in the comment box below.

Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower

One Direction Community

Email: garyl@onedirection.community

Website: https://www.onedirection.community

Facebook: One Direction Community-ODC

I could use your financial support for One Direction Community, my family, and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around.  Please partner and support myself and One Direction community through setting up a monthly donation or a one –time gift by clicking the link below. Donation checks can be made out to ODC, PO Box 1293 Madison, Al 35758.  

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"Holy Spirit"

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"Holy Spirit"

Good morning Jesus, breath in me again this morning your breath of the Holy Spirit.

"And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit." (John 20:22)

This past Sunday we celebrated Pentecost, the giving of the Holy Spirit to the Apostles and to all of us.  I was in a discussion with the Sunday morning worship leaders of a large church one Monday morning and the discussion turned to the worship services the day before.  The church they led worship in was a very large church.  It was blessed to have very talented and gifted musicians and singers leading its worship.  The church also had state of the art sound systems, lighting, video projectors, stage effects and stage backdrops.  They could put on a show!  In the discussion, one of the worship leaders commented on how smooth worship went yesterday. None of the musicians or singer missed a beat, the visual presentations were “spot-on” and the pastor, who is a good orator, presented his message well.  Everything “clicked” and fell together perfectly.  The worship leader then said something that stuck in my mind and troubled me.  He said, “That would have been a powerful worship service whether God showed up or not.”

             How do you know when the Holy Spirit is present at a church worship service?  In the midst of the audio and video effects on your senses of a contemporary service, or the ceremony and tradition of a traditional service, can you tell?  If “God did not show up” would you notice?  Do you intentionally seek the presence of the Holy Spirit in your personal prayer time?  How do you know when the Holy Spirit is present?  What signs of his presence and power are their in your daily lives?  Jesus tells us in John 4:23, "But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.” God seeks out worshippers who worship him in and through the Holy Spirit.

Jesus said in John 20:23 that the hour is now, today, that true worship of the Father will revolve around two things: Spirit and Truth.  In Johannian writings, (the books in the Bible who’s authorship is accredited to the apostle John) “truth” is a word John uses that refers to Jesus (Jn.14:6) and the word or will of God (Jn. 8:40).  Worship in most churches focuses on Jesus and the truth of God in Scripture, but the focus and reliance on the Holy Spirit in a church’s worship is often lacking.  As a result, many of our personal prayer lives lack an understanding of and the focus on the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.  My goal is to use this study and time together to help instill in the DNA of our lives the absolute necessity of reliance and guidance by the Holy Spirit.  It needs to be manifested in all areas of our life including both our personal and corporate worship, so the power of the Holy Spirit can be manifested in our daily lives.

 My family, for the next few blogs I am going to reflect on the Holy Spirit and the absolute necessity of His presence in our individual lives and the corporate life of the church,  I pray for the rest of this week to be in intentional time of seeking the Holy Spirit and a refilling and realigning of your heart, mind and soul to His presence in Jesus' name!  Please pray the same for me.  God bless you my friends!

We are seeking revelation of the Holy Spirit together.  So please post comments below  of your reflection and revelations to encourage us in this time together.

Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower

One Direction Community

Email: garyl@onedirection.community

Website: https://www.onedirection.community

Facebook: One Direction Community-ODC 

 

I could use your financial support for One Direction Community, my family, and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around.  Please partner and support myself and One Direction community through setting up a monthly donation or a one –time gift by clicking the link below. Donation checks can be made out to ODC, PO Box 1293 Madison, Al 35758.  

Thank You!

Holy Spirit’s attributes from the Scriptures

In my time spent searching the Bible I looked at verses on the Holy Spirit and what attributes of the Spirit they reveal.  I came up with 23 attributes. This is my personal list I came up with and not presented as the “correct” or total list. I have included them here for you to read over in your own personal reflection time.

