Day 4 – Look about you…


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“Lift up your eyes and look about you:
    All assemble and come to you;
your sons come from afar,
    and your daughters are carried on the hip. Isaiah 60:4 NIV

In today’s modern world everywhere you look people are focused on their technological devices. People walking, sitting, eating, all with their heads down looking at their cellular apparatus. Meanwhile around them, the world passes them by.

Others walk with their heads down burdened by the concerns of life and the worries of unresolved challenges.

“Lift up your eyes and look about you” is a command, an imperative. Whatever has you looking down, stop! Lift up your eyes! Look about you! 

You have come to know the one who gave His life for you. You have the hope of glory, Jesus Christ in you. Lift up your eyes! Look about you!  

Walk with you head lifted up towards the God of glory! (Psalm 24:5  Psalm 24:7) He will lift up the burdens from you and bring redemption.  (Psalm 121:1-2)

God is bringing the lost, the marginalized, the young–those still being carried as babies, “your daughters carried on the hip” and the old into your sphere of influence. Lift up your eyes! Look about you! 

As you share the love of Christ, the hope of salvation, you will receive new strength and you will bring life to others.


Heavenly Father, forgive me for being distracted. Forgive me for focusing on the wrong things. Help me to lift my head up. Help me to lift my eyes up. This year, I will look about me. I pray your Holy Spirit will give me discernment to see the people. Truly see. Help me to see those whom You are gathering and bringing so that I may bring then the good news. Let me not dismiss even the young ones. I thank you, God for saving me that I may save others. Thank you, God for Jesus in my life that I may bring Him to others.

Light to the Nations Click on the link to sing your prayer.



Day 3 -Nations…and kings…


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Nations will come to your light,
    and kings to the brightness of your dawn. Isaiah 60:3 NIV

We all dream of traveling, of going to far away places. Some of us get the opportunity to do so. We plan. We prepare.  When the big day comes, we are brimming with anticipation and great expectations. So what are we waiting for? The nations are at our doorsteps.

Jesus commanded His disciples to Go!

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  Matthew 28:19-20 NIV

And the prophet Isaiah is saying, “Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.”  

Nations – people; kings – those in authority. People from all walks of life, those in authority, those who rule, all these will be drawn, approach, be attracted to YOUR light. They will note that a new thing is happening.

See the dawn breaks the darkness, as the bright sun rising appears over the horizon. As you shine brightly  through your life that pleases Christ, you shatter the works of evil, you break the darkness.

Arise and shine like the SON!  As you GO amongst the people, as you live like children of light (Ephesians 5:8),  those who are in darkness will want what you have, they will COME. Even those whom you thought will never give you the time of day, will be drawn to Jesus in you.

A unique way to summarize this, “GO, they will come!”

“You groped your way through that murk once, but no longer. You’re out in the open now. The bright light of Christ makes your way plain. So no more stumbling around. Get on with it! The good, the right, the true—these are the actions appropriate for daylight hours. Figure out what will please Christ, and then do it.” (Ephesians 5: 8-10 MSG)

Get on with it, GO! Do what pleases Christ, and the people will come. And when that day comes when we are reunited with the Father, when we are at home with Him, He will fill us with joy and eternal pleasures. (Psalm 16:11). Let us not get held back by the sorrows of this world or tempted by its pleasures.

When we as individuals gather together as the Church, the Body of Christ, when we rise up, take our part, when we shine as the light of the world, when we arise, shine and the Lord rises upon us, the whole earth will be filled with His glory AND Nations will come to your light,   and kings to the brightness of your dawn. Isaiah 60:3 NIV

Am I adding my gifts to the gifting of others? Am I doing my part to bring light, to bring Jesus to others?

Pray Ephesians 5: 8-10.

Heavenly Father, thank you for redeeming me from darkness and making me light. Thank you for rescuing me from the murk and sending Christ to lead the way. I want to please you. I want to do good, live right and be true to your calling on my life. I want to go so others can come to the light, your Son. Help me to serve more, to go more. As your Son did for me, help me to do for others.

Lights Shine Bright –  Click on the link to be inspired through song.

Go Light Your World – Click on the link to be inspired through song.


Day 2 – See…thick darkness


See, darkness covers the earth
    and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the Lord rises upon you
    and his glory appears over you.

Isaiah 60:2 NIV

See – Let us not be blind to the darkness around us. There is moral, emotional and spiritual darkness.  Darkness that harbors immorality, grief, sadness, evil.  People, victims of loneliness, abandonment, abuse, neglect, sexual predators, are found everywhere.

