Who is online?
In total there are 18 users online :: 0 Registered, 0 Hidden and 18 Guests :: 2 Bots

None

[ View the whole list ]


Most users ever online was 111 on Thu 12 Dec 2013, 2:28 am
Latest topics
» R.D SOUZA Saved by faith
Yesterday at 9:06 pm by Admin

» +Dev+ Michael D. Inman
Yesterday at 8:58 pm by Admin

» CHRISTIAN NEWS NETWORK
Yesterday at 8:08 pm by Admin

» WND EXCLUSIVE
Yesterday at 5:57 pm by Admin

»  Hal Lindsey: IS THE GREAT DECEPTION HERE?
Yesterday at 5:50 pm by Admin

» LIVE: Vice President Mike Pence speech at the Knesset
Yesterday at 3:47 pm by Admin

» Hillsong United - "Oceans" (Live show at Caesarea)
Yesterday at 3:33 pm by Admin

» WORTHY NEWS
Yesterday at 3:22 pm by Admin

» Daily Disciples
Yesterday at 2:29 pm by Admin

» He’s dead: Top al-Qaida terrorist leader killed in Syria
Yesterday at 1:02 am by Admin

» Delrifkah: HEBREW SAGE MIGHT SAY.
Yesterday at 12:49 am by Admin

» Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Yesterday at 12:47 am by Admin

» THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters
Yesterday at 12:23 am by Admin

» R.D SOUZA Saved by faith
Sun 21 Jan 2018, 11:47 pm by Admin

» HEAVEN LETTERS
Sun 21 Jan 2018, 11:35 pm by Admin

» White House slams Palestinian negotiator’s ‘inaccurate, misleading’ peace plan
Sun 21 Jan 2018, 11:22 pm by Admin

» Bombshell: Classified FISA memo could be ‘ObamaGate’ worse than Watergate
Sun 21 Jan 2018, 12:45 pm by Admin

» STATE DEMANDS PREACHERS GET PERMISSION TO SPEAK
Sat 20 Jan 2018, 11:04 pm by Admin

» FRANCIS FRANGIPANE MINISTRIES
Sat 20 Jan 2018, 10:57 pm by Admin

» NUGGET Today's Devotional
Sat 20 Jan 2018, 10:47 pm by Admin

Navigation
 Portal
 Index
 Memberlist
 Profile
 FAQ
 Search

Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Page 38 of 39 Previous  1 ... 20 ... 37, 38, 39  Next

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Sat 05 Jun 2010, 5:55 pm

1 of 12 on Rom 12: Scripture: Romans 12:1—Therefore, I urge you,
brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living
sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of
worship.



Reflection: Whether you are a Christian or not, you are the beneficiary
of countless blessings from God. Most of these we take for granted. How
long could you survive without food, clothing, air, water, sunshine or
companionship? All good things have their roots in God's goodness
and his giving nature. Coming to recognize God's part in our lives
is a beginning. But what can we give God in return? Well, not very much.
He doesn't need my great ideas, money, power, or my advice. He did
perfectly well before I came along and will continue being Eternal God
after I die.



In view of God's gifts it is only appropriate to give God the only
thing that is mine to give—myself. That will not benefit God in any
of the ways mentioned above—but its God's world and by
surrendering myself to his service He is able to transform me into what
He intends me to be. My contribution to the universe will not be the
accomplishment of heroic things (I can't do these) but the offer to
let God do in me what he wills. Being transformed is God's intention
for me. It's much more than merely living the biological life I was
born with—it's being led by his Spirit for his glory—it
results in a gift to God that is holy and pleasing—it begins when I
bow before him and offer myself as the sacrifice of my life—and it
is a spiritual act of worship.



Prayer Starter: Father, in response to your countless mercies to
undeserving humanity, we give up to your service. Use us daily as you
will for our happiness lies in belonging to you. Amen.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 49831
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Fri 04 Jun 2010, 11:14 am

Scripture: John 7:50-52—Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus before, and
who was one of them, asked, "Our law does not judge people without
first giving them a hearing to find out what they are doing, does
it?" They replied, "Surely you are not also from Galilee, are
you? Search and you will see that no prophet is to arise from
Galilee."



Reflection: So many things to reflect on in this text—one of the
most important is rather subtle. The Jewish opposition to Jesus was
misusing the very scriptures they claimed to honor. Scripture nowhere
said "No prophet is to arise from Galilee." Rather there was
silence about Galilee. Jesus' enemies were using the same kind of
non-logic you can hear in religious circles today—because something
is not mentioned, not discussed, it therefore cannot be.



It's the kind of argument that produces statements like "John
has no wife because nowhere in his letters does he ever mention being
married." Or "Sally is known for baking cakes but no one has
ever see her make a pie—this makes it certain that Sally does not
know how to bake a pie." Do you see the problem? A common thing
among religious people is to tell us what God would or would not do.
This is pretty dangerous—deciding that we understand God well enough
that we can pronounce on his activities. Or erecting a doctrine for our
denomination based on finding nothing said in scripture about that
subject. You can become a better witness to your faith if you tell what
is positive and trustworthy—but quit telling us what cannot be,
never was, or didn't happen and pretending that is a valid argument
for your pre-determined point of view.



Prayer Starter: Father, give us positive content for faith and remove
our vague and nebulous arguments from the silence of scripture and the
ignorance of the human race. Amen.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 49831
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Thu 03 Jun 2010, 7:14 am

Scripture: Isaiah 1:2·Hear, O heavens, and listen, O earth; for the
LORD has spoken: I reared children and brought them up, but they have
rebelled against me.

Reflection: The ancient laws of God for Israel were formalized and
covenanted at Mount Sinai after God had delivered the people from
Egyptian slavery. It's a great story and shaped Judaeo-Christian
faith and theology forever. The basis of an accusation (required to
"file charges") was the testimony of two or more
witnesses·never would one person be allowed to accuse another
without corroborating testimony. As Israel drifted in and out of zealous
faith for God, they acted like rebellious children and in Isaiah, God
accuses Israel of unfaithfulness. Their destruction at the hands of the
Assyrians (722 BC) and later the Babylonians (586 BC) was rapidly coming
upon them. Out of God's wrath, their judgment approached.

But God keeps his own rules·he calls two witnesses: the heavens and
the earth. Remember Genesis chapter one where God created the heavens
and the earth? God is calling for the testimony of all creation. Why are
we so uncertain and isolated in our time? We seem to have no sure
compass for life·drifting, hesitating, and self serving. Is it time
to take a break, lay back and reflect on the realities of the
universe·meditate on what is important and what is
trivial·examine heaven and earth·not for how we can make money
or wage war but for insight into God's purposes? Listening to the
two witnesses God has invoked makes abundant sense for the man or woman
searching for truth.

Prayer Starter: Father, we stand accused of rebellion and unfaithfulness
in our day much as the people of Israel did in Isaiah's. Bring about
repentance and revival in each of us. Amen.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 49831
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Wed 02 Jun 2010, 10:29 am

Scripture: Proverbs 30:8-9—Remove far from me falsehood and lying;
give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that I need,
or I shall be full, and deny you, and say, "Who is the LORD?" Or
I shall be poor, and steal, and profane the name of my God.

Reflection: Many are the philosophers and poets who have extolled the
"golden mean"—that is, the middle ground between extremes. A
common example is the nature of courage—without moderation it
becomes recklessness and irresponsibility—in deficiency it becomes
cowardice and paralyzing fear. Christians at times need to opt for the
radical--I cannot love God too much or serve him too completely—the
radical extreme becomes the normal Christian life (See Watchman
Nee's book.) But middle ground not so much for faith as for human
behavior.

How many arguments would never happen if humans did not so easily take
sides and get emotional involved? How would people deal with you if you
treated them with fairness and neutrality, actually listening to both
sides of issues? In our passage we have an interesting rationale for
middle-ground behavior. The text suggests that extremes are the source
of temptation—and that either extreme can prove dangerous. Both
wealth and poverty produce trials and our response to either one can be
our downfall. Like all human constructs, however, we need to constantly
submit our choices to God and allow him to work in us through the
Spirit. Sometimes that is radical—but I suspect that more often it
produces moderation in all things.

Prayer Starter: Father, guide us that we may distinguish between what is
appropriate and what is destructive. Grant us Shalom so that we can gain
perspective before speaking and operate out of the Mind of Christ in
every situation we encounter. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 49831
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Tue 01 Jun 2010, 5:16 pm

scripture: Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for
tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its
own.



Reflection: Are you addicted to worry? Do you feel like something is
wrong if everything is going too well? Jesus really nailed this
one·he said worrying is like borrowing from tomorrow and asks the
question "Doesn't today have enough to worry about?" Well,
my day does. No matter how carefully I plan, today manages to give rise
to some problem. I don't want it that way·it just happens. But I
can cut short my headaches by simply building a fence between today and
tomorrow. I have today all I can take care of·why borrow trouble
from tomorrow?



I know a fellow who is an addicted pessimist. I wonder if this comes
from parents?€ ¦’·or bad experiences?’·or faulty logic? The happy
pleasant people seek God's relief and focus on what is real and now
instead of what may go wrong tomorrow. (We are not condemning careful
planning and common sense!) What's wrong with worry? First it is
ineffective·I ask you, "Does my worry change anything"
(except raising my own stress level)? Second’·worry about tomorrow
damages my performance of today’·is that a good thing?
Third€ ¦’·worry is a form of fear and Christians believe that
’¥perfected love casts out fear." Jesus is the direct and
complete answer to worry’·please examine your faith relationship with
him. Put him first and you won't need to worry about all those other
things.



Prayer Starter: God, in our human nature and environment we are prone to
worry and fret€ ¦’·yet without benefit from our worry. Keep our eyes on
you and our faith in the Christ that we may be empowered daily to walk
out of worry and into your presence. Amen.

<><
scripture: Isaiah 2:19’·Men will flee to caves in the rocks and to
holes in the ground from dread of the LORD and the splendor of his
majesty, when he rises to shake the earth. (See Hos 10:8)



Reflection: In a day of confrontation and judgment between God and
humans, there will be only two kinds of people’·those who joyously
welcome his power and presence; and those who in their terror try to get
away and hide themselves. Christians are aware of the reasons. The
person who welcomes God is the one who loves him’·but the person who
hates God wants no contact with him. Let me propose a guideline€ ¦’·the
more I love someone, the more contact I want (and vice versa). This
applies to almost everything. I knew a young man years ago who loved and
collected snakes. His bedroom was a small zoo of such creatures’·but
he went to school with some kids who hated snakes. When he brought one
of his pets to school some wanted to hold the snake; others shrieked and
ran.



Jesus was well acquainted with Isaiah's writings and Hosea, who
had similar comments (10:8) lived in the Northern Kingdom and was
contemporary with Isaiah (8th century BC). In fact it was when Jesus was
being led away to crucifixion that he said, "Daughters of Jerusalem,
do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children they
will say to the mountains `Fall on us,' and to the hills,
`Cover us!'" Jesus' return at the end of the age will be
dramatic, frightening, and final. I pray for each of you that it will
also be a time of great singing, dancing and rejoicing.



Prayer Starter: Father, we know for a fact you love us beyond all we can
understand. Transform us internally, each one, to love you in return and
to yearn for your presence. Amen.
<><
scripture: Isaiah 1:13·Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your
incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations·Icannot bear your evil assemblies.

Reflection: Are you acquainted with "tokenism?" It means doing
something just to get along with others and appear to be a supporter of
something you are indifferent about. Tokenism is buying a school
football ribbon just to please the kids when you really don't care
whether the team wins or not. It's the dad who takes a tiny bite
from the spoon of the one year old and says, "Yum,
yum€ ¦’·good!" Tokenism is bowing your head during prayer and trying
to figure how to close the business deal you've been working on.
It's having one minority employee in your business so no one can
accuse you of discrimination. Tokenism is taking a leaflet from a
politician at the fair and dropping it in the trash barrel around the
corner.

Hey·I don't have space here to list all the token
behaviors·but you get the point. Is your life mostly tokenism? Do
you make an occasional appearance at church so you won't get a visit
from the pastor? Do you open a hymn book when asked to but couldn't
care less about the music? Do you want to be a standard church member
but at the same time you don't want to be bothered with any youth
projects, volunteering to clean up the fellowship hall, or teach a bible
class? You decide. There's a tremendous richness in true
commitment·faith working in love is life giving and a joy. But
tokenism is fake·it's a special form of hypocrisy·trying to
appear something you are not. If you are a token Christian, my
suggestion is to quit wasting your time and do something
worthwhile·like fishing, sleeping late, or playing golf.

prayer Starter: Father, I don't want to be a token Christian
anymore. Whatever it takes, destroy everything in me that is pretense or
mere image building. Make me real before you. Amen.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 49831
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Sat 29 May 2010, 8:37 pm

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 4:16—So we do not lose heart. Even though
our outer nature is wasting away our inner nature is being renewed day
by day.

Reflection: Do you find that as you get older not all of your parts are
working at optimum efficiency like they used to? Do you get tired
earlier in the day?—run low on energy?—can't seem to get as
much work done as before?—can't run, swim, climb, play
basketball, or think as well as you used to? I do not intend to be
offensive, but your problem is that you are deteriorating. Your body
(just like some appliances) has built in obsolescence. As we age we
succumb to more diseases, experience weakness, become frailer and
eventually die.

Now I am not a pessimist. Every age I have lived has been for me the
best yet. But if you are afraid of growing older—don't like
wrinkles or graying hair—you are disconnected from reality. Everyone
experiences these things except those who die young. Have you noticed
the fantasy world out there?—the cosmetic companies, vitamin tablet
manufacturers, clothing designers, and fitness gyms? Alas—none of
them have the fountain of youth in a bottle. The solution is to get
real—you and I will die physically and be absent (in any meaningful
sense) from this earth. If that's the end of us, then we will never
know. On the other hand, Jesus came because there's another side to
the story—the supernatural side. Faith in Christ will make physical
death a mere event—but nothing to worry about. Christ's
resurrection guarantees the believer's resurrection to eternal life.
But it starts now and is a day to day renewal, reconstruction, and
transformation process that only God's Spirit can do in each of us.

Prayer Starter: Father, give us strong faith that you are more powerful
than death and deterioration—and that you will preserve us
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 49831
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Fri 28 May 2010, 4:44 pm

Scripture: Matthew 7:11-12—If you, then, though you are evil, know
how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father
in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to
others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and
the Prophets.

Reflection: The gods of the pagans were thought to control weather,
wealth and welfare—but they were not much on relationships. They
were not to be fully trusted—but placated and manipulated if
possible so that humans could get from them some benefices. The God of
scripture, on the other hand, is conceived of as relational from the
very start. Interestingly enough the biblical view is that you cannot
have relationship with this God without having satisfactory relations
with the rest of God's humans (and even with God's sub-human
creation).

Jesus laid down the relational principles when he gave us the
"golden rule." It places my concept of self on the same level as
my sense of obligation to others. Since we all love ourselves and serve
ourselves, this can become the measure I use for dealing with others. We
do good things for ourselves—simply do good things for others around
me. We protect ourselves—now protect others. We listen carefully to
our own instincts; hearts, and wishes—take that same interest and
listen intently to the needs of others. Don't you fairly easily
forgive yourself or excuse your own behavior?—how about being that
tolerant and understanding of those around you? Jesus commented,
"….forgive….or you are not forgiven…"

Prayer Starter: Father, lift us up from the concept of merely doing no
harm to others to the elevated standard of treating others in
constructive, positive and beneficial ways like we so much want others
to do for us. Forgive our selfish relapses into greed and self service.
Amen.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 49831
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Thu 27 May 2010, 1:20 pm

scripture: Matthew 10:22·All men will hate you because of me, but he
who stands firm to the end will be saved.

Reflection: Is stubbornness a good quality? Occasionally I've known
a small kid who simply refused to cooperate with mom or dad·he was
going to have his way and no one was going to change his mind. Good
trait? Well, perhaps the quality itself is neither good nor bad but can
be a help or hindrance depending on the motivations and goodness or
badness of the person himself. Jesus demanded persistence on the part of
his disciples. Faith is not stubbornness·an unalterable refusing to
see truth·it is not believing stuff that is false·but faith is
persistent. Once a decision is made, it sticks with it though opposed at
times. Looking at my own bad habits, I can see many times when I was
doing something good but simply did not pursue it for very long·I wasn't durable enough·and of course I had an excuse each time.
You know·I was busy, we were short of money, or no one was
interested. My view now is: be slow to decide, but once you have prayed,
thought it through, and made a good decision·stick to it!

Persistence does not come naturally for many of us. There are those with
much higher capacities for endurance than I---but for those of us who do
not have those qualities built in, it is discipline and training we
need·and to resolve to "stand firm to the end."
Prayer Starter: Father, strengthen us in patience in well-doing. Give us
the will to never surrender our faith in Jesus and to never quit working for your kingdom. Amen.
<>< <>< <><
scripture: Jeremiah 2:11-12·Has a nation ever changed its gods? (Yet
they are not gods at all.) But my people have exchanged their Glory for
worthless idols. "Be appalled at this, O heavens, and shudder with
great horror," declares the LORD.
Reflection: Jeremiah spoke to Israelites who had forsaken the real God
for the unreal gods of their neighbors. He is pointing out that even
pagans were not so fickle as to leave their traditional gods
behind·but Israel was less devoted and committed to the real God
than the pagans were to their idols.
"Glory" may be here a euphemism for God·another title for
God·or possibly (the text is uncertain) it may be God saying
"exchanged my glory for worthless idols." In either case, the
judgment of God is resting on the fickle deserters who couldn't make
a proper distinction between real and fake, true and false, between spirit and flesh.
Jeremiah prophesied near the beginning of the Sixth Century BC, just before the fall of the southern kingdom (Judah) to the Babylonians. It was a time of terror, uncertainty, and compromise of morality. Perhaps
the book was written after Jeremiah's death but there is no
doubt it is one of the most jumbled and disorganized books in the bible.
Great forces were on the move which would destroy the remaining monarchy of Israel, the temple, and the settled way of life in Israel. Jeremiah
pointed to Israel's unfaithfulness to God as the underlying reason for the coming disasters.
Prayer Starter: Lord God great is your mercy but in times of sin and
unfaithfulness great is your wrath toward sin and those who bring disaster on your people. Teach us propriety in all things and may we never forget that you are the only true and living God who loves us.
Amen.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 49831
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Wed 26 May 2010, 12:22 pm

Scripture: Acts 1:3·After his suffering, he showed himself to these
men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to
them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.

