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Day 8 – Sunday, September 24th, 2017 – Pastor Jereme Smith
Scripture Reading: Luke 15:32
Lost and found. What comes to your mind when you read those words? I read a story recently about a father who recalled a time when his son was 3 years old (he is now in his thirties). He said whenever his son was tired, scared, or just wanted to be held, he would reach out with his little arms and say “hodja daddy, hodja.” That was his three-year-old version of “hold me daddy, hold me.” The father said that his son, now in his adult life, came home from work one day and discovered that his wife had left him for another man. The son called his father, devastated, and asked if he could come over. Of course, he could, so he drove the five hours to his parents’ house. As soon as he walked through the front door, the son collapsed in his father’s arms. The father said he could imagine his son crying out, “hodja daddy, hodja.”
We were meant to connect with God. Sometimes, what we do or allow can become roadblocks to keep our soul from truly connecting with God and fulfilling our purpose in Christ. These situations, when left undone, can create DAMS, prohibiting the flow of heaven in our life, and DENTS, leaving lasting damage to our life. Dams are nothing more than unresolved issues in our life. Dents are the lasting damage from those unresolved issues. If we let things build up inside of us instead of giving them to Jesus, those issues will create dams stopping up the flow of God in us. As a result, we’ll go through life trying to constantly conceal the dents those issues have made.
Unforgiveness, offense and addictions are some of the big dams that seem to prohibit a lot of people from flowing in their purpose in Christ. Unforgiveness can be described as someone else living rent free in your mind. Offense is bitterness stemming from being bitter. The root word of bitter is bit, which is small. Living with offense, is really being a small-minded person living a small-minded life. Addictions are codependency’s on something or someone other than Jesus. There’s no dam worth holding onto and no dent worth trying to conceal that Jesus hasn’t already paid the high price to redeem. Whatever it is, let Jesus in to unblock your dams and restore your dents. You were meant to connect with God and fulfill a holy purpose.
Day 9 – Monday, September 25th, 2017 – Pastor Lindsey Young
27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.” John 10:27-30
If you have ever been at the park on a busy day you have seen the multitude of kids running around and the swarm of moms and dads hovering around the edges of the playgrounds watching their kids play. Without a doubt, on many days one of those little kiddos will fall and tears will quickly follow. In an instant those muddled-by-tears words will be hollered out “Mommy,” “Daddy.” Out of the crowd of parents on the sides one parent’s ears will recognize the sound of their child’s voice and spring into action to find them and scoop them up. It doesn’t matter if they are all called Mommy and Daddy – the sound of your child’s voice is one you know. The same is true when it’s time to go home from the park. A dad from a bench hollers out “time to go,” and instantly his littles sigh and turn to go. Without seeing him, the sound of his voice beckons them to come.
You belong to THE Father. You are His. When you cry out, when you pray, when you whisper his name in a moment of sadness or frustration – He hears you. Remember that no one, no thing, can snatch you from His hands. He is always with you. Take a moment to remember that today. Even when you feel lost or broken or hurt, He hears you and he is there. Now take that big step to learn his voice. It will call you to go the right way, it will lead you to the right places. He and the father are one. His plans for you are good and you belong to Him.
Day 10 – Tuesday, September 26th, 2017 – Brandon Bailey
I was a 17 year-old prodigal son and it was plain to see.
A gradual drifting from the faith quickly led me to a life bound in addiction. I lived for the next high or drunken stupor and couldn’t have been farther from the life God was calling me to. The true meaning of prodigal is not just about being a wayward soul, but it literally means being extravagantly wasteful with the resources you’ve been given. In this sense, I was wasting the life God had graciously given, along with the gifts, talents, and resources He meant for good. I was only living for my own desires and lusts but was I ultimately found myself empty. What a waste!
To this day, I credit my parents’ steadfast prayers that brought God’s protection and conviction to return to Him. The Holy Spirit drew me even while I was at my darkest point. If you have a loved one who is prodigal – keep your prayers alive. Keep your faith alive. Pray until something happens (p.u.s.h.), even if it takes two years …five years…or ten.
“The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” James 5:16 (NLT)
Day 11 – Wednesday, September 27th, 2017 – Morgan Nash
Everyone has heard of the parable of the prodigal son. A son leaves his father with his inheritance to go out into the world to do as he pleases. He eventually runs out of money and resorts to feeding the pigs for a job. He decides to go back to his father to beg for his forgiveness and asks for a job as a servant thinking that his father could never forgive him for what he had done. When he was in sight of the house, his father saw him in the distance and ran to envelop him in his embrace. The father then celebrates his lost son returning to him.
Many people believe that God could never forgive them of their sins or he can only forgive the “little” sins. All sins are equal in God’s eyes. There is no sin too big for him to forgive. His forgiveness is never ending. He wants you to come back when you stray away from him. There is nothing that you could do that would make him not want you anymore. Why would he die on the cross if he wouldn’t forgive you? That was the whole purpose of his crucifixion and resurrection so that you could be forgiven and live with him in heaven for eternity. Just like the prodigal son’s father, He’s there waiting for you. When you do come to him he gives you his forgiveness immediately. No hesitation! Embrace his love and forgiveness fully and thank him daily for it.
Day 12 – Thursday, September 28th, 2017 – Tony Reed
Devotional scriptures: Ruth 3:5; John 2:5
It’s amazing how getting an encouraging word from your friend, your boss, your spouse or a complete stranger can inspire us and put a smile on our faces. Seconds, hours, or even days after getting that word, we feel empowered and like the movie character Rocky Balboa, after receiving the much-needed encouragement of his wife Adrian, we feel we can accomplish anything.
But, then life happens, and as time passes, the impact that encouraging message had on us begins to fade or goes completely away. Why? Because we forget to continue speaking it over ourselves and believing it.
It’s the same when God tells us who we are, what He created us for, what He wants us to do and what He has for us. People will line up for miles to get an amazing, life-changing word from God, especially if the minister prophesies over their lives. But after the minister tells you what God has said about you and about your life, you have to fan the flames of that excitement and joy you had when the man or woman of God confirmed what God had already put down in your spirit and had been telling you all along.
I know that it’s easy to be joyful and excited moments after you receive that word, but God wants us to go further. He wants us to speak and declare that word every day, several times a day, believe it and expect it to happen at any moment.
Throughout the Bible, there are examples of how we should react to the word of God and what God has said over our lives. In Ruth, after receiving instructions from her mother-in-law on how to catch Boaz’s attention, Ruth didn’t complain or give reasons why she couldn’t follow the instructions. Ruth said, “If you say so, I’ll do it, just as you’ve told me.” And guess what? She did it and married Boaz, had a son named Obed, who was Jesse’s father and grandfather of David. Because of this, Ruth became an ancestor of Jesus. She not only did what she was told, but she believed it and I believe, declared it over her life.
In John 2:5, Jesus’ mother Mary gave similar instructions to servants at a wedding banquet when wine was running low. Mary knew that all things are possible with Jesus and she told the servants, “Whatever he tells you, do it.” No complaints, no second-guessing. They did as they were told by Mary and then Jesus and water became wine.
There are also examples of what not to do and the consequences we could pay for not doing what God has told us to do. The Children of Israel provide us with many examples, showing how God delivered them time and time again, only for them to seemingly forget those wondrous miracles and have an entire generation miss out on living in the Promised Land. Let’s not miss out on the amazing things God wants to do through us and the incredible destinies He has for us.
So, what has Jesus told you, either directly to you or through someone, something or through some occurrence? Has He told you to venture forth into that business that began as a dream? Has He told you to go back to school and get that degree that you thought you would never earn? Has he told you to volunteer more in the church? Has He told you that despite what the doctors and specialists have said, that you will live and not die and that your healing is on the way?
Well, what’s stopping you from declaring those things and walking into what God has for you? Fear? Disobedience? Feelings of inadequacy? Those are nothing but tricks of the enemy. My mom told me several years ago, “Don’t let the devil trick you out of your blessing.” It was a true statement then and it’s a true statement now.
Some of us say we are waiting on God, but God is waiting on us. He’s already spoken over our lives and declared who we are in Him, what He wants us to do and accomplish in His name. So, it’s time for us to speak the right things over our lives, declare them (say them aloud and boldly), believe and anticipate receiving them at any moment.
As Pastor Jereme said in “Sowing and Speaking”, the first sermon in the sermon series “Lost & Found”, speaking the right thing over your life does three things: 1.) You will encourage yourself. 2.) You will inspire others in God. 3.) It confuses the enemy.
Remember that God loves you and wants the best for you. In Jeremiah 29:11, it says, “For I know the thoughts I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
So, don’t give up, keep speaking the right things over your life and the lives of others and declare what God has said about you, your family and your life. I encourage you that after you receive a prophetic word that you write it down or make a voice memo and declare that word over yourself every day. Delve into the Bible and find verses that correlate with that word and also search the scriptures and see what God has said about you and the promises He has made to you.
Day 13 – Friday, September 29th, 2017 – Max Garner
Do you ever wonder “if”?
Sometimes we wonder if God hears us. Sometimes we wonder if God cares. Sometimes we wonder if we will ever become something more than we are today.
There is a God that knew you before the worlds were formed.
There is a God that knows your every thought.
There is a God that cares about your every need.
There is a God!
I question the direction of my life.
I question the motives of my heart.
I question the thoughts that race through my mid.
There is a God!
Will God be there when I return?
Will God listen when I speak?
Will God work on my behalf?
There is a God!
He knew the prodigal son.
He knew where he was.
He heard the call of his heart.
There is a God!
Do not fear your thoughts.
Do not go sleepless over your life.
Go to the Father now.
There is a God!
Day 14 – Saturday, September 30th – Pastor Lindsey Young
The verse for this series is Luke 15:32: “We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found.”
On this last day of our set aside days of prayer as a church let’s all take a minute to remember the moment that we were found by the grace of Jesus, the moment of our salvation. We were once lost and now we are found. We were once dead in our sin, but we are now alive in the freedom and forgiveness of our loving father.
Psalm 51:12 says: “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”
We can often become weighed down in the day to day of life and under the weight of burdens. Today, let these words from Psalms encourage you to remember the joy of your salvation. Celebrate this happy day – you were once dead and have come to life. You were once lost and now you are found. The spirit of the Lord will sustain you.
Lord, today we thank you for your salvation in our lives. Thank you for finding us and giving us new life in you. We ask that you move on the hearts of those we love who have not found life in you. May we celebrate our hope in you, Jesus.