Day 21 - Discernment
"And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God" (Philippians 1:9-11, ESV).
We have reached the final day of our 21 Day Dedication to the Lord! I simply want to say thank you to each of you who have been following along, growing in the Spirit, and being more dedicated to the Lord. You make all of this worth it; believe me, it's not easy. It takes a lot. It takes prayer, seeking, worship and discernment.
It takes discernment because right now, and throughout this time, there have been a great many things that I have wanted to say. But that's the thing, isn't it? Who cares about what I want to say? I don't even care about what I WANT to say; I WANT TO SAY WHAT GOD WANTS ME TO SAY. It takes discernment to decide what He wants me to say. At the end of our dedication, that's what I want to leave you with: discernment.
To live a dedicated life to the Lord, we need discernment and endurance (sneak peek to tomorrow's message: "You Have Need of Endurance!").
Discernment, as I refer to it, is the ability to judge what God's guidance is in any situation. As we have dedicated our lives to Him in a special way, we can now ask Him, "How can I show you I am dedicated to You today?" and believe that He will not only answer us, but guide us in the right direction. But we have the responsibility to decide what God is leading us to do! This is why we need discernment.
If you read the passage above again, you'll see what discernment leads us to. Discernment leads us to approve what is excellent (according to God's standards), it leads us to be pure and blameless for the day our Christ returns, and it leads us to be filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Christ, to the praise and glory of God! Discernment is an amazing way to show the Lord that we are devoted and dedicated to Him. So today, at the end of our dedication, I pray you receive and use more discernment in daily life. And I will catch you on the flippity-flip!
-Pastor Tim Escamilla
"So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory. For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith" (Ephesians 3:13-17a, ESV).
Freedom Family, we are on our second to last day of our Dedication. Today, I want to let you know that I have a burden for you. It's not a negative or bad burden; it's a good burden. It's a burden to pray for you!
I feel led from the Lord to encourage you to share this burden. In doing so, I urge you to pray for one another, as Paul did in the passage above. Take some time today to not only pray for yourself and your family, but also pray for some people the Lord directs you to pray for.
This morning I am praying for two of our ladies' health. I am praying for God's healing and comfort for them, their bodies, and also their families. But it doesn't end there; I have a prayer list that I go to each day. Your name is on it. And I bow my knee, just like Paul did, and ask that the Lord would strengthen you in His power through His Spirit! We need His strength to live in His holiness and love.
Please take time to pray for one another. Take time to ask the Lord who He would have you pray for. Then, pray for them! I want to share a quote by E.M. Bounds:
"Talking to men for God is a great thing, but talking to God for men is greater still."
Pray for someone else today. It is for their glory. It is for their strength in the Lord. We pray for others so that Christ may dwell in their (and our) hearts. As we pray for others, the Lord's glory and strength are also increased in us. May we grow in praying for others, and in the glory and strength of our Lord!
-Pastor Tim Escamilla
"Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness" (Psalm 29:2, ESV).
Beloved, we are near the end of our dedication! On this 19th Day, I want to ask you: Why do you worship God? Please, take a minute or two to think about this before you keep reading...
Some worship to feel good. Some worship because it's what their parents did before them, as their parents did before them, etc. Others worship so that people can see their worship.
Some worship only hoping to receive what they have asked in prayer. Others worship only when it's convenient.
Each of these motivations for worship are superficial. I think it would be fair to say that each of us have worshiped superficially at one point in time. I do not want you to feel guilt or shame for those times; rather, I want you to bring those times to the Lord right now! Ask Him to purify your motivations of superficiality. He is making His bride more beautiful each day, and yes, that includes our motivations to worship. He's making our motivations more honorable, righteous, selfless and just.
So let's come up with some foundational answers for why we worship Him. These answers will never change. We worship Him because He's WORTHY. We worship Him because He's HOLY. We worship Him because He's ALMIGHTY. And finally, we worship Him because He's our ALL IN ALL.
These answers will always root out our superficiality in worship. When we believe them as we worship, our selfishness, pride, and ego each fade away more and more. Has this week seemed like it's December 52, 2020, then worship! If you've had a fantastic week, then worship! If you've somehow gotten here and you don't even know how, then worship! Do you feel like you're on a mountaintop? Worship! Feels like you're in the valley? Worship. Just worship. Simply worship. He is worthy.