Reflection: It's hard to grasp the scope of Jesus' earthly
ministry. After his resurrection, there was a period of time when
appearances were frequent and intense. It seems that his focus turned
from Atonement to Kingdom·which probably included the accomplishment
of redemption to the commissioning of the disciples to move out into an
uncertain world. Jesus had preached the Kingdom of God as had John the
Baptist in the early days.

The Kingdom of God is the matrix of earthly activity now infused with
the Divine Incarnation that looks to eternity for its fulfillment and to
God as its director and its strength. The Kingdom of God is where
God's will is done·it is the place, way, form and structure
where God is the absolute sovereign of heaven and earth. From a human
perspective the kingdom always was because God was always King. Yet the
kingdom came in the incarnation of Jesus as the Christ·yet the
kingdom is not yet in its conquering power and eternal destiny. Many a
human gets hung up in the morass of literalism as he tries to explain
things beyond his grasp. But praying "Thy kingdom come" is never
out of order. It has been, it will be, and it is in our midst.

Prayer Starter: Father, show us your sovereignty and incorporate all who
are yours into the kingdom of light and deliver us from the kingdoms of
this world of darkness. Amen.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 49831
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Tue 25 May 2010, 10:43 am

Doulos Meditation
Scripture: Psalm 48:12-14—Walk about Zion, go around her, count
her towers, consider well her ramparts, view her citadels, that you may
tell of them to the next generation. For this God is our God forever and
ever; he will be our guide even to the end. (Read Ps 48 and Ps 99.)

Reflection: Mt Sinai saw the revelation of God's nature and the
holiness of relationship (the Mosaic Covenant). Mt Zion saw the
revelation of God's purposes and kingdom (the Davidic Covenant).
Both are essential, the latter presupposing the former. The Rabbis said
that light was first created on Mt Zion, that God came forth from
Zion—that it is the "mountain of the LORD." They picture
Zion as "his holy mountain, beautiful in elevationÂ…the joy of
all the earth" (Ps 48:1).

Don't be sidetracked with literalism—Zion is just a small
hill—but its spiritual height is greater than Everest. It is the
ancient location called Mt Moriah where Abraham went to sacrifice Isaac
("your only son"); where God stopped him and Abraham called God
Yahweh Jireh (God will provide). The significance of each mountain is
not its appeal as tourist spots, but the Grace of God that attaches to
each location. Zion and Jerusalem are synonymous—the city and the
mountain where God's mighty deeds were done for our salvation.
"The LORD will extend your mighty scepter from Zion; you will rule
in the midst of your enemies." (Ps 110:2)

Prayer Starter: Father we tremble before your mystic mountains—the
mountain of your Law and the mountain of your Redemption. We see in
ancient Israel the unfolding of your grace for all of humanity and the
infusing of human speech with heavenly significance. Shape our minds
that we may praise your for who you are and for your righteous deeds.
Amen.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 49831
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Mon 24 May 2010, 12:10 pm

Scripture: Exodus 19:2, 18, 19—After they set out from Rephidim,
they entered the Desert of Sinai, and Israel camped there in the desert
in front of the mountain…Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because
the LORD descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like
smoke from a furnace, the whole mountain trembled violently and the
sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder. Then Moses spoke and the
voice of God answered him.



Reflection: In the history of Israel, two great Covenants tower above
all the rest—the revelation at Mt Sinai (Ex 19-23) and the compact
with the House of David (2 Sam 7). We do not know where the mountain
was—it may not be the Jebel Musa that tourists visit to this day. I
stayed two days in the Monastery of St Catherine at the base of this
traditional site—founded around 530 AD, it is home to some of the
oldest Christian icons in the world and a large collection of ancient
manuscripts. It lays claim (with one competitor) to being the oldest
continually functioning monastery in the world.



Wherever the real Sinai was, its importance lies in what happened there.
God revealed stipulations of the Covenant of Sinai which has shaped
Jewish and Christian theology and history ever since. Indeed, the
governments and laws of the entire Western world are founded on ancient
words like, "Thou shalt not kill," and all the rest. Our God is
a moral God and on Sinai he communicated to humankind the nature of true
morality.



Prayer Starter: Father we cannot thank you enough for your revelation of
righteousness to your people Israel. Even as Christians far removed from
the Sinai Desert, we continue to look to you as the eternal source of
our morality and ethical behavior. Amen.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 49831
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Sat 22 May 2010, 10:44 am

Scripture: Job 40:8-14—(God speaking): Would you discredit my
justice? Would you condemn me to justify yourself? Do you have an arm
like Gods, and can your voice thunder like his? Then adorn yourself with
glory and splendor, and clothe yourself in honor and majesty. Unleash
the fury of your wrath, look at every proud man and bring him
low…Bury them all in the dust together; shroud their faces in the
grave. Then I myself will admit to you that your own right hand can save
you. (NIV)

Reflection: When I was a kid at school we often heard "Put up or
shut up!" I suppose we had heard these words from poker players and
horse racers in the movies. Sometimes a person would say "I dare
you" or "Do it and then talk about it" or "If you think
you're big enough…" All this is language of confrontation and
daring—and this is one of the few areas where kids seem to be
genuine experts.

Job confronted God but it was God who said to Job, "Put up or shut
up! If you want to be God, then act like God—show us your splendor
and power; deal with proud and evil people. Don't just stand
there—do something." But what a joke! We cannot compete with
God. But have you ever met some deluded fellow who thinks he is God? Who
spends his time telling others how good, rich, powerful or smart he is?
It is laughable—as was Job when he contended with God.

Prayer Starter: Father, you are the omnipotent, all-wise God and we seek
fellowship with you on that basis—that you be God and that we be
clothed in humility and service to you. Teach us never to blame you for
our problems or think too highly of ourselves. Amen.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 49831
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Fri 21 May 2010, 8:51 pm

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 4:5—Therefore judge nothing before the
appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is
hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At
that time each will receive his praise from God. (NIV)

Reflection: Do you keep forgetting you are not the judge? Jesus warned
us about judging. The word is used in more than one sense—judging in
the sense of using discriminating common sense in decision making is not
what he's talking about. That kind of good judgment makes for
happiness and success. Is this product worth the money? Should I be late
to the meeting to help this widow with her car problem? Should I ignore
this situation or contest it? Questions like these need your best
judgment—that is, your thoughtful discernment.

