"Revolutions Start at Home"

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"Revolutions Start at Home"

“Then Jesus entered the temple courts and began to drive out those who were selling things there, saying to them, “It is written, ʻMy house will be a house of prayer, but you have turned it into a den of robbers!”

Jesus was teaching daily in the temple courts. The chief priests and the experts in the law and the prominent leaders among the people were seeking to assassinate him, but they could not find a way to do it, for all the people hung on his words.” (Luke 19:45-48)

 Jesus, as I read this I see that revolutions begin at home.  Your revolt against sin, religious corruption, and materialism began in “Your house.”  If I were to read through your Old Testament I would see throughout it, Whenever God wants to initiate a revolution and radical return to Him in Israel’s midst, he begins at home, he begins with their worship practices.  He did so with Josiah as He used him for revolt and reform.

“The king ordered Hilkiah the high priest, the priests next in rank and the doorkeepers to remove from the temple of the Lord all the articles made for Baal and Asherah and all the starry hosts. He burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron Valley and took the ashes to Bethel. He did away with the idolatrous priests appointed by the kings of Judah to burn incense on the high places of the towns of Judah and on those around Jerusalem--those who burned incense to Baal, to the sun and moon, to the constellations and to all the starry hosts. He took the Asherah pole from the temple of the Lord to the Kidron Valley outside Jerusalem and burned it there. (2 Kings 23:4-6)

When God is going to make a move he begins by restoring the core of worship. Jesus was not part of the religious church of His day. He was not a Pharisee, Scribe, Priest, Elder or a religious leader, but He goes straight to their center, their worship, and where they encounter God, The Temple. And His goal is revelution, to turn everything around.

"It is written,"he said to them, "'My house will be a house of prayer'; but you have made it 'a den of robbers.'"

The Temple was supposed to be a place where the poor and the oppressed found refuge. Instead, they found themselves overlooked and pushed to margins of the society. The religious insiders had turned it into a place of privilege that looked at worldly status, wealth and privilege. The exact opposite of what God intended had happened. 

Jesus, your story in Luke is also relevant today. The church has been a place of beautiful steeples where power, privilege and wealth collect.  Where people hang out with others of the same social views, political views, who drink coffee and listen to Casting Crowns. No wonder we speak so much of “going to church.” And the poor and the oppressed find themselves pushed out to the margins of society and blamed for their own condition. 

Jesus, it is time for some reform at home again. Cut through the ritualistic ruts of the religious tracks in our churches, We invite You to come in and turn over some tables and drive out what should not be there.  And where is your temple, your home where You reside today? It is in your people.  It is in me! You and I are the living temples where the presence of God through His Holy Spirit resides.  So Lord Jesus, I ask you to come turn over tables in me!  Reveal in my heart and mind, areas in my body, your Temple, that I have corrupted and made a “Den of Thieves.”  Areas where I have placed obeying and identifying with religion, denomination, and church practices and traditions over obeying and identifying with You.  Remind me that I don’t work for a church or denomination, I work for You so I do not burn out or sell out.  Cleanse your Temple, cleanse me today! Cleanses the stable of my heart where Immanuel, the babe of Christmas resides. Start a revolution in me! Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy.

My family, I pray today that you in prayer and the Holy Spirit you invite Jesus into your heart and life to turn over tables of areas of corruption, outward sin, and religious idolatry,  I pray you ask Him to have mercy on you, cleanse you, and begin a radical revolution of love and grace at home, which is you.  In Jesus’ name.  Please pray the same for me!  God bless you my friends!

I never intended this blog to be solely a one way correspondence. I really would love to hear your reflections, and I believe they would encourage others. So please share your reflections and prayers with us on this blog 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

Give A Gift This Christmas

I could use you’re the gift of your financial support for my family and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around.  Please partner and support my family and ministries through setting up a monthly donation or a one –time gift by clicking the link below. Donation checks can be made out to ODC, 102 Champions Green Drive, Madison, Al 35758.

Thank You!  

 

 

 

 

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"A Sad Encounter With Jesus"

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"A Sad Encounter With Jesus"

Good morning Jesus, I breath in your Spirit this morning, as you are my breath of life. 

This morning, I am sharing a post from a good friend of mine who also writes a daily blog post.  His name is J.D. Walt and he is the Sower in Chief at seedbed. https://www.seedbed.com  He wrote this blog on Luke chapter 18 over three years ago in March of 2015 and I love what JD speaks into so I saved it. 

“A certain ruler asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" "Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good--except God alone. You know the commandments: 'You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.'" "All these I have kept since I was a boy," he said.

When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy. Jesus looked at him and said, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."

Those who heard this asked, "Who then can be saved?" Jesus replied, "What is impossible with man is possible with God." Peter said to him, "We have left all we had to follow you!"

"Truly I tell you," Jesus said to them, "no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life." (Luke 18:18-30)

I’ve thought about this a lot in recent years. Let’s say I was leading a church and this same rich young ruler came forward after a service and asked me, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” How would I answer that question. For that matter, what if this same person came forward at a Billy Graham Crusade and asked the same question. What answer would they get?

In both cases, the person would likely be led in a prayer that goes something like the following:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. In Your Name. Amen.

We would give them some literature and encourage them to become active in the local church and that would be that. Well, . . . . we would probably hit them up soon for a big donation to the capital campaign too. J. This has been the basic shape of evangelism and discipleship in the North American evangelical church for the past 50 years.

Notice how drastically different Jesus answers the question:

"You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

How do we reconcile such a disparity between what Jesus says and the conventional practice of today? I don’t think we can.

Doesn’t it strike you as a bit dangerous to depart so drastically from Jesus’ approach? All things equal, wouldn’t we be giving the rich ruler a profoundly false sense of security in their eternal salvation? At the same time, I can’t picture myself responding in the same way Jesus did.

So what if this entire “sinners prayer” approach to eternal salvation is all wrong? I mean, it’s not actually in the Bible anywhere, nor do we see it anywhere in the early church or church history for that matter.

On the other hand, surely salvation can’t come down to money and one’s relative attachment or detachment from it. Justification by grace through faith would go right out the window if selling everything one had and giving it to the poor were a requirement. So what gives here?

My take: I don’t think salvation is such a transactional reality. I think it’s far more relational. Can a person come to faith in an instant? Sure. “Love at first sight” happens. More often than not, though, I think it takes time. Maybe it takes following Jesus for more than a church service or two to be ready to offer up your entire allegiance to him. What if a little bit of discipleship (i.e. following Jesus) actually opens up the door for evangelism to happen rather than the reverse case?