So, I want to encourage you to join us in worship tonight. Our Worship Night begins at 7PM MST. If you cannot join us in person, you can click https://youtu.be/HVF3DehC3c0 to join us via YouTube. We will also post this link on Facebook. I will be leading us in a special time of Communion, so if you have elements, please get them out and ready.
Join us in worship of the One who is always worthy of worship!
-Pastor Tim Escamilla
"See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God" (1 John 3:1a, ESV).
"What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray" (Matthew 18:11-13).
Freedom Family, how many times have we gone astray from Him? How many times has He lavished His love upon us by going and "finding" us? How many times have we been able to rejoice with Him as He has found us?
Too many times to count. This is not a testament to our unfaithfulness. This is not intended to shame us. This is not intended to produce guilt in us. Rather, this is intended to produce great joy in celebrating the faithfulness of our Lord! This is intended to help us focus on His love, the love He has given to us as His children. He has called us His children. That will never change!
This is intended to burn our spirits with the passion that He has for us in finding us time and time again. REJOICE! Rejoice, for our God is faithful even when we are not. Rejoice, for our Lord will find us, no matter what. Rejoice, because no matter what is going on in the world, He is still our God. He is still faithful and true. Rejoice, because His love has been set towards you! Nothing will ever change that.
"On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand." - Edward Mote
So today, I pray that you would rejoice in Him. Ignore all that would distract you from Him, and rejoice in Him. Rejoice in His love, in the midst of an unloving world. Rejoice in His faithfulness, in the midst of an unfaithful world. Let your love and your joy be based on Him; for ALL other ground is sinking sand.
-Pastor Tim Escamilla
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9, ESV).
Family, the Lord your God is with you wherever you go! On this 17th Day of our Dedication, I implore you to celebrate the fact that your God is WITH YOU! Thank Him for that. Praise Him for that. Bless Him because of that. I felt encouraged to share a reading from a guide to prayer for ministers that I have. I hope it blesses you:
"But God is present in reality no matter what unreality our practices and our ponderings imply. He is forever trying to establish communication; forever aware of the wrong directions we are taking and wishing to warn us; forever offering solutions for the problems that baffle us; forever standing at the door of our loneliness, eager to bring us such comradeship as the most intelligent living mortal could not supply; forever clinging to our indifference in the hope that someday our needs, or at least our tragedies will waken us to respond to his advances. The Real Presence is just that, real and life-transforming. Nor are the conditions for the manifestation of his splendors out of the reach of any of us!"
- Taken from THE CAPTIVATING PRESENCE by Albert Edward Day
Beloved, if you belong to the Lord, simply know and be aware that He is always with you and always working in you and around you.
-Pastor Tim Escamilla
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31, ESV).
Freedom Family, today is Day 16 of our Dedication. On this day, the world honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We honor him, his work, and his dream, also! Dr. King brought sight to the blind, and it doesn’t get any more kingdom than that. :)
This morning, you more than likely have the day off. Hopefully you’ve eaten some good pancakes or waffles by now. Or, you may be working right now, like I am. :) Trust me, I’m not complaining.
Maybe you’re taking care of kids that are not your own this morning. Or maybe you're taking care of your own kids and are pretending like they’re someone else’s because they’re driving you up the wall. HAHA. Maybe, like we talked about last time, you’re finally getting to do some things around your house. Good. Do that. I’m planning on running 6 miles after I post this and also post yesterday’s message on the podcast.
The point is this: whatever you do today, do it all to the glory of God. Chores? Glory. Disciplining children? Glory. Eating? GLORY! Relaxing? Glory. Video games? You know it, glory!
Letting your kids jump all over as you lay on the floor even though it puts your internal organs and body in harm’s way? GLORY!
Listening to music? Glory. Watching a movie? Glory. Reading a book? Glory.
WHATEVER you do today, do it to the glory of God. Enjoy this day in Him.
-Pastor Tim Escamilla
"Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped" (Job 1:20, ESV).
Beloved, on this 15th day, we have started the last week of our Dedication to the Lord! This has been an encouraging time in the midst of discouragement. It has been a hopeful time in the midst of a hopeless generation. It's been a good time, in the midst of bad things happening all around us. This is what it looks like to be dedicated to the Lord!
Read the verse above once more. You may not know this, but Job had just heard the worst news of his life. He suffered much loss, including his sons and daughters. We know he loved his sons and daughters because he would regularly offer burnt offerings to the Lord for their sin. That kind of effort and sacrifice was born out of love.