  1.  Power, confidence, helper, strength: Acts1:4-8, 4:29-33, Rom. 8:26-27; Eph. 3:14-21
  2. Call, commissioning: Acts 1:4-8, Matt. 28:18-20; John 20:21-22
  3. Anointing: Acts 2:1-13, Joel 2:28-32
  4. Guiding prayer, visions and speaking: Acts 2:1-13; Rom 8:26-27
  5. Gifting: Joel 2:28-32
  6. .Sign bearing: Joel 2:28-32, Acts 4:29-33
  7.  Unity in the body: Acts 4:29-33, 1 Cor. 12:12-14; Ezekiel 11:17-20
  8.  Healing: Acts 4:29-33
  9.  Witnesses, convicts: Acts 5:29-32, Gal. 5:16-25; 1 John 4:13; Exodus 24:16
  10. God is source: Acts 5:29-32, Rom. 8:26-27; 1 John 4:13; Exodus 24:16; Ezekiel 11:17-20
  11. Jesus is source: 2 Cor. 3:17-18, John 4:14, 20:21-22
  12. Source of belonging and adoption: Rom. 8:1-17
  13. Indwelling in us, source of holiness: Rom 8:1-17, 15:13; 1 Cor. 3:16-17, 1 Cor. 6:9-11; 2 Cor. 3:17-18; Eph. 3:14-21; 1 John 4:13
  14. Opposes the flesh: Rom 8:17; Gal. 5:16-25
  15. Fruits of the Spirit: Rom. 15:13, Gal. 5:16-25
  16. Teacher, revealer, gives us knowledge of God, Jesus: 1 Cor. 2:9-16, Eph. 3:14-21
  17. Washes, cleanses, sanctifies, baptizes, transforms: 1 Cor. 6:9-11, 12:12-14, 2 Cor. 3:17-18; Matt. 28:18-20
  18.  Source of spiritual gifts: 1 Cor. 12:5-11
  19. Source of eternal life, salvation: Romans 8:1-17, John 4:14, Joel 2:28-32
  20. Freedom from the Law: Gal. 4:3-7
  21. Adoption: Gal. 4:3-7; Rom. 8:1-17, Ezekiel 11:17-20
  22. Part of the Triune of God: Matt. 28:18-20
  23. Needed for true worship: John: 22:23

Here is a short 2 minutes video by Francis Chan on the Holy Spirit.  He uses the video to present his book "The Forgotten God" which is a great book to read on the Holy Spirit.  The video also helps set the tone for focus on the Holy Spirit.

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"Doing Good"

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"Doing Good"

Good morning, Lord Jesus. I welcome You here in my heart and every moment of my day.  

"Then Peter began to speak to them:  'I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears Him and does what is right is acceptable to Him. You know the message He sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ-He is Lord of all. That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced:  how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how He want about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him" (Acts 10:34-38).

Yesterday we celebrated Pentecost, the giving of the Holy Spirit to us and the birth of the church. Yesterday, I personally also celebrated the graduation of my youngest daughter from high school with a back yard full of family and friends.  In spite of a thunderstorm that rolled through, it was a day of joy and a good event for my daughter.  This morning I reflected on both these celebrations. 

Lord Jesus, as You walked this earth as the Son of Man-in the nature of man, in the likeness of human flesh and blood-You were anointed with the Holy Spirit and with power. And in Your power, You went about "doing good." Going about "doing good" didn't just mean helping little old ladies across the street, being kind to the cashier, or making a donation to the inner city mission. I'm sure You did all those things and more in Your own way as You were led by the Spirit to see what the Father was doing.

But for You, "doing good" meant sharing your Gospel of good news with people,  healing the broken and casting out demons to deliver them from evil in the anointing and abiding presence of the Holy Spirit. This is exactly what You said You would do and why God the Father had poured out the anointing of God the Holy Spirit upon You, declaring:  "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor!" (Luke 4:18-19)

Come, Holy Spirit. Anoint me with Your abiding presence to go about doing good today-not merely naturally in my own power, but also supernaturally. May I be an authentic ambassador and disciple to represent Your name with Your nature, with the authority of the name of Jesus on my lips and the character of the nature of Jesus in my heart. "We are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making His appeal through us" (2 Corinthians 5:20). As You are, so are we to be in our world (1 John 4:17). Just as the Father sent You, so You send us (John 20:21).

I can't do any of that in my power, but only in Your power. Apart from You, I can do nothing (John 15:5). But I thank You that I'm never apart from You (Matthew 28:20). You are "Lord of all" and Lord of my heart (Acts 10:36). So You have empowered me with Your Spirit-"the Spirit of Christ" within me (Romans 8:9). And the same Spirit that raised You from the dead is the same Spirit who lives in me (Romans 8:11). Now by God's grace and Spirit of God, anointing me and empowering me, may I boldly and faithfully go about "doing good" for Your glory today. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

My family,I pray you go about "doing good" both naturally and supernaturally today with the authority of the name of Jesus on your lips and the character of the nature of Jesus in your heart, in Jesus' name! Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friends! 

Please share your thoughts and reflections in the comment box below.

Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower

One Direction Community

Email: garyl@onedirection.community

Website: https://www.onedirection.community

Facebook: One Direction Community-ODC 

I could use your financial support for One Direction Community, my family, and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around.  Please partner and support myself and One Direction community through setting up a monthly donation or a one –time gift by clicking the link below. Donation checks can be made out to ODC, PO Box 1293 Madison, Al 35758.  

Thank You!

 

 

 

 

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