LoveWorks: Part Three - Marriage by God's Book (Audio)

Tuesday, March 19, 2019 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments





Ephesians 5:25-33, Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church — for we are members of His body. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery--but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

 1 Peter 3:7, Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding [knowledge], giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker [delicate] vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.

Proverbs 4:3-4, Through wisdom a house is built, And by understanding it is established; By knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.

1 John 3:18, My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. 19 And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.

 Today’s view of marriage in popular society has changed in ways that we know very well. However, God’s view of biblical marriage, which we call Holy Matrimony, has not changed. For believers in Christ, God’s word is our guide. We live and walk by the high standards and grace-filled principles of the Bible. A lot of what we see in marriages, that are failing at the rate of 50%, is people walking in their understanding and selfish ways. People certainly have the right to not follow God or obey the Scriptures, but true Christians do not have an alternative—nor do we desire an alternative.

Ephesians 5:25 says, "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her...31 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery, but I am talking about Christ and the church."

A mystery is not something hidden. It is something revealed to those who have "ears to hear" and "eyes to see" what the Lord is saying and showing. Jesus is either "Lord of all" or He is not "Lord at all" in your life.

 The husband is head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. What is the revealed mystery  of Christ’s relationship to His church?

1. He makes holy (special, “other than”).
2. Provide care and support
3. Loves us more than we love ourselves
4. Unified and not divided: One

Summary: However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Respect Defined: A feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements. Due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of others 

Anyone who has a leadership position has a greater responsibility before God. That includes husbands. Leadership needs follow-ship to be effective. As the old saying goes: “He that leads and no one follows is taking a walk.”

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LoveWorks, Part Two - Cultivating and Growing Relationships (Audio)

Sunday, March 10, 2019 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments




Teaching notes and DISC self-assessment tool: http://newcovenant.org/Cultivating_Growing_Relationships.pdf

2 Corinthians 5:14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. 16 Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 

Because attitudes and relationships need to “grow,” we have to pay attention to the “soil” and foundation of relationships. That soil begins with our own hearts and minds. As Myles Munroe taught, the key to being single or being in a relationship is being whole in yourself. My lesson today will look at relationships from the perspective of cultivating our own hearts. We will address the important of having a good attitude or mindset.

“Cultivate” is a farming term. Cultivation is not only about growing plants. It is mainly about preparing the soil and working the ground to raise good crops.

“A good attitude will not always change our circumstances, but it will always change us.” ~ John Maxwell

Attitude is not what people perceive. It is not something we figure our in others. Attitude is your internal disposition. It is something we figure out in ourselves.

Your attitude or mindset determines your altitude, or how high and far you can go. In relationships we learn to navigate attitudes, moods, and mindsets. We should operate at a higher level of relating spiritually, but no one is purely spiritual. 

2 Cor. 5:16 Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh

According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, the word "attitude" means "an internal position or feeling with regard to something else." Other words often used as synonyms are: "disposition, feeling, mood, opinion, sentiment, temper, tone, perspective, frame of mind, outlook, view, or morale."

Airplane pilots often use "attitude" to describe their relationship the horizon during flight and with the runway for landing.

We have to manage the “version” of ourselves and our spouses and high level relationships.

Ephesians 4:22 NIV, "You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off the old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds." 

Ephesians 4:2-3, TLB. "Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other's faults because of your love. Be led together by the Holy Spirit to be at peace with one another." 

We have to pay attention to personality types, both within ourselves and others.

DISC is a well understood and widely accepted model of behavior styles. The letters DISC stand for:

DOMINANT

INFLUENCE

STEADINESS

CONSCIENTIOUS 

DISC measures a person’s natural, hard-wired behavioral style.  It focuses on a person’s natural, most comfortable way of doing things. This model is mainly designed to help each person become self-aware and then to respect the behavior styles of others

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LoveWorks, Part One — Jesus, Our Example of Friendship

Thursday, March 07, 2019 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments



A Definition of Friend – A friend is someone you love and who loves you, someone you respect and who respects you, someone whom you trust and who trusts you. A friend is honest and makes you want to be honest too. Friendship is a two way relationship where both parties give and receive.
Jesus expounds to his disciples the true meaning of friendship. 
John 15:9-15 - We learn from this text is that Jesus wants a relationship with his followers. Not just religious devotion, but a loving, sincere, committed relationship and friendship.

