The Master Key: Diligence (Audio)

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments



Listen to Teaching

Podbean: https://bryanhudson.podbean.com/e/the-master-key-part-three-diligence/
iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-master-key-part-three-diligence/id81271386?i=1000438804108

2 Peter 1:10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 6:11, And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Hebrews 11:6, But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Definitions of Diligence,
  • Steady application in business; constant in effort or exertion to accomplish what is undertaken; 
  • A diligent person sees what needs to be done; and they do it, and do it, and do it until they get the desired result
  • Marked by careful attention or persistent application.
  • Persevering determination to perform a task

(Vine’s/Hebrew/Greek) – “A working,” is indicative of a process. 

MASTER KEY: For believers in Christ, diligence is not simply “works,” it is an extension of God’s grace in action.

(Joyce Meyer) We see many people who come to work in “ministry” fail to realize that they will have to change in order to have the privilege of working for God. 

Proverbs 13:4 The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; But the soul of the diligent shall be made rich.

MASTER KEY:  It takes diligence to succeed in a process that involves you.

Everything in life is a process – that is the way God has arranged things. 
1. Pregnancy and birth is a process. 
2. Growing up physically and spiritually is a process. 
3. Education and learning is a process. 
4. Why would promotion or advancement on the job or in ministry be any different? 

[First mention] EXO 15:26, and said, "If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you.”

MASTER KEY:  God didn’t say only “heed,” He said “diligently heed.” Anyone can heed in the moment, but the process to obeying and following God is diligence.  It is the only way forward.

Deuteronomy 28:1, "Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. "And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God:

Proverbs 10:4, He who deals with a slack hand becomes poor, but the hand of the diligent makes one rich.

Proverbs 13:4, the soul of a sluggard desires, and has nothing; but the soul of the diligent shall be made rich.

Proverbs 21:5, The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.

MASTER KEY: Diligence is one of the key components of leadership.
Romans 12:8, He who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

Romans 12:9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient[c] in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given[d] to hospitality

MASTER KEY:  Repentance on the part of the Corinthians produced a new level of motivation and diligence. When we are in disobedience to God, divine energy is lacking. We need God’s strenght to get things done.

2 Corinthians 7:1, Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

2 Corinthians 7:11, For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

2 Corinthians 8:7, But as you abound in everything--in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love for us--see that you abound in this grace also.

2 Timothy 2:15, Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Hebrews 6:11, And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Hebrews 11:6, But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

MASTER KEY:  Diligence releases God’s rewards

2 Peter 1:5, But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6] to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness,



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The Master Key: “Lessons from Eagles” (Audio)

Monday, May 13, 2019 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments





Listen in Podbean: https://bryanhudson.podbean.com/mobile/e/the-master-key-part-two-lessons-from-eagle
Listen in iTuneshttps://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/firm-foundation-with-bryan-hudson/id81271386

Deut 32:9 (NLT)  For the people of Israel belong to the Lord;  Jacob is his special possession.  10 He found them in a desert land, in an empty, howling wasteland. He surrounded them and watched over them; he guarded them as he would guard his own eyes. 11 Like an eagle that rouses her chicks and hovers over her young, so he spread his wings to take them up and carried them safely on his pinions. 12 The Lord alone guided them;  they followed no foreign gods. 

God compares Himself to a mother eagle.  God declares Himself in scripture by comparing His previously unknown attributes with other attributes that are known to mankind. 

“Rouses her chicks"  It means "to rouse, to incite or awaken."  God stirs His people in many ways including sermons, trials, the conviction of the Holy Spirit and more.
This verse is found in a passage known as the Song of Moses.  In this song, Moses recaps for the children of Israel their short history and magnifies God's perfections and holiness.  An outline of the passage might be: 
1.  God's Promise To His People     v. 7-9
2.  God's Perfecting of His People    v. 10-12
3.  God's Provisions For His People    v. 13-14 

In these verses we also see how God sought them (v.  7-8); He saved them (v. 9); He schooled them (v. 10 ...he instructed him...); He shielded them (v. 10 ...he kept him as the apple of his eye... ); He established them (v. 11 ); and He separated them (v. 12 ).  Let us narrow our focus to verse 11.  In this great song of Moses, why does God compares Himself to a mother eagle?  I believe that we can learn some great truths by studying this comparison: truths about God and His people, and truths about mothers.

