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A Four Dot Name

“As I stared in awe at one particular scroll fragment from the book of Deuteronomy, I noticed four dots where the Hebrew letters for Yahweh should have appeared. Four dots. Then I saw it again in the book of Isaiah: “In the wilderness prepare the way of • • • •” (Isaiah 40:3, esv).
And then it hit me just how deeply the scribes reverenced and revered the name YHWH. They wouldn’t say the Name. They wouldn’t even write the Name. And yet YHWH is the name that God said would be remembered from generation to generation (Exodus 3:15). And while God is exceedingly holy, He is also intimately personal. He reminded Moses, “I am…the God of Abraham,…Isaac and…Jacob” (verse 6).”

Excerpted from Knowing God by Name by Sharon Jaynes, Gwen Smith, and Mary Southerland (coming Aug. 6th)

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Real World Hero Training

“In Deuteronomy 11:18–19 we find instructions specifying how the Israelites were to impart God’s commands to successive generations. These directives also illustrate the way parents can convey important life concepts of honor day by day, moment by moment: ‘Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.’ Scripture teaches us that unlike in tales or movies where time is condensed, heroic honor training in the real world occurs in the dailiness of life, in the midst of loss, pain, immorality—indeed, anything can provide an opportunity for teaching to occur.”

Excerpted from Raising Boys by Design by Dr. [ … ]

Inward and Outward Fruit

“The fruit from your life is how God receives His due honor on earth. That’s why Jesus declares, “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit” (John 15:8).

You bear inner fruit when you allow God to nurture in you a new, Christlike quality: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22).

You bear outward fruit when you allow God to work through you to bring Him glory. That would certainly include sharing your faith. The apostles saw every arena of life as an opportunity to bear fruit. Paul wrote, “God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8, NIV). Whether you’re chopping wood [ … ]

Long-shot Prayers

“My favorite exploit in Joshua’s life doesn’t get nearly enough airtime, if you ask me. From every angle, the story—tucked away in Joshua 10—showcases the kind of audacity we’re after. And it all hinges on a preposterous prayer. In fact, when you first hear it, you might even feel like it’s insulting or irreverent. But as it turns out, our God isn’t intimidated by long-shot prayers.

As the chapter opens, we read that five opposing Amorite armies were planning to attack…
Joshua sized up the situation, summoned all his available courage, and delivered one of the most gloriously unorthodox prayers in the entire Bible:

O sun, stand still over Gibeon,
O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon. (verse 12)

Now can you see why I love this story? Joshua had the audacity to ask God to make the [ … ]

The Right Place at the Right Time

“Let me share one of my core convictions: God is in the business of strategically positioning us in the right place at the right time. A sense of destiny is our birthright as followers of Christ. God is awfully good at getting us where He wants us to go. But here’s the catch: The right place often seems like the wrong place, and the right time often seems like the wrong time…

Here’s the point: God is in the résumé-building business. He is always using past experiences to prepare us for future opportunities. But those God-given opportunities often come disguised as man-eating lions. And how we react when we encounter those lions will determine our destiny. We can cower in fear and run away from our greatest challenges. Or we can chase our God-ordained destiny by seizing the God-ordained opportunity.

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What’s In a Name

“In the sixty-six books of the Bible that were written over approximately fifteen hundred years, God revealed various names that reflect His multifaceted character and infinitely diverse ways. To the outcast Hagar, He was El Roi, the God Who Sees. To the needy Abraham, He was Yahweh Yireh, the Lord Will Provide. To the rock-toting teen warrior David, He was El Shaddai, the All-Sufficient One. In each of these instances, God revealed a new aspect of His being to show that He was sufficient to take care of every need, all powerful to take care of every foe, and all present to take care of every circumstance.”

Excerpted from Knowing God by Name by Sharon Jaynes, Gwen Smith, and Mary Southerland

Daily Reflection: Which name of God is the most meaningful and personal to you?

Your Supernatural Life

“He did not place you on this earth to notice Him at work only once or twice in your whole life. He did not create you to consistently miss out on the wonder of His presence and power. The truth is, you were born to live a supernatural life doing God’s work by God’s power. You were born to walk out your door each morning believing that God will use you to deliver a necessary miracle today.”

Excerpted from You Were Born for This by Bruce Wilkinson

Daily Reflection: Do you believe that God will use you to deliver a necessary miracle today?

Hearing God’s Voice

The key message about the Holy Spirit’s role is very simple: He helps me. He helps me know what to say when I’m speechless. He helps me know when to speak and when to keep my mouth closed…

You might be wondering if the Holy Spirit really speaks to us in such clear ways. The simple answer is yes. The truth is that most of us don’t have any trouble believing that God speaks to us. We just get frustrated because we don’t know exactly what He’s saying. Almost every one of us has a desire, even a desperation, to hear with confidence the voice of God. Who wants to stumble through life without the benefit of the clear direction and inward peace that comes from hearing God’s voice? The great news is that God doesn’t want that for us [ … ]

An Extraordinary Life

My task is to bring out in the open and make plain what God, who created all this in the first place, has been doing in secret and behind the scenes all along. Through followers of Jesus like yourselves gathered in churches, this extraordinary plan of God is becoming known and talked about even among the angels! (Ephesians 3:9–10, MSG)

There’s One Person above all others who desires an extraordinary life for you. He is a Father who delights, like any good father, in the achievements and happiness of His children. His name is God! And nothing will please Him more than seeing you reach your highest potential.”

Excerpted from Extraordinary: Keys to a Breakthrough Life by John Bevere

Daily Reflection: Do you believe God wants you to reach your highest potential?

Knowing I AM

“If God’s name is I AM WHO I AM, as He confided to Moses, then my name must be I am not. After all, by the nature of the name and title I AM, the rest of us must be called something else—and that something is I am not I AM, or in short, I am not…

 “Hmm. What’s so good about this news?” you may be asking.After all, many of us have spent our lives trying to do more,gain more, become more influential, get ahead, and lead the way.The message of “I am not” seemingly comes as an affront to ourpursuit of being all we can be and experiencing the very best wecan achieve. Yet, the fact that our names are I am not does notrequire us to put ourselves down, but rather to embrace the factthat we have [ … ]