Let me suggest a few assumptions that might change our take on the passage at hand. First, I think it’s fair to assume that the rich ruler was following Jesus. He was in the midst of the people that day and had the courage to bring forth his question. Chances are he had been there before. Second, we know he went away sad, but we don’t know how it actually turned out in the end. Maybe he came back around. Maybe he realized his wealth actually had him and that Jesus was right and he had to do something drastic to escape its gravity. Maybe he came to grips with the hard reality that his money stood between himself and Jesus.

That’s how I’m thinking about it. What if we didn’t feel like we had to soft-pedal Jesus when he says unreasonable things like this? What if we just let Jesus be Jesus? What if we just “listened to him,” instead of explaining how he couldn’t possibly mean what he said. What if we were willing to let people go away sad when something Jesus says makes them sad? What if we could let them sit in that sadness a bit? What if we could sit with them in that sadness a bit? What if that’s actually what real discipleship is all about; feeling the weight of the cross a bit, counting the cost, weighing allegiances, making hard yet life-giving choices?

I’m obviously still thinking this through. And the more I think about it, the more I am led back to the prayer. . . . .Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner. by JD Walt

My family, I pray this morning you take time to reflect on the actual state of your relationship with Jesus.  How are you a real disciple? In what ways are you shouldering and bearing the weight of the cross? What relationships and lifestyles choices are you making because of your relationship with Jesus? I pray today you ask Jesus the hard questions, and listen and obey his hard answers.  In Jesus’ name.  Please pray the same for me.  God bless you my friends! 

Please share your reflections and prayers with us on this blog 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

Give A Gift This Christmas

I could use you’re the gift of your financial support for my family and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around.  Please partner and support my family and ministries through setting up a monthly donation or a one –time gift by clicking the link below. Donation checks can be made out to ODC, 102 Champions Green Drive, Madison, Al 35758.

Thank You!

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"Reveal Skills and Gifts"

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"Reveal Skills and Gifts"

Good morning, Lord Jesus. Help me hear what You're saying, see what You're doing, sense Your Presence and follow Your leading.  

  “Now at one point the Pharisees asked Jesus when the kingdom of God was coming, so he answered, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed, nor will they say, ʻLook, here it is!ʼ or ʻThere!ʼ For indeed, the kingdom of God is in your midst.” (Luke 17:20-21)

"Moses then called Bazalel and Oholiab and every skillful one to whom the Lord had given skill, everyone whose heart was stirred to come to do the work; and they received from Moses all the freewill offerings that the Israelites had brought for doing the work on the sanctuary. They still kept bringing him freewill offerings every morning, so that all the artisans who were doing every sort of task on the sanctuary came, each from the task being performed, and said to Moses, 'The people are bringing much more than enough for doing the work that the Lord has commanded us to do.' " (Exodus 35:2-5).

You've given each of us a skill to build up Your people and extend Your kingdom. With our freewill, we're invited to offer our gifts in service to You with "whatever gift each of (us) has received" (1 Peter 4:10). Together, we are the sanctuary You're building, the place of Your abiding Presence on this earth. And Your kingdom is within us (Luke 17:21).

Jesus, as we seek You, show us our gifts and our place of service to You wherever we are. Let Your Spirit stir in our hearts to come do the work of the kingdom of God. Wherever we are, we carry Your kingdom with us, for Your kingdom is within us -- at home, at work, in the market, in the church, down the street and across the oceans. And as we each do our part in this labor of love with the gifts of God, we find we are fulfilled. We find we have "much more than enough for doing the work that he Lord has commanded us to do." And we find Your heart for us is, "Well done" (Luke 19:17).

"Our God will make (us) worthy of His call and will fulfill by His power every good resolve and work of faith, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in (us), and (we) in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12). In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

My family, I pray the Holy Spirit will reveal your skills and the gifts of God within you. I pray He will stir in your heart to fully offer yourself and your gifts for the work and glory of the kingdom of God wherever you are. Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friends!

 Please share your reflections and prayers with us on this blog 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

Give A Gift This Christmas

I could use you’re the gift of your financial support for my family and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around.  Please partner and support my family and ministries through setting up a monthly donation or a one –time gift by clicking the link below. Donation checks can be made out to ODC, 102 Champions Green Drive, Madison, Al 35758.

Thank You!  

 It’s not to late! IF YOU HAVE NOT YET, JOIN IN!!

We started 10 weeks ago beginning the journey of reading through the New Testament in a year and we still have 42 weeks to go! This plan has only one chapter to read each weekday. There are no assigned readings on the weekend.  This week we will continue on in Luke Chapters 17-21.   The plan we will use is from Bibleplan.org.  Click the button below to go to the site, enter the starting date Sept. 17. 2018, enter your email, and a time you want to receive an email reminder, then click subscribe.  Every weekday then you will receive an email reminder of the chapter reading for that day.  

CLICK HERE TO JOIN 

 

 

 

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"Leave The Church"

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"Leave The Church"

Father, Son and Spirit, I thank you that you delight in this time I shre with you this morning.

“So Jesus told them this parable: “Which one of you, if he has a hundred sheep and loses one of them, would not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go look for the one that is lost until he finds it? Then when he has found it, he places it on his shoulders, rejoicing. Returning home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, telling them, ʻRejoice with me, because I have found my sheep that was lost.ʼ I tell you, in the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need to repent.” (Luke 15:3-7)

Jesus, as I read this parable and the one that follows in vs. 8-10, I see that to you the lost, those that are caught up in sinful lifestyles and don’t know you as Lord, have extreme value to you.  They are a treasure so great to you that you leave behind all that you have to go seek them and find them.  You went and hung out at places they hung out, invited them to share meals at your table, and proclaiming the good news of deliverance to them was at the heart of your ministry. You loved them. You even said “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mark 2:17)

I do not see that value for the lost as a treasure to be sought out in the church today.  The  “lost” are something to avoid and stay away from and people use the term “lost” towards others in a derogatory way or gossip about them in parking lots or small groups.  We desire to be in a “Sanctuary”apart from the lost.

