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

Day 19 - May 30th, 2019

Leap Together - “Alongside” Part 2
by Karen Plymell
Week 3: Leap Together

Consider these “alongside” scriptures from The Message version of the Bible: 

2 Corinthians 1:24 We’re not in charge of how you live out the faith, looking over your shoulders, suspiciously critical. We’re partners, working alongside you, joyfully expectant. I know that you stand by your own faith, not by ours. 

Colossians 2:1 I want you to realize that I continue to work as hard as I know how for you, and also for the Christians over at Laodicea. Not many of you have met me face-to-face, but that doesn’t make any difference. Know that I’m on your side, right alongside you. You’re not in this alone.

Partnering relationships are reminders that God and his Spirit are alongside of us too. 

Romans 8:26 Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.

“I know who goes before me I know who stands behind. The God of angel armies Is always by my side” Whom Shall I Fear? Lyrics by Chris Tomlin

Your call to leap:
Read Nehemiah 5. What benefits of unity do you cherish? What benefits can you offer to the family and friends “alongside” of you?

Day 18 - May 29, 2019

Leap Together - “Alongside”
by Karen Plymell
Week 3: Leap Together

Read Nehemiah 3:9-12 Next to them Rephaiah son of Hur, ruler over half the district of Jerusalem, made repairs. After them Jedaiah son of Harumaph made repairs across from his house. Next to him Hattush the son of Hashabneiah made repairs. Malchijah son of Harim and Hasshub son of Pahath-moab made repairs to another section, as well as to the Tower of the Ovens. Beside him Shallum son of Hallohesh, ruler over half the district of Jerusalem, made repairs—he and his daughters.

A varied group of individuals worked on this section of wall around Jerusalem, as well as the Tower of the Ovens. Two rulers, four men with no special distinction, and some women. Perhaps they were of different ages or social status. They undoubtedly brought different levels of skill and talent to their work. Despite the differences among this group, they worked beside each other. The common effort removed hierarchy, placing them on “level ground,” near each other.

What are the benefits of working “alongside” one another?

You offer and receive encouragement, strength, protection, help and assistance. You see each other’s progress. You notice others dedication. It’s bonding. Love and appreciation for one another grows.

Philippians 1:27 Just one thing: Live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or am absent, I will hear about you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind, working side by side for the faith that comes from the gospel, not being frightened in any way by your opponents.

From the isolation and loneliness of prison, Paul reminds the Philippians of the great privilege of unity and working together. If we are not careful, petty issues will cause us to drift apart and unravel our unity. The gospel is so important that we must overcome the threats to our unity. 

Your Leap:
Pray and get help with attitudes, habits, past hurts, or other barriers that are hindering your unity.

Day 17 - May 28, 2019

Doing Your Part
by Brian Plymell
Week 3: Leap Together

Read Nehemiah 3Read this richly detailed chapter slowly enough to notice the phrases describing the people who would tackle this project. Think about the circumstances and put yourself in their sandals. Their emotions...the exhaustion of an 800-mile journey...the intimidating size of the task (and the rocks) ...the summer heat…the lack of experience with wall-building…the opposition.

Think about the ‘protective walls’ in your life or the church that need to be repaired and restored. What unfinished goals, unmet needs, forces/habits, opportunities, unsaved friends or loved ones need your attention? Can you picture God sending you on a mission, like Nehemiah, to restore that wall?

Look at the people God chose to assist Nehemiah. They were not professional wall-builders. What were they?

Priests and Levites (vv. 1,17,18,20,22,28), Perfume-makers (8), Rulers (9,12,14,15,16), Temple servants (31), Goldsmiths (31,32), Merchants (31,32).

These people did not possess construction skills. This was probably a new experience for all of them; they had to learn how to rebuild a wall. However, God used the skills they learned in their professions- attention to detail, servant attitudes, craftsmanship, leadership, efficiency- to accomplish his purpose under Nehemiah’s leadership.

They used those skills to tackle clearing debris, stacking boulders, making repairs, installing beams, doors, bars and bolts, and installing a roof (15). One group even repaired 1,500 feet of wall (13)! This was no easy task. They probably made a lot of mistakes in the first few days. But, from what we can tell, they simply went to work. How do you feel about trying something new?