So Job heard the news that he's lost so much, including his beloved sons and daughters, and he tore his robe, shaved his head, fell on the ground, and tweeted that he was sad. No, he didn't do that. He went and complained to his neighbor about how bad he had it. Nope, didn't do that either. I know, he went and wrote a book called, "Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?" Nope, didn't do that either.
What did he do? He worshiped. He worshiped his God. He worshiped his God with all his heart. He realized that, though his circumstances changed, his Almighty God hadn't changed. He still blessed the Lord; he still praised Him. His circumstances did not change his worship!
I want to encourage you during this dedication: do not let your circumstances change your worship. In the midst of discouragement, hopelessness, and bad things happening, do not let those change your worship! He is still worthy of all worship! He is still worthy of all praise! Chapter 1 of Job finishes with this, "In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong" (v.22). May we all have the dedication, the faith, and the devotion that Job had for God. Amen.
-Pastor Tim Escamilla
"Bless our God, O peoples; let the sound of his praise be heard" (Psalm 66:8, ESV).
Family, on Day 14 of our Dedication, I ask you to bless our God and let the sound of His praise be heard and seen in you!
If you're just joining us, we're taking 21 days in the beginning of 2021 to dedicate all that we are to Him. This is meant to draw us closer to Him and ask for Him to continue to be our comfort, our shield, our refuge and our strength! As we participate in this dedication, we are putting our words into action. We are showing Him we are dedicated to Him in many ways, prayer, worship, Bible reading, fasting, etc. Please listen to Pastor Tim's dedication message from January 3rd for more on the dedication.
Back to the main point: whether you are working today (like my beautiful wife) or you are off and getting to relax, bless the Lord! Whether you've got errands or chores to do, bless the Lord! If you are feeling downcast, bless Him. If you are overjoyed, bless Him! The state of our hearts does not affect whether or not we bless and praise Him. He is worthy of our blessing and praise at all times. NO MATTER WHAT.
Let me give you some ideas on how to bless/praise Him today:
If you need an oil change, praise Him that you have a car.
If you need to pick up leaves today, praise Him that snow has finally melted enough to let you pick up those leaves. I still probably won't pick up leaves in my backyard, but hey, I'll give myself grace. :)
If you need to pay a bill today, praise Him for providing enough for that bill.
If you need extra strength to take care of some kiddos today, praise Him for that strength ahead of time.
If you are feeling burdened with an urge to take BBQ to someone's house, I will bless Him by giving you my address!
I'm having some fun here, and I hope some of that made you chuckle. The life of God is a joyous one, and I hope you experience His joy as you bless and praise Him. Have fun praising Him; have fun blessing Him. Have fun listening to "10,000 Reasons" while you bless and praise Him. That's a great way to wrap your head around blessing the Lord. So I urge you once more, "Bless the Lord!"
-Pastor Tim Escamilla
"Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul" (3 John 1:2, ESV).
Right now, on Day 13 of our dedication, I want you to say one word out loud: grace. I feel from the Lord the urge to encourage you to be gracious to yourself. It's Friday, and you need to give yourself grace. I know I need to give myself grace.
Maybe you didn't accomplish every goal and task you set out to this week: give yourself grace.
Maybe you didn't reach out to that person you wanted to let know that you miss them: give yourself grace.
Maybe you spent more money this week than you budgeted for: give yourself grace.
Maybe you had a blowout with a loved one this week: give yourself grace.
Maybe you achieved everything you set out to do this week, with much success! Still, give yourself grace.
We need to be gracious with ourselves because much of the time, we beat ourselves up harder than anyone else does because we aren't gracious to ourselves. Sometimes it's easier to forgive someone else than it is to forgive ourselves: give yourself grace.
Want me to give you an example of giving yourself grace? This week, I didn't post something on Day 10 of the dedication. I wasn't too busy, but was unable to write something. Nothing bad happened, and there was no struggle in me. In fact, I got to spend good time with the Lord with my amazing family. Still, it hurt to not post something. But, I'm gonna take my own advice: give yourself grace.
Acknowledge it, repent from it (if that's needed), and move on! That's how you give yourself grace. So this Friday, I'm praying for you. That all may go well with you, that you be in good health, and that it would go well with your soul. You know one of the best ways to live 3 John 1:2? Say it with me: give yourself grace.