Jesus, if you had one day to physically come back to earth, you would not visit my church, or any church, however you would visit prisoners in jail. You would not want to hear a church choir practice, but the hear stories of the homeless and addicted in the streets. You would not share a meal a Wednesday night church gathering, but at the happy hour of a bar with those who have no church family.  We in the church, we read the stories like these in Luke 15, we know that is what you did, we know we are called to imitate our lives after yours, so why don’t we value and seek out the lost like you did?  When was the last time you planned a day or activity that was centered around seeking, finding, and sharing the Gospel with your brothers and sisters that do not know Christ?  When was the last time you valued a co-worker, neighbor, classmate, or anyone who does not love Jesus enough to have a conversation about Jesus with them?  When was the last time your heart truly broke and mourned for the lost, that you spent time on your knees praying for them?  When was the last time you shouted with joy and rejoiced because you had led someone into the saving grace of Jesus Christ?  Earlier this week?  Last week? Last month?  Last Year? 5 Years ago? 

I would truly rather no one who attends a church service on Sunday show up and instead; goes visit their local jail, hangs out and prays with people in the Emergency waiting room of a hospital, goes into a bar, walks the street with the homeless, walks the mall praying over and with people and workers, or in some other way actively seeks “lost” treasure. And so would Jesus.

My family, I pray today your heart will brake and mourn in prayer over your brothers and sisters who are perishing without Christ.  I pray today you will intentionally and actively plan out, set a date, time, and place when you will leave your “99”; (your routine and comfort) and imitate Jesus and go out seeking lost treasure.  What else would be a better gift to Jesus this Christmas? In Jesus’ name. Please pray the same for me.  God bless you my friends!

Please share your reflections and prayers with us on this blog 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

Give A Gift This Christmas

I could use you’re the gift of your financial support for my family and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around.  Please partner and support my family and ministries through setting up a monthly donation or a one –time gift by clicking the link below. Donation checks can be made out to ODC, 102 Champions Green Drive, Madison, Al 35758.

Thank You!  

 


 

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"Christmas Is Not My Birthday"

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"Christmas Is Not My Birthday"

“Jesus said to him, “A man once gave a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time for the banquet he sent his slave to tell those who had been invited, ʻCome, because everything is now ready.ʼ But one after another they all began to make excuses. The first said to him, ʻI have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please excuse me.ʼ Another said, ʻI have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going out to examine them. Please excuse me.ʼ Another said, ʻI just got married, and I cannot come.ʼ”  (Luke 14: 16-20) 

Jesus, in the parable you gave above, the people invited to the great banquet feast gave excuses why they could not attend.  You invite me into a great celebration as well, Your birth, the birth of Jesus the Christ, Immanuel, God with us!  However, Christmas is not my birthday, it is Yours.  Attending Your party is not about me getting all I want it, is about me surrendering all I have to You.  So before I say Yes, and accept your invitation into Your banquet as a disciple of Yours, I need to read carefully Your invitation contained in chapter 14 before I accept it.  In Your invitation You say: 

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother, and wife and children, and brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” (v.26)

“Whoever does not carry his own cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” (v. 27)

“not one of you can be my disciple if he does not renounce all his own possessions.” (v.33)

Before you head off to the party, consider all it will cost you, and if you are not willing to give it all, turn around.  (My paraphrase of vs. 28-29) 

Saying you are a Christian is good, as long as you continue to surrender, obey and imitate Christ.  If you stop and are a Christian by name only, your witness stinks like crap. (My paraphrase of vs. 34-25)

After reading and understanding what Your invitation to Your Christmas party says, what the cost to attend the great banquet actually is, I can understand why those asked to attend the banquet in the parable above made excuses not to attend.  It made me reflect on I have cut and pasted Your invitation to make it imitate the world and read that it is all about me, instead of imitating Jesus and being all about You. I am sorry about that.  Christmas is not my birthday it is Your’s Jesus. This morning Jesus, help me remove all the excuses I have made not to attend Your banquet of disciples.  Let people not identify me as a Christian because that is what I say I am,  but because my life has the “flavor” of a Christian, in which they can, “taste and see that the Lord is good!” (Psalm 34:8).  In Jesus’ name. Amen.

My family, I pray today you take time to read Luke chapter 14 and understand what His invitation to His Christmas banquet of discipleship actually says.  I pray your reflections reveal to you that Christmas is not your birthday about you receiving, but Jesus’ birthday and about you surrendering.  Please pray the same for me.  God bless you my friends!

Please share your reflections and prayers with us on this blog 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

Give A Gift This Christmas

I could use you’re the gift of your financial support for my family and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around.  Please partner and support my family and ministries 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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"Give Me The Kingdom"

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"Give Me The Kingdom"

Good morning, Lord Jesus. I want to begin my day with You -- meditating on the written Word, in the communion of prayer with the living Word. You are the Word of God; and I'm watching and waiting for God's Word to speak to my heart.  ...

"Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Luke 12:32).

You're a good Father. And it's Your good pleasure to give me the kingdom. What is "the kingdom" that You desire to give me, my Father?  ...

As I sit and listen, this Scripture comes to my heart:  "For the kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Romans 14:17). 

Yes, Lord. Everything I need to experience Your righteousness, it is Your good pleasure to give me. Everything I need to experience Your peace, it is Your good pleasure to give me. Everything I need to experience Your joy, it is Your good pleasure to give me. And You do give it all to me through Your Holy Spirit -- the "Spirit of God (who) dwells in (me)" (Romans 8:9) -- the "Spirit of God" who leads me and positions me to receive everything it is Your good pleasure to give me (Romans 8:14). You know everything I need, so You invite me to ask and command me not to worry (Philippians 4:6).

Thank You, my Father. It's not prideful or selfish  for me to seek and to receive all these things that it's Your good pleasure to give me. It brings You joy to bring me joy -- righteousness and peace and joy. It delights You to delight in me. "For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs!" (Zephaniah 3:17 NLT)  

So may it be my good pleasure to delight You this morning by graciously receiving from You all You're generously giving to me in Your good pleasure. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

My familyI pray you'll ask for and receive everything it's your Father's good pleasure to give you, delighting in Him as He delights in you with gladness, in Jesus' name! Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friends!