Unfortunately, some of the nobles would not put their shoulders to the work (5). Were they ‘too busy’ to work hard. Perhaps they didn’t want someone else telling them what to do. Somehow their humbler, hardworking peers found a way to do the hard work. One ruler was able to finish his work with the help of his daughters (12).

God has given all of us different gifts. He will use them as we put them to work, just like the people under Nehemiah’s leadership. “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” Romans 12:6-8

Your Leap:
Think about a big purpose God has in store for that will help others and strengthen your faith as well. What gifts or skills do you possess (ask someone who knows you well) that God can use to help you accomplish his purpose?

Day 16 - May 27, 2019

The Background
by Brian Plymell
Week 3: Leap Together

The king said to me, “What is it you want?” Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king, “If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my ancestors are buried so that I can rebuild it.” Then the king, with the queen sitting beside him, asked me, “How long will your journey take, and when will you get back?” It pleased the king to send me; so I set a time. -- Nehemiah 2:4-7

Location: Jerusalem | Date: 445 BC | Situation: Nehemiah was given King Artaxerxes’ blessings to lead a collection of Jewish captives on an 800-mile journey from Babylon to join a discouraged remnant of believers in Jerusalem to rebuild the city’s walls.

History: Around 1,000 BC King David conquered Jerusalem and made it the capital of the Jewish Kingdom. Soon after, his son Solomon built the first temple and royal palace. In 586 BC the city was destroyed by the Babylonians (2 Chronicles 36:15-20). 50 years later, a remnant of Jews was allowed by king Cyrus to return to Jerusalem to begin rebuilding the city (2 Chron. 36:22). It would be more than 90 years before Nehemiah’s return. 

In 458 BC, Ezra was allowed to lead a second remnant group to start rebuilding the temple (Ezra 7:1-6). However, thirteen years later, the city wall was still in ruins (Neh. 1:3). Nehemiah was heavy-hearted as he thought about the condition of the people and the house of God in Jerusalem who were vulnerable to invasion and desecration (Neh. 2:3). 

Restoration of the protective wall surrounding the 135-acre city was a necessity for preserving the faith and the faithful. The task would be enormous. The base of the original wall was 16 feet wide. Much of the wall and its gates had been leveled. The heavy stone rubble was piled high on the hilly terrain. Nehemiah knew that rebuilding was going to be very difficult (see photo and map of Nehemiah’s wall.). 

Unfortunately for Nehemiah, the skilled stone masons and heavy construction workers were not made available for this job. He would have to rely on the good hearts and hard work of a volunteer workforce. Yet somehow, he and his team completed this undertaking by the end of summer 445BC… in only 52 days! (Nehemiah 6:15). 

Your Leap:
Read Nehemiah 2 
Pray for the heart and strength to work hard and accomplish God’s will.

Day 15 - May 26, 2019

A Broken Heart
Week 3: Leap Together

When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. -- Nehemiah 1:4-7

When we first meet him, Nehemiah is cupbearer to the King. The cupbearer’s vital function put him frequently in close proximity to the king (i.e., every meal), and he often became one of the king’s trusted advisors. While Nehemiah was in his role as cupbearer, his brother came to visit him. When Nehemiah asks him how things are going back in Jerusalem (the Jewish Promised Land), his brother’s answer, which is that Jerusalem is in a sorry state, breaks his heart.

The condition of Jerusalem troubled Nehemiah’s heart. What breaks your heart? The situations and problems in the world that break your heart are often the very things that God wants you to take on. In Mark 6:34 we see what moved Jesus, “when Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd.” When Jesus was moved in his heart he followed in action. We see in Mark 6:34 that he stayed with the people and "began teaching them many things." The book Nehemiah tells the story of how Nehemiah was moved to action.

Your Leap:
Read Nehemiah 1 Spend time praying and asking God to give you a broken heart and prepare you for the adventure to which He is calling you.

Day 14 - May 25, 2019

I Will Serve The Lord
Week 2: Leap with Courage

Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.‭‭ -- Joshua‬ ‭24:14-15‬ ‬‬‬

Joshua was very old and had seen God do powerful things throughout his lifetime for Israel. Before his passing, he was now declaring to the Israelites the importance of remembering all that God had done for them and the importance of following God and keeping his commands.

Joshua had courage and faith because he remembered all that God had done for them. He was convinced God was for them. This allowed Joshua to make the bold and definitive statement that he and his household will serve the Lord. 

