All posts by Farmer Phil

Ambitious are you?


What drives you? What motivates you? What gets you out of bed in the morning? What keeps you going? What keeps you moving forward? What is your goal? What is your target? What is your aim?  What is your purpose? What is your plan? What is your reason? What does success look like? What would it take for you to succeed?

Ambitious

Who are you doing it for? What is controlling your ambitions?

Are you out to make yourself bigger? Are you out to get all the glory? Are you trying to get the light shone on you? Are you trying to make it all about you?

OR

Are you doing it for God? Are you doing it so that He gets the glory? Are you doing it so that others will see your good works and praise your Father in Heaven? Are you trying to point people to the one who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine? Are you trying to make it all about Jesus?

So are you feeling ambitious? What is driving that ambition? Be careful if it is out of pride or self-promotion! Consider turning it around and making it all about God!

Why not make your ambition be about knowing Jesus intimately? Why not make your ambition be about experiencing Jesus’ resurrection power? Why not make your ambition about partnering with Jesus in His suffering? Why not make your ambition about getting to spend eternity with God when you get to experience Jesus’ resurrection power and are resurrected from the dead?

It’s a process and each day we can reset and get back on track pursuing after Jesus the rest of our lives! Each day we have to choose! We get to choose if we will consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds! We get to choose if we will take hold of the joy available to us daily since this is the day that the Lord has made and so we should rejoice and be glad in it! We get to choose if we will ask Jesus into our hearts to be our Lord and Savior! We get to choose if we will allow Him to direct our paths and to listen to that direction! We get to choose if we will make Him both Lord of all of our lives as well as our Savior allowing us to spend eternity with Him in Heaven! Choices… We get faced with them daily and if we don’t have the right heart, we can be fooled into doing things that will take us away from God and way off track! So choose wisely! Listen to the still quiet voice of the Holy Spirit who is your comforter and your guide! Pursue God’s will – His divine plan for your life!

Let’s see what today’s reading from God’s Word says about all of this…


Godly Ambition

Day 275: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. Be ambitious about your relationship with God … Psalm 116:1-11
  2. Be ambitious for Christ … Philippians 3:1-4:1
  3. Be ambitious to speak God’s words … Jeremiah 4:10-5:31

 

 

 

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Who will you bless today?


Today is the day that the Lord has made, so let’s rejoice and be glad in it! Now that we are filled up, how can we pour out into the world around us and be a blessing? Who can we bless? What will it take to make it a personal blessing to each person we bless? What will it take? What will we need to do? Who will we bless? How many can we bless before the day is done? How generous can we be?

What a difference you can make if you prepare and plan to do so! What an impact you can have on the world around when you prepare and plan to do so! What a transformation you can make by just being you and reaching out to be God’s hands and God’s arms extended!

Will you consider doing something that not only will bless one person but fill them up to overflowing too that they could be a blessing to someone else? Will you do something unpredictable? Will you do something extraordinary? Will you do something that is so self-less that others will need to stop and thank God?

Be ready! Be prepared! Keep your eyes open for opportunities! Keep your ears open to hear what is going on around you! And let’s see how many blessings can happen today!

You will find out the real blessing from being so generous and a blessing to others (it’s not all about money) is how blessed you will be thru it and because of it!

How God will touch your heart! How God will transform your mind! How thankful you will become!

If God can get it through you, He will get it to you!

Where are you planning to go today? What are you planning to do today?

Listen to the tone in those people’s voices! Be inquisitive! Care! Share! Love! Bless!

Why don’t you take the challenge and find out how true Jesus’ words are:

In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the LORD Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.

–from Acts 20:35

Now let’s go out into the world, each to where God has called each of us, and let’s be the engine of blessing God set us out and called us into being!

The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it! Every good and perfect gift comes God!

So let’s be good stewards and be blessings engines for the Lord! Be sensitive to the Spirit and allow God to direct your steps, your words, and your actions today that the world around may be blessed!

Take the time to be present and listen showing a genuine interest in others! Stand in the gap and show courage on behalf of others!

Jump into God’s Word for today and get filled up:


How to Be a Blessing Machine

Day 274: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. God is the ultimate blessing machine … Psalm 115:12-18
  2. Be a blessing machine to others … Philippians 2:12-30
  3. Don’t turn away from God’s blessing … Jeremiah 2:31-4:9

 

 

Do you have to hit rock bottom before things start to look up?


Will you turn back? Will you look up? Will you choose to do so before you hit the bottom?

When you hit the bottom will you choose to bounce back? Will you choose to start looking up? Will you choose to start looking for other alternatives? Will you lie their moping and bitter?

The devil wants you to believe the lie that you aren’t loved and that nobody cares for you!

The truth, the one that will set you free is that God does love you! God loves you so much that Jesus came to die on the cross to forgive you for everything that you did and to transform you life!

Don’t lose hope! Not even if you let it keep dropping till it hits rock bottom!

When you hit rock bottom, bounce up! Cry out to God! Seek God! Search for God! Look for opportunities to hear about God through His Word in the Bible! God’s love letter to you from God! Want to get a snippet of that in your own language? Checkout this Father’s Love Letter page. More of a person who likes to hear and see about it? Checkout these videos!