Please share your reflections and prayers with us on this blog 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

Give A Gift This Christmas

I could use you’re the gift of your financial support for my family and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around.  Please partner and support my family and ministries 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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"Majoring on the Minors"

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"Majoring on the Minors"

Jesus, speak to me this morning as I am listening for your words of life

“As he spoke, a Pharisee invited Jesus to have a meal with him, so he went in and took his place at the table. The Pharisee was astonished when he saw that Jesus did not first wash his hands before the meal.” (Luke 11:37-38)

Jesus, if You lived physically on the earth today and I invited You to spend a day with me, what would I be astonished by because of the things You do and do not do?  I claim I know You, however how much of the image I have for You is a creation of  my image, my actions, my religion, and my beliefs that I have imposed on You.  The Pharisees, who spent much time reading Your Word, understanding Your laws and rules, and who were the “experts” in modeling and living out “Holy Living” and teaching others to do the same, got much about You wrong. So it makes me reflect this morning on how much of my image of You I have that is wrong 

For “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? “(Romans 11:33-34)  Remind me of this today Jesus.  Let me apply to my heart and life Your words to the Pharisees.

“Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You fools! Didn’t the one who made the outside make the inside as well? But give from your heart to those in need, and then everything will be clean for you.” (Luke 11:39-41) 

Jesus. Your illustration of only washing, cleaning the outside of the cup and not the inside shows you knew what they were thinking and deliberately set up a contrast that charged them with hypocrisy and majoring on minors.  Jesus, you know what I am thinking as well.  I do not want to be a hypocrite.  I do not want to major on the minors.  

So by Your Holy Spirit free me today from my image I have imposed on you Jesus.  Come out of the “box” I have put you in and reveal yourself to me in a way that is new. Astonish me today! Shake me to my core so all the characteristics I have placed on you fall away, and I experience only Jesus. That way I can see, enter into the lives, and love those around me today like You would.  In Jesus’ name.

My family, I pray today you ask the Holy Spirit to give you a new revelation of who Jesus really is.  I pray you are directed away from focusing and cleaning the outside of the cup but cleaning the inside, directed away from majoring on the minors, and you are astonished by who Jesus really is.  Please pray the same for me.  God bless you my friends. 

Please share your reflections and prayers with us on this blog 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

Give A Gift This Christmas

I could use you’re the gift of your financial support for my family and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around.  Please partner and support my family and ministries 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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"Only One Thing"

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"Only One Thing"

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

"Now as they went on their way, He entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha, welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to what He was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to Him and asked, 'Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.' But the Lord answered her, 'Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her" (Luke 10:38-42)

Martha was so sure of Your answer she didn't even wait to her it. She asked, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself?"  But she didn't wait to hear what You would say. She assumed You would be saying, "Yes. You're right. Mary is wrong and you are right. Mary, get to work and quit wasting your time sitting at My feet and listening to Me." No, she just went right on with her assumption to say, "Tell her then to help me."

But You didn't tell Mary to help Martha. No, You defended Mary. In fact, You insisted that what she had in those moments of waiting and listening in the intimacy of Your Presence would "not be taken away from her." Incredibly, You didn't just say it was the best thing she could be doing or the most honoring or most effective thing she could be doing. You said "There is need of only one thing."

So before I go about the work that surrounds me today, before I get busy doing all the things that need to be done, I choose to embrace Your truth that "There is need of only one thing." And by the grace of God, it was not be taken from me. In fact, I believe You insist upon it.  In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

My family,I pray you will embrace the truth and the invitation of Jesus that there is need of only one thing, as you begin your day in the intimate Presence of the Lord, in Jesus' name. Please pray the same for me. I have to smile as I write these words this morning. I have the crud (nasal congestion, cough), I don’t fell well, and that almost convinced me to stay in bed and gave me an excuse to skip my time to pray and write my devotional to send out this morning. But I heard, "One thing" in my heart and knew I needed to take the time, that it is not a chore, but that it was a gift of God that would not be taken from me. Thank you for joining with me in the daily journey of prayer, our journey through the New Testament, morning by morning. God bless you, my friends!

Please share your reflections and prayers with us on this blog 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

Give A Gift This Christmas

The Liederbach family has been blessed to be used by God in missions and ministry in 2018. We have trained church planters, led discipleship trainings, and planted house churches and trained men and women in ministry. We have been “boots on the ground” in our community: prayer walked neighborhoods, served meals and held community gatherings out of our home, served in prisons, helped feed and cloth our neighbors and impact poverty, injustice and addiction in our communities and the world. God has been so faithful to us. As you pray over your giving this year, would you please consider giving the gift of your financial support for my family and those on the margins God has placed in our path we refuse to walk around. Please partner and support my family and ministries through setting up a monthly donation or a one –time gift by clicking the link below. Donations checks can be made out to ODC, 102 Champions Green Drive, Madison, Al 35758
Thank You!

Here is a photo carousel of a few snap shots of our ministries in 2018.Thank You!  

 

 

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"You Are Sent Forth"

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"You Are Sent Forth"

Good morning, Lord Jesus. I speak out Your name as the first word from my mouth, as I intentionally begin this day centered in Christ. ...

"On their return the apostles told Jesus all they had done. He took them with Him and withdrew privately to a city called Bethsaida. When the crowds found out about it, they followed Him; and He welcomed them, and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed to be cured" (Luke 9:10-11).

You modeled ministry for Your first disciples. When the lost, the hurting and the broken came to You for ministry, You welcomed them, You taught them about the kingdom of God, and You healed them.

Just as You modeled it, You sent forth the first twelve apostles to continue to Your ministry in the power of Your name (Luke 9:1-2). And after they returned, You sent forth seventy more to do the same ministry in the same of power (Luke 10:1). And after those seventy returned, You expressed Your heart for more and more of Your disciples to go forth and continue Your ministry, saying, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest" (Luke 10:2).

Today, You're doing the same. Today as Your church, we are Your body on this earth -- the body of Christ, filled with the Spirit of Christ, continuing the ministry of Christ. The same Holy Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead is now at work within and at work though us (Romans 8:11). You continue to send us forth into the harvest of the lost, the hurting, and the broken, saying to us what You said to Your first disciples, "As the Father sent Me, so I send you" (John 20:21).

As Your church, Your body, we are to continue to express Your heart through our lives. "So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making His appeal through us" (2 Corinthians 5:20). You continue to call us and commission us. You continue to equip us and anoint us to reach out to all who are suffering or sick, lost or afraid, wounded or bound and welcome them, teach them about the kingdom of God, and minister Your healing love in the power of Your name as they have need (James 5:13-18). 