There are four levels of relationship:

1. There are acquaintances
2. There are colleagues/co-workers/partners
3. There is Christian/Kingdom Covenant with fellow believers in Christ
4. And there are true friends (Including spouse)

KEY POINT #1: True friends experience a high level of agreement
KEY POINT #2: True friends are mutually loyal and dependable
KEY POINT #3: True friends confide in one another.
KEY POINT #4: True friends speak highly of one another and empower one another, especially in times of uncertainty.

Watch the teaching below (Join us for Part Two Sunday, March 10)

 

Part One also Available now on Podcast: 






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Are Conversations About Race Helpful or a Distraction to Effective Action?

Wednesday, March 06, 2019 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments


Illustration: Roman Genn from National Review
A lot of people seem to think “having a conversation” is the gold standard of progress. This is especially true regarding the topic of “race.” 

In fact, casual conversations often have the unintended consequence of promoting ignorance and catering to “low information” people, especially on Facebook. This can only fuel false narratives—that cripple true progress. An ill-conceived “conversation” will take you off your “wall” of God's purpose (Nehemiah 6:2) and into distraction and inaction.

If each one of us is not prepared to deal with racism and bigotry (which is the actual “racial” problem in my view) within our spheres of influence, it is pointless to talk about “racial harmony.” Any real restoration project does not paint over damage and pretend it is not there. 

Talking can be a form of self-deception if we’re not prepared to act. As the Bible says, “Be a doer of the word.” James went on to say that only hearing (and I'll suggest talking) leads to self-deception. (James 1:22-25)

If Nehemiah had come off of the wall to go into a conversation, he would not have completed his assignment--and his people would have suffered. Besides, he knew that the invitation to attend a meeting in Ono would lead to his demise. (Nehemiah 6:2)

When you look at people, past and present, who are effective in making a difference, they don’t spend a lot of time in conversation with people who are not in a position to do anything, they act. Dr. King was a supreme example of this. 

Meeting or talking to strategize for action is the only conversation in which I am interested. If you have ever looked at a long Facebook thread about “race,” what you witnessed is mostly a “pooling” of ignorance and false narratives. Worse is putting wisdom and foolishness on the same moral plane.

As the old saying goes, "Talk is cheap."
__________________

Here is a great article  from Ebony Magazine pushing back against the conventional wisdom that “having a conversation” is always needed:  https://www.ebony.com/news/race-conversation/

Here is a thought provoking article from National Review: https://www.nationalreview.com/2016/08/race-relations-getting-worse-america-why/

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Day 28 | February Devotional from Psalms "The Ultimate Hope. The Best of the Best Things."

Thursday, February 28, 2019 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments



Psalm 119:89 Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven. 90 Your faithfulness endures to all generations; You established the earth, and it abides. 91 They continue this day according to Your ordinances, For all are Your servants. 92 Unless Your law had been my delight, I would then have perished in my affliction. 93 I will never forget Your precepts, For by them You have given me life. 94 I am Yours, save me; For I have sought Your precepts. 95 The wicked wait for me to destroy me, But I will consider Your testimonies. 96 I have seen the consummation of all perfection, But Your commandment is exceedingly broad.

We will conclude this devotional with a portion from Psalms 119, which is the longest “chapter” in the Bible. There are 22 stanzas, each stanza having been composed to correspond with the 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet. The first word of each stanza begins with the correlating Hebrew letter.

The stanza beginning at verse 89 is labeled with the Hebrew letter ל LAMED.

David summarized this part of the Psalms, and perhaps provided his most enduring insight on God's integrity, when he wrote, "Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven.Your faithfulness endures to all generations."