An amazing man I heard speak said “A setback is a setup for a comeback

No matter where you are on this journey called life, don’t allow the lies of the devil to rob you of the promises and purpose of God! God created you on purpose! God created you with purpose! God created you for a purpose!

I’ve seen and heard people try to jump to a certain part of the bible and watch everyone freak out! The challenge is that without getting the context and allow the Bible to help you understand the background, people can totally misinterpret the words being shared. Consider Ephesians 5, we can’t just jump to the sections with a header that someone put in there without understanding the context of what was said before it. So let’s take a look at this example and read from verses 15-21. With knowledge we can in! Information enables us to win! Walking in without it we aren’t prepared or setup for success!

15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

–from Ephesians 5

So let’s make sure we do our research and don’t just go rushing into situations with guns a blazing! Let’s come in prepared and educated for the conversation and not be acting stupid or speaking foolishness!  We need to try and grasp the purpose for this situation! We need to grasp God’s will, God’s devision purpose for us! If we can get aligned with that then we are in a better position to accomplish His will! Consider how we live and how the things we put into ourselves cause things to come out of ourselves! Are they good? How about if we lived out our lives with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? There is nothing bad about these things or as the Bible puts it, “Against such things there is no Law.” So consider the words you will use and that you speak into, over, or even at other people.

Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification or to try to build each other up!

So why would we submit to anyone? Be it your boss? your wife? your husband? your friend? your neighbor? your leaders? It would be to glorify God and reverence for Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior!

So we need to take a hold that having a relationship (not rituals, routines, schedules) but an actual relationship with God which has been made possible through the sacrifice Jesus made for you and me out of love! It goes beyond actions, it’s about building a relationship with Jesus! It’s about building an intimate relationship with Him where you invite Him into every situation! You allow Him to speak life, wisdom, discernment, peace, hope, love, into and through your life via the Holy Spirit!

The bouncing back from hitting rock bottom, the bouncing back from a heart of stone that gets softened, the bouncing back of betrayal, it all comes back to grace! Grace – the unmerited love and favor of God! So when we go through things being able to share how God worked in and through it and sharing it with other to encourage them that they can move forward bounces the glory up to heaven giving God all the praise, the honor, and the glory!

I got the opportunity to do that at work where I got to share the power of forgiveness! I was asked if I would do a story slam to share part of my story as part of a work effort to help connect employees at a more personal level but it couldn’t have to do with my work at the company. Forgiveness seemed to be the right story for me to share and when I gave them 4 various stories of when God had worked in and through my life and I had to bounce back, they chose this one – without having heard the full story themselves. It went like this…Have you ever had a problem where it started with someone saying “have I got a deal for you?” and then they did the opposite…

So how can we give God the glory for helping us bounce back? What can we do or could we do if we wanted to speak hope, life, love, truth into the people God brings into our lives? How could we serve them? How could we be God’s arms and hands extended in this hurting world? How can we do it in a way that will glorify God?

WHAT WILL YOU DO TODAY?

Let’s reflect on it as we read through today’s reading from God’s Word…


Bounce it Back Up

Day 273: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. Why glorify God? … Psalm 115:1-11
  2. How to glorify God? … Philippians 1:27-2:11
  3. When to glorify God? … Jeremiah 1:1-2:30

What is God telling you to do? Will you do it?

What is God telling you to speak? Will you say it?

Where is God telling you to go? Will you go?


 

 

How are you living?


Are you living life to add value to the world around you? Are you living life to make a difference to the people in the world around you? Are you living life to impact in a positive way the people God brings into your life each and every moment of each and every day?

Are you living a life worth living?

Would it matter if you could live longer on this earth? Would it make an impact on the world? Would your life be extended in spite of whether or not it is worth living? So no matter how long we live, we need to personally and individually make the choice to make this life we have be valuable! We need to make a difference! We need to add value! We need to impact others in a positive way! We need to make our lives count for however much time God gives us to live!

If we live out our lives for Jesus and in relationship with Jesus (making it valuable) then we don’t have to fear the end of our lives here on this earth because we have the peace and knowledge that we get to spend eternity with God in heaven!

So let’s receive Jesus, accept Jesus, and pursue Jesus so that we can live out our lives in worthwhile ways for the glory of God!

Consider what Paul did! Consider what Paul said! Consider what you will say and do today!

Life Worthy of the Gospel

27 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit,[e]striving together as one for the faith of the gospel 28 without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God. 29 For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, 30 since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.

–from Philippians 1

Keep living! Keep learning! Keep growing! Keep loving!  Make it personal!


A Life Worth Living

Day 272: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. Live in a relationship with God … Proverbs 23:29-24:4
  2. Make a difference to the lives of others … Philippians 1:1-26
  3. Experience God’s love for you … Zephaniah 1:1-3:20

Today’s Reading from God’s Word…

 

 

Is there something you could do that would change the rest of your life?


Is there an activity? Is there an action? Is there a habit? Is there an idea? Is there a schedule?