Just as You have done for us, so we are to do for others (Matthew 10:8). Just as You have comforted us, so we are to comfort others (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). Lord, let us be faithful and obedient to Your heart and Your command. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

My family. I pray todaythe Holy Spirit equips you and anoints you to be one of the few workers of the harvest, and step out of your comfort zone and into peoples lives and welcome, teach and heal in the name and power of Jesus. Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friends!

Please share your reflections and prayers with us on this blog 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

Give A Gift This Christmas

The Liederbach family has been blessed to be used by God in missions and ministry in 2018. We have trained church planters, led discipleship trainings, and planted house churches and trained men and women in ministry. We have been “boots on the ground” in our n community: prayer walked neighborhoods, served meals and held community gatherings out of our home, served in prisons, helped feed and cloth our neighbors and impact poverty, injustice and addiction in our communities and the world. God has been so faithful to us. As you pray over your giving this year, would you please consider could giving the gift of your financial support for my family and those on the margins God has placed in our path we refuse to walk around. Please partner and support my family and ministries through setting up a monthly donation or a one –time gift by clicking the link below. Donations checks can be made out to ODC, 102 Champions Green Drive, Madison, Al 35758
Thank You!
 Here is a photo carousel of a few snap shots of our ministries in 2018.

 

 

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"The Extravagant Sower"

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"The Extravagant Sower"

Good morning Jesus, I begin my day opening my heart to allow you to pour your blood of the love, grace and mercy into my life.

“A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the air devoured it. And some fell on the rock, and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it. And some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold.” As he said these things, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” (Luke 8:5-8)

If you have been in the church for awhile, you probably heard many sermons on this text.  They all focus on the different soils, which result in Sermons focus on which heart conditions which are yours:

Are you that thorny hearted person?

Are you that Rocky or Shallow hearted person?

Are you the hard hearted person?

Are you the good soiled hearted person?

Well if I took a spiritual snap shot of your heart right now, a spiritual  photo, I guess it could be true that at this moment perhaps your heart is hardened now on some point or another.  Or you may have a rocky heart, or a thorny, choking heart now, or a good heart now.

But life is not a static snap shot is it, it is a moving picture.  There are times in our lives that we can’t hear God’s word, sometime we won’t hear it.  Some times we hear it, and we lose it.  There are times that anxieties and fears choke it.  Sometimes we receive it with Joy.. 

When I hear this parable and read the story about the seed that falls on the path and is eaten up, when I hear it I say to myself, That’s me!

When I hear about the story of how the seed fell on rocky places and there was shallowness, and the first time, persecution or suffering comes they fell away I say to myself: That’s me too.

When I hear the story about how one receives the Word and lets the worries of the world and materialism choke it away, I say to myself: That’s me too.

And when I hear the story of the seed falling on the good soil and it produces fruit 30x, 60x, 100x, I say to myself: Praise God that’s me too!!! Because in so many ways these soil represents various times in my life.

Yet this parable has never been called the parable of the soils.  It is of the sower. It is a parable about the sower.  God is sowing his seed into the world, his sowing was behind all the past saints, and behind the present and future saints, and behind you and me, sowing into the world!

The real story is: That God’s sowing is more consistent than the Devil’s snatching. His sowing is more powerful than the devil’s eating. His sowing is more enduring than the devil’s tribulation. His sowing is more persistent then the devil’s choking. The real good news of this parable is that God is the great extravagant sower in all the world, including you and me.

My family, I do not know what the snap-shot condition of the soil of your heart looks like this morning. However, I pray you open your heart, open your Bible, open your hands in prayer, and receive the seeds of love, grace, mercy and hope your Father, the extravagant sower, who is madly in love with you wants to sow into your life today.  In Jesus’ name.  Please pray the same for me.  God bless you my friends!

Please share your reflections and prayers with us on this blog 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

Give A Gift This Christmas

I could use you’re the gift of your financial support for my family and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around.  Please partner and support my family and ministries 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!  

 It’s not to late! IF YOU HAVE NOT YET, JOIN IN!!

We started 9 weeks ago beginning the journey of reading through the New Testament in a year and we still have 43 weeks to go! This plan has only one chapter to read each weekday. There are no assigned readings on the weekend.  This week we will continue on in Luke Chapters 7-11.   The plan we will use is from Bibleplan.org.  Click the button below to go to the site, enter the starting date Sept. 17. 2018, enter your email, and a time you want to receive an email reminder, then click subscribe.  Every weekday then you will receive an email reminder of the chapter reading for that day.  

CLICK HERE TO JOIN 

 

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"Patience"

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"Patience"

Good morning, Lord Jesus. Rule and reign in my heart and life today as King of kings and Lord of lords.  

 "Just say the word" and it shall be so” (Luke 7:7)

All that You've promised in Your Word and spoken in my heart will surely come. All will come in the appointed time. When You point, it will be time. When You speak, it will be done..

Sometimes it seems to me you delay speaking into my situation. You're timing is not always my timing, just as Your thoughts and Your ways are not always my thoughts and my ways (Isaiah 55:8). So Your Word reminds me:  "Do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with (us), not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:8-9).

As it turns out, it's not all about me. It's about me and so much more than me. It's about all You're doing every day, as You work in the heart of every soul, using everything that will happen in our broken, fallen world to bring us closer to You. You cause all things to work together for my good and the good of all (Romans 8:29). So I shouldn't be surprised and I shouldn't get discouraged when that seems to take a little more time than I'd like to spend in the places and situations I find myself. 

You give me the freedom to cry out, "How long, O Lord?" (Psalm 13:1) And at the same time, You've forever reserved the right to reply, "As long as it takes, My child."

Thank You for all Your patience with me. Give me the grace everyday to be patient in You. "For in hope we are saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience" (Romans 8:25). So with hope and patience, through the eyes of my heart, I look forward with vision for "the appointed time" to come, choosing to trust in You that you will not delay but be right on time. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

My family,I pray you will know a deep peace in the patience God gives you in His grace. I pray for patience and faith to wait for His appointed time to fulfill every promise He's spoken to you in His Word and to your heart, in Jesus' name. Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friends!

Please share your reflections and prayers with us on this blog 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

Give A Gift This Christmas

I could use you’re the gift of your financial support for my family and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around.  Please partner and support my family and ministries 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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"Ultimate Giver"

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"Ultimate Giver"

Good morning, Lord Jesus. Help me hear what You would speak to my heart, as I begin my day in communion with You -- Father, Son, and 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 6:37-38).