As we consider these words, capture a picture of your ultimate hope and God's unlimited provision. Our lives are not subject to the passing trends, changes, and difficulties that come and go. We are established upon something much more powerful and enduring, "I will never forget Your precepts, For by them You have given me life."

The Lord and His Word, who is Jesus Christ, is the very best of all the best things in this world and in the world to come. "I have seen the consummation of all perfection, But Your commandment is exceedingly broad."

Amen! (So be it!)
______________________________

Reflection Question: What are 2-5 things you have gained from the Lord over the past four weeks that have changed your life forever?




Thank you for going on this journey in Psalms with me! It has been a joy writing these lessons, sharing them, and believing for God's best in your life!

Feel free to send a note of testimony or make a donation if you were blessed!


Pastor Bryan Hudson

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Day 27 | February Devotional from Psalms "I've Been to the mountaintop...And I've Seen the Promised Land" ~ Dr. M.L. King

Wednesday, February 27, 2019 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments



Psalm 84:5-7 Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, Whose heart is set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca [tears], They make it a spring; The rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; Each one appears before God in Zion.


WATCH THIS LESSON



As pilgrims, we are called upon to do things and go places where difficulty occurs. Of course, life is full of challenges, but difficulties related to doing God's will bring the temptation to do nothing. As we learned in yesterday's lesson, The Valley of Baca literally means the "Valley of Tears." 

The difficulty and suffering we endure on pilgrimage is far outweighed by the larger benefits and purpose of legacy. The best way to think about legacy is to consider what people such as Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King or persons who fought and/or died in World War II provided for us as a nation. 

Our lives are better for what others have done. The text says, "As they pass through the Valley of Baca, They make it a spring..." The word "spring" also means "well, or wells" referring to sources of water. Because an ancient pilgrimage often passed through desert regions, persons were tasked with making provision such as finding water. Digging a well was one option. Creating a well in a desert place not only benefitted the persons who dug it, there was the added benefit of "making it a spring" for those who follow. 

This is what we do within our hardships. We look for a way to make conditions better for those who follow us. This is how we go from "strength to strength" -- not only considering "strength" in our season, but "strength adding strength" to those who follow us. 

This is the greatest benefit from, "Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, Whose heart is set on pilgrimage."

In our American/western culture, we are mostly self-focused. From the Hebrew/African culture, this text is more culturally relevant. From a Black History perspective, this explains the extraordinary and self-sacrificial actions of our ancestors. The evening before he was assassinated on April 4,1968, Dr. King said these words,

"...I've been to the mountaintop...And I've looked over, and I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land..."

Those were the words of a pilgrim who left a legacy for all Americans.
______________________

Reflection Question: What have you done as a pilgrim to make conditions better for others?



Today’s action item based on insight: 

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Day 26 | February Devotional from Psalms - "Pilgrims or Travelers?" Part One

Tuesday, February 26, 2019 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments




Psalm 84:5-7 Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, Whose heart is set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca [tears], They make it a spring; The rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; Each one appears before God in Zion.

It is one thing to do something for yourself. It is another thing to do something that benefits the lives of others and your posterity. A PILGRIM is someone who moves with purpose to leave a legacy. A TRAVELER is someone who wants to enjoy the view and have a good time. Both are moving, but the key question  is: Are you a pilgrim or a traveler? 

David describes a blessed person as one whose strength is in God and whose heart is set on pilgrimage. Today, we can hardly relate to a pilgrimage. In Hebrew tradition, they would travel to Jerusalem on occasions to participate in gatherings called feasts or holy days. 

Those special occasions included:
The Feast of PASSOVER  (Leviticus 23:5)
The feast of UNLEAVENED BREAD  (Leviticus 23:6)
The feast of FIRST FRUITS  (Leviticus 23:10,11)
The feast of PENTECOST  (Leviticus 23:17)
The feast of TRUMPETS (Leviticus 23:24)
The feast of ATONEMENT (Leviticus 23:27)
The feast of TABERNACLES  (Leviticus 23:34)

The journey to attend these holy convocations was called a "pilgrimage." Unlike our modes of travel today, traveling in ancient times was difficult. Making the journey required one's heart to be set on the purpose of the mission. I can only compare ancient pilgrimages to the challenge of traveling to Nigeria and Kenya Africa on six occasions for missions trips, as well as the difficulty of travel in-country. These are only places for people whose hearts are set on pilgrimage and purpose.

Commitment of heart is necessary because of this statement, "As they pass through the Valley of Baca."  This valley is a place of tears because of difficulty. Every important pursuit such as attending college, getting married, starting a business, raising children, and more involves "valleys" of challenge and tears. All the more reason to place your strength in God and set your heart for purpose. 

A mere "traveler" will want to quit and bail out, because he seeks pleasure and self-gratification. However, the good outcomes of purpose and pilgrimage are more than worth the challenges!

(More insights in Part Two of this lesson)
 ________________   

Listen to the sermon from Sunday, January 24, “From Strength to Strength”

__________________

Reflection Question: What Valleys of Baca have you encountered on the way to your purpose? What did you learn?


Today’s action item based on insight: 

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Day 25 | February Devotional from Psalms - "Worship at the Next Level: My Flesh Longs for God"

Monday, February 25, 2019 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments



Psalm 84:1, How lovely is Your tabernacle, O Lord of hosts! 2 My soul longs, yes, even faints For the courts of the Lord; My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. 3 Even the sparrow has found a home, And the swallow a nest for herself, Where she may lay her young— Even Your altars, O Lord of hosts, My King and my God.

This February devotional in Psalms will conclude with a four part lesson from Psalms 84, today looking at verses 1-3.

Many of the Psalms were song lyrics intended to be set to music and accompanied using instruments. The heading of some Psalms indicated the recommended musical instrument. Psalm 84 begins with this heading, "To the Chief Musician. Onan instrument of Gath. A Psalm of the sons of Korah" 

Many instruments such as the Lyre (a harp type instrument) are known. Others, like the "Gath" instrument are unknown. (Here is an article about musical instruments in the Bible, https://www.journal33.org/other/html/otinstr.html)

David's passion for the presence of God is inspiring. There is insight in his praise. Notice that David not only expressed that his "heart" longed for God. He wrote that even his "flesh" longed for God. In the course of our lives, we consider "the flesh" to be our nemesis. It is that part of our being that frustrates God's purposes in our lives. David reached a level in his worship where the part of his being that was naturally opposed to God, longed for God!

Paul wrote in Romans 8:7, "Because the carnal [flesh ruled] mind is enmity [hostile] against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.

Through his devotion to God, David's "carnal mind" aligned with his heart to worship God. He was not unaware of the dangers of his carnal mind, but he found a way to bring his entire self into God's presence. This is the objective in "presenting our bodies a living sacrifice"  (Romans 12:1). This is why we lift our voice and our hands to God. We train our physical body and carnal mind to submit to God. It's like taking your child somewhere he needs to go, even while he resists going.

David compared his state of worship to sparrows that find their home in a nest and a place to rear their young. Worship should become like a home to us.

Reflection Question: David used birds as an example of worship. What do you find as an example to inspire you?

Today’s action item based on insight: 

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Day 24 | February Devotional from Psalms - "The Price of Admission"

Sunday, February 24, 2019 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments



Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and bless his name. Psalm 100:4

Entering God's gates with thanksgiving is the public expression of our devotion to Him. We do this when we gather with other believers for fellowship and worship at our local church home. 

In the Old Testament, smoke and incense filled the air surrounding temples and offerings of Old Testament priests. The "Shekinah" glory of the Lord would sometimes supernaturally manifest like a cloud or mist. This was the public evidence of God dwelling among people. When we assemble together as the Body of Christ, our songs, prayers, and thanksgiving publicly testifies to God's work in our heart and lives. We celebrate the finished work of Jesus Christ!

Thanksgiving is the (free) "price of admission" to enter God's court and Presence. In His court, praise is very specifically focused on the Godhead: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Our praise is specific because we know no other source of life and blessing. We know where all of our blessings come from!

Thanksgiving and praise is not a ceremony, it is a "do-a-mony." So do it today and everyday!

__________________________

Reflection Question: Today, what thanks and praise can you offer to God?


Today’s action item based on insight: 

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Day 23 | February Devotional from Psalms - "Something Only an Older Person Can Give You"

Saturday, February 23, 2019 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments


My father teaching Bible study at Wheeler rescue mission for men
Psalm 71:18 Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, do not forsake me, Until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come.

As I increasingly become "old and grayheaded," there are some interesting things I have learned: 

1. Age is only a number, but it is a number that both gains respect and contributes to alienation.
2. Only things that are important deserve time and attention. Drama and frivolous things all get moved to the margins.
3. Living a long time has proven God's faithfulness over and over again. There is no doubting God.
4. The things that have value and things that don't become abundantly clear.

Thursday and Friday, there were two occasions that reminded me of David's words, "O God, do not forsake me, Until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come."

#1 - On Thursday, I accompanied my father, Rev. Horace Bryan Hudson, to Wheeler Mission Ministries in downtown Indy yesterday. At 82 years old and still preaching the gospel, playing his guitar, and singing God's praises! He’s been doing this for almost every month for more than 30 years! He continued going for 15 years after my mother passed. They sang and ministered together until she was no longer able to participate. I've been going with him for three years and I share a brief exhortation with the men before he brings the main Bible lesson. Dad is "declaring strength" to the men.
Me spending time mentoring a young man
#2 - On Friday, I spend some time with the son of a friend and mentee who passed back in October of 2018. As a young man, he still needs the influence of "father like ones." We talked about life and God's word. I could see that he was encouraged by another one of our visits together.

The great benefit of age-with-wisdom is the ability to "declare strength" to the younger generation and impart power (authority and ability) through personal encounters. It is something that deeply impacted me from the time I spent with older men and women growing up. I proactively sought them out. The level of knowledge and wisdom inside of older people is amazing--if we have the good sense to seek it (because they don't have the time or energy to go around trying to hand it out).

One of the worse feelings is to watch a younger person languish, get caught up in empty pursuits, and fail to walk in wisdom---only for a lack of insight from older people who have knowledge/wisdom (as distinct from older people who lack wisdom!). 

Older people can only act based on willingness for younger people to receive and by invitation. I pray that we will all seek to gain the strength and power that can only come from interactions with older people who have strength and power from God to give.
_____________________

Reflection Question: Who do you need to seek out for wisdom and knowledge?

Today’s action item based on insight: 

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Day 22 | February Devotional from Psalms - "This is the Day!"

Friday, February 22, 2019 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments



Psalm 118:24 This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.

This is a faith filled affirmation. Obviously, no one knows what a day will bring. All the more reason to dedicate each day to the Lord. Those things we give to God come under His care.

We all know the experience of loaning something to someone who did not take proper care of it. You can entrust God with your day! As a matter of fact, you’ll find that He will give it back to you better than you gave it to Him. I cannot imagine anyone better than Almighty God to entrust something as important and non-recoverable as your day.

David said that we should rejoice and be glad in this day. We do this bearing in mind that everything happens on a day, both good things and bad things. The attitude and practice of rejoicing will most certainly put us in a better position to handle anything that happens during a day.

Purpose to start your day with this affirmation of faith and confidence in God by using Psalm 118:24.
________________

Reflection question: What are two or three things that you can envision going better when you dedicate your day to God?

Today’s action item based on insight: 

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Day 21 | February Devotional from Psalms - "Attributes and Outcomes for Your Life"

Thursday, February 21, 2019 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments



Psalms 19:7, The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; 8 The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; 9 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. 10 More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. 11 Moreover by them Your servant is warned, And in keeping them there is great reward.


WATCH THIS DEVOTIONAL


We are going to return to Psalms 19 to look at verses 7-11. God's Word is more than mere words. God's word is like the forces of nature or the laws of physics. It is a very real power that can do what God promised, especially on our behalf when we believe and act on His word.

Verses 7-9 explain real attributes and outcomes that we have experienced, or can experience. 

ATTRIBUTE  =  OUTCOME

Law of the LORD is perfect (whole complete)  --  Converts the soul: Brings Change

Testimony of the LORD is sure (not shaky like the world around us) -- Making wise the simple: Removes naiveté 

Statutes of the LORD are right (Defines life and reality) -- Rejoicing the heart: Brings meaning and balance to life

Commandment of the LORD is pure (not mixed, sincere) -- Enlightening the eyes: Brings clarity and authenticity

Fear of the LORD is clean: (In a physical and moral sense. We do not want to displease God) -- Enduring forever: Not like things that break down when not clean

Judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. (God influenced decisions are best) Good and bad decisions drive our quality of life.

The high value that we place on God's word:
v. 10 More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold;  Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

The consequences of the value we place on God's word"
v. 11 Moreover by them Your servant is warned, And in keeping them there is great reward. 

__________

Reflection Question: What attributes and outcomes above speak to you?


Today’s action item based on insight: 

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Day 20 | February Devotional from Psalms - "God's Light Shines on You"

Wednesday, February 20, 2019 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments




Psalms 97:11, Light shines on the godly, and joy on those who do right. 12 May all who are godly be happy in the LORD and praise his holy name!

Light, joy, happiness, praise. These are words, and realities, that belong in the life of the believer. The Bible says that God is light, in him there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5). Darkness is a condition resulting from the absence of light. There is no reason for us to ever live in darkness.

This text shows us that our decisions, in cooperation with the grace of God, brings many benefits. Living godly causes God's light to shine on us at all times. Doing right produces a sense of joy. Happiness, which is a temporary state, is a byproduct of godly living.

The definition of "godly" in the Strong's concordance is "faithful, kind." This helps us understand that godly living is not some super spiritual state. It is our willingness to be faithful to God and his Word. It is a disposition of kindness.

Today and always, light and joy and happiness and praise are yours!

Reflection Question: What does God's light in your life look like?

Today’s action item based on insight:

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Day 19 | February Devotional from Psalms - "Learn to Be Still: Stop the Noise“

Tuesday, February 19, 2019 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments



Psalm 46:9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariot in the fire. 10 Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! 

David understood God in many profound ways. He wrote Psalms, or songs, that expressed God's nature, works, and power.

When God stops war, especially wars in your life, as He did for David, God breaks the ability of your enemy. Notice the wording, "He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two." We know from Jesus' and Paul's teachings that our enemies are not people, but unseen forces from the natural to the demonic. God gives us victory and assurance of peace!

Then He says, "Be still, and know that I am God." One interpretation of this phrase states, "I am your leader. Stop all this noise."

After God has shown Himself faithful in your life; after He has broken the forces that tried to break you; it's time to "stop the noise" of complaining, making excuses and allowing other voices to influence you more than God!

So stop fretting and living with noise. Be still and know God.

Reflection Question: What wars need to cease in your life?

Today’s action item based on insight:

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Day 18 | February Devotional from Psalms - "Take a Praise Break."

Monday, February 18, 2019 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments




Psalms. 77:12, I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds. 13 Your ways, God, are holy. What god is as great as our God? 14 You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples. (Read the entirety of Psalm 77)

When we read a scripture such as this one, we are reminded why David was called, "A man after God's own heart." David had the good sense, and the wisdom, to always give God praise regardless of the circumstances.

Praising God is not just saying, "Praise the Lord!" Praise is speaking in joyful detail about the power and goodness of God!

Reflection Question: Have you taken a praise break today?

Today’s action item based on insight:

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Day 17 | February Devotional from Psalms - "The Blessings of Confidence in God. The Peril of Self-Confidence."

Sunday, February 17, 2019 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments




Psalms 71:5 For you have been my hope, Sovereign LORD, my confidence since my youth.

Confidence is an important part of life and an important part of your life. Confidence is part of your way forward and upward. We all have our understanding of confidence.

There are basically two kinds of confidence: 1) Confidence in the Lord and in what he has given you. 2) Self-confidence.

The first kind of confidence makes you strong and allows room to make you stronger. The second kind of confidence is limiting because it depends on what you think of yourself. Self-confidence gets mixed up with self-esteem.

True confidence comes from skill. Skill comes from training and repetition. The advantage we have in Christ is that we always trust in a power greater than ourselves. Like Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13) 

What we cannot say is, “I can do all things through myself.” Here's a fictional scenario:

Imagine both pilots on a flight becoming incapacitated and the head steward making this announcement: “We have an emergency! Both of our pilots are unconscious, can anyone here fly an airplane?”  Someone raises his hand and says, “I can do it! I don't have pilot training, but I have confidence!” 

Proverbs 14:16b says, "...A fool rages and is self-confident."

That kind of confidence is just happy talk. You never need someone who only has self-confidence. You need someone who has confidence in skills that they actually possess. As believers, we need confidence in the strength of God through Christ. Strength is not a mindset, it is actual ability.


Reflection Question: In what ways do you need to move away from self-confidence to confidence in God and in actual skills?

Today’s action item based on insight:

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Day 16 | February Devotional from Psalms - "Your Times in the Hands of God"

Saturday, February 16, 2019 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments


John Lewis and civil rights marchers at the Edmund Pettus Bridge

Psalms 31:14 But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” 15 My times are in Your hands...

Psalms 31:19 How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you

There are seasons in life and ministry that challenge our thinking, feelings and outlook on life. This is especially true when it looks like everything is not "turning up roses." I agree with David who said, "My times are in your hands…" I am also reminded that, "How abundant are the good things" that are "stored up" for us.

It is in these times that we realize more clearly that God is real, His power is undiminished, and He is bigger that we realize. It's like standing next to the majestic mountain that you've only seen in pictures. There's nothing like being close to it!

A prayer: "Thank you for being the Lord of my 'times' and for releasing blessings from your storehouse as I take refuge in you."

Reflection Question: What you are presently concerned about that you should NOT fear because your times are in God's hands?

Today’s action item based on insight:

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Character In Focus - 20 Character Qualities (Text and PDF Download)

Friday, February 15, 2019 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments



Character In Focus
by Pastor Bryan Hudson | www.BryanHudson.com

“Whoever walks in integrity walks securely...”  ~ Proverbs 10:9
“Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” ~ John 17:17 


20 Character Qualities
1. Integrity
Integrity is having strong moral principles and core values and then conducting your life with those as your guide. When you have integrity, you maintain your adherence to it whether people are watching, or not.

2. Honesty
Honesty is more than telling the truth. It's living the truth. It is being straightforward and trustworthy in all of your interactions, relationships, and thoughts. Being honest requires self-honesty and authenticity.

3. Loyalty
Loyalty is faithfulness and devotion to your loved ones, your friends, and anyone with whom you have a trusted relationship. Loyalty can also extend to your employer, the organizations you belong to, your community, and your country.

4. Respectfulness
You treat others with courtesy, kindness, deference, dignity, and civility. You offer basic respect as a sign of your value for the worth of all people and your ability to accept the inherent flaws we all possess. Look at people when they talk to you. Stand for elders and leaders when appropriate

5. Responsibility
You accept personal, relational, career, community, and societal obligations even when they are difficult or uncomfortable. You follow through on commitments and proactively create or accept accountability for your behavior and choices. Authentic authority follows responsibility

6. Humility
You have a confident yet modest opinion of your own self-importance. You don't see yourself as “too good” for other people or situations. You have a learning and growth mindset and the desire to express and experience gratitude for what you have, rather than expecting you deserve more. A humble person is always willing to receive help.

7. Compassion
You feel deep sympathy for the suffering and misfortune of others. Through empathy, you have a desire to do something to alleviate their suffering.

8. Fairness
Using discernment, compassion, and integrity, you strive to make decisions and take actions based on what you consider the ultimate best course or outcome for all involved.

9. Forgiveness
You make conscious, intentional decisions to let go of resentment and anger toward someone for an offense — whether or not forgiveness is sought by the offender. Forgiveness may or may not include pardoning, restoration, or reconciliation. It extends both to others and to one's self.