What might it take for you to make a change? What might be the trigger that makes you change the way you live your life? Might it be the reality of good and evil? Might it be the reality of life and death? Might it be the reality of love and hate? Might it be the reality of bitterness and forgiveness? What is keeping you from taking hold of what is going on right now today and answer the call of what does love require of you?

If someone talks about the evils of this world, what comes to mind? Terrorism? Illnesses? Viruses? Governments that generate such fear people become refugees in order to escape?  Poverty? Greed? People more interested in money than taking care of the environment around them?

How about good? What good news can you think of around the world? Giving people! Generous people! Serving people! Sacrificing people! People who go out to fight the evils? People who go out to share the Good News? People who see a problem and step up to help? People who see the hungry and feed them? People who see the thirsty and give them something to drink? People who serve the orphans and widows?

Ever noticed how little of the good news makes it into the news? It seems and feels to me there are so many reasons to have hope but the world tries to diminish or hide them. It seems and feels to me that the hope that everyone needs no matter how good or bad their life circumstances have been get diminished or hidden causing more despair and tragedy.

What if there were things that you could do to turn that around? What if there were things that would help keep kids out of being abused, tortured, and neglected. What if there were thing that would help kids find hope that their past doesn’t have to define their future? What if there were way to stop the evil of the sex trafficking and other such pornographic activities? Be it from kids sold into by parents (how to stop it?)! Be it from kids being tricked or trapped by others impersonating and tricking them into doing thing they shouldn’t be doing and then sending pictures which then tie them up in chains of guilt and shame that they find are hard to escape from? Be it in school bullying! Be it the internet where people misrepresent themselves in order to trick those at risk youth into meeting them or taking pictures of themselves in inappropriate positions? Be it other kids or teens or adults!

We need to protect our kids! From evil! Some within their families, some outside their families, some in their schools, some outside their schools, some “friends” in quotes some strangers, … there is a dark world out there! there is good and there is evil! we need to choose hope, life, light, and love to be able to step up and step in to make a difference!

If we bring this back to home, what is tempting you? what is your addition? what sin is impacting your life?

Ever gone through the Bible and found the issues, the disfunction, the miracles, the grace, and so many life touching stories? The highest of highs? The lowest of lows? The obedience? The rejection? The good, the bad, and the ugly? It’s all in there and the answer to the problem comes back to God! We need to have a relationship with God that will transform our eternity! We need to have an encounter with Jesus who paid it all so that we could be set free!

My chains are gone

The battles aren’t against flesh and blood, even though that tends to be where we see the evil materialize! The battles aren’t against flesh and blood but rather the battles are against powers and principalities of this dark world – in other words, there is a spiritual battle taking place – good vs evil and we get to choose which side we will be on! We can choose to join the good side! We can choose to join the evil side! We can choose to ignore it which will lead to the problems spoken of in the quotes:

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. All that is needed for the forces of evil to triumph is for enough good men to do nothing. All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.

So… which side will you pick? What do you believe? What will you stand for? If you won’t stand for something, you will fall for anything!

The battle belongs to the Lord, yet He invites us to it with Him to be a part of it!

His desire is for us to have a living, real, growing, developing, maturing relationship with us so that we can walk out this life with Him and grow daily to be more and more like Jesus!

So today and daily we need to make a decision on how we will live our lives! What will be our passion! What will be our drive? Is it beauty? Is it outrage? We need to pick up our cross daily and follow after Jesus! Not outrage that will cause sin, but a holy outrage!

So will you receive the power and promise and victory of God?

So will you live out a passionate life driven by the beauty of God’s work and the holy outrage of what people are doing in this world?

When I think of the camp I am a part of, the incredible beauty of kids being kids, kids being transformed and having hope planted into their lives it brings great joy! When I think of the camp I am part of, there is also a holy outrage with the people and the system who have done such horrible things to the kids, robbing them of their childhood, removing the hope and the choices through threats, abuse, and neglect.

It is only by grace and through Jesus that my life can stay aligned and keep the passion from bursting into flames that burn but rather keep it for warmth and compassion and grace and love and hope.

So today, let’s take time to hear from od and choose how we will make sure that there is some good news to produce hope taking place in the world around us!


Seven Life-Changing Habits

Day 271: Bible In One Year 2017

  • Victory over bondage and slavery … Psalm 114:1-8
  • Victory over the devil’s schemes … Ephesians 6:1-24
  • Victory over the forces of evil … Nahum 1:1-3:19

So let’s check out the 7 life changing habits called out through today’s devotional by putting on the full armor of God…

  1. Focus on the truth of Jesus

    • Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth –Ephesians 6:14a

  2. Keep short accounts

    • and the body armor of God’s righteousness. –Ephesians 6:14b

  3. Get actively involved

    • For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. –Ephesians 6:15

  4. Trust God in difficult times

    • In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. –Ephesians 6:16

  5. Win the battle of the mind

    • Put on salvation as your helmet, –Ephesians 6:17a

  6. Soak yourself in the word of God

    • and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. — Ephesians 6:17b

  7. Keep praying

    • Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. –Ephesians 6:18

Today’s reading from God’s Word: