Happy Leap Day Friends! Today is the “free day” we get once every four years to correct the Gregorian calendar because our planet doesn’t circle the sun in exactly 365-days. So we added an extra day to keep things balanced. Or at least that’s the gist of what I gathered from the first few paragraphs of the most accurate resource on the internet: Wikipedia. So today is an extra 24 hours that most years, you do not have. So what are you going to do with that extra time?
Yesterday I wrote about how I woke up in a funk, and it took a while to lift my spirits, but a new release from Rend Collective, helped get me back on track. Then as I was driving to work I realized why the devil was attacking my spirit. On Thursday, I had spent the second part of my work day training outside in a beautiful spot in the middle of a wooded area that meets an old rice patty field. Where we live in Richmond Hill, GA, harvesting rice was once a big industry. But it was a sinful trade as the labor was forced and the workers were enslaved. Once America finally stood up for what was right, the rice industry in this sleepy town ceased to exist.
But that’s a different topic for a different day. As I was standing outside getting some great training on Thursday, I was soaking in the beauty of the day. The humidity was all but gone, the cold front that had come through the day before had dropped our high to the mid-fifties. And there was a constant, chilly breeze that rustled the tall pines that surrounded us. My whole life, when I see those tree tops rustle and feel that gentle wind caress my skin, in those moments I have always felt like I can SENSE the presence of God. Then I look around me and see the beauty of the world GOD built and I KNOW God is a good, good Father. So this was the message I was planning to deliver yesterday, but the enemy had some how infiltrated my thoughts and clouded my joy for a few hours.
You need to know that if the devil is coming after you, it’s for good reason. he probably feels threatened and scared. And he has good reason to fear the work we are doing here because tomorrow is the first of March and I CAN NOT wait to start sharing the devotions I have for y’all in March. At the end of today’s entry I’ll give a brief overview of what we have to look forward to in the coming month.
Don’t let the sun set on this extra day without getting out and doing the Lord’s work!
19After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it. (Mark 16:19-20)
These two verses above come from the very end of the Book of Mark. Mark is the shortest of the Gospels, but he still writes a powerful account of Jesus’ ministry and His final days. So the books of both Matthew and Mark end with roughly the same instruction to the disciples: go out and spread the Gospel EVERYWHERE. While Matthew shows it as a direct command from Jesus, Mark writes the same conclusion that the disciples went out with Jesus with them and allowed them to spread Christianity through the world in the early years of the first century.
Leap years only come around once every four years. Today is a free day, an extra day of opportunity. What are you going to do with this day? Be a good Disciple and find one person to talk about the love and forgiveness of Jesus to. Share your testimony to an unbeliever and allow them to see the living, breathing God still at work.
Reading plan: Reflect on the Book of Mark
Deeper reading plan: Joshua 24
Prayer and meditation: continue to pray for your request from day 1 and pray for the strength to continue to spread the Gospel.
Fitness challenge: Run one mile for time
Service Day: Keep getting out and volunteering , keep making a difference in your community.
The Book of Luke
Luke is my favorite book. Scholars believe Luke was a physician, which to be a Doctor in the first century meant that Luke was a very smart and wise individual. He most likely traveled quite a bit around the middle east to learn his practice. I appreciate the fact that this well established man knew the significance of who Jesus Christ was and ensured the rest of the world would know exactly what had happened in the life of Jesus. With that being said, this month we are focusing on the life of Jesus, from birth to resurrection, Luke goes into the most detail over the minor details. Luke is where the story of Christmas comes from. Luke also includes more parables specific to his Gospel. We will visit all of these throughout the month.
Deeper reading: this month we will be reading through the next four books in the NIV canon of the Old Testament (Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, and 2 Samuel). These are all great books with easy flowing narratives. Judges features many important figures in the Jewish lineage: Gideon and Samson to name two. Ruth is one of the most famous stories of the OT and the only book in the entire Bible where the whole story focuses on a female heroine. 1 and 2 Samuel are the books that chronicle the reign of King David from boy to his “last words.”
Worship and Service
We’re getting into the third month of 2020, by now I hope you have settled into a church that is challenging you to change your life and become a permanent member of that organization. I also pray that by now you have found a good home to volunteer on during one of your days off each week. If you have found both of these, now is the time to invite a new friend to join you each week.
We will be increasing our sets in calisthenics to three this month and begin pushing the run days to greater distances. Keep it up!