Yes, Lord. In many ways, what goes around, comes around; and we tend to get back what we dish out. Help me "do to others as (I) would have them do to (me)" (v. 6:31). I need lots of grace, so help me give lots of grace. I need lots of encouragement, so help me give lots of encouragement.

And I sure don't need lots of judgment or condemnation or unforgiveness or stinginess, so help me not be on the serving end so that I don't have to be on the receiving end. I don't want to reap it, so help me not sow it. I don't want to lay in it, so help me not make a bed out of it. As Your Word warns, "Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you will 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" (Galatians 6:7-8). 

Yesterday was “Thanksgiving” not Thanksrecieving.”  Today is “Black Friday” and it is the ultimate reversal and perversion of “The” Black Friday, “Good Friday”, the day you gave your life for me.  Today is also the ultimate reversal and perversion of the message and meaning Jesus’ life.  Your Black Friday was about giving, today it is about getting.  Your Black Friday was about others, todays Black Friday is about “me”.   You Jesus were the ultimate giver so as we enter this Christmas season that honors your birth, what better way to honor you than be ultimate givers ourselves. As Paul reminds us, “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”  (Acts 20:35) By the power of Your grace, help me sow to the Spirit today. Let me "not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time" (Galatians 6:9). And as I give in Your grace and sow in Your Spirit, help me not hold back but to give extravagantly! . "The one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.... God loves a cheerful give" (2 Corinthians 9:6-7). Let me be a cheerful giver of a good measure of Your grace by Your Spirit today. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen. 

Yesterday after our Thanksgiving meal, my wife Nancy and I made meals out of the Turkey, ham, and other items left on out table and delivered them to the cooks and waitresses at the Waffle House who had to work all day and not able to share in a meal.  Think of ways you can “give a good measure” to those around you.

My familyI pray you will be an ultimate, extravagant giver of a good measure of God's grace through your life today and this holiday season and reap a good measure of God's grace in the harvest to come, in Jesus' name. Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friends!

Please share your reflections and prayers on this post 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

This holiday, I could use the gift of financial support my family, and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around.  Please partner and support my outreach 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 Spirit of The Lord Is Upon Me"

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"The Spirit of The Lord Is Upon Me"

Good morning, Lord Jesus. Align my heart with Your heart and my will with Your will, O Lord, my God -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  

"Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about Him spread through all the surrounding country. He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone. When He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up, He went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, as was His custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to Him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:  '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 bling, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.'  He rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. Then He began to say to them, 'Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hear'" (Luke 4:14-21).

Lord Jesus, You're still healing the brokenhearted and setting the captives free in the power of Your Spirit (Isaiah 61:1 fulfilled in Luke 4:18). You're still fulfilling the scroll of Scripture, the Word of God, confirming Your identity and living out Your destiny.

Just as the Father sent You in the anointing and the power of the Holy Spirit, so You send us, saying "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, so I send you" (John 20:21). As we abide in You and You abide in us, Your Spirit flows through us in the power of Your love and grace everywhere You send us (John 15:5).

Fill me with Your Holy Spirit today (Ephesians 5:18). "Here am I; send me!" (Isaiah 6:8). Send me with the character of Your nature in my heart and the authority of Your name in my words, as You make me more like You each day (Romans 8:29). In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

My familyI pray you stand in prayer and declare the Spirit of the Lord God will be upon you today and every day, as the Lord sends you to minister His love and grace with nature of Jesus in your heart and authority of His name through your words, in Jesus' name. Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friends!

Please share your reflections and prayers 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

This Thanksgiving, I could use your financial support for my family, and those on the margins God has placed in my path I refuse to walk around.  Please partner and support myself 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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"By Your Fruit"

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"By Your Fruit"

Father, Son and Spirit I seek full fellowship with you so I can draw others into your fellowship.

“Therefore produce fruit that proves your repentance, and donʼt begin to say to yourselves, ʻWe have Abraham as our father.ʼ For I tell you that God can raise up children for Abraham from these stones! Even now the ax is laid at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”

So the crowds were asking him, “What then should we do?” John answered them, “The person who has two tunics must share with the person who has none, and the person who has food must do likewise.” (Luke 3:8-11)

The Jews relied heavily on their ancestry and heritage to prove they were the chosen people of God.  If asked by someone to prove their faith they would answer:

“Yes, I obey the Sabbath and go to the synagogue.

Or “Yes, I am a descendent of Abraham.”

Or “Yes, I am the son/daughter of ______________.”

 John forcefully rejected that claim and said their proof of their faith is not in their heritage or religion, it is in their fruit.  John’s words are directed towards us as well, as that is what we rely on as well.

If we are asked to prove our faith, if someone asks us if we are a Christian, what do we answer?  We get on the treadmill of religion and tradition.  In our response we say, “Yes, I attend __________________ church every Sunday. (Fill in the blank with your church name.).  

Or “Yes,  I am _________________ (fill in the blank with your denomination)

Or “Yes, my family has attended this church for years.”

Or ,”Yes, I serve on ____________church committee.”

Yet where is the fruit in this?  When most of us have enough cloths in our closets to cloth the average African village.  When we have more food in our fridge, freezer, and pantries than many around the world will see in a month.  When we have empty guest bedrooms while our brothers and sisters are sleeping on the streets in the cold.  John’s response to us would be, “You brood of vipers and hypocrites, you know the axe is set at your feet to cut down lives that don’t bear fruit.

Lord, Jesus, in this season of “getting,” “Thanks Receiving, ”Black Friday, and Christmas, let us repent and John calls us to do, and truly be a people who bear fruit as thankful givers and participate in “Thanks Giving.”   

My family, I pray this morning you read John’s words above and as the crowds that heard them, ask God in prayer, “What then should I do?”  In Jesus’ name.  Please pray the same for me.  God bless you my friends!

Please share your reflections and prayers 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

This Thanksgiving, 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 me 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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"Set Aside For The Priesthood of God"

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"Set Aside For The Priesthood of God"

Good morning, Lord Jesus. Draw me deeply into the communion of prayer, as I begin my day seeking Your face.   

"When the time came for the their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought (Jesus) up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (as it was written in the law of the Lord, 'Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord'), and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, 'a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons'" (Luke 2:22-24).

Under the law of the Old Covenant, the firstborn was dedicated and set apart to the priesthood of God. The living sacrifice of the firstborn was a life given over completely to service of God above all else. And now, under the New Covenant in Christ, we are all the firstborn of God. Jesus was "the firstborn among many" (Romans 8:29 NLT). 