-Pastor Tim Escamilla
"14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised" (2 Corinthians 5:14-15, ESV).
This morning, on the 12th Day of our dedication, I want to ask you a focusing question: What is controlling you? To help you understand what is controlling you, I want to ask a series of other questions. What is guiding your emotions? What is informing your worldview? What is telling you how you should feel? What is telling you how you should act or react? If our answers are anything other than the love of Christ, then we need to ask the Lord for His help to have His love control us.
Why is this so important? Not simply because Christians are the light of the world. Not only because we need to set a good example for those around us. Those are good reasons. But the reason it is so important for the love of Christ to control us is because we are made in God's image. We are made in His likeness. Meaning, we are supposed to be like Him. We are at our best when we are like Him! Let us never forget that God is love (1 John 4:8). This is why it is so important for us to let the love of Christ control us! We are not to be controlled by the enemy, this world, our feelings or our failures; we are to be controlled by His love alone.
When we read the passage carefully, we see that if we are controlled by His love, we have proof we no longer live for ourselves but for Him! As we take part in this dedication and recalibrate our thoughts and hearts toward Him, let's allow the love of Christ to control us. Let's ask the Holy Spirit to rewire our brains and hearts to be naturally geared to the love of Christ. There is no better way to start 2021! As we dedicate ourselves to Him fully in prayer, Bible reading, worship, fasting, fellowship, etc., let's do so in faith, believing that we will be controlled, constrained and compelled by the love of Christ alone.
-Pastor Tim Escamilla
“Who believes what we’ve heard and seen? Who would have thought God’s saving power would look like this? The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling, a scrubby plant in a parched field. There was nothing attractive about him, nothing to cause us to take a second look. He was looked down on and passed over, a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand. One look at him and people turned away. We looked down on him, thought he was scum. But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us. We thought he brought it on himself, that God was punishing him for his own failures. But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins! He took the punishment, and that made us whole. Through his bruises we get healed. We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost. We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way. And God has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong, on him, on him” (Isaiah 53:1-6, MSG).
God never does things in the way we think He should. He brought Jesus into this world during an incredibly chaotic and crazy time. He overthrew Babylon in a single night during a debaucherous celebration. He didn’t prevent Daniel from being thrown into a lions’ den, yet He saved him while in the pit. God is on the move, and we don’t always understand how or why things are happening a certain way. But, He is faithful and his promises are always fulfilled.
Today during my prayer time God asked me if I wanted to know what He is about to do? I of course said yes, I would love to know what is going on and what You are about to do. He went on to explain that He is about to do 5 things.
The 5 things God is about to do:
1. He is about to shake up this country (I feel like a shaking has already occurred, but it will be more of a shaking. Hold on family and keep your eyes focused on the One above).
2. He is about to pluck out those who belong to the enemy (I saw Him picking people one by one from this earth and throwing them behind Him. He is about to pull weeds so that the harvest can occur).
3. He is about to flex His arm and big tech will be crushed (God told me He wants truth to ring in our nation).
4. He is going to restore our nation (God told me that once I say what I am going to do, I always keep my promises).
5. Once our nation is restored, He will redeem it
I find it so interesting that God said he would restore it before redeeming it. So, He told me to go and get definitions for both restore and redeemed.
Restore: To receive back more than has been lost to the point where the final state, is greater than the original condition.
Redeem: To rescue and deliver from the bondage of sin and the penalties of God’s violated law.
So, let’s this week sit in hope and eager anticipation. Our God is about to unleash something amazing and truly impossible. God’s word is always fulfilled and his words always speak truth.
-Pastor Dani Noe
"Then Joshua said to the people, 'Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you'” (Joshua 3:5, ESV).
Beloved, we are on Day 9 of our dedication to the Lord! It is a time where we seek the Lord, recalibrate our hearts towards Him, and focus on His will, not ours. This is a time we should all long for! It's like if you've ever gone camping or on a vacation trip to a lovely place, and you step out the door in the morning and take that first breath in... then out. And it seems like all is well. Things are as they should be. Well, so long to 2020. Bye 2020, you crazy year.