Your call to leap:
Read Joshua 24. Pray about, ask for help, and be open about ways you will turn from idols or sin in your life. Pray about serving God with faithfulness. Have the courage and faith to make the bold statement “But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

Day 13 - May 24, 2019

Faith and Obedience
Week 2: Leap with Courage

Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Take the whole army with you, and go up and attack Ai. For I have delivered into your hands the king of Ai, his people, his city and his land. -- Joshua 8:1

Read Joshua 8:1-9 and imagine the scene. You’ve tried your approach to a situation and failed. Now a plan to conquer the same situation using Gods approach is set in motion. You must trust your brothers and sisters to do their part, you must do yours, and God will do his. Have you been in a situation where you have had to rely on someone? Is it easy? When they did their part and you did yours, and it all came together, how did you feel? What about when you needed God to help you? Looking back in your life, when have you had a situation where you put your faith in God to help you in a Godly purpose?

Read Joshua 8:12-22. Listen to God and he will tell you when to act, and hold up your javelin of faith. God gave Joshua a vision of faith. Joshua had to trust in God and have courage that God would win the victory. With Joshua, it was life or death for him, his family and his people! Joshua did his part and acted with courage. God guided his win because he was doing it all for God. God will guide your win, because, “…you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession…”! (1Peter 2:9) You are His win! Be courageous and not afraid, and do not be discouraged.

Your call to leap:
Pray about challenging situations you are facing in your life. In what ways could you put your faith in God to help you?

Day 12 - May 23, 2019

God's Sovereignty
Week 2: Leap with Courage

On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel,  Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel: “Sun, stand still over Gibeon, and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.” So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies as it is written in the Book of Jashar. The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the Lord listened to a human being. Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel! -- Joshua 10:12-14

Here, it is recorded, that this was the only time, EVER, in the Old Testament, that God listened to the command of a man. Joshua, in the power of the Holy Spirit of God, in the presence of God and man, commanded the Sun and Moon to stop until Israel had avenged itself on its enemies. Never before, nor after, had God listened to the command of a man.

He [Jesus] replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move.” - Matthew 17:20

In Matthew 17:20, we remember that faith is closely tied to submission and obedience. Submission and obedience is the outward sign of our faith.

In Joshua 23:9-10, we also learn that nothing can stand before the person who will dare to trust God, that everything is in the favor of those who trust Him, and with God on their side, total victory is assured.

“The Lord has driven out before you great and powerful nations; to this day no one has been able to withstand you. One of you routs a thousand, because the Lord your God fights for you, just as he promised.” -Joshua 23:9-10

If we did not have faith and believe, we would not be “foolish” enough to wait upon God for action. This is true with regard to us in our spiritual warfare. The enemies are great and more powerful than we are, but they are helpless when we go in the strength of the Lord Jesus Christ. Joshua was one of the two men who dared to believe God the first time the spies were sent into Canaan. He knew that God was sovereign and accepted God's sovereignty for his own life. 

Your call to leap:
Pray for trust in God’s sovereignty, his limitless might and the finality of his Word. Remember all the wonderful accounts of what He has done in the past so that you may know who He is and pray that he gives you the strength to wait upon Him for His timing as we LEAP through our Capital Campaign.

Day 11 - May 22, 2019

Strength In Times of Adversity
Week 2: Leap with Courage

Vs. 5 Then the five kings of the Amorites—the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon—joined forces. They moved up with all their troops and took up positions against Gibeon and attacked it.

Vs. 9 After an all-night march from Gilgal, Joshua took them by surprise. The Lord threw them into confusion before Israel, so Joshua and the Israelites defeated them completely at Gibeon. Israel pursued them along the road going up to Beth Horon and cut them down all the way to Azekah and Makkedah. As they fled before Israel on the road down from Beth Horon to Azekah, the Lord hurled large hailstones down on them, and more of them died from the hail than were killed by the swords of the Israelites

Vs. 25 Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous. This is what the Lord will do to all the enemies you are going to fight.” Then Joshua put the kings to death and exposed their bodies on five poles, and they were left hanging on the poles until evening. -- Joshua 10:5; 9-11; 25-26

After Joshua had taken the city Ai, news of his victories and movements reached the ears of Adoni-Zedek, the King of Jerusalem at that time, and because he was afraid, he gathered the nearby Amorites and planned an attack at Gibeon. News of this reached Joshua, and he responded quickly. It says he and his army marched all-night to come to the aid of Gibeon. What do you think was fueling the hearts of these men? Or their leader Joshua? It is very clear that Joshua was full of courage in God. Joshua had complete confidence in God's will and plan. Even after five kings had joined forces, Joshua's faith and courage were unaffected. He challenged these kings with the strength of God, and God was with him.

