Pastor Dale Jenkins

The God of New Beginnings

And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, (Genesis 1:14 ESV)

Have you ever thought of the fact that God was the One who invented the celebration of the new year? Unlike man-made holidays, the ringing in of a new year was divinely authored.

When God created the heavens and the earth He positioned our earth and spun it in such a way that every 365 & 1/4 days a new season would begin. Granted our Gregorian calendar chose January 1 as the day we enter a “new year”, but the truth is God established the pattern of new beginnings.

In fact, because He is a God of new beginnings the Creator embedded new beginnings throughout all of creation.

Within each year we enter and exit four distinct “seasons.”

Every 29.53059 days there is a lunar cycle. (We call them months).

And perhaps God’s greatest pattern of new beginnings is evidenced in His establishment of “the evening and the morning” as the first day. His mercies are NEW each morning.

Today we enter a new year, a new season, a new month, a new day. God ordained it as a new beginning.

My past cannot hold me from my future.

I am a new creation in Christ.
I am not who I used to be.
I am forgetting what is behind and pressing toward what lies ahead.

And with new seasons come fresh anointing, fresh perspective, fresh vision, and fresh energy.

I receive this new year as a gift from my Father. As I step into this new season I do so as a step of faith …into uncharted territory! God has established my steps. He has made the way.

My success will be determined by my trust in the God of new beginnings.

This will be my best year ever.
Let it be to me according to Your Word.
Amen.

When Truth Offends

At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him. (John 6:66 NLT)

Truth divides. It confronts. It shows no favoritism. Truth is content to stand entirely alone – a pillar of strength.

Jesus spoke the truth – He is, in fact, “the way, the TRUTH, and the life.” But on this occasion, when He spoke of humanity’s need to “eat of His flesh, and drink of His blood,” the resistance was palpable.

Not just a few, but many people left Jesus that day never to return.

Jesus did ministry differently than many of us today. In a culture where we bend the truth to avoid offending others, we miss an important element of the Gospel – that people will not be free until they know (and embrace) the truth.

Jesus never ran after people who left Him. He loved them enough to let them leave.

In fact, against the backdrop of the historic accounts of the “multitudes and miracles” associated with Jesus’ ministry, we often forget that, before His death, Jesus was deserted by every disciple. All of them left.

But truth is sticky, and it has a way of staying with people even after they desert the truth-teller, tormenting them to deal with the unresolved issues of their lives.

When you are faced with the difficult task of telling someone the truth…and you know it may cost you the relationship…what will you do?

Telling the truth is NOT the same as telling how you feel. Your feelings are fickle, and you don’t have the “right” to tell people everything you think or feel about them. In fact, you have a responsibility to let love and grace “cover” those things.

At some point you may have the unpopular assignment to invade someone’s darkness with the blinding light of truth. They may not like it. They may not like you. But they must know the truth in order to be set free.

It is said, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” Still the horse must be led.

It is not yours to apply the truth, but it may be yours to “speak the truth…in love.”

Father, give us grace and compassion, along with boldness and resolve to speak the truth as You lead us by Your Spirit.

And may Your truth set people free.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

Jesus is “The Point”

But because Jesus lives forever, his priesthood lasts forever. Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf. (Hebrews 7:24, 25 NLT)

The Old Testament describes in great detail the role of the high priest. Every detail given by God regarding the sacrifices, the celebrations, the sanctuary and/or tabernacle, the responsibilities and the blessings, were once thought to be “the point” God was trying to communicate to his people.

Actually, each of those details was simply a picture, an image, a “replica” of the reality of heaven’s tabernacle, and the sacrifice of ONE Lamb, made by the Perfect Priest.

The writer of Hebrews takes time to draw these connections for the Jewish readers. Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law. Jesus is the Sacrifice. Jesus is the High Priest.

Jesus is “the point.”

So let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author an the Finisher of our faith!

A Season of Significance | a prophetic word

God’s Word has much to say about the Holy Spirit’s gift of prophecy.  It is a precious privilege to hear and deliver a message from God, one that carries a weight of responsibility.

On Wednesday, December 5, 2012, I sensed the prompting of the Holy Spirit to deliver this prophetic word in our mid-week service at New Hope Worship Center, but I am convinced that it applies to a broader section of the Body of Christ.

As you read the prophetic message, I pray that the Holy Spirit will confirm and apply to  you personally the truth of His Word.

For the Lord would say to you, ‘I have declared over you a season of significance.

‘You are entering into a realm that you have not been before. I have gone before you. I have made the path straight. I have declared my plans. I have ordered my word. You simply need to rest and walk in it.

‘So now, as I have called you to this place of faith, I am calling you to fight battles you have never fought before. I am calling you to stand up, to understand who you are, and to be the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. To be the victors that I have called you to be,’ says God.

‘I have called you to stand up when the others aren’t willing to stand up. I have called you to be with the spirit of David, to stand up and to face that giant and to bring him down.

‘I have called you to a season of significance and it will demand great faith from you.’

So I say to you, ‘My children, look toward Me, the Author and the Finisher of your faith and I will go before you. I will fight the battle for you, but I am calling you to step in. I am calling you to step up. I am calling you to trust Me in this. I am calling you to guard your mouth. I am calling you to guard your heart, because I am going to bring you into the victory that you’ve never experienced before.

‘The things that I desire to do in your life are not just about you. I have positioned you for such a time as this because the kingdom of God is advancing and taking territory that the enemy has stolen away. Now I have entrusted you to go forth in battle, to take back that which the enemy has stolen, and so I have entrusted it into your hands.

‘I declare tonight that I am with you, do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. I have gone before you to fight the battle and to bring the victory. You go in faith and you watch and see what I will do!’ says the Lord your God.

Where I Found the Meaning of Life

I pondered the direction of my life, and I turned to follow your laws. (Psalms 119:59 NLT)

Inevitably life’s ebb and flow brings us to moments of pause and reflection, when we search for the meaning, purpose, and direction of our lives.

The birth of a baby, the death of a friend, the loss of a career, the milestone birthday, are all events that snatch us from the day-to-day grind, into a pursuit to identify why we even exist.

David had his share of these defining moments; like the day he was tending sheep as a teenager and Samuel unexpectedly showed up, declaring a prophetic calling over David’s life – one that even his family couldn’t grasp.

Or the time when David was singing for King Saul, and right in the middle of his favorite part – you know, the part that makes a singer close his eyes real tight – David happened to catch a glimpse of something being hurled through the air, aimed right at him. The King had thrown his spear, attempting to kill David. And although he wasn’t killed, his career on Israel Idol was over.

And then there’s the time David thought he got away with hidden sin, until a prophet came and uncovered all that had been cloaked in the shadows.

Or the time that David’s son died.
Or the time that his kingdom was almost stolen from him…by one of his sons.

David had quite a life. Frankly, he was far from perfect. But there was something of purity in his heart, evidenced by his response to each of these defining moments.

David sought the direction of The Lord through the Law (Word) of God. God’s Word was a lamp to his feet and a light for his path. David hid the Word in his heart, so that it would keep him from sin. David knew the key to staying pure was to take heed according to God’s Word.

Daily devotions are more than spiritual calisthenics, or something to be added to a checklist. The Word of God is bread – a basic staple of life. It is air – the oxygen that sustains life. It is water – that brings refreshing and hydration to that which is dry and parched.

Reading and studying the Word of God gives you divine direction for your life! In the pages of Scripture you will find the heart of the Father, the mind of Christ, and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit.

The Bible is a book that breathes.

Father,
Today I pause to ponder the direction of my life. Reveal Yourself to me in Your Word, and direct my steps according to Your Word.
In Jesus’ name, amen.