We're stepping into 2021 the right way! We "breathe in" and set our hearts to the Lord. We consecrate all that we are to Him; we are fully dedicating ourselves to Him. As we "breathe out," we expect the Lord to do wonders among us, just like the verse says. Expect to see God move in your life in 2021. Expect God to move in your finances in 2021. Expect God to move in your family and friends in 2021! We consecrate ourselves these 21 days (and beyond) "for tomorrow  the Lord will do wonders among us!"
Though the enemy would not want you to believe it, amazing things are happening all around us. The CLEVELAND BROWNS just stomped the Steelers! It had been 26 years since they had won a playoff game! I'm being light-hearted here, but I truly know that the Lord is doing good things all around us.
I know relationships with God and each other are being healed. I know financial situations are improving for many people. I know joy is running rampant in the hearts of those who love God with all their being! And I know God is comforting many people right now, because He is comforting me in the same way. As we consecrate and dedicate ourselves to Him, He will continue to WONDERFULLY comfort us and provide what we need to get through the days, weeks, months and years ahead.
Right now, in almost a whisper, tell Him: "I am Yours. I consecrate myself to You. I dedicate myself to You. And I look forward to You doing WONDERS in and around me! Amen!"
-Pastor Tim Escamilla
"Jesus answered, 'My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world'" (John 18:36, ESV).
Beloved of God, it is my pleasure today to remind you that the kingdom of God is not of this world. If we have pledged fealty, loyalty, and devotion to our King, then we are part of His kingdom. In service today, one of our missionaries that we support as a church, Anthony Testa, shared on the kingdom of God. You can watch the message here: https://youtu.be/LLrnpZgM5iY (the message will be available on the podcast tomorrow).
I remind you that you don't operate by this world's rules and standards, but God's! As we devote all that we are to Him, we will extend His rule and reign in the hearts of those who love Him. We will extend His kingdom. Take some time to reflect on your past week; think about the ways that you helped extend His kingdom. Celebrate those times. Thank God for those times. Ask Him for those opportunities to increase!
After taking the time to do this, relax, kick up your feet, and get some rest. You deserve it.
-Pastor Tim Escamilla
Today, on Day 7 of our Dedication, we want to show the Lord that we mean business. For those who have been with us and those who are now joining in, during this time we are committing all that we are to the Lord. We are dedicating these 21-Days to Him at the beginning of 2021 to see Him move in our lives and have His way in 2021. We are recalibrating our affection and setting it on things above (Colossians 3:1-2). We want to focus on what the Lord wants us to focus on!
There are many ways in which we are outwardly dedicating all that we are to Him. I hope you are praying more throughout these days. I hope you are reading your Bible more. I hope you are worshiping more. Some of you may be fasting during this time! That's also an excellent way to show the Lord you are His during this dedication. As you engage in this dedication, I also pray with all my heart that you are comforted by HIS SPIRIT, encouraged by HIS PEACE and strengthened by HIS POWER!
I want you to consider this verse:
"Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing" (1 Thessalonians 5:11, ESV).
I want to prompt you to action this snowy (for those in Colorado) morning. I want you to ask God for one person that you can encourage today. Maybe it's someone you've planned on texting, but for whatever reason, you haven't been able to do so. Maybe it's someone you've planned on calling. Maybe He shows you someone else through a post on social media. Whoever He shows you, I want you to take some time to ask God how He would have you encourage that person. Remind them you love them. Remind them you are praying for them. Remind them that you miss them. Remind them that you are FOR THEM! And remind them that they have the Spirit of God in them and they are strong in Him!
So to you who are reading this, I love you in the Lord. I am praying for you. I miss you. My heart is yours. Most importantly, you belong to Jesus. You are His and He is yours. Be encouraged by that. Celebrate that. Enjoy that fact. Your mistakes don't own you; the world doesn't own you. Beloved, you are His!
Now go and see who the Lord leads you to encourage!
-Pastor Tim Escamilla
Day 6 - "Make Him Your Hiding Place!"
Beloved, on this 6th day of our dedication, I felt the Lord urge me to encourage you in this: Making Him your hiding place. When is it that you need a hiding place? When you don't want to be scrutinized. When you don't want to have to "keep up appearances." We need a hiding place when we don't feel like we have courage to face the situation. Sometimes, we need a hiding place when we simply want to be alone. God knows that we need a hiding place; He knows what is best for us. He knows that HE is the BEST hiding place for us!
I think of times past when we used to play hide-and-go-seek as kids. We did our best to blend into our surroundings and hope we wouldn't get caught. You may even remember closing your eyes, as if that was gonna make you invisible to those seeking you!