10. Authenticity
You are able to be your real and true self, without pretension, posturing, or insincerity. You are capable of showing appropriate vulnerability and self-awareness.

11. Courageousness
In spite of fear of danger, discomfort, or pain, you have the mental fortitude to carry on with a commitment, plan, or decision, knowing it is the right or best course of action.

12. Generosity
You are willing to offer your time, energy, efforts, emotions, words, or assets without the expectation of something in return. You offer these freely and often joyously.

13. Perseverance
Perseverance is the steadfast persistence and determination to continue on with a course of action, belief, or purpose, even if it's difficult or uncomfortable in order to reach a higher goal or outcome.

14. Politeness
You are knowledgable of basic good manners, common courtesies, and etiquette, and are willing to apply those to all people you encounter. You desire to learn the skills of politeness in order to enhance your relationships and self-esteem

15. Kindness
Kindness is an attitude of being considerate, helpful, and benevolent to others. It is motivated by a positive disposition and the desire for warm and pleasant interactions.

16. Lovingness
The ability to be loving toward those you love means showing them through your words, actions, and expressions how deeply you care about them. It includes the willingness to be open and vulnerable.

17. Optimism
Optimism is a sense of hopefulness and confidence about the future. It involves a positive mental attitude in which you interpret life events, people, and situations in a promising light.

18. Reliability
You can be consistently depended upon to follow through on your commitments, actions, and decisions. You do what you say you will do.

19. Conscientiousness
You have the desire to do things well or to the best of your ability. You are thorough, careful, efficient, organized, and vigilant in your efforts, based on your own principles or sense of what is right.

20. Self-discipline
You are able, through good habits or willpower, to overcome your desires or feelings in order to follow the best course of action or to rise  to your commitments or principles. You have a strong sense of self-control in order to reach a desired goal.




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Day 15 | February Devotional from Psalms - "You are One of God's Excellent Ones"

Friday, February 15, 2019 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments



Preserve me, O God, for in You I put my trust. O my soul, you have said to the LORD, "You are my Lord, My goodness is nothing apart from You. And to the saints who are on the earth, "They are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight."(Psalms 16:1-3)

One of the blessings of prayer and worship is the reality of interacting with God's presence. A one-way communication is never satisfying. We don't only talk to God. He talks back to us. God sometimes speaks to us without notice, but I believe we will hear more from Him if we initiate the communication. This reality fits the biblical truth, "Draw near to God and he will draw near to you." (James 4:8)

Notice as David expressed his worship to God, he quoted himself, “You are my Lord, My goodness is nothing apart from You.” It was then as if God spoke back to David and His saints, "They are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight."

In the verse we read the words, "They are the excellent ones." God sees more excellence in you than you see in yourself. He knows that life sometimes beats us down. He knows that people disappoint or forsake us (Jesus experienced the same). He also knows that we bring trouble upon ourselves sometimes. But none of these things changes how God sees us, so don't let it change your outlook or self-image.

I suggest you say what God says about you: "I am one of God's excellent one, in whom is all His delight!"

Reflection Question: What positive thoughts do you need to engage to overcome negative thoughts?

Today’s action item based on insight:

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Day 14 | February Devotional from Psalms - "The Best Place to Live"

Thursday, February 14, 2019 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments




Psalms 84:10 (NIV), A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked. 11 For the LORD God is our light and protector. He gives us grace and glory. No good thing will the LORD withhold from those who do what is right. 12 O LORD Almighty, happy are those who trust in you.

Our Father's House is the best place to live! Quality of life is not measured by how much stuff one has, but by our relationship with the Lord. We certainly do not want to envy those who have a lot, but do not serve the Lord. Everything you need is already present in the house of God. 

Any position in his house, including tending the door, qualifies you to have access to everything in God's house. As the text says, "No good thing will he withhold from those who do what is right." 

So, if you were only a doorkeeper in the house of God, then open the door to the best of your ability! “Grace and glory” surround you!

Reflection Question: What blessings have you received by being a part of God's house?


Today’s action item based on insight:


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