What Jesus is forbidding is the arrogant and irresponsible pronouncement
of judgment on others—condemning them when we are in no position to
know the real truth or the mitigating circumstances. Judging is
God's business—and he makes no mistakes and never is unjust. You
and I as judge are incapable of true justice and make mistakes all the
time. God will judge things you and I cannot touch—the motives of
people's hearts—their innermost selves. One last thought—and
it's the scary one. He who judges treads a dangerous path. He
assumes he knows what he doesn't know and that he has authority
which he does not have. He thinks he is better than others. These are
deadly presumptions and the one who judges will be brought into
judgment. It will not be a happy time when God judges the judges.

Prayer Starter: Father, discipline us in humility. Show us our own sins
very clearly. Make us realize we stand in need of your grace as much as
anyone around us. Teach us to count others better than ourselves. Make
us builders and encouragers, not judges and critics. Amen.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 49831
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Thu 20 May 2010, 2:02 pm

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 6:15·Do you not know that your bodies are
members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and
unite them with a prostitute? Never! (NIV)

Reflection: There is conflict among humans because we are hybrid
creatures and each of our two halves pulls us in its direction. As
Christians we acknowledge God's claim on our lives, time, money,
language·and even the sexuality he has created. Scripture does not
say that sex is bad·it merely says that sex, like all other human
activities must be surrendered to God and his will. The choice is to
serve one's own fleshly desires at the expense of serving God·or
to serve God at the expense of illicit fleshly lusts.

Satan, of course, sees sexuality as a great opportunity for destroying
relationships with God·and that's where his temptations are most
effective. The viewpoint of the bible is that marriage is good,
honorable, and right·but it also holds that marriage is the place
for sexual activity, not on the streets and in the bars. Sexuality in
itself is not sin·it is God-given. But sin originates deep inside
the person who uses something God created that is good but it for the
wrong purposes and denies God's purposes relating to home, family,
marriage, morality and self discipline. Aren't many things like
this? Food is a good thing·but what if I took that good thing and
used it irresponsibly? What if I were a glutton·or stole my
food·or refused to feed someone else·or was not grateful? Sin
does not reside in things or events·it resides in us. It expresses
itself as greed, lust, bitterness, arrogance and pride. If you have
problems with God's agenda, try talking it over with God. Only he
can help us with his agenda.

Prayer Starter: Father, help us to see the love you have for us and the
importance of conducting life in your ways. In sexual things, Lord, this
seems particularly difficult for so many of your children. Instead of
despair and struggle, lead us to peace doing everything your way. Amen.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 49831
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Wed 19 May 2010, 4:42 pm

Scripture: Proverbs 28:4—Those who forsake the law praise the
wicked, but those who keep the law resist them. (NIV)

Reflection: You've probably heard someone praise another—say
good things about him or her only to find out later that the person who
seemed so good was in reality evil and deceptive. Maybe there's a
principle here. Do you think we praise people who are like ourselves? If
a good man tells you fellow-x is a good guy, is that reliable? I think
so. On the other hand, if a person of evil character thinks highly of
someone should we be suspicious of their recommendation?

Maybe this is the reason Jesus forbade the demons from telling everyone
he was the Messiah. A good guy just doesn't need accolades or praise
from evil sources. I gained a little experience in this area by owning a
rent house. If I had a good renter who recommended someone, that person
would generally turn out to be a good renter also. On the other hand, we
occasionally had a bad renter who cheated, lied and damaged the
place—and I noticed if this person recommended someone they were
invariably of the same sort. So our proverb has a point. If praise is
coming from a law-breaker, expect the one he praises to be evil as well.
If praise is coming from a good fellow—his friend will be good also.

Prayer Starter: Father, help us notice in ourselves whom we admire and
praise—and then evaluate if we are admiring the good or the evil.
Mature us in Christ that we may respect only that which is noble,
honest, and righteous. Deliver us from evil people and their praises.
Amen.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 49831
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Tue 18 May 2010, 4:19 pm

Scripture: Psalm 2:10-11—Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned,
O rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, with trembling kiss his
feet, or he will be angry, and you will perish in the way; for his wrath
is quickly kindled. Happy are all who take refuge in him.



Reflection: The obligation to recognize, acknowledge and serve God is no
smaller for the king than for the humblest of his servants. In fact, the
Old Testament pictures God as the king of the universe and the earthly
monarch as his representative—notice verse 6, "I have set my
king on Zion, my holy hill." The Old Testament repeats this theme
many times, especially in connection with the Davidic Covenant (2 Sam 7)
as it played throughout Israelite history.



What shall we say of our times? Are rulers above such trivial things as
"religion?" Is faith simply a matter of personal opinion—and
it really doesn't make much difference? Massive forces are moving
our world toward a suppression of the Judaeo-Christian tradition which
flows from scripture, the Incarnation, the cross and the resurrection.
These self serving powers do not consider themselves servants of
God—or even of their nations—but as manipulators of history.
Faith is something they use, not something they are. Maybe we should
re-word the Psalm: "Now therefore, O dictators, tyrants, presidents
and religious leaders—be wise, be warned, O leaders. Serve the LORD
with fear, with trembling kiss his feet…or…you will perish in
the way…" With God, you can be leader and the world will be blessed
through you. Without God you retain your power for a short while and the
world will move on without you, having only faint memory of a self
serving manipulator with little love, meaning or purpose in the real
scheme of things.



Prayer Starter: Father, bless our rulers with wisdom and a sense of
perspective that will allow them to lead as your faithful
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 49831
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Mon 17 May 2010, 9:58 am

Scripture:1 Samuel 13:19·Now there was no smith to be found
throughout all the land of Israel; for the Philistines said, "The
Hebrews must not make swords or spears for themselves; so all the
Israelites went down to the Philistines to sharpen their plowshare,
mattocks, axes, or sickles So on the day of the battle neither sword
nor spear was to be found in the possession of any of the people with
Saul and Jonathan; but Saul and his son Jonathan had them.

