What is the Condition of Your Heart (Soil)? Three Conditions to Avoid. One to Cultivate

Wednesday, October 30, 2013 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Luke 8:11(NLT) This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is God’s word. 12 The seeds that fell on the footpath represent those who hear the message, only to have the devil come and take it away from their hearts and prevent them from believing and being saved. 13 The seeds on the rocky soil represent those who hear the message and receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they believe for a while, then they fall away when they face temptation. 14 The seeds that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. And so they never grow into maturity. 15 And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest.

You are responsible for the condition of the “soil”  of your heart and attitude. Good seed is wasted on bad soil with weeds. Good seed (the Word) thrives in good soil.

Three bad conditions to avoid:

“Wayside” is the walking path around the garden. Nothing is planted and seed is wasted. The devil “takes away”  unplanted seed.

“Shallow” is a lack of depth. It's like saying “Amen!”  to the Word, but doing nothing else. What was sown on Sunday is gone by Tuesday.

“Distractions” choke progress that has been made, like aggressive weeds in a garden that harm the plants. Jesus said that “cares, riches, and pleasures of life”  can crowd out or choke good things.

One good condition to cultivate:

“Receptivity” to God's Word: Be eager to hear and act on what God said, after you say, “Amen!”

Excerpt from Day 30 of "Morning Light" by Bryan Hudson


Let Down Your Nets…Change Your Life

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Luke 5:1 So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, 2 and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. 3 Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. 4 When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” 6 And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. 7 So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” 9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; 10 and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.” 11 So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.

There is a greater purpose for us in the plan of God than we have realized. The unfolding of this purpose awaits a Challenge of Faith to awaken it. We need a rhema word from God to issue that challenge. In the midst of the challenge, we need to look for the larger purpose of God. Once it is found, we must give ourselves completely to it since it will become our destiny.

Washing nets…
We find the fishermen, Peter, James and John, on the shore washing their nets. Washing nets signaled the fruitless end of an effort. The disgusted fishermen removed seaweed, debris and other remnants of failure. They would much rather had been removing fish from those nets.

Are you washing your nets today? Are you dwelling on what appears to be failure? Have you ‘toiled all night long’ in sincerity and diligence doing all you know to do? In times like these, it is important to always remember these words from the Lord, ‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the LORD. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts (55:8-9).

There is no failure in God! It may be that you have not yet done all to stand. It may be that your blessing is right around the corner and you need to exercise patience.

Ecclesiastes 3:9-11,What profit has the worker from that in which he labors? I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.

Ecclesiastes says, "I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. He has made everything beautiful in its time." In this we find the answer to the question: The profit of laboring is found in that you will eventually enter into your God-given tasks! Or to put it in New Testament terms, "And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart" (Galatians 6:9).

For every seed there is a season of harvest.  This is what is meant by the statement, "He makes everything beautiful in its time." Time should not be a concern for us because God has placed eternity in our hearts. We are more mindful of things above than of things on the earth. We certainly need, and God supplies, blessings in this life, but we should not become anxious about things, like people who have no eternal hope.

Let down your nets…
Returning to the story in Luke, after Jesus borrowed their boat to teach from, He returned it and spoke these words, "Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch."

Jesus gave Peter a direct command. a rhema word. Remember that "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the [rhema] of God" (Romans 10:17). Here also we find Peter’s Challenge of Faith.

A Challenge of Faith is an extraordinary request by God that defies our logic and habits.

Peter could have refused to comply with Jesus’ command, as many people do, but he never would have been released into the larger purpose of God for his life. Peter was not sent out jus to catch a lot of fish. He was being sent out to “catch” is greater purpose in life. This is more than a lesson on faith to receive things, but faith to receive purpose for one’s life.

The net was breaking...
The number of fish that came into the net was so great, that the nets began to break and the little boat began to sink. Peter called his partners over and their boats were also filled with fish. Obedience to the words of Jesus produced a supernatural result which exceeded Peter’s expectations. They were all astonished at what happened…not only about the number of fish, but how listening to Jesus brought about this result. These results shattered Peter’s sense of pride, failure and futility – symbolized by the breaking net.

Peter fell at Jesus’ knees because he realized why Jesus said "Launch out into the deep!" He realized how wrong he was to second-guess Jesus in the first place. He realized the power and blessing of obedience. At that precise moment in time, Peter entered into his transition and expansion in the purpose of God.