It is not always easy to be this strong, to have strength in a time of adversity. However, have you ever been certain about what God's will was or certain about what God was calling you to do? It could be as simple as talking to a complete stranger, having a difficult conversation, or removing something or someone out of your life that is pulling you away from God. Joshua had been told by God to be strong and courageous and he did so accordingly.

Your call to leap:
Read Joshua 10. Pray that God would make it certain in your heart, what He is calling you to do currently in your life and our Capital Campaign. Pray that you would take courage in His will. Then, write a list of things you feel God is calling you to do currently, including your part in the Capital Campaign. Spend time praying about each item, praying that you would have Courage in Gods will.

Day 10 - May 21, 2019

Jericho Prayer
Week 2: Leap with Courage

Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in. Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.” -- Joshua 6:1-5

Joshua's faith was going to be tested at the gates of Jericho. In verse one it says the gates were "securely barred." This could have been the stopping point for the army of God. We see that God already had victory planned for the Israelites; they only had to stick to His plan. Joshua listened and obeyed God and he received the victory.

God had a plan for my life this past year. I, Joe Eades, was challenged with some health issues that shook my faith. I thank God for giving me the time to see history being made in His Church in Long Beach.

Your call to leap:
Read Joshua 6. Test your faith by praying the "Jericho prayer". This is what you do: Choose something for your life that only God can make happen, then pray... 1st day pray about it one time... 2nd day pray about it two times... 3rd day three times, up to the 7th day seven times. Listen and Obey God and claim the victory.

Day 9 - May 20, 2019

Courage And Trust
Week 2 : Leap With Courage

So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them. Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho. The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stopped in the middle of the Jordan and stood on dry ground, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground. -- Joshua 3:14-17

In Joshua chapter three. Joshua and the Israelites are going to Shittim. In order to get there they have to cross the Jordan River during its flood season. God gives Joshua authority to lead the Israelites. Even though they were faced with something that seems impossible they decide to trust in Joshua, who was led by God. They follow him through this flooding river. We also see that before they followed God through the river they consecrated themselves.

As we live our lives we definitely come across raging rivers and probably have even stopped by them. Our obstacle may not be a physical river but a financial river or a relationship river. We can allow these fears to stop us by not trusting in God. Instead we have to imitate the faith of the Israelites. They showed courage and trusted God as He miraculously led them through the river. We serve a God who can do the impossible and lead us to new lands. Let us dedicate ourselves to God's will by being in His Word constantly, praying and fasting. Then we will be able to be led by His Spirit wherever He takes us.

Your call to Leap:
Read Joshua 3, continue to pray and petition God. Then decide to have courage and confidence in God as He leads us.

Day 8: May 19th, 2019

Spiritual Inertia
Week 2 : Leap With Courage

Before the spies lay down for the night, she went up on the roof and said to them, “I know that the Lord has given you this land and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. We have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed. When we heard of it, our hearts melted in fear and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below. -- Joshua 2:8-11 

Close your eyes and try to visualize a NASA launch of a space shuttle. The shuttle needs a lot of power and energy to get it off the ground. Once off the ground the energy needed to keep it moving becomes less and less. An object will continue to be rest until acted upon by an outside force. In the same way once in motion it continues to be in motion, that's inertia.

Read Joshua Chapter two and think about: How did Rahab know that the Lord had given the land over to the Israelites? What were Rahab’s beliefs about the God of Israel?

Rahab was a Canaanite woman who had heard of the God of Israel and what He had done. She acted courageously by putting her faith into action and hiding the spies. She put her life in danger but the end result was saving everyone that came to her home. Rahab's journey started with hearing stories of God's power. Her faith grew to the point of risking her life. After hearing Rahab the spies said to Joshua, "The LORD has surely given the whole land into our hands; all the people are melting in fear because of us." (Joshua 2:24)

If we want to make a lasting impact in our community, we will need to overcome our spiritual inertia. It would take a lot of faith in God to overcome our doubts, insecurities, fear, negativity, pessimism, past hurts and negative experiences. As we hear of God's power through His Word, like Rahab we can grow in faith and overcome any challenge.