See – Let us open our eyes and see that the darkness can be dispelled with light.

Have we not the Light of the world in us? Have we not received Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord? Have we not the hope of glory? (Colossians 1:27)

We are the light that will dispel the darkness on this earth. God made us in His image and likeness, through His Son, Jesus, reconciled us to Him, and He gave us the Holy Spirit to empower us to live a life that honors Him and to show others the way.

Yes, the darkness is over the people, but we are the light and the Lord rises upon us and his glory appears over us. 

What darkness have you ignored that you can shine a light on? What child could use your kindness, your caring, your mentoring? What brother or sister? What man or woman? Whom has God placed in your line of sight that is in darkness?

Pray Colossians 1:26-27   Galatians 5:22- 23  Matthew 5:14-15

Heavenly Father, thank you for Jesus, the hope of glory, that is in me. Thank you for the Holy Spirit that bears His fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control in me.

Open my eyes that I may see where You want me to shine the light that is in me. Make me brave so that I will not hide my light and I will let my light shine before others, that they may see my good deeds and glorify You.

Shine a Light  (Click on link to worship in song)

Day 1 – Arise, Shine…


“Arise, shine, for your light has come,  and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.” Isaiah 60:1 NIV

Arise! – It is a command! It is an imperative! Get yourself up! Take initiative! Don’t stay down! Take action! This command, this imperative is a word of power that activates into action.

The prophet Isaiah was speaking prophetically to Jerusalem. He was announcing that the lonely, desolate night has come to an end and Jerusalem is to awaken, rise up to a new day, a new season.

He is also speaking to us.

Let us arise! The night is over. The desolation has come to an end. The loneliness is no more.

Shine! Your light has come. Jesus has come!

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 NIV

Jesus is the light!  As committed followers of Jesus, we are in Him, we are in His light. And we can hide in His light and allow Him to shine through us.

When we allow God through His Son to shine through us His glory will rise upon us.  Just as God manifested Himself in visible glory to the Israelites during their journey to the Promised Land, so He would manifest Himself in to us as our guide and protector.

Let the people see the Light in us! Let the people see Jesus in us!

What will it take for me to get up from my slumber? Get up from my sleep? How will I let others see Jesus in me in 2017?  What is preventing me from shining?

Pray Isaiah 60:1

Heavenly Father, thank you for your love and grace that sent us Jesus. Thank you, Jesus for being my Light and guiding me. Holy Spirit empower me to get up and take action. I put my trust and faith in you, O God. Manifest your glory, your presence through me. Help me bring forth the best in me. Help be bring forth love, faith and hope. Help me bring forth the Jesus in me. I want to shine.

Hide Me in Your Light  Click on the link to worship in song.

Focus on the Father, Not on Fasting


We begin every year with a time of prayer and fasting. We choose 21 days and the Daniel Fast for our congregational fast at El Shaddai Bethlehem.

“The 21-Day Daniel Fast is a partial fast, based on Daniel 10:2-3 in the Bible, in which Daniel says he fasted for three weeks. During the fasting period, only certain foods are eaten. Prayer, meditation and giving the results of the fast to God are also important components of this fast.” – Casey Holley

Preparation requires commitment. Commit to be intentional about praying and fasting.

Set a specific time in the day when you will read your Bible, meditate on it and respond in prayer. Don’t overwhelm yourself by requiring of yourself to spend hours of daily prayers or to read several chapters of the Bible in one sitting. It is not about doing, it is about being. Being in the moment where your focus is on God, His Word and your response to Him.

Remember, abstaining yourself from food is not as important as making this season of prayer and fasting an opportunity to grow closer to God.

“Focus on the Father not on fasting.” – Pastor Gerry Hartman.

If you are not using a Bible Reading Plan, then I encourage you to check this blog daily for a Daily Devotional, January 2 – January 22, 2017.

I will be using the Book of Isaiah, Chapter 60 as the basis for this Devotional and I encourage you to memorize our 2017 Verse of the Year.

2017 Verse of the Year

“Arise, shine, for your light has come,
    and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. Isaiah 60:1 NIV

I pray that the next 21 days will provide for you the opportunity to grow closer to our Heavenly Father, discern the mind of Christ and become familiar with the leading of the Holy Spirit. May you be blessed to bless others.


Getting Ready for 2017




2016 will be history in 31 days.  We begin a New Year. Some of us are busy getting ready for the Christmas Holidays and others are planning are new year’s eve celebration. Some have taken some time to reflect on what 2017 will bring.