God also has a larger purpose for you, and there is a day in which He will reveal that greater purpose to you! However, you will not enter that purpose by sitting around, acting "spiritual" and doing nothing. God calls people who are diligent in their current responsibilities and "God-given tasks."

When they reached the shore, they “brought their boats to land” and “forsook all and followed Him.” To one degree or another, you must forsake something you've been doing in order to move forward into something new and better.

Be faithful in your responsibilities. Be obedient to the Lord, steadfast in faith, and you will be in position for transition, and furn emptiness into fullness!


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Meet Your Opportunities With Faith, Not Fear

Tuesday, October 22, 2013 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Matthew 8:26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

Jesus woke up to do something that His disciples should have done. Jesus was resting in the boat after a long day of ministry. A sudden storm made the disciples afraid. They allowed their fear to interfere with their faith. Because of this, Jesus called His own disciples' faith “ little.”  He expected much more from men who had been trained “on the job.”

When storms come, or big opportunities are presented, let your faith rise, not your fears.


Why the Seasons Sing. Let Your Season Sing.

Saturday, October 19, 2013 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Isaiah 55:12 (NKJV) For you shall go out with joy, And be led out with peace; The mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

In the fall I usually take time out to do something I thoroughly enjoy, taking photographs. A photograph captures a narrow slice of time and preserves it for later reflection and sharing with others. All the beautiful trees in their fall colors will be bare in a few weeks. The same trees will glisten with snow and icicles during winter time.

Many of us dread the onset of winter because the weather deprives us of many outside activities. I remember carrying that bad attitude until I decided to take photographs after a snowfall some years ago. I realized that the snow made drab landscapes beautiful and reflected light in unusual ways.

Every season has its “song.” The text states that God's creation “shall break forth into singing” right in front of us. Usually, we don't stop to notice this “singing” because the challenges of life tend to dominate all of our senses. I am not suggesting that we ignore the business or challenges at hand. I am suggesting that we make room in our hearts for the words of God through Isaiah to his generation and to ours.

If we daily “go out with joy” and “be led out with peace,”  we will see everything differently. Even the trees, hills and snow will seem to clap their hands in praise to God. No, this won't pay the bills, but it will be a source of encouragement and will help keep us in faith to receive God's best.

Let your season sing!


Begin to Sing Your "Song of Ascent!"

Thursday, October 17, 2013 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Psalm 126:1 (NLT) A song for the ascent to Jerusalem. When the LORD restored his exiles to Jerusalem, it was like a dream! 2 We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy. And the other nations said, “What amazing things the LORD has done for them.” 3 Yes, the LORD has done amazing things for us! What joy! 4 Restore our fortunes, LORD, as streams renew the desert. 5 Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. 6 They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest.

With all the challenges the people of Israel faced, there were times when they could rejoice in God's deliverance. This Psalm is called “A song for the ascent to Jerusalem.” Note the word “ascent.” To ascend is to go up. Returning from exile to Jerusalem felt like going UP after having experienced a season of going DOWN.

Because of Jesus, we can rejoice that we have ascended to a new life that is being renewed day by day. Today and everyday, we can rejoice, singing songs of joy, and enjoy laughter, all the while letting our light shine so others can see that we have been blessed by a mighty and loving God.

We may experience difficult seasons even while we are trusting in God. These seasons may produce tears, but our tears show our trust and devotion in God as we continue to plant seeds of faith.

Such faith and faithfulness never goes unrewarded. Harvest always follows seedtime. Our God is faithful and he keeps all his promises!

God's streams bring renewal to your desert-like places!


Excerpt from "Morning Light" by Bryan Hudson


Grace For Grace

Wednesday, October 16, 2013 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth...16 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.

We have received Jesus' “fullness.” Fullness is: “the quality or condition of being full or complete.”

Is there anything in your life that is not full or is incomplete? Jesus wants you full and complete! But not only that, He wants you to get into fullness so that you can go fill up other people. That is what it means to have “grace for grace.” You’ve got enough grace in your space to give grace to others.

Did you go to school to only get a degree? I hope not. You went to school to get enough knowledge and skill to enable you to positively impact others.

Did you accept a call to leadership or ministry just to stand in front of people? No. You received that grace to empower you to impart the life of God to others through the Holy Spirit.

God gave you grace for grace! That’s exactly what Jesus did both for sinful humanity and for His church.

Excerpt from "Morning Light" 
Available from Amazon.com and VisionBooksMedia.com


You are God's Masterpiece!