Your call to leap:
Read Joshua 2. Pray for consistency in your prayer times and Bible Studies. Continue to build on the spiritual inertia by being consistent with our daily devotionals.

Day 7: May 18th, 2019

Week 1. Leap Past Limitations: More Than Enough

"...and everyone who was willing and whose heart moved them came and brought an offering to the Lord for the work on the tent of meeting, for all its service, and for the sacred garments." Exodus 35:20​-​21​

"And the people continued to bring freewill offerings morning after morning. So all the skilled workers who were doing all the work on the sanctuary...said to Moses, “The people are bringing more than enough for doing the work the Lord commanded to be done.” Then Moses gave an order and they sent this word throughout the camp: “No man or woman is to make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary.” And so the people were restrained from bringing more, because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work. Exodus 36:3​-​7

The Israelites gave because their hearts were moved to do so (Exodus 35:21). The building of the tabernacle was one instance where the family of God united together for a common good. A compelling vision or cause inspires the willingness of people to give and even sacrifice for a project that is bigger than themselves.

In fact, they gave so much that Moses had to do something that we rarely hear any leader doing. He told them to stop giving. Imagine if the members of our church not only gave enough—on the spot—but they also kept giving to the point that you had to restrain them. When our hearts and hands are open to His plans, that frees us to be more generous than we thought was possible.

The Israelites were emulating God's heart, who always gives us "more than enough."

Your call to leap:
Write down all the ways that God has given you "more than enough." Pray for God to move our church's heart the way the Israelites' hearts were moved to freely give.

Day 6: May 17th, 2019

Week 1. Leap Past Limitations: God's Friend

The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. -- Exodus 33:11

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. -- John 15:15

God spoke to Moses face to face, not by an angel, but He himself, the Almighty God, creator of the universe. He spoke to Moses in plain words to be understood without any confusion or explanation. As a man speaks to his friend. Freely, openly, with familiarity. Not in a reserved way that would cause fear or show any kind of authority.

John 15:5 is one of the most prominent descriptions of the kind of relationship Jesus had with his disciples. The friendship that Jesus demonstrated was deep, self-sacrificial and with loving commitment. This is the God that we serve . A God who wants nothing more than to have an intimate relationship with His children. A God who who wants to be our friend and stand by our side in times of crisis, times of insecurities, and fears. When we feel pressed from every side and have no where else to go. HE s there.

Your Call to Leap:
Write down all the ways that God has been a friend to you. Pray for an intimate relationship with God.

Day 5: May 16th, 2019

Week 1. Leap Past Limitations: Deal With Uncertainty

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.” -- Exodus 14:15-18

Much like the Israelites we can be fearful when we face a seemingly insurmountable obstacle. They had their backs against the sea and the Egyptians at their heels. But God had promised that He would deliver them and spare them from the Egyptians. And we all know the deliverance came in the form of the parting of the sea.

Likewise, we may wonder or even be fearful of how can we possibly raise enough money to enable us to be in a position to someday purchase a permanent church building. We must be reminded that when we are aligned with God’s will for us then we can be assured that he will lead the way.

As you recall, a survey was sent to all of us asking us about our desire for our own church building. The overwhelming response was YES. This reply surely came with the understanding that it will require faith and sacrifice in order for your desire to become a reality.

Your Call to Leap:
We ask that you spent time in prayer, in fasting, and in meditative time with God so that your fears or uncertainty will be eased. Let us all rise up in unison and take ownership of this leap towards faith and believe that this too is possible, but only with God.

Day 4: May 15th, 2019

Week 1. Leap Past Limitations: God Will Fight For You

As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!” Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” -- Exodus 14:10-14

There are so many important things on our minds today. How are the bills going to get paid? How you are going to get everything on your to do list done? Who are you going to marry? (Singles) How are you going to overcome your illness? Don't you wish there was an easy way to get all of the answers to all of your important questions? All of these thing have a huge impact on our emotions and feelings.