We plan, we journal, we reflect, we ponder. And yet, we have no idea how 2017 is going to turn out. Yet there is one who knows. One who holds our future in His hands.

In the Book of Amos in the Hebrew Scriptures it is written, “For sure the Lord does not do anything without making His plan known to His servants who speak for Him.”

“His servants who speak for Him” – His prophets. I believe that what the Paul says in Ephesians 4: 11 -13 is true for today.

“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers,  to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”

Christ has given the church, us, prophets as a gift so that we will be equipped for works of service….

Prophets – “His servants who speak for Him”.  “For sure the Lord does not do anything without making His plan known to His servants who speak for Him.”

Let us pray and call upon the name of the Lord that He will make known His plan for 2017.

“Heavenly Father, I am asking You, the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, give us the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that we may know you better. I pray that the eyes of our heart may be enlightened in order that we may know the hope to which You have called us, the riches of Your glorious inheritance in your holy people,  and Your incomparably great power for us who believe (Ephesians 1:17-19). Reveal Your secrets unto us as You did to Daniel (2:27-30).

As we prepare ourselves for 2017, Holy Spirit manifest yourself in our lives with the gift of prophecy and empower us to align to the plans of our Creator. Align our steps to your path and lead us. In Jesus’ name.”





Free…free indeed!



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 “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32 NIV

Jesus said,  ““I am the way and the truth and the life.” John 14:6  When we know Jesus, not know about Him, but know Him, we can expect to live a life of freedom. We can expect to live a life free from the iniquities (immoral or grossly unfair behavior) of this world, free from generational curses, word curses and the consequences of sin committed by us and against us. Jesus, the Truth, sets us free of the domination and oppression of evil.

To know Jesus is to make a conscious decision to follow Him and obey His commands. It is to live according to the Word of God, bringing glory (honor) to our Heavenly Father, God, the Creator of heaven and earth.

To live a life of freedom is to experience deliverance, to be set free. When we accept Jesus–declare Him Lord of our lives, make a commitment to submit to His way and His words– we are immediately set free from the penalty of sin. The process of being set free from the power of sin requires deliverance and a life submitted to God and His Word.

Deliverance is the process by which we

  • Reconcile with God by acknowledging  Jesus’ as the One who reconciles us to Him through Jesus’ death on the Cross
  • Declare Jesus as Lord of our lives
  • Confess our sins (immoral acts or transgressions against God) and ask God for forgiveness
  • Forgive everyone who has offended us, hurt us, cursed us
  • Surrender our unforgiveness, bitterness, anger, resentment, and envy to God
  • Renounce the devil, his works, any transgression against God we have committed
  • Identify any generational curses in our lives and break them
  • Uproot any source of rejection
  • Surrender fully to the leading of the Holy Spirit

We can experience deliverance because it is God who brings deliverance through Jesus. Matthew 6:12-13  Luke 4:18-19 John 8:36

We can experience deliverance, mediate and intercede for the deliverance of others because we have the authority to do so based on the Word of God (Bible). We have the promise (Mark 16:17), the position (Ephesians 2:6), the personality (Colossians 2:9-10), and the protection (Luke 10:17-19) to exercise deliverance.

For this reason, I pray that God will fill you with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience,  and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. (Colossians 1:9-12 NIV)

For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption,the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1: 13-14 NIV

Let us declare that our trust is God and shout

We Believe!  God, You Are My Deliverer!



Day 21- I am with you always…



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“and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20 NIV

Jesus commanded His disciples and us to mobilize and develop learning believers among all people groups by teaching them everything He had commanded. His command came with a promise. “I am with you always.

Jesus had gone to the cross, was buried and was risen on the third day. He met with the women who had heard the news from the angel of the Lord and comforted them. Then He met with His disciples in Galilee. There Jesus told His disciples that all authority had been given to Him.  As a result, He was sending them to go, form learning believers, baptize them and teach them.

Teach–educate, instruct, school, tutor, coach, train, show or explain to them how to be followers of Jesus.

It is not a tract, a short speech, a ‘come forward-raise your hand-repeat after me–you’re in’ moment. Sure this may be the “go”.  The “make disciples of all nations” and  the “teaching them to obey everything” it’s a process.

It’s a committed process, a sometimes up & down process, a sometimes overwhelming process, but through it all, Jesus says, “I am with you always.”

Most importantly, teaching those who make a commitment to follow Jesus to obey everything He commanded us is a rewarding & satisfying process. It is rewarding because obedience is a place of blessing. It is satisfying because teaching someone to obey Jesus’ commands affects the present and eternal future of that person.