Through Christ, each one of us is "a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God" (Romans 12:1). Each one of us is set apart, holy to the Lord, wholly surrendered to Him as "a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that (we) may proclaim the praises of Him who called (us) out of darkness into His marvelous light" (1 Peter 2:9). And each one us holds the inheritance and birthright of the chosen children of God -- "heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ" (Romans 8:17).

As I begin this week Father God, in the name of Jesus, I offer my life as a living sacrifice to You. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit, as You set me apart as "holy to the Lord," wholly surrendered to You. I embrace my inheritance as a child of God, an heir of God, a priest of God to proclaim the praises of the One who call me out of darkness and into Your marvelous light. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

My family,may you completely embrace the fullness of your inheritance and your calling as a child of God! You are a firstborn in Christ, dedicated and holy to the Lord and set apart for the service of God, in Jesus' name. Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friends 

Please share your reflections and prayers 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!  

 It’s not to late! IF YOU HAVE NOT YET, JOIN IN!!

We started 8 weeks ago beginning the journey of reading through the New Testament in a year and we still have 44 weeks to go! This plan has only one chapter to read each weekday. There are no assigned readings on the weekend.  This week we will continue on in Luke Chapters 2—6.   The plan we will use is from Bibleplan.org.  Click the button below to go to the site, enter the starting date Sept. 17. 2018, enter your email, and a time you want to receive an email reminder, then click subscribe.  Every weekday then you will receive an email reminder of the chapter reading for that day.  

CLICK HERE TO JOIN 

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Not "How", But "Who""

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Not "How", But "Who""

Good morning, Lord Jesus. My heart is open to hear Your heart, as I begin my day embraced by my Father's love, centered in my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and filled the Holy Spirit of the living God.   

"Mary said to the angel, 'How can this be, since I am a virgin?' The angel said to her, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the Child to be born will be holy; He will be called Son of God" (Luke 1:34-35).

Mary asked "How?" But the angel answered her "How?" with "Who."  The Holy Spirit would come upon her and empower her to fulfill her destiny as the mother of the Son of God. As the angel Gabriel assured her, "Nothing will be impossible with God" (v. 37).

Then believing by faith in her heart Who it was that chose her and Who it was that would empower her, she was able to say in obedience and trust, "Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word" (v. 38). All her questions of "How?" were suddenly consumed in Your assurance of "Who."

Just as You chose Mary, You've chosen me. Just as You empowered Mary, You will empower me. As the children of God in Christ, "(we) are a 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 2:6). You "chose us in Christ before the foundations of the world to be holy and blameless before (You) in love. (You) destined us for adoption as (Your) children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of (Your) will, to the praise of (Your) glorious grace that (You) freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.... In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to (Your) purpose Who accomplishes all things according to (Your) counsel and will.... (We) were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit... to the praise of (Your) glory" (Ephesians 1:4-13).

Like Mary, may Your Holy Spirit come upon me today. May the power of the Most High overshadow me. And may I faithfully embrace my chosen identity and fulfill my chosen destiny to the praise of Your glory. Take every one of my "How?s" and turn my faith to "Who" - the One Who will be faithful to bring to completion every good work You have begun in me (Philippians 1:6). Like Mary, let me say in my heart each day, "Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to Your word" (Luke 1:38). In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

My family, May the Holy Spirit come upon you and the power of the Most High overshadow you to know your identity and fulfill your destiny to the praise of God's glory through your life today, in Jesus' name. Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friends! 

Please share your reflections and prayers 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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"Monstrous, Cataclysmic, and Violent"

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"Monstrous, Cataclysmic, and Violent"

Good morning, Lord Jesus. Open the eyes of my heart and the ears of my spirit, as I begin my day seeking Your face and embracing Your presence.  ... 

“Then they went out and ran from the tomb, for terror and bewilderment had seized them. And they said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.” (Mark 16:8)

Next to the sin of Adam and Eve which led expulsion of Adam from the Garden of Eden, the removal of God’s presence and Heaven from earth, and the very nature of creation changed and cursed by mans fall, the resurrection of Jesus was the most cataclysmic event in the history of the earth. And the women came face to face with this reality, and it terrified them.

This passages helps me truly understood the monstrous, cataclysmic and violent impact the resurrection of Jesus Christ had on and in creation, and its forever alteration of the mission of the church, and the practice of ministry is changed.  The whole focus of the church changes from how we can get to heaven to how can we get heaven here.  When my mind more fully shifted to an understanding that the ultimate goal of a Christian is not to go to heaven, but to be resurrected into new life in the new earth in the age to come, my practice of ministry changes along with that understanding.  I then minister with a fuller realization of the value of the earth and creation, that what I do today matters and has eternal significance.  That though I do not fully understand how, I know that every act of kindness and justice I do today on this earth today is helping usher in the new earth, and it will be somehow transformed and present in the age to come.  Creation is valuable and not just something to exploit today because as some say “this world is not my home” and it will have no significant value in the future. 

Jesus, let my understanding of eternal life support and flow into and out of my understanding of the resurrection and the kingdom of God.  In my ministry I cringe inside every time I hear someone lead into a discussion on the importance of eternal life with the question, “If you got hit by a bus today do you know where you would go?” Eternal life was never intended to be a carrot to impart guilt and shame onto someone into believing.  Jesus never used shame to convince anyone.  This view of eternal life also fails to fully grasp the full significance of eternal life.  In John 10:10 Jesus says, “I have come so that they may have life, and life abundantly.”  He did not mean at some future day when they die, but today.  

            So in my ministry of relationships, discipleship, teaching and performing the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper,  may I always emphasize the benefits, hope, and possibilities of eternal life that are available to us today in and through these acts.  May I also try to stress this daily by living a life that reflects one living into and embracing the abundant life Jesus has given me.

My family, I pray you understand and enter into the resurrection of Jesus and it’s cataclysmic effect on creation and on you, and you embrace the hope, benefits, and possibilities that are available to you today from this event. In Jesus’ name.  Please pray the same for me.  God bless you my friends!

Please share your reflections and prayers on my blog 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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"Be Like Simon"

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"Be Like Simon"


Good morning Father, Son, and Spirit, I begin my day receiving you love, grace and mercy.