Reflection: A country with nuclear weapons tries to prevent their
neighbor from developing their own bomb. Did you think this idea was new
in our time? In our text is the ancient forerunner to the idea of
depriving one's neighbor of the ability to build a weapon.

The Philistines were very tough people·military oriented ·and
living along the coastal plain of the Holy Land. (The word
"Palestine" comes from this race). The Israelites were not
strong militarily and they lived in the hill country·not the lower
plains. The Judges lived during what archaeologists call Iron Age I
(1200 BC to 1000 BC) The Philistines had settled in Canaan at about the
same time the Israelites were in the wilderness·but they captured
the lowlands and developed a monopoly on the iron tool and weapon
business. When Israel began to move into Canaan, they had no iron tools
and the Philistines wanted them to stay that way. Remember the
judge-warriors killing Philistines with the jawbone of an ass? Remember
the celebrity attached to Ehud who had made his own two-edged dagger?

Prayer Starter: Father, help us read carefully the stories of your
people in those early days. Thank you for leading them into becoming a
great people and nation. Amen.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 49831
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Sun 16 May 2010, 12:40 pm

scripture: Psalm 73:16-17—But when I thought how to understand this,
it seemed to me a wearisome task, until I went into the sanctuary of
God; then I perceived their end. Truly you set them in slippery places;
you make them fall to ruin. How they are destroyed in a moment, swept
away utterly by terrors! They are like a dream when one awakes; on
awaking you despise their phantoms.

Reflection: This is a great Psalm—please read the whole text!
It's about enemies and the question of how you get your head
straight in thinking about persecution. These verses are the pivot point
of the Psalm. Study them carefully when you are oppressed.

The psalmist says it was terrible—"until I went into the sanctuary
of God…" Sanctuary is often provided by a building which was built
with God in mind. I've experienced the quiet and faith building
peace that is possible in one of the great Cathedrals—I've had
the privilege to visit Notre Dame in Paris, St Peters in Rome, and the
Cathedral of Mexico. There's an ambience there that is not
duplicated anywhere else. On the other hand, don't think you have to
travel to a great cathedral to find sanctuary—I've prayed in
tiny chapels and on the top of great mountains. My thought is that you
need a sanctuary at your house—a spot in the back yard that's
quiet, beautiful, with a chair and a table where you can be alone with
God whenever the world around you attacks you to wear you down and force
your withdrawal from life. Dedicate that spot through prayer—let it
be consecrated and there go to get in touch with holiness.

Prayer Starter: Father, deliver us from our enemies. Bring their schemes
to naught and destroy the evil they have tried to impose on the world.
Help us find sanctuary in you. Amen.

<><

scripture: Psalm 92:14-15·2In old age they still produce fruit; they
are always green and full of sap, showing that the LORD is upright, he
is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

Reflection: The ancient label prefacing Psalm 92 is "A song for the
Sabbath Day." It is full of happiness and describes the righteous as
flourishing like a Palm tree and growing like a Cedar of Lebanon. What
gets my attention is the line "in old age they still produce
fruit." That's speaking to us Senior Citizens!

Are you retired? Approaching retirement? What a great time of life!
Seniors comprise a gigantic pool of resources for the Lord·they have
some of the drag behind them (kids, jobs, house payments ·you know
the stuff). They are free to travel, speak a word for Jesus, encourage
Churches, teach bible classes, write books, take a cruise or become part
time missionaries. Don't think of retirement as rocking-chair time.
That's absurd! It can be the most productive time of your life.
Maybe the translator meant well by rendering "always green and full
of sap"’·I see the metaphor·the tree is still alive. On the
other hand we have given pejorative meanings to "green" and
"sap·but that's drift in away from the point. Seniors are
a mighty force under one condition€ ¦’·that they realize full well that
their lives are "showing that the LORD is upright," a rock, and
that he is righteous. It takes a lifetime to arrive at these
conclusions, but doing so makes old age just a beginning.

Prayer Starter: Father, you've led us through childhood, immaturity,
adolescence, education, work and chaos. Continue to lead us as we grow
older·that we may grow more useful to you as well. Amen.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 49831
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Fri 14 May 2010, 10:18 pm

. Doulos Meditation

Scripture: John 19:13—When Pilate heard this, he brought Jesus out
and sat down on the judge's seat at a place known as the Stone
Pavement (which in Aramaic is Gabbatha).

Reflection: In one corner (northwest) of the huge temple platform in
Jerusalem (now the site of the Mosque called Dome of the Rock) there was
the residence of the Roman procurator and barracks for a detachment of
soldiers. This restricted area was called the Antonio Fortress and the
location has been pinpointed and studied many times.

I was privileged to see this area where a section of the "Stone
Pavement" is exposed and still serves as a walking place for
tourists and sightseers. I had a young Palestinian boy of about 14
walking with me explaining in quite good English what happened during
the trial and crucifixion of Jesus. He pointed to a particular slab of
flat paving stone, telling me "And Jesus stood there on that
stone." If you're an experienced tourist you realize that fluent
English is not a sign of reliability among guides, whatever their age. I
am still amused at the things this young boy told me—he had the
answer to every possible question. His answers were detailed. He could
point to every spot where something happened 2000 years ago with no
hesitation. He's a middle aged man now (assuming he's still
around)—I wonder if he is still guiding tourists—and I wonder
how gullible the tourists are these days. The Stone Pavement was
real—it can be seen today—but I wouldn't count on
identifying the stone where Jesus stood.

Prayer Starter: Father, thank you for the whole country of Israel where
we can see things Jesus encountered at the beginning of the Great
Incarnation. Amen.

. Doulos Meditation
Scripture: Acts 20:35—In all this I have given you an example that
by such work we must support the weak, remembering the words of the Lord
Jesus, for he himself said, "It is more blessed to give than to
receive."

Reflection: There were many things Jesus said that did not get written
down in the memoirs of the apostles that we label "gospels." The
Gnostic "gospels" have some of them, but no one has great
confidence in their authenticity—the Gnostics having ulterior
motives perhaps. But here is a saying of Jesus not found in the
Synoptics or the Fourth Gospel which has a high claim for being really
Jesus' words. Paul, after his conversion, no doubt conversed with
many who had known Jesus personally and recalled his teaching.