One of the most important times that we need a hiding place is when the enemy (or our enemies) are trying to catch us. The Psalmist offers us a helpful reminder on this:
"You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word" (Psalm 119:114, ESV).
Take comfort in this word! When we make Him our hiding place, He also becomes our shield! He is protecting you. He is taking care of you. He is keeping you safe. As we make Him our hiding place, we can hope in His word. What does His word say about times like these?
That HE is our ever-present help. That HE is our refuge and our strength (Psalm 46:10). It says that HE will NEVER leave us nor forsake us (Deut. 31:6; Hebrews 13:5). It says His name is a strong tower and the righteous run to Him and are SAFE (Prov. 18:10)!
So today, I pray that you would make Him your hiding place. That you would remind yourself of the hope and promises we have in Him and His word. I'm gonna make it easy for you to do this and personalize it here:
"He is my hiding place. He is my ever-present help. He is my refuge and strength. He will never leave me nor forsake me! His name is a strong tower and I run to Him and am safe!"
Repeat it. Repeat it out loud! Repeat it because it's true! And take comfort in the fact that you've made Him your hiding place; you are safe in Him.
-Pastor Tim Escamilla
Day 5 - "Comfort Yourself in God!"
Welcome to Day 5 of our 21-Day Dedication. If you’re new here, this is a three-week period of time where we remind ourselves Who we belong to, repent from uncleanliness of heart and dedicate ourselves to Yahweh, the King of kings. In a time of repentance and dedication, it can be easy to have an “Us vs. Them” mentality with “Them” being God. Some picture God angrily waiting in disappointment for repentance. Yet the Bible says in Romans 2:4 that God’s kindness leads us to repentance. He is a great comforter and, in His righteousness, we will be made whole. Praise God!
Political unrest is to be expected on this side of eternity. There has been no nation, no time period, no civilization that has not experienced it. If we find comfort in anything at all, let our peace lay in the fact that God, in that same kindness, knows how to walk His people through times of upheaval. At the risk of sounding redundant, if we find any comfort in ANYTHING or ANYONE that is not God, may today be the day that we lay the false god of comfort on the altar as a sacrifice to Him.
When you travel through the Old Testament, you find numberless stories of God’s redemption and miraculous rescue. God parted the Red sea rescuing Israel from brutal slavery. God led Nehemiah and the Israelites to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem giving His children a home from slavery yet again. Goliath’s army ran from Israel after it seemed like they were unbeatable. God is a deliverer. He is faithful to His promise. Yet in so many instances of His deliverance, obedience was the first step. If we are holding tightly onto what we think we want, we might miss what we need. Today is the day to dedicate our will to God. OUT LOUD, with your audible words strumming through those amazing vocal cords that God gave you, give Him your will. Have you done that before? Cool. Do it again. We plan what we eat, what we wear, what we spend our money on. We sit on the throne of our lives making decisions about the 5,000 different ways we could drink our coffee (and if we are correct in our ways, we drink it with cream and no sugar). We can lay the burden of our countless decisions at the feet of Jesus and seek first and foremost His will, His desires, and His ways. As we offer our will, may we seek the Lord in faith for His wisdom. James 1:5 tells us that He gives it generously!
And my last challenge for the day is this: read the book of James. May we immerse ourselves into the Word of God. If you listen from your Bible app it takes 13 minutes. It’s worth it.
Be blessed and steadfast in His love!
-Pastor Christina Noe
"For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds" (2 Corinthians 10:3-4, ESV).
Beloved, we are on our 4th day of this dedication. I feel led to remind you of another reason why we are doing this dedication. We are dedicating all that we are to the Lord in the beginning of 2021 so that we can see BREAKTHROUGH! As you go through life during these days, remember that the Lord has given you "divine power to destroy strongholds!" He has given you all you need to carry out the gunk and rubbish (and the broken chains!) of strongholds past!
Intentionally seek Him for breakthrough in 2021! What is a godly desire He has birthed in you? A loved one to come to the Lord? A loved one to come to revival? A friend or co-worker to fall in love with Jesus like never before? An addiction to be broken in your life? An addiction to be broken in another's life? BOLDLY come to His throne in prayer during this time for this BREAKTHROUGH!
Be ready for the breakthrough. Realize that when you experience breakthrough, there first has to be a break. Breaks sometimes hurt; prepare your heart (as best you can) for the hurt. Once that break/hurt happens, I hope you realize that you/they are ready to then go THROUGH the old into the new. When there is a break, the possibility of the new comes. And "Voilà!" BREAKTHROUGH!
I pray you experience the breakthrough you are seeking in the Lord!
-Pastor Tim Escamilla
"Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life" (Proverbs 4:23, ESV).
Family, we are at day 3 of our dedication! I felt the Lord ask me to remind you one more time, that during this dedication, we are cleaning our hearts. We are carrying out the rubbish, impurities, hurts and traumas from the past, and even destructive mindsets that have seeped into our hearts. The reason for this is simple: GOD IS DOING A GOOD THING. He is doing a good thing in us. As we prepare and cleanse our hearts (last time I will yell at you about this: LISTEN TO SUNDAY'S MESSAGE! Haha, I love you), we prepare the most fertile ground for the good thing He is doing in us to grow!
Spiritual growth is vital for us as believers. If we are not growing spiritually, the fact is, we are shrinking back spiritually. There is no middle ground; there is no compromise! As you pray today, ask the Lord to continue to show you what needs to be carried out of your heart. Ask Him to reveal to your brothers and sisters in Christ what they need to carry out of their hearts. Ask Him to show you (and others) that He has empowered you to carry out those things! Everything in your life flows from your heart. Ask Him for a clean and pure heart that WILL be used for His honor and glory! GOD WILL USE YOU IN 2021! He will use you today as you dedicate yourself to Him.
Finally, set some time to pray for the Bride of Christ. Pray that she would grow spiritually. Pray that she would grow in spiritual maturity (and maturity in character). Pray that believers would only base their lives on the foundation of God's truth. Pray that believers would be convicted to dedicate all that they are to Him. Pray that the Bride of Christ would be beautiful, because that's what our Christ deserves: a beautiful bride, a holy church, and a people who are fully dedicated to Him!
-Pastor Tim Escamilla
"8 I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. 9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure" (Psalm 16:8-9, ESV).
In this dedication, one of the acts we are engaging in is "setting the Lord always before us." He is the reason for the dedication; He is Who we are dedicating ourselves to in a special way for these 21 days (and beyond). In the message on Sunday (Listen to it or watch it; it's available on all platforms!) we talked about the "right hand of God" being a special place of honor, among other things. Well in this Psalm, as we set the Lord before us, He is at our right hand! Meaning, He is in OUR SPECIAL PLACE of honor. As we move forward in this dedication, we honor Him in a special way! Not only that, this also causes us to NOT BE SHAKEN!
What else happens as we honor Him during this time? Filth is carried out of our hearts and our (verse 9) hearts become glad! With glad hearts, our whole beings rejoice. ALL that we are flows from our hearts; as we dedicate our hearts fully to Him, ALL THAT WE ARE is dedicated to Him. On this second day, think about the special ways you are dedicating yourself to Him. Think about the honor it brings Him. Think about the joy and gladness it brings you! And have special, intentional ways in which you are dedicating yourself to Him!
-Pastor Tim Escamilla
"And said to them, “Hear me, Levites! Now consecrate yourselves, and consecrate the house of the Lord, the God of your fathers, and carry out the filth from the Holy Place" (2 Chronicles 29:5, ESV).
Today we begin our 21 Days of Dedication to the Lord to start off 2021 in the right way! In doing so, I want to highly, highly recommend you listen to this morning's message. (It is available on all platforms!) The message encapsulated why we are doing this dedication to the Lord; it explained what it is. As we dedicate ourselves fully to Him, we are sowing the RIGHT seeds to reap the RIGHT harvest in 2021! We are dedicating ourselves to Him to see breakthrough in our lives. One of the main themes of this dedication is that the Lord wants us to repair our hearts. He wants us to take the rubbish, the gunk of 2020, past pains, past hurts, past traumas and past sins and CARRY THEM out of our hearts! He has empowered us to do so.
For tonight, re-read 2 Chronicles 29:1-7 and pray about how you are going to do that in your life. Pray about what it will look like and what He is calling you to do. As we engage in this priestly duty of carrying out filth from our hearts, He will continue to prepare our hearts for what He is doing and WILL DO in 2021. This is the best way to start the year; we hope and pray you join us!
-Pastor Tim Escamilla