June 26th

Redeemed

Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; for you will forget the shame of your youth and will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore. For your Maker is your husband, the LORD of hosts is His name; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth. Isaiah 54:4-5

There's a saying that goes, If you always do what you've always done, then you'll always get what you've always got.

It makes a lot of sense doesn't it? Unfortunately, so many of us approach life the opposite of this. We go through life until we run into trouble-our children are pulling away from us, our spouse is on edge around us, we keep losing our job-but once we hit that trouble, we don't change. Why?

The devil wants to whisper in our ears, Change is too hard. Change is too high of a hurdle. That thriving marriage, family, and life are just out of reach; I might as well quit trying. He will use all the shadow puppets he can to try to convince us that change is too big a deal, out of reach, impossible, and hopeless.

We must not buy these lies. Instead, we must recognize the truth that God is with us, always and all the time. Trusting in this reality, we can start asking helpful questions: Why isn't it working? Why aren't we happy? Why are we so unfulfilled? Who has convinced us that it can't work?

The truth is that God created marriage and said it was good. God would not have said it was good if it was a death trap full of pain, suffering, wounding, and hurt. He would not have said it was good if it was doomed to fail. No circumstance is beyond His reach to redeem and save!

You have a God today who wants to work miracles on your behalf.

Well, I've never done it that way, Bob, you say. Exactly! Where has what you've done before gotten you, and how do you think you'll get somewhere different?

It's already too late, I'm kicked out of the house. So were Adam and Eve, but you know what, God went with them because He wanted to redeem them and restore them to the Garden. Our verses for today are a promise made to barren women and hopeless fathers exiled as slaves to Babylon. It is a promise made to you.

Will you receive it?

Prayer Lord God,

Please come and be God over my marriage and family! Redeem and restore everything that is lost, broken, and looking hopeless. Show me a different way than I've tried before, a way that leads to Your mercy, love, and redemption.

Amen

Horizon Church
June 25th

Recommitment

The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.' Luke 4:18-19

Hurt people hurt people. Blind guides are worthless. A prisoner is the last person who can set you free.

Yet so many of us assume that when we get married, our hurts will magically go away,

we'll instantly see how to be successful in relationships when we never have been before, and our spouse who is stuck in their past will somehow set us free from ours.

Marriage does not change us, but Jesus can.

When Jesus spoke the words in our verses today, He was run out of His hometown and the people tried to throw Him off a cliff. He miraculously escaped, and do you know what He did next? He went to the next town over for a wedding.

It could very well be that the happy couple had been in the synagogue when Jesus made this bold declaration about Himself. If so, it's easy to think that this couple wanted the change He brought, knowing that marriage alone would not change them. Perhaps you want that change today. If so, then here are three things you need to know:

First, Jesus wants to be invited. He was invited to the wedding, where He then changed the water to wine. Jesus will wait for your invitation before He brings change to your marriage. Second, Jesus wants to be obeyed. Mary, Jesus' mother, told the servants at the wedding to do whatever Jesus told them to do, and only when they obeyed did the water turn to wine.

The change we need will come as we obey Jesus.

Third, Jesus wants to be believed. Those in the wedding who believed in Him became His disciples, and only they became changed like the wine was. They were the only ones who got the point of the whole thing.

We can watch Jesus change lots of things around us, but only when we do these three things will He come and change us. He wants to set us free, open our eyes, and heal our hearts, but it will require change.

Will you let Jesus change you today?

Prayer Lord Jesus,

I am so glad that You have come with the good news of healing, wholeness, and salvation! I know I need these things in my life and my marriage, and I am willing to change in order to get them. Please come change me, I invite You and I will follow You as You do this work in me.

Amen

Horizon Church
June 24th

Core Values

For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:2-3

Have you ever thought of jealousy as a good thing? It can be...if it's godly jealousy.

I remember when I first moved back to San Diego, dating Bonnie at the time, one of the very first things I was invited to be a part of from a ministry standpoint was being one of the chaplains for the San Diego Padres, who, back in those days, needed a whole lot of prayer and seem to still need a lot of prayer today.

One of the passages I remember studying together in the dugout with those guys was the passage that says God is a jealous God. And they're all looking at me like, Explain that. What does that mean?