Blessed means "happy." It's the same word used in the
beatitudes (makarios). Jesus taught that the giving life is the happy
life. As a Christian I know from experience that this is true. But it is
rather disheartening to watch a big world caught up in getting and
greed—pursuing happiness but not knowing where to find it. Small
memo here: Do you think we are doing the children of the world a service
when we ask "What did you get for Christmas?" I've wondered
if wise parents would not ask instead, "What were you able to give
for Christmas this year?" I knew a man who told me that he
didn't give to help others because he didn't know when he might
need his money for himself. That was two weeks before he
died—I've reflected often about this fellow and have wondered
how his plan for happiness turned out.

Prayer Starter: Father, make me a giver. Make me like you. Make me see
clearly that because you loved the world so much, you gave of yourself
beyond our comprehension. Father please work in us to change the
perceptions of this world. Amen.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 49831
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Thu 13 May 2010, 12:36 pm

Scripture: Matthew 27:51€ ¦’·At that moment the curtain of the temple
was torn in two, from top to bottom. (Note also Mk 15:38; Lk 23:45)

Reflection: The Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) all note a
strange occurrence when Jesus died€ ¦’·the curtain that covered the
entrance into the center of the Temple known as the Most Holy Place tore
from top to bottom. This sacred place was entered one time annually only
by the High Priest on the Day of Atonement. It involved sacrifice and
taking sacrificial blood into the Most Holy Place. The height of the
curtain is not certain but the Most Holy Place was 60 cubits tall
(that's 90 feet or so) and the curtain went from ceiling to floor.

When Jesus died, the curtain tore from top to bottom! The symbolism is
overwhelming. "He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and
calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own
blood, having obtained eternal redemption." (Heb 9:12) "For
Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the
true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God's
presence. Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the
way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood
that is not his own€ ¦’¥.But now he has appeared once for all at the end
of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. (Heb
9:24-26)

Prayer Starter: Father we cannot begin to describe the greatness of your
sacrifice for us and the impact that a torn curtain has on those who
trust in Jesus as the Christ, the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the
world. Heal our blindness. Amen.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 49831
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Wed 12 May 2010, 11:59 am

Scripture: Philippians 4:6-7·Do not worry about anything, but in
everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your
requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all
understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Reflection: I've noticed that words have a tendency to shrink. They
are like pants which were large enough when you bought them, but
they've been worn and washed and now the legs are not quite long
enough and getting into them is a struggle. If we neglect our words,
they get smaller’·we use them so often they lose some of the power
they had at one time. Two words in this passage seem to me to suffer
from this problem: prayer and peace. Maybe we need to try to expand them
back to their original size.

Prayer today is a small formality for business meetings, church services
or to be dashed off at mealtime if the preacher is visiting. In biblical
times prayer was big·it was the constant communion with the
omnipresent God·the day was filled with gratitude and petition.
Peace now means we're simply not fighting at the moment ·but
peace back then meant something like health, happiness and everything
needed for life as God intends it. Shalom was the word·it
doesn't have a real cognate in English. The first step in
rehabilitating these words is to slow down and be more deliberate and
purposeful in prayer·and then to be reflective and thoughtful as we
examine life so that Shalom permeates whatever we are doing.

Prayer Starter: Father, help us mature in our prayer lives and in our
thinking about life as you intend it·full of peace with the love,
kindness, and joy that accompanies that Shalom. Amen.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 49831
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Tue 11 May 2010, 10:18 am

Scripture: 1 Samuel 12:26-28€ ¦’·And she said, "Oh, my lord! As you
live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence,
praying to the LORD. For this child I prayed; and the LORD has granted
me the petition that I made to him. Therefore I have lent him to the
LORD; as long as he lives, he is given to the LORD."



Reflection: It was not the son, but Hannah (Samuel's mother) who
celebrated mother's day as she spoke to Eli the priest in Shiloh
around 3000 years ago. Every woman wanted to be a mother and barrenness
was considered a great tragedy and curse. Hannah celebrated God's
gift of a son to her€ ¦’·and how did she do it? She gave back to God
what God had given.



I reflect on this ancient story and several truths come to mind. Maybe
the first is that all of life is a gift from God (family, finance,
health, hope, wisdom, opportunity€ ¦’·the list goes on). And Secondly,
the only appropriate response to God's gift is to give it back to
him (Don't you remember your children asking for money so they could
buy you a Christmas gift?) A third thought is that prayer is the
beginning place for many of God's greatest blessings. Samuel
wasn't an ordinary boy€ ¦’·he was attuned to the voice of God from
earliest youth (is a mother's love and teaching involved?). He
became a judge in Israel€ ¦’·a man of wisdom believed and obeyed by the
whole nation. He transitioned the nation from loose tribes into a
powerful united Monarchy, anointing both Saul and David as they ascended
the throne. His life was devout, dedicated and powerful playing a
pivotal role in the formative years of the Jewish nation. Should we
celebrate Samuel?€ ¦’·or perhaps celebrate his mother Hannah?



Prayer Starter: Father, thank you for faithful and loving mothers
without whom this world as we have experienced it would be far poorer in
the quality of its sons and daughters. Amen.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 49831
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Doulos Meditation ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Sun 09 May 2010, 9:57 am

Scripture: Psalm 139:7·Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can
I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I
make my bed in Sheol, you are there. If I take the wings of the morning
and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, even there your hand shall
lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast. If I say, "Surely
the darkness shall cover me, and the light around me become night,"
even the darkness is not dark to you, the night is as bright as the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

Reflection: In theology, we sometimes speak of God's
"Omnipresence," that is ·God is present in all times and
places but not limited by any time or place. For the believer who loves
God and desires ever closer contact with God, there is great comfort in
knowing that all he does is in the presence of God. An old hymn has this
verse: "Thy children shall not faint nor fear; Sustained by this
delightful thought; Since Thou their God, art everywhere; They cannot be
where Thou art not." (Father and Friend, Henry Baker).