Early in the morning, after forming a plan, the chief priests with the elders and the experts in the law and the whole Sanhedrin tied Jesus up, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate… So Pilate spoke to them (crowds) again, “Then what do you want me to do with the one you call king of the Jews?” They shouted back, “Crucify him!...” So the soldiers led him into the palace….Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him.… Those who passed by defamed him, (Mark15:1, 12,  16,19, 29)

Jesus, as I read this passage this morning it hits my heart and saddens me how completely alone and abandoned You were in your suffering.  The chapter before tells us that at Your arrest,  “Then all the disciples left him and fled.” (Mark 14:50) In this passage everyone else rallies together against you: Chief priests, Elders, experts in the law, the crowds, Pilot, soldiers, passers by, all wanted to humiliate and hurt You, You were completely alone.

All except one man, Simon of Cyrene.  “The soldiers forced a passerby to carry his cross, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country” (Mark 15:21)  One man stepped out, embraced your cross, entered into your suffering, and walked with you.  The passage said he was forced, but he still did it. 

Lord help me be Simon today and everyday of my life.  Carrying your cross is not be the popular thing to do. Those in the crowd around me may ridicule me.  Like Simon, honestly in my flesh it may not be what I want to do and is way beyond my comfort zone.   Walking close with You, I will receive the brunt of people’s anger and get hit in the face by the spit that is intended for You.   However today I have to make a choice; will I be like Simon, or will I be like the rest of the crowd.  Holy Spirit give me the strength, fill me with love for Jesus and my neighbors and instill in me a heart of worship to embrace Jesus, embrace His cross, and carry it into a a desperate world that needs its love and redemption.

My family, I pray today you choose to be like Simon and not like the crowds around him.  In Jesus’ name.  Please pray the same for me.  God bless you my friends!!

Please share your reflections and prayers on my post 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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"Tear Open Your Heart"

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"Tear Open Your Heart"

Good morning, Lord Jesus. Be high and lifted up, here in my heart and every moment of my day.  ..

"Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, 'Have You no answer? What is it that they testify against You?' But He was silent and did not answer. Again the  high priest asked Him, 'Are You the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?' Jesus said, 'I AM; and 'you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power,' and 'coming with the clouds of heaven'" (Mark 14:60-62)

You are the Messiah, the Christ, the One who is both Son of Man and Son of God, the Word of God made human flesh like us, to walk among us and willingly lay down Your perfect and sinless life for us as the atoning sacrifice for all our sins that we might know You and live with You forever in the very presence of God. You are I AM (John 8:58; Exodus 3:14).

At that divine declaration, the high priest tore his garments in fleshly exasperation because he didn't believe You. But Your Holy Spirit compels all who would hear and believe to tear our hearts in holy desperation to welcome You in as Lord and Savior. "Yet even now, says the Lord, return to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; rend your hearts and not your clothing. Return to the Lord, your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and relents from punishing" (Joel 2:12-13). 

Come into my heart, Lord Jesus! I tear it open to You today! Fill me afresh with Your Holy Spirit. Remind me of Your sacrifice that compels me in Your love. "For God in all His fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through Him God reconciled everything to Himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ's blood on the cross.... As a result, He has brought (us) into His own presence, and (we) are holy and blameless as (we) stand before Him without a single fault. But (we) must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it" (Colossians 1:19-23).

By the grace of God, I'm a child of God, forgiven and free, through all You've done for me. "For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:21). Thank You Jesus! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

My family,I pray you are moved by the Holy Spirit to persist in the faith, compelled by love, in holy desperation tearing open your heart in ever-deeper surrender to the One who loves you and laid down His life for you, in Jesus' name! Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friends! 

Please share your reflections and prayers with us 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!  

 It’s not to late! IF YOU HAVE NOT YET, JOIN IN!!

We started 7 weeks ago beginning the journey of reading through the New Testament in a year and we still have 47 weeks to go! This plan has only one chapter to read each weekday. There are no assigned readings on the weekend.  This week we will continue on in Mark chapters 13-16 and Luke 1.   The plan we will use is from Bibleplan.org.  Click the button below to go to the site, enter the starting date Sept. 17. 2018, enter your email, and a time you want to receive an email reminder, then click subscribe.  Every weekday then you will receive an email reminder of the chapter reading for that day.  

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Be Ready!

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Be Ready!

Oh, how I love you Jesus…

“But as for that day or hour no one knows it - neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son - except the Father. Watch out! Stay alert! For you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey. He left his house and put his slaves in charge, assigning to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to stay alert. Stay alert, then, because you do not know when the owner of the house will return - whether during evening, at midnight, when the rooster crows, or at dawn - or else he might find you asleep when he returns suddenly. What I say to you I say to everyone: Stay alert!” (Mark 13:32-37)

Jesus, your last words of your public teaching, outside of the Temple, before your Passion narrative begins was both an encouraging pep talk and a warning: Be Ready!   We in America live our lives individualistically.  We believe we are independent, in control of our destiny, and the have the final say over our lives.  We in Christ forget that we have a Lord to whom we have surrendered every area of our life. That we did not independently save ourselves from not only the final hell, but the day to day hell we enter into when we choose to do things we choose in the flesh. That salvation was accomplished by Christ alone. “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:16)

So to our Lord, the one who paid the price for our sins we will be held accountable.  Not only in the last day at the return of Jesus the Christ, but daily as “The secrets of (our) hearts are disclosed..” (I Corinthians14:25)  We all need to abandon, confess, repent and remove attitudes and behaviors we are actively involved in and harbor in our hearts as they are seen by God and we will be held accountable for them before God.  “If someone cleanses himself of such behavior, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart, useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.” (2 Timothy 2:21).  Make no mistake, you will one day stand face to face with Jesus. If live your daily life ready, alert, and prepared for that encounter then when it does take place you will be blessed to hear Jesus speak these words over you, “You, however, have followed my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, my faith, my patience, my love, my endurance,” (2 Timothy 3:10)

My family, I pray today you look at the readiness, alertness, and preparations of your life to stand face to face with Jesus when he returns, and in the daily examination of your heart.  If you are caught up in an action, attitude, or behavior that you are not proud of bringing before Jesus, I pray today you bring into the light. Openly share and confess it with your pastor, another minister, church member, spouse, or friend, so you can walk out of its darkness and into His light, ready, alert and prepared to encounter Jesus.  In Jesus’ name.  Please pray the same for me. God bless you my friends! 

Please share your reflections and prayers 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.

Thanks You!  

 


 

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