And I said, It simply means this, guys, that when you take your position on the field, when you run out there to first base or the pitcher's mound, God wants you to honor Him in all that He has given you the ability to do with your life.

Now, whether you're a banker, lawyer, real estate agent, pastor, or anything else, the Lord is looking for you to be loyal. He is jealous for you to be loyal, jealous for you to be living your life for His glory.

I think a great example of this for us these days comes from the athletic realm, and that's Tim Tebow. I am just so excited to see this guy's clear devotion and loyalty to the Lord. He's singing praise songs as he warms up. He is absolutely not embarrassed in any way, shape, or form to make a bold stand for Jesus Christ in terms of saying, He is what I live my life for.

It's very, very clear who that guy's loyal to. And I think it should be just as clear to all of your friends, co-workers, and neighbors who it is that you're loyal to and who it is I'm loyal to. Now I know some Christians have sort of looked at Tebow and said Man, you need to pipe down. Do you know why they say that? It's because they're embarrassed by their own lack of outspoken loyalty.

The reality is that loyalty is proven when it's inconvenient. God is jealous for you; can He rely on you to be loyal when everyone around you abandons Him?

Prayer Lord God,

Thank You that You are jealous of me, that I matter enough to You that You are jealous for me. Help me to know You as the jealous God so that I have the strength to be loyal to You no matter what!

Amen

Horizon Church
June 23rd

You've Got Mail

Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. Revelation 3:10-11

Have you been trying hard?

You know what I'm talking about. Have you been pressing in, praying it up, seeking the Lord, living for Him? Have you hidden His Word in your heart? Have you been put-

ting action to the love you profess?

Yes, you have? Oh, good, then I have one more question: Is it always easy?

Ah, I didn't think so, and I will tell you why. You were born into a war. When you became a believer in Jesus, you switched sides in the war. And the more you pursued Jesus, the less like everyone else you became. In a word, you became weird.

There is something strange about you. You do not fit in with the people around you. It's not that you don't like each other, though there are some who are particularly hostile. It's more that you simply are not interested in the same things. You have different passions in life that capture your attention, devotion, and time-and it shows.

It has cost you to maintain this distinction-this holiness-between you and everyone else. It has cost you socially at work, perhaps to the point of missing promotions or raises that you could have received, but didn't because your priorities pulled you elsewhere. Or maybe it has cost you social standing and the niceties of life as you decided to be a one-income home so that you could be more hands-on in raising your children.

If nothing else, then certainly you know the familiar words, Oh, yeah, I'm a Christian, too, and you have learned to wait before you embrace them as a true brother or sister in the Lord. You know all too well that most people who have said these words to you are merely church-goers whose lives look just like everyone else. They aren't different like you.

What has made the cost worth it? You know that Jesus is coming again soon, and when He comes, He will crown you with rewards for your faithfulness.

You are determined to be found faithful. That is why you persevere.

Prayer Lord Jesus,

Thank You that You are coming soon! I choose to persevere in living for You. Please give me wisdom and strength to live strong and finish strong.

Amen

Horizon Church
June 22nd

People of the Second Chance

You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart. 2 Corinthians 2:6-8

Have you heard of the new thing? A lot of people these days are just looking for the newest thing, the biggest announcement, the latest gadget, the hippest style. But I'm telling you today about the best new thing you can possibly imagine-a new life.

This new life comes through a new covenant that God has offered to us, and a covenant simply means community, so the new covenant is talking about God's community. Let me tell you about it:

First of all, the new covenant provides the real deal. The old covenant was a religious deal, but the new one is the real deal. This means that the old way of life was artificial, but the new is actual. See, in the old way you had a goat or sheep that represented the Lamb of God, but in the new, actual system is the real Lamb of God-Jesus Christ-who opens the way to His presence.

This kind of Christianity is written on your heart and soul. It's not some written law that remains outside of you, but it has now gotten to the core of who you are and transformed you from the inside out.

This law written on your heart finally becomes legible so that you and everyone else can read it. It also becomes convincing because you are now living a first-person relationship with Jesus. In the old way, you were stuck with a vicarious relationship that went through a priest who went into the Holy of Holies once a year, but now you can enter right in for yourself. It also becomes persuasive because now you have the living Creator of all things dwelling inside of you, and there is nothing as persuasive and real as a changed life.