The world will ultimately be sorted into two groups·those who love
God and yearn for his presence; and those who despise God and flee from
his presence in terror. The classic example of the latter was Jonah
trying valiantly to lose God. The Christian understanding is that
there's no way the child of God experiences God's
absence·and no way God's enemies can be other than terrorized by
the thought that God is always there. Remember Adam and Eve's
response to their sin? They hid in the garden, beginning a long but
futile history of God-evasion.

Prayer Starter: Father we want to walk with you daily and surrender
ourselves to you. Cover us with your grace that we may experience your
presence with joy and reverence. Amen.


Last edited by Admin on Fri 19 Nov 2010, 2:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 49831
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Fri 07 May 2010, 8:30 pm

scripture: Proverbs 11:12’· Whoever belittles another lacks sense, but
an intelligent person remains silent.
Reflection: People who always put others down, criticize, find fault,
and spout sarcasm about others are not telling us anything at all about
the person they are belittling. They are shouting volumes about
themselves·and it's all bad. I've itemized the
belittler's internal motivations.
(1) The belittler is boasting. I can make fun of someone who is cross
eyed only because I am not·of a sinner because I see myself as
righteous of someone who doesn't know only because I am sure I
know. Belittling implies I am better (smarter, more skillful, stronger,
richer, more famous·and so forth).
(2) The belittler feels inferior’·the difficult (and honest) thing
would be to discipline myself, learn and grow so that I become more than
I am now. Much easier (and more cowardly) is to pull others down to my
level.
(3) The belittler does not experience real love. From love comes
empathy·we feel what others feel; sympathize with their inabilities.
But hate thrives on grinding someone else's self esteem and
happiness into the ground.
(4) The belittler does not have the Holy Spirit directing his path.
Paul wrote "the love of God is shed abroad in your hearts through
the Holy Spirit (R 5:5) If love flows through me, it transforms
me into an encourager, listener, sympathetic counselor and friend.
Prayer Starter: Father, many times we do not act as though we had good
sense. Bring us to repentance over the times we have belittled others
and found ourselves made smaller. Amen.
<><

scripture: Job 12:5—Men at ease have contempt for misfortune as the
fate of those whose feet are slipping.
Reflection: There are a great many verses in scripture warning those who
are oblivious to danger in their precarious life situation. Job in his
misery remembers how it was in the good old days—when he was rich,
happy, and contented. He reflects that people with no problems are prone
to forget their approaching downfall. Their "feet are
slipping"—that's bad. Even worse is a common attitude this man
at ease can fall into—contempt.
I suppose we could expand the warning by thinking how many categories of
misfortune there are. The contemptuous person may think he's the
smarter fellow—and looks down on someone who cannot think as fast as
he. Maybe he's the man with an advanced degree from the university
who sneers at one who did not go past High School. It could be the
healthy muscle type feeling superior to the disabled, sick, or
weak—the rich man looking at the homeless or jobless—or the
skilled speaker impatient with the inarticulates around him. We could
multiply examples but what for? Let me share with you what I think is
the deadliest and scariest contempt possible—the persistent
religionist who never misses a church service, but has no use for
sinners, people of different races, members of other denominations, or
those miserable misfits who dote on drugs, alcohol, or sex. Such a one
is in grave peril and it might be I.
Prayer Starter: Father, no matter how many skills and possessions you
give me, keep me from holding those with less in contempt—whether it
be things of the mind or comforts of the body or even satisfactions of
the ego. Remind me daily that I have no competence within myself and
that all comes from you. In the name of Jesus, Amen.
<><
scripture: 2 Corinthians 3:4-6’·Such is the confidence that we have
through Christ toward God. Not that we are competent of ourselves to
claim anything as coming from us: our competence is from God, who has
made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of letter but
of spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
Reflection: It feels good to be competent·are you a great
mechanic?·engineer’·teacher?’·athlete? Most people earn their
living doing what they are good at for people who do not know how.
Confidence comes with competence. We want the most competent person
available if we are having brain surgery; getting our teeth filled;
riding in an airplane or even a car. It's entirely possible,
however, to have confidence without competence€ ¦’·the fellow who tells
you he knows how to fix it but after taking it apart cannot get it back
together·how to pick winners at the horse races but loses his
money’·how to catch fish but snubbed by the fish.
Paul says there is confidence that comes from competence in ministry as
well. Pastors and teachers who do genuine good, I suspect, are the ones
who are humble, pray a lot, discipline themselves, guard their tongues,
are patient, kind, and listen carefully. They are not so often people of
fame or accomplishment’·with such things as TV shows, awards, flashy
clothes and expensive car·you know the lot. But the ones I admire
see their competence coming from God and that's what makes them
confident and real and effective.
Prayer Starter: Father, make me a competent worker in your kingdom. Give
me instructions and empower me to do skillfully your will on this
earth·never for a moment bragging or gathering praise for myself,
but rejoicing that I can give you the glory and the thanks for all
things. Amen.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 49831
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Sun 02 May 2010, 5:22 pm

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 16:13-14—Keep alert, stand firm in your
faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.



Reflection: This exhortation by Paul occurs in the last chapter of his
first letter to the Corinthians—and what a focused, practical,
pointed exhortation it is! None of the words are difficult—each of
us who are Christians would agree to them. But not all Christians look
like this. And why is that? It is God's Spirit that makes us who we
are destined to be in Christ. Maybe there's a clue in the reading of
the passage.



Are you alert? In my youth, I knew a man who said he grew up in a family
that was too poor to pay attention. (This was one of his many humorous
and memorable sayings.) Paul asserts that paying attention is our duty.
An ancient soldier could lose his life if he went to sleep on guard
duty. (I've often wondered about those fellows who guarded
Jesus' tomb!) The second quality is faith—and that's a
decision—firmness in faith is a mark of the seriousness of my
decision. Faith is not stubbornness, blindness or
inflexibility—it's a serious commitment made with no
reservations—and of course courage and strength flow from this
faith. Now for the clue—look at the second sentence—if we
operate with the love of God living in us (through the Holy Spirit,
remember) then every quality God wants in us will develop and grow as we
mature in our faith.



Prayer Starter: Father, put your love into our hearts through your Holy
Spirit that we may be alert, firm in faith, courageous and strong. Make
us what you want us to be in Jesus. Amen.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 49831
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 38 of 39 Previous  1 ... 20 ... 37, 38, 39  Next

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum