An Ambassador for Him

“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” – Matthew 10:16 If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my life, it’s that Jesus is a good Father. He prepares us by training and equipping us so that we are never unprepared for life’s fights and problems. In Matthew 10, for example, Jesus commissions his disciples to carry on the work of His Kingdom in the same way that He has modeled it to them. He gives them the power to banish demons and heal the ill, but He also warns them. He warns them that they will be like sheep among wolves when they venture out. I don’t know about you, but that wouldn’t make me feel very safe, and it certainly wouldn’t get me enthused about the travel. The caution, on the other hand, comes with a

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Planning for the Storm

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” – Matthew 7:24-27 We discussed yesterday how the ability to thrive in turmoil is an indication that we are living in the fullness of God’s Kingdom. Today, we’ll look at how Jesus teaches us a similar lesson in the parable of the wise man who built his

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How Will You Handle the Fire?

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?” – Luke 14:28 I love that Jesus encourages us to consider possible outcomes before we make decisions. He told His disciples to count the cost prior to following Him, and I think it’s safe to say that He wants us to be people who are proactive in dealing with the problems and complexities of life. Along these lines, I heard an anecdotal story once that said if there’s a fire burning in a building and there are ten people in it, one person will flee, one will stay calm and take action, and the other eight will freeze. Unfortunately, I think the latter is what many of us do when we’re assailed by unanticipated challenges. We seldom feel equipped for what comes

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Prepare Your Mind

“‘Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 2:16 Since we’ve already established in previous devotions the importance of moving from a posture of waiting to one of preparation, the next logical question is how do we do it? For the next few days, I want to talk about four specific things we can do to get ready to receive God’s best for our future. Taken from the ancient Hebrew ceremonial cleansing ritual called Mikvah, which the Jews would undertake whenever they entered the temple for worship, I hope these practical steps will empower us to focus on actively preparing for our next season. The first thing we must do to set the stage for what’s to come is to prepare our minds. Just as Jewish worshippers would wash their heads as a way of

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The Call to Prepare

“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning.” – Luke 12:35 When Hannah was pregnant with our first child, Haven, she was certain she was going to deliver after her expected due date. Since her mom had given birth six times and was late each time, she figured she would follow suit, and she kept saying it to me. I took her words to heart, so you can imagine my shock when she woke me up in the middle of the night three weeks before her due date. Half-dazed and with blurry eyes, I heard her tell me that her water had broken. Like a scene out of a movie, I stumbled and fumbled to get my stuff together so we could get to the hospital. Thankfully, we made it there in time and everything went smoothly once we arrived. However, when we got home, I realized just

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