Squad - C-4
Monday, September 10
[The Transfiguration] Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray.
Everyone needs ‘their people’. God never meant for you to go it alone. There is power and stability in having others around you who will support, stand, and if necessary, correct you. Even Jesus, the one person who could have done it alone, chose to surround Himself with people who He loved and could trust. It doesn’t matter how independent or introverted you may be, God created you with a need for the strength and support that comes from human companionship. You have probably heard, or maybe even said to yourself, “All I need is Jesus and no one else”. While it is true that there will times when you must hear from Him for yourself, and all by yourself, this will be the rarity not the norm. You need others around you who will go the distance with you, stand in faith with you, celebrate and cry with you, even walk through the fire with you. When the tough times come, you will experience the strength that comes from their faith and prayers, not just your own. Whether your celebrating a victory or grieving a loss, it’s always easier when you don’t have to walk through it alone. Who are your people? - Love and Blessings, Pastor Jeff
Tuesday, September 11
2 Chronicles 20:1-2
1 After this the Moabites and Ammonites, and with them some of the Meunites, came against Jehoshaphat for battle. 2 Some men came and told Jehoshaphat, “A great multitude is coming against you from Edom, from beyond the sea; and, behold, they are in Hazazon-tamar” (that is, Engedi).
You may have heard the expression, ‘The enemy of my enemy is my friend’. There are very few things that bring people together like a common enemy. Think back to the 9/11 attacks attacks on the World Trade Center. Like the enemies of Israel in today’s text, for a brief time following those attacks there was no mention of the many political issues that were causing division, the labels of Republican, Democrat, Liberal, and Conservative suddenly carried far less weight as people recognized that the value of life far outweighed the political classifications that people had been divided into. Everyone came together under a common dislike. But, as you have probably noticed, now that the thing that everyone was against has gone away, those divides are back in place. You have, in all likelihood experienced this ‘comrade’ mentality in your life from time to time. Because you and someone else shared a common dislike you came into a relationship with that person. However, when the threat or common dislikes had gone you realized that this person was really not someone who you needed in your life at all. In fact, they were probably more of a hinderance to you than you would’ve cared to admit. This is something to keep in mind as you seek to develop your inner circle. Be careful to not build your relationships on in common likes and dislikes. You will quickly find that some people want to fight just for the sake of fighting and might someday find yourself on the other side of their focus. - Love and Blessings, Pastor Jeff
Wednesday, September 12
66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. 67 So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?”
You see it every four years, people gather in small towns and big cities to support the man or woman they think would best lead as President. Constituents, or people who support a common cause, come together, work side by side, and many times get to know another quite personally while they work together diligently to see their cause’s success. The hours, days, and weeks they spend in constant communication with one another develop a relationship that is deeper than surface level in the area of their common cause only. Many people end up hurt and feeling abandoned because those that they thought were true friends were simply constituents for the same cause not friends who have much else to offer each other. You must remember that causes and commonalities can bring you in contact with someone but they cannot be the foundation upon which you build a relationship. It’s important to have good people in your life, but it’s more important to recognize why they are there. If you united around a cause, will they remain in your life after the cause is complete? This doesn’t make them bad people, you just need to make sure that you understand their motive. Love them, embrace them, walk alongside them, but seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance as to whether or not they are truly meant to be a part your inner circle. Seek to grow a relationship with those who are for you, not just for a cause. - Love and Blessings, Pastor Jeff
Thursday, September 13
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Most relationship experts will tell you that if you get to enjoy three true friendships in your life you that are in a rare minority. Everyone will have comrades, constituents, and other types of casual relationships throughout their life, but very few will ever get to experience a genuine confidant. Confidants are so much more than people who simply like what you like or agree with your political or religious views. Confidants are those rare and unique individuals that are in your life because they are for you, not just your cause or common foe. They see you for who really are and love you in spite of it if necessary. They know the things about you that only God knows and could ruin you if the rest of the world found out. They will stand with you when you’re at your best and they will be there when you’re at your worst. They love you for who God made you to be and they won’t let you settle for being anything less. Confidants will celebrate your victories and they will pick you up after a defeat. Even if the rest of the world seems to be against you, they lock arms with you and keep you moving forward. These types of people truly are rare so when you find them be as good and faithful to them as they are to you. Recognize them for who they are, a gift from God. - Love and Blessings, Pastor Jeff
Friday, September 14
“So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
In life, God has ordained two covenant relationships, the first is your relationship with Him, the second is your relationship with your spouse. When you are born again the Holy Spirit takes up residency within your spirit and the Lord considers you one with Him for eternity. You’re covenant bond is sealed and ratified by the shed blood of Jesus. When you establish the covenant of marriage with your spouse the Lord sees you as one because the covenant you made was not only with your husband or wife but with Lord as well. The Bible even goes onto say in Ephesians 5 that the marriage relationship is an example of Christ and the Church. This raises the question of fidelity when it comes to the confidentiality of the marriage relationship. Too many people do not look to their spouse as their first source of support and encouragement. Men have their buddies and women have their girl friends with whom they seek advice and support for the very issues that affect their homes. If you are one, there should be nothing that is hidden from the other. There shouldn’t be things that your friends know about you that your spouse doesn’t. If you’re married, you have been blessed with an eternal covenant partner who should know you more intimately than anyone else. Anything less than complete disclosure and honesty is a violation of that covenant. If you have things out of order this weakens your relationship severely. Is your spouse your closest confidant? If you can’t answer quickly and emphatically, “Yes!”, then ask the Lord to help you start making things right. You will soon begin to see greater fulfillment from your marriage the you ever thought possible. - Love and Blessings, Pastor Jeff
Saturday, September 15
24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up in haste. He declared to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.” 25 He answered and said, “But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.”
The backstory to today’s scripture text is very well known. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had refused to bow to the king’s statue of himself and were about receive the punishment required for not submitting to his command. After being thrown into the fiery furnace, they were miraculously rescued by who most people believe was Jesus Himself. This account shows the great value of not only having strong, confidant style relationships in your life, but the importance of those relationships being founded upon Christ. Any relationship that is going to be foundational in your life must be built upon Him. Think about what this story would read like if just one of the three men had buckled under pressure or fear. Would the other two have done the same? Fortunately that question will have to remain unanswered because all three could trust the faith of the others. When you seek those with whom you can align yourself, make sure that their faith compliments yours. In moments of pressure and difficulty you have to know that they are going to be able to stand with you. Seeking relationships with people of like faith will enable you to be the person of faith that you know you can be. Align yourself with those who will challenge you to remain strong in the faith that will enable to see victory in every test that life will bring. - Love and Blessings, Pastor Jeff
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