Saturday, October 12, 2013 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Ephesians 2:10 (NLT) For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Did you know that you are a masterpiece? One definition  of “masterpiece” is: “The most outstanding work of a creative artist or craftsman.” What is God's  greatest creation? Is  it the atom,  the flowers, the oceans,  planet Earth, the sun, or the galaxies? None of these amazing items were made in His image and likeness.

You are God's greatest creative work,  because He chose to craft people in a manner that would allow us to identify with God and have relationship with Him. The text states, “He has created us  anew in Christ Jesus...”  While every person is a masterpiece creation of God,  those who have not received Jesus as Savior and Lord are locked out of their full potential because of an unregenerate spirit. They look like a masterpiece painting hidden in a basement, discolored and barely recognizable.

Those who have received Jesus  as  Lord and Savior can fully realize the benefits of redemption and new life. You  look like a masterpiece painting only hours after its completion with all its vibrant color and on full display. The best part is this: You are “unlocked” and now qualify to do all the “good things” that God destined for you before time began.

Live like God's masterpiece, do good work,  and give Him all the glory!


Yokes, Partnership, and Rest

Friday, October 11, 2013 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Matthew 11:28 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Yokes are used to link oxen together so that they, with less individual effort, can do the work of plowing fields. Jesus' yoke is like a partnership with someone stronger. Every burden becomes lighter for you because He is carrying the greater weight and pulling more of the load. To "rest" means to "use the power of another."

When you take His yoke upon you and begin the work of plowing your fields of life, you will notice that this yoke, unlike any other kind of yoke, is easy. You will also notice that this burden, unlike any other burden, is light. When you ask yourself, “Why is this yoke easy and this burden light?” Look over to your side, and you will see Jesus in the same yoke with you and bearing the same burden with you!

Only when yoked with Jesus will you find rest for your soul – which is your mind, will and emotions. Nothing short of receiving  Jesus as Savior and Lord, and learning of Him, will make a difference.

What is REST?

R~Repentance from sin, labors and heavy burdens. “Change Your Mind”

E~Expectation of a new life through faith in God and obedience to the Gospel

S~Salvation by grace through faith and not of yourselves. Receive the gift of God.

T~Testify of the goodness of God. Confess Jesus as your Lord and Savior.


Set Your Mind and Keep It Set!

Friday, October 04, 2013 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Romans 7:22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man ....25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
Ephesians 4:23, “Be renewed in the spirit of your mind...” 

The excerpts of scripture shown above highlight the power of our thinking. While the new birth occurred in our hearts, renewal happens in our minds. The mind is often the battleground, the place where progress is either won or lost.

Below are some scriptures and suggested affirmations to help build your faith and develop/maintain a victorious mindset:

1. Mortify my mind: Romans 8:5-8,12-14
“Carnality does not control my lifestyle. My mind is the property of Jesus. Satan, keep your hands off! I am dead to sin and alive to God. I am dead to things carnal and alive to things spiritual. I am a debtor to the Holy Spirit who gave me life.

2. Clear my mind: 1 John 3:11-12
“I clear my mind of anger, envy and disappointment at others. I give place for the peace of God to flood my mind. Jesus, you are my peace. I dig up seeds of bitterness and cast them away. I have the mind of Christ.” (Hebrews 12:14-15; 1 Corinthians 2:16)

3.  Renew my mind: Ephesians 4:23
“I have the power through my Lord Jesus Christ to replace wrong thought patterns with thoughts that please God. I can root out, pluck down, throw down and destroy anything in me that is not of God. I can build and plant anything that is of God.” (Jeremiah 1:10)

4. Set my mind: Colossians 3:1-4
“I am a decisive person by the grace of God. My mind taps into the riches of God’s wisdom, knowledge and understanding. My mind is innovative, creative and productive in every purpose of God. I am disciplined in my thought life and repel every fiery dart from Satan.”

5. Focus my mind: Romans 6:16-18
“I see clearly what I must do. There is no cloud of confusion in me. My mind will grasp everything I need to know. I cast down imaginations and opinions born of pride. My mind is the tool and servant of my Lord Jesus Christ!”

6. Guard my mind: Proverbs 4:10-26
“I guard my mind from the seeds of Satan. My mind is the gateway to my heart and I will protect the treasure of God’s Word in me. The cares of this world; the deceitfulness of riches; and the lusts of other things will not choke the Word in me. God’s healing power dominates my body and mind. The forces of the life of God flow out of me to bless others.” (Mark 4:19)