Male and female bald eagles mate for life


I.    The Mother Eagle Speaks of the Nurturing Nature of Our God

Moses compares the work of his God in removing Israel from Egypt to the mother eagle's stirring over its young.  Bondage in Egypt had been an incubation period for the Jewish people, but God, like the mother eagle, had plans for His young. 
Nurture defined: to give tender care and protection to a child, a young animal, or a plant, helping it to grow and develop; to encourage somebody or something to grow, develop, thrive, and be successful

How does God nurture like a mother eagle?


1.  The Eagle's Sight  (God's Omniscience) It is said that eagles have such extraordinary sight that they can see an object as small as a rabbit from hundreds of feet in the air!  In its sight, he eagle typifies God's omniscience.  He sees and knows all.  Isaiah 40:28 says "...there is no searching of God's understanding..."


2.  The Eagle's Swiftness (God's Omnipresence)  The eagle can fly at  speeds over 100 miles per hour, and can reach 180 MPH in a dive.  God does not need to travel at high speeds because he is everywhere present.  “A very present help in time of need.” “Behold, I come quickly.” “Before you call, I say here I am.”


3.  The Eagle's Strength  (God's Omnipotence)  The adult eagle weighs around 25 pounds but can pick up and carry animals that weigh between 50-75 pounds.  Eagle handlers must wear protective gear to keep the birds from crushing their arms.  The eagle's strength reminds us of God's omnipotence.  “Cast all you care upon him, for he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7


4.  The Eagle's Soaring  (God's Holiness)  Eagles can fly higher than any other birds.  They have been accidentally hit by jets in flight.  This shows us God's holiness, which is far above all.  No one can approach God's holiness.  Jehovah Elyon: “The Lord God most high.”


5.   The Eagle's Offspring (God's Children)   Mother eagles are very protective and supportive of their young.  Many animals ignore their young and some even devour them.  But eagles train and teach the little eaglets.  Likewise, God does not leave His children to themselves.  Think of the children of Israel in the wilderness.  God fed them, gave them water, kept them warm at night and shaded in the day. 

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"The Master Key" Part 1 (Audio)

Monday, May 06, 2019 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments



Listen to this teaching:

On iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-master-key-part-1/id81271386?i=1000437283483

The Master Key, Part One

Romans 8:1, There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God [New Covenant Principle], nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

A master key is a special key design to unlock every door in a facility. Lesser keys only unlock specific doors. When you have the master key you can go everywhere and open any door. A master key is possessed by fewer people an is related to their authority and/or responsibility
In God’s kingdom there are keys which are truths God has created and enacted through Christ that open doors. There are also lesser keys in which people trust that cannot open doors that only God can open:

The keys (law/principle) that people use:
1. Their knowledge & understanding
2. Their point of view
3. Their prejudices and presumptions
4. Their privilege
5. Their experience
6. Their delegated authority
7. Their religion or non-biblical religious beliefs

What you need is the Master Key
“The law of spirit of life in Christ has made me free from the law of sin and death”

With the master key there is no condemnation from God or anyone else. With the master key there is freedom from sin and death. Things you could never overcome by yourself are overcome in Christ. With the master key you can live and function through the Spirit of God, and be enslaved to your carnal (flesh-ruled) nature.

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"It is Finished, So You Can Begin." (Video Teaching)

Thursday, May 02, 2019 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments





John 19:28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” 29 Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. 30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

Easter Sunday has passed, but resurrection power is still here! For some “holidays” like Halloween, the day after has no significance or meaning. Jesus’ resurrection continues to impact our lives in real ways because what He finished was our beginning. He finished many things including: His obedience to God; His sacrifice leading to our redemption from sin; Our salvation on every level - spirit, soul, and body; Peace and power through the Holy Spirit: The fruit of the Spirit in our hearts, and so much more.

