Day 2 - PRINCIPLES OF EMPOWERMENT - Your Source of Empowerment




Colossians 1:9-11 For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may have a walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power.
God thought about us before we thought about him.

Everything that empowers you came from the heart of God and other people. All of our blessings have come because of God and other people. Knowledge, wisdom, and understanding of things natural and spiritual form the basis of empowerment.

The root of the word “empower” is “power” which is: “The ability to do or act; capability of doing or accomplishing something.” Our education through schools is the most obvious form of empowerment. We cannot conceive of not being able to read and write, because others who were previously empowered made it their priority to empower us academically.

Power has to be gained, learned, imparted, or received from God and others. This is the basis of being empowered. The prefix “em-” or “en-” before an English word means, “in, into, within, inside.”

Empowerment defined: The process of helping others obtain opportunities, develop skills, and gain self-sufficiency. Empower is an instance. Empowerment is a process.

The power and ability that is available to people lies outside of themselves. God and other people must act to empower or move that power and ability from outside of people to inside of people. This is the whole purpose of child training, education, and spiritual growth.
People who empower others care as much about others as they care about themselves. God cares for people most of all and His love is the motivating power behind empowerment. The most empowering people in your life are parents, teachers, preachers, public servants, mentors, employers, and coaches, and people who fulfill similar roles in your life.

Where would you be today without God and the people who empowered you?

Reflection Question: What and who are my sources of empowerment?

Key insight I gained today:

Today’s action item based on insight:

Day 1 -- PRINCIPLES OF EMPOWERMENT -- Free Indeed: The Beginning of Empowerment



Welcome to Day 1 of the devotional, "Principles of Empowerment!"

Day 1 has been posted early to help you get started. Selected lessons will be posted on this page many days this month. To follow daily, you can download the free PDF of the Principles of Empowerment  ebook or purchase the Kindle or print edition on Amazon. A link to the devotional ebook is available at www.NewCovenant.org.

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John 8:31, Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Say this out loud: “In Christ I am free indeed and free forever!”

Freedom is a treasure and a legacy. It is a treasure because it is valuable. It is a legacy because we did not create it, we only inherited freedom. Freedom and responsibility go hand in hand. We have the responsibility to live a certain way and we have the responsibility to share our blessings with our family and with others.
When Jesus says He makes us “free indeed” He is talking about freedom in the total sense, at every level. The word “indeed” means: Truly, in reality, in point of fact, as opposed to what is pretended, fictitious, false, conjectural.

God’s word provides the basis and operating manual for freedom of the spirit and soul.

Psalms 119:98, Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are my constant guide.

Many people are not living in freedom at the foundational level because they have not experienced freedom indeed through Christ.
There is a catch: With freedom comes responsibility. It is our faith followed by actions that determine if we are experiencing God’s best. Everything we enjoy may not always be God’s best for us.

Looking again at our text in John 8, notice how the Jewish people responded to Jesus’ statement about truth and freedom, They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?” (v. 33)

They felt that their religious and racial affiliation with Abraham was enough. They reasoned they already possessed all the truth and freedom they needed. We don’t want to make that same mistake in leaning only on our feelings, on mere religious traditions, or what our society defines as freedom.

To be “free indeed” requires a Savior. Jesus is the beginning of true empowerment and association with God’s brand of truth and freedom.

Reflection Question: What have I substituted for the true freedom that only Christ can give?

Key insight I gained today:

Today’s action item based on insight:

JUSTICE - What Is It? (Firm Foundation Audio Podcast)

Listen to the Firm Foundation Podcast:

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JUSTICE - What Is It?

KEYNOTE SLIDES PDF: https://www.dropbox.com/s/zzyk26b47xmomcw/Justice_Keynote.pdf?dl=0

Message includes talks by Paul Scanlon to whites about racism.

Psalm 82:3-4, Vindicate the weak and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and destitute.Rescue the weak and needy; Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked.

Isaiah 1:17 Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.

Matthew 23:23, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.

It's important to understand that God's church touches our world in many different ways. People tend to have one view of the church or another. God's church as two primary functions in this world: We are pastoral and we are prophetic

1. Some may view Christ's Church as a place to come learn, to grow personally, become more Christlike, and to find purpose and happiness in life.

2. Some view Christ's Church as a place to reach out to the lost and hurting, to carry the gospel locally and around the world, behind prison walls, to support missions and relieve suffering.

3. Some view Christ's Church as salt and light in a dark world, to broken people, and as God’s agency for mercy and justice to people who are oppressed, orphan, and powerless.

4. Some view Christ's Church as a political party partner to advance God’s will by using godly and ungodly people in government. [Not a proper role for God’s church]

Justice is an important topic in our day. We hear a lot about injustice. We hear about the justice system. We see heartbreaking examples of injustice as well as justice being served.

What is justice? What is social justice? If you Google the words “Christian” and “justice" see a lot of results expressing various perspectives. There is no definitive definition for social justice come but there are many narratives. Remember that a narrative is someone’s story or interpretation about reality.

For example, the narrative says that most black males are in some kind of trouble. The truth is that most African American males are solid people who do right thing. People push back with statistics, but statistics only measure was is wrong. I am a lifelong expert on being a black male among black males.

List of justice Scriptures: https://justiceco.org/resources/gods-heart-of-justice/scriptures-on-justice-mercy-oppression-and-freedom/

Latest teaching on the Firm Foundation podcast: “Fathers in 3D: Our Destiny. Our Design. Our Duty” (Audio)



Psalm 103:13, As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.

Proverbs 17:6, Children's children are the crown of old men, and the glory of children is their father.

Proverbs 1:8, My son, hear the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother

Message Presentation Slides:


Listen on the Firm Foundation Podcast:



Principles of Progress: Rivers & Roads



LISTEN TO THIS TEACHING ON:


Philippians 3:12 Not that I have already attained or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 

Isaiah 43:18-19  Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert.