Sunday, March 21, 2010
One of the girls in my youth group got baptized today! What joy! And that joy was multiplied with many others who stood up and declared publically their faith in Christ and their desire to live for Him. It got me thinking about our mission as believers. Leticia, the girl from my small group shared on Wednesday her desire to be married to God and to serve Him and Him alone. I was touched beyond words and I am so hopeful for her future as she steps out to walk with God. I have a dream that this will be the start of many baptisms yet to come from our small group. I got to thinking how necessary it is to be intentional about sharing Christ. It is not something that will just happen as we go about our daily tasks. Whether you work full time, part time, stay at home, whatever you are engaged in on a daily basis sharing Christ will seldom happen unless we intentionally make it happen and since it is for that reason we exist we had better be intentional. I know that I need help in this area. So many days I am way too focused on what I am doing or need to do instead of what God is doing around me. I find myself more prepared to do my daily tasks than I am to share the gospel. I forget to see, I forget to listen. As believers we must be intentional about seeing the unsaved around us, we must be intentional at hearing God's longing for them to be saved and their need; and we must believe we are here for the purpose of connecting people with God. If our purpose is otherwise then our life is without meaning no matter what we accomplish or create. Baptism should not be a rare occurance but rather a regular celebration and that reality begins with me and with you. We cannot make peoples decisions but we, working with the Holy Spirit, are the only ones who can give mankind the ability to decide. Are we ready?
Posted by Random Thoughts at 10:31 PM
Thursday, March 11, 2010
I know that sometimes I seem less than joyful when I write. I think that is because my blog is where I try and make sense of the senseless, where I share what I think God shows me in the midst of lifes difficulties. It is where I vent a little and fight for God's perspective. Too many people are trying to get through life by hiding in their pain. They believe that if they just lie low maybe things will get better and life will take a right turn but that doesn't happen. It is so easy to get wrapped up in pain and when you lie low or try to hide from it, put on the brave face, for some reason the pain gets worse. God never meant us to carry these big burdens around. He did not mean for us to hide. His plan was not for us to focus on ourselves and our pain by either isolation or self centeredness. His plan is unique and ingenious. Pain dissipates when we look up and when we look out. I spent the week feeling more and more upset with the human race. In my mind I struggled with those who make choices that they know not to with no regard to God or those who love them. I struggled with just the enormity of it all. Hearing one story and then another and then multiplying it over and over and after awhile you see how much misery exists. The joy of the Lord is our strength. Simple words but so true. When I hide His word in my heart and yield those agonies to Him, when I find a way to connect with Him and let all of it out and when I lay my hand on someone who has offended and sinned and struggled and silently whisper, mercy...mercy, it happens. When I do that, when you do that, then the miracle happens. Some who are in pain seek to change the life they have, thinking it will lessen that pain, but it won't work. The remedy for sin is mercy, the remedy for pain is that same mercy. When you combine that with service, saying yes to God, becoming one who denies self and serves others, looking up and realizing that this life is actually a small part of our total life, then you open yourself to the joy of the Lord. There is no greater joy than showing mercy and serving God. There is no greater misery than trying to dig your own way out of pain. The hole just gets deeper. The wound has no way to heal. Look up to the Savior, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross and despised the shame of it, for us, for that healing. You may never have that perfect life while you are here on Earth, but you can have joy and you will have joy as you look up to God, tell Him the all of it, and as you look out to those around you, serve them, forgive them, love them, and say mercy.
Posted by Random Thoughts at 7:39 PM
Monday, March 8, 2010
In Deuteronomy 8 God tells the Israelites that He allowed them to be hungry and then He fed them with manna. Are you waiting for the manna of the Lord? Have you allowed yourself to feel hungry? So often I fight what God is doing with me. I want quick answers and a smooth road. But if I have that smooth road and those quick answers will I ever truly know the Lord? Am I willing to allow God to let me be hungry? For example, when there is no money to buy the thing I think I need to have am I willing to hunger for it and let God feed me in His time. Am I willing to wait or do I take out the credit card or try and find a little job that will pay for it or panic and sell something? Many times what we want is a need but are we willing to wait it out, trust God, and let Him feed us? I am walking through a very slow situation right now. It is not getting fixed and I struggle with trusting God. I just want delivered from it. I just want it over. The past couple days I have been reminded by looking back that God has never let me down and never left me stranded. So I will be hungry. I will let God feed me with manna which is far tastier and better than any fix I could conjure up for my life. I will trust in God's wisdom and refuse to allow my heart and mind to take over and rush things. It is good to put our lives and situations into the hands of a living and loving God who cares for us. I would rather have manna than to feed myself. The reality is that we exercise no real control over our lives. Even the decisions we make will come back to haunt us if we choose outside of the wisdom of God. I want all of God, wherever that leads and whatever that entails. I do want to be fed by Him alone, even on those days when I am impatient for Him to act. Whenever I have placed my life in my own hands I have failed. Whenever I have plowed ahead and not trusted in Him it has led to disaster. God is a very present God, He is a loving God, and He is our hope in every situation and through every wilderness. He can be relied upon. The children of Israel wandered for 40 years in the desert. Their sandals did not wear out and God fed them daily. He can and will do the same for us; we are His beloved children, cared for and not forgotten, sometimes hungry and waiting, sometimes full and satisfied, but in every situation we are in His care. Since he counts the very hairs on our heads we can trust He will not forget our needs.
Posted by Random Thoughts at 9:42 PM