The apostle Paul spoke of “knowing” Jesus and “the power of His resurrection:"

Philippians 3;9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

You can’t know something that is not real and present in your daily life. In your daily time, deepen your relationship with God through Christ. Reflect on the teachings of the Bible and let the principles and power of the word of God work in you!

He brings us face to face with the triumph of Jesus. 
When we compare the four gospels we find a most illuminating thing. The other three do not tell us that Jesus said, "It is finished."  But they do tell us that he died with a great shout upon his lips (Matt.27:50; Mk.15:37; Lk.23:46).

Matthew 27:50, And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. 

Mark 15:37, With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last. 

Luke 23:46, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.

On the other hand, John does not speak of the great cry, but does say that Jesus' last words were, "It is finished." The explanation is that the great shout and the words, "It is finished," are one and the same thing. "It is finished" is one word in Greek--tetelestai (Strongs #GSN5055)--and Jesus died with a shout of triumph on his lips. He did not say, "It is finished," in weary defeat; he said it as one who shouts for joy because the victory is won. He seemed to be broken on the Cross, but he knew that his victory was won. 

What Does Tetelestai Mean?

"It is finished," which is one of Jesus' most important statements, is translated from the single Greek word tetelestai. The grammatical structure of the Greek word, perfect passive indicative, is very important. 


The perfect tense indicates that the progress of an action has been completed and the result of that action is ongoing and with full effect. 

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Jesus Finished Everything For Your Beginning

Friday, April 26, 2019 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments



John 19:28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” 29 Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. 30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

Easter Sunday has passed, but resurrection power is still here! For some “holidays” like Halloween, the day after has no significance or meaning. Jesus’ resurrection continues to impact our lives in real ways because what He finished was our beginning. He finished many things including: His obedience to God; His sacrifice leading to our redemption from sin; Our salvation on every level - spirit, soul, and body; Peace and power through the Holy Spirit: The fruit of the Spirit in our hearts, and so much more.

The apostle Paul spoke of “knowing” Jesus and “the power of His resurrection:"
Philippians 3;10, That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

You can’t know something that is not real and present in your daily life. In your daily time, deepen your relationship with God through Christ. Reflect on the teachings of the Bible and let the principles and power of the word of God work in you!

Listen to my Easter Sunday message, “Risen King. Rising Hope” on the Firm Foundation podcast:  https://bryanhudson.podbean.com/e/risen-king-rising-hope

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Join Us for Resurrection Sunday at New Covenant Church Indy!

Saturday, April 20, 2019 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments



 


Join us April 21 at 10:30 AM EST for a Celebration of Life, New Life, and Hope in Christ!

The springtime season brings flowers and renewal of life in nature. God’s season brings eternal life and joy that never fades. Spring will come and go, but Resurrection Power never changes! The Bible word for “resurrection” means, “To cause to stand.” Christ is our Risen King who has provided us with a Rising Hope!  

Join us this Easter Sunday as we experience the power of a never changing season in the Lord. Learn about how resurrection power both sustains and revives every area of your life.  We will enjoy a time of worship, fellowship, children’s ministry, a presentation from our children, reflections from our ministers, and a life-lifting message from God’s word.

Visit the Firm Foundation podcast to listen to Parts 1 & 2 of the teaching, “Why Your Season Never Fails.”


Pastor Bryan & Patricia Hudson
“Loving God. Loving People. Serving the World.”

New Covenant Church
4625 N. Keystone Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46205
www.NewCovenant.org
www.BryanHudson.com

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"Why Your Season Never Fails" - Your Success is Tied to Your Season

Wednesday, April 10, 2019 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments


Learn how to live in God's seasons for your life and fulfill His design for your life.

Psalms 1:3 He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.




Audio Podcast
Podbean: https://bryanhudson.podbean.com/e/why-your-season-never-fails/

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/firm-foundation-with-bryan-hudson/id81271386?mt=2

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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.


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

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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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