All of this is Christianity in its most enduring form. The old covenant was written on tablets of stone that crumpled to dust millennia ago. If your religion is based on them, then what good is that now? Those tablets could never take the place of what God has for us now.

Real Christianity is the divine Christianity that God has written on our hearts. No surgeon can write on your heart, but God can, and He will make Himself this personal, this powerful, and this real to you if you will just ask.

Prayer Lord Jesus,

I confess that I have been living with less than real Christianity, but I want more. I want the real deal. Please come and write on my heart today, even right now, so that I can enter into the fullness of all You have for me!

Amen

Horizon Church
June 21st

Heartguard

I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you. For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. 1 Corinthians 4:14-15

Let me tell you God's plan-it's that you would have a father and not just a teacher.

The difference is that you look like your father, you have his name, you sound like him, you pick up the same mannerisms so that you act like him even on accident, and even if you don't like it, you still often can't get away from these things.

But a teacher, you know, I can't tell you how many teachers I've had in all my years of school. A small handful of them stand out to me, but maybe none of them impacted me the way my father did. You can probably say the same thing.

Only someone who comes along and fathers you in the faith can impact your life in a way that compares to the impact of your natural father. This kind of spiritual fathering is a good thing, but here's the deal-there will not be many fathers in your life. Their impact will be profound, shaping your faith, your doctrine, your beliefs, and your way of life.

That's why you need fathers, because fathers will help shape you. Teachers, on the other hand, are so numerous that you can pick which ones you want to hear and reject the rest.

It is way too easy to change churches these days. I mean, I praise God for all the churches in America and I thank Him for our Christian heritage, but not every church preaches the truth. Too many dance around the difficult, hard hitting issues that might offend people. But you know what? The Bible has issues in it that might offend people, so I don't have a choice; I'm going to preach on everything and I have and will offend people.

That's because I want to be a father. I'm not just a teacher, trying to make a living off of you, so I'll tickle your ears with whatever you want to hear. No, I'm trying to be a father who cares about you, so I tell you what you need to hear whether you like it or not.

What this world needs right now is not more teachers. What it needs most is more fathers.

Prayer Father God,

Thank You that You're a good father who cares enough about me that You save me from driving my life the wrong way! Thank You for loving me enough to point me in the right way. I choose to humble myself today and listen to the fathers you have put in my life.

Amen

Horizon Church
June 20th

Hijacking the American Dream

By which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 2 Peter 1:4

I hope that you get hijacked today. No, really, I do. Because the hijack that I'm talking about is one of the best things that could ever happen to you.

Did you read the verse for today? You need to, because in it, Peter tells us that we can be partakers of the divine nature. This means that it is no longer you and me limited by our own gene pool, going bald because of grandpa or having the heart disease because dad had the heart disease. It is now for us to be fulfilled by becoming partakers in the divine nature-a new DNA.

This is the hijack-being filled with our Father's DNA. It hijacks everything that we are naturally and brings us to a whole new experience and vista.

Now some people I know are still stuck in the Adamic nature of the flesh. And maybe they think they've grown out of it a bit because they've added a little bit of faith, but really they're deceiving themselves.

They come to church and by Monday, they're monsters again. By Tuesday they're tweaked and twisted by this culture and by Wednesday they're weird. Thursday, they're a train wreck and Friday they're freaking out. On Saturday, they have sunk so low into some sin that by Sunday they can barely slide into church.

You're reading this right now and you're thinking to yourself, Yeah, why is that? You just read my mail. The reason is because you're still operating under the old DNA. What you need is the new DNA-the Divine Nature Applied. And you need it applied not just Sunday, but every day. You need it applied not just externally as something you know you're supposed to do, but as something marked on your heart as deeply as your DNA.

It should not be some battle between the American dream and our Father's DNA in us, because we have escaped the corruption that is in the world through its unending desires. Our nature has been transformed and our desires have shifted. Instead of choosing the apple that God forbade, we have now become the apple that doesn't fall far from the tree.

Become hijacked today. Let God's DNA, His nature fill and transform you as you have never been before.

Prayer Father God,

I need to be hijacked! I confess that I have still been living by my old nature, but I realize today the promise that You have given me. Please fill me with Your nature and let me be like You-my Daddy!

Amen

Horizon Church