Day 22 - June 2nd, 2019

Leap of Faith
by Dick Gee

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭11:1, 3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

It is all about our faith.

22 days ago, we all started on a spiritual journey together. We studied devotionals along the themes of Leaping Past Limitations, Leaping With Courage and Leaping Together. I don’t know what your expectations were, but mine were exceeded. My heart was challenged. The Spirit within me was stirred. I realized that my faith, which I thought was sufficient, still needed to take a leap forward.

Our Week 1 in Exodus was filled with accounts of God’s people facing challenges. It would have been so easy for them to face Pharoah’s wrath, the barrier of the Red Sea in front of them and years of wandering in the desert and settle for defeat, or at least limit their expectations. In Week 2, we read about Joshua having to step up and fill the gap as a leader, Rahab risking her life to help strangers because she believed in their God and other stories of courage. In week 3, we learned about the amazing things we can accomplish when we do them together as a people of God, as a family.

These devotionals showed me that I have let obstacles limit my expectations through the years. I have been taking small steps, not big leaps because of my fear to take larger steps of faith. It has inspired me to dream bigger dreams again. To be reminded that choosing sacrifice over comfort, choosing faith over fear was the precursor of every great work God has done for His people. Why shouldn’t we dream about growing our church to over 1,000? Why can’t we be a launching pad to start new church services in all corners of the Greater Long Beach area? Why can’t we buy our own building that can become a footprint in the community and a home base to launch new churches, missionaries and ministers?

Read Hebrews 11:1 - 12:3. This chapter is often referred to as the “Hall of Faith.” Yes, these were amazing men and women of God. However, notice that this passage was not meant to just remember the ‘glory days’. It was meant to call us to action, to run the race marked out for us with perseverance. Let us both collectively as a church and individually take greater leaps of faith. True faith is shown by our actions!

Your Leap:
Q: What is a big dream you can have for our church? Share it with others and commit to praying for it to happen.
Q: What is a Leap of Faith you want to take personally this year?

Day 21 - June 1st, 2019

by Ruben DeAnda
Week 3: Leap Together

Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows. After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”

When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to our own work. From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me.

Then I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall. 20 Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!” So we continued the work with half the men holding spears, from the first light of dawn till the stars came out. -- Nehemiah 4:13-21

Nehemiah had vision to rebuild the wall and after the people of Israel began the work, there were those in the surrounding communities who ridiculed and persecuted them. The people were afraid and lost heart. But this did not deter Nehemiah. He brought them back together and pointed them back to God. He equipped them with weapons and a strategy to provide protection for them and everyone took turns watching each other’s backs. The people trusted Nehemiah's plan because he pointed them back to God and led them to wholeheartedly trust God. He also organized them by family, prioritizing the most important human relationships one could have. He helped them to see that the wall was not about his vision or glory but it was a plan meant to provide and protect their own families!

Anything great we attempt will come with elements of fear or outside ridicule or questioning. We will always need people in our lives to point us back to God and remind us that He is the one fighting for us! This Scripture provides a great image as to how we can work together and function as a spiritual family. Everyone working together. Each family working together. Watching each others' backs and rallying together whenever there is a major need or hole in the wall that needs to be protected. Our LEAP'22 Initiative will only be successful if our GLB family leaps and works together-- watching each others' backs, encouraging one another, pointing each other back to God.

Your Leap:
Read Nehemiah 4 Thank God in prayer for those (by name) in your spiritual walk who have helped you go back to God in times of trouble or confusion or challenge. Call or text that person or group of people with a word of gratitude and encouragement.

Day 20 - May 31st, 2019

Everybody Counts
Joe & Sara Eades
Week 3: Leap Together

Jedaiah repaired the part of the wall that was across from his house. He was the son of Harumaph. Hattush made repairs next to Jedaiah. Hattush was the son of Hashabneiah. 11Malkijah and Hasshub repaired another part of the wall. They also repaired the Tower of the Ovens. Malkijah was the son of Harim. Hasshub was the son of Pahath-Moab. Shallum repaired the next part. His daughters helped him. He was the son of Hallohesh. Shallum ruled over the other half of the territory where Jerusalem was located. -- Nehemiah 3:10-12

Chapter 3 brings us to the rebuilding of the walls and gates. It was one of the greatest building projects ever undertaken. What Nehemiah did was a tremendous thing. It was a wonderful way in which God was moving. You see, God had led Ezra and Zerubbabel back to the land to rebuild the temple. Their task was a different one from Nehemiah’s. He was a layman, and his work was to rebuild the walls and gates of Jerusalem. God accomplishes His work in different ways with different men. We also see how families work together for God.

Take note of verse 12. We have the women’s liberation movement today, but they had incredible women in Jerusalem during Nehemiah’s day. They said, “We are going out and help build the walls of Jerusalem. Men do it. We are going to do it too.” Apparently Shallum the son of Halohesh did not have any sons, so his daughters went to work helping him build the walls of Jerusalem. God took note of it and recorded it. Today women of God we can do immeasurable more than all we ask or imagine according to Gods power that is at work within us. Now we have been given the opportunity to leap

Your call to leap:
Read Nehemiah 7. Put together a 1k piece crossword puzzle with your family or roommate. Enjoy the thrill of accomplishing a task together. Like Shallum's