How do you think all the things that are on our hearts today compare to all the things that were on the hearts of Moses and the Israelites as they were leaving Egypt in Exodus? Israelites were not far from leaving Egypt but coming after them was the Egyptian army. In front of them was a large body of water that they could not cross. They didn't see a way forward in life, just like we often don't. At that time Moses raised his staff and said to them, "you only need to be still". He told them that "the Lord will fight for you". The Lord was going to give them a way forward. In the same way the Lord will always give us the way forward.

Your Call to Leap:
Write down a list of things in your life that you need God's help to move forward with. Be still in prayer and ask God for a way forward. Pray for God's way forward for our Capital Campaign. Read Exodus 14.

Day 3: May 14th, 2019

Week 1. Leap Past Limitations: God Our Protector

In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling -- Exodus 15:13

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. -- 1 John 2:1-2

Exodus 15:13 is part of a song Moses and the Israelites sang to the Lord after He had delivered the people of Israel from the pursuing Egyptian army. After the Israelites walked through the Red sea on dry land they were convinced that God is a protector. Just as God leads his people out of Egypt with unfailing love and with his protection we can have the confidence that as we take a leap of faith towards the future we can trust God by his love and security.

In 1 John 2:1 Jesus is described as our advocate before the Father. We have the incredible ongoing act of protection as Jesus acts as our Advocate before God the Father, appealing to Him on our behalf. So as his people together we need to seek him for guidance so that no fear will stop us from all his blessings or blind us from what amazing things God has in store for us all.

Your Call to Leap:
Pray specifically about all the ways God has protected you.   Pray about your fears and trust God to protect and deliver you.  Read Exodus 15.

Day 2: May 13th, 2019

Week 1. Leap Past Limitations: Fear To Faith

The Israelite overseers realized they were in trouble when they were told, “You are not to reduce the number of bricks required of you for each day.” When they left Pharaoh, they found Moses and Aaron waiting to meet them, and they said, “May the Lord look on you and judge you! You have made us obnoxious to Pharaoh and his officials and have put a sword in their hand to kill us.” -- Exodus 5:19-21

By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and the application of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel. By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned. -- Hebrews 11:27-29

The dictionary definition for fear is: a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; an unpleasant and often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger. In contrast faith as described in Hebrews 11:1 is the confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

The Israelites had been oppressed for 400 years and they felt like God had abandoned them. During this time Moses came to them with a message of hope and deliverance and they believed him (Exodus 4:31). The next chapter of Exodus 5 details the height Pharaoh's oppression of the Israelites that stemmed from his anger towards them. Pharaoh anger was a result of Moses' request that the Israelites be allowed to take a three-day journey to offer sacrifices. The Israelites went from believing to being overwhelmed by fear from Pharaoh's threats. Exodus 5 is proof that God's plan doesn't always go how we expect it. This is how their journey of fear to faith began.  Exodus 5 described their reality and Hebrews 11 recounts God's victory.

God will always walk us through our disappointments, but we need to trust Him.

Often our disappointments can teach us where our hearts truly are. It can show us if our hearts are trusting God, or if we are relying on our own abilities and strength.

If we focus on the end, we can see the big picture and the struggles are just part of the journey. Shaping us into people who rely completely on God.

Your Call to Leap:
What are areas in your life that you are disappointed with?  Ask God to help us trust him and teach us to see His vision for our life. Read Exodus 5.

Day 1: May 12th, 2019

Week 1. Leap Past Limitations: Who Am I?

Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”  — Exodus 3:11-12

One of the lessons God had been teaching Moses for a long time is the lesson of humility. It came in an especially clear way when Moses tried to rescue Israel on his own and got himself chased out of Egypt (see Exodus 2:11-15). It also came through forty years of tending sheep in Midian—a life far different from the one Moses probably envisioned for himself when he was living in the house of Pharaoh!

Moses reaction is pretty much what ours would be: You must have the wrong person! Moses simply couldn't understand how he fit into God's plan.  In our life we may feel we have a lack of qualifications to achieve the work that God desired to be done.  We may feel limited by fear, finances, health, and even lack of time.  Moses was afraid and unqualified.  God does not acknowledge Moses when answering his question, "Who am I?" God responded by explaining who He is.   The point is when God works, He can achieve the results with any vessel or tool that He desires.

Your Call to Leap:
Are you able to obey God’s call even when you feel inadequate to the task? Pray to rely on God to strengthen you and give you courage? Stay patient and learn what it is God is teaching you. Read Exodus 3.