Who has God placed in your heart to “go”?  To whom are you teaching His commands? Have you ever been tempted to give up on showing someone how to be a follower of Jesus?

Through it all, Jesus says, “I am with you always.”

Pray Matthew 28:19-20

Heavenly Father, thank you for your Son, Jesus. Thank you for sending Him to show me how to live in obedience to You.

Jesus, thank you for your willingness to be obedient to the Father and take up my cross and pay for the consequences of my sin so that I could be free.

Holy Spirit, empower me to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything Jesus have commanded us. 

I praise You, God, for You are always with me until the very end of age.

We are the Light of the world! (Click on the link to worship in song)


Day 20 – In the name of…



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“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” Matthew 28:19

Jesus’ command to His disciples when He met with them after His resurrection and before ascending to the Father was that they go and make disciples, that they baptize them in the name of God–the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Jesus did not ask them to baptize them in the name of the Pharisees or Sadducees. He didn’t ask them to baptize them in the name of the Sanhedrin.

The Sanhedrin was the ruling council of the Jewish people. It was made up of Pharisees and Sadducees. The Pharisees were mostly middle class while the Sadducees were aristocrats.  They were the religious leaders at the time of Jesus. They represented the Law of God but Jesus rebuked them numerous times.

When Jesus commanded His disciples to baptize others, He told them to baptize them “in the name” of God – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Can you imagine a time when the church – committed followers of Jesus, would go by the riverside and baptize thousands “in the name” of God? No church name, no denomination, no distinction of class, race or social status. In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  What would it look like? How would it affect your sharing the gospel?

Jesus prayer for His disciples, for us, was that we would all be one, just as the Father and He are one. John 17

What can you do to promote the unity of the church? How can you encourage committed followers of Jesus to focus on sharing the gospel for the sake of humanity? Build up God’s kingdom and not anyone else’s kingdom?

Go and make disciples of Jesus. Go and baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Pray Psalm 133 John 17:23 Colossians 3:12-14

Heavenly, Father, how pleasant and good it is when Your children live together in unity. Help us to put aside our worldly differences and realize that we are all created in Your image, redeemed by Your Son’s sacrifice.

Bring us to complete unity that the world will know that we are Your children, loved by You.

Holy Spirit empower us to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Help us bear with each other and forgive one another just as the Lord forgave us. Let your perfect love, O God, bind us all together in perfect unity.

God, help us to obey your command to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We will do it as one body.

The Body of the Most High! (click on the link to worship in song)



Day 19 – Therefore Go…



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“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,”  Matthew 28:19 NIV

Jesus met up with His disciples after His resurrection. The disciples responded by worshipping even though some of them had their doubts about this man they had seen crucified just 3 days before. He was alive! He is risen!

Jesus addressed them and let them know that all authority had been given to Him. He didn’t take it. He didn’t usurped it. It was given. It was given to Him because He didn’t bank on being God when He came to live among us, instead He humbled Himself and was obedient to the Heavenly Father even to death on the cross.

Following His statement that all authority had been given to Him, Jesus said, “Therefore” –for that reason, consequently, as a result, “Go”.

“Go”, move, leave, depart!

“Make disciples”. Disciples—mathēteuō (original greek)—a learning believer.  Make, form, produce learning believers!

Go, move, leave, depart and make, form, produce learning believers!

Jesus is saying, “I have been given all the authority and for that reason I am telling you to get going, don’t stay in place, move to form growing, learning believers!

How many times have you asked God to put people in your path so that you can share the good news? How many times do you wait for people to ask you about your faith? Ever used the statement “preach the gospel at all times and whenever necessary use words?

Have you ever considered that waiting is the opposite of “go”? How will you form learning believers, if you don’t teach them? How can you teach without using words?

“Therefore, Go”  share the good news of God’s love -Jesus –  with everyone who would hear and bring them along in the understanding of what it is to follow Jesus.

Pray Romans 10:1  2 Corinthians 5:20 Ephesians 6:19

Heavenly Father, make my heart’s desire and my prayer be for those who need salvation. You have trusted me to be an ambassador for Christ. Let me not cease to beg on behalf of Christ that those who are not yet Your children, be reconciled to You.

I want to be bold and “go” and speak! And I pray that when I begin to speak, the right words will come to me. Then I will boldly make known the secret of the gospel. 

Thank you, Lord for backing me up with all authority to be able not just to share the good news of salvation, but to help people grow as followers of your Son, Jesus.

Let it not be said of our congregation that our feet are not going, if we are the body. (click on this link for today’s song for you to worship in song)