Trusting God by Answering the Call
We have determined our mini mission this month is “Aid for Africa.” As you recall, rice and oil are staples in the African diet and many who are coming to Christ are poor and hungry. Therefore, Isaac and Nina have been using money intended for their living to buy rice for these new converts. Imagine, almost every new convert costs Isaac and Nina money from their living. The beautiful aspect of this situation is neither Isaac nor Nina complains about this condition. They know they are serving God and trusting him to bless them, by supplying their needs. That is where we come in. The success of our mini mission will provide working capital for Isaac, so he won’t be required to take money away from his wife and son; however, this will allow him to still meet the needs of the hungry. I have asked the congregation to share some of the excess we have been blessed with for the good of the kingdom. We are asking for full participation of the church. Family by family, individual by individual. This is an excellent opportunity for every individual in the church to participate, grown-ups as well as children. What a beautiful sight it will be as we ALL bring our two fish and five loaves and watch God increase it to provide the needs of our African family. This is week 3, and I am elated at our progress. We have established a goal of $2,000 and if we continue our expressions of cooperation and generosity, we will be a blessing to the kingdom of God in Africa. We have just two weeks left, so there is still time to participate. All we ask is that you give according to what God places on your heart, so please keep praying, and let’s all show ourselves faithful in the service of God.
Be Still (part 3 of 3)
This is our final discussion on slowing down our busy lives so we can spend more quality time with God. No wonder the mega busy people struggle in their spiritual lives. Their days are packed from end to end, so there is no time for prayer, no bible reading, no meditating, none of that; only rushing from one moment to the next, until they finally collapse exhausted at the end of the day. Instead of being rich and fertile with the blessings of a relationship with God, the lives of the busy are arid like a desert begging for a drop of water. Have you ever given thought to standing before God and explaining how you used the 24 hours he gave you every day, yet found no time for him? Satan! He is the author of all of this, because he knows how unstoppable we become when we walk with God. Remember his conversation with God about Job in Job 1? When God asked Satan if he had considered his servant Job (whom God described as being upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil). Satan instantly argued that it is because of the extreme blessings of God that Job is who he is. God proved just the opposite. In the end of it all, God demonstrated he blessed Job to the extent he had BECAUSE of who Job was, not what he did for Job. You see God rained his blessings on Job because Job opened his heart and loved God with it. If God seems far away from you, open your heart and move closer to him. If it appears God doesn’t care about you, ask yourself how much you truly care about him. Don’t allow the schemes of Satan to rob you of all the blessings God has promised you in Christ Jesus. Tell the world you are getting off of life's merry-go-round, throw away your God shoehorn and give God your time, attention and heart, and then watch the difference in your life. God is faithful and wants to pour out on you the blessings of heaven which are more than we can contain.
Be Still (part 2 of 3)
Last week we began a discussion on the effects of the busyness of life, and its impact on our spiritual lives. I ended with an observation about those who have filled their lives so full, that they leave little or no time for God. This condition expresses itself as a struggle to show up for worship on Sunday morning. I concluded last week with the question, “is the structure of their week, cultivating in them, a disconnect that manifests itself on Sunday mornings?” I am convinced the answer is a resounding YES. It’s quite a daunting challenge to exclude God from our lives all week and then attempt to “shoehorn” him in on Sundays. That is not how God designed a life in Christ to be lived. The minute we pick up the shoehorn with thoughts of God, its’ a sign our lives are out of balance and off track. So what do we do. We can’t create more time for God, because 24 hours is all that we get, so we need to seek more “value” in our day. This requires us to be more particular “HOW” we spend our time, not if we have enough of it, (everybody only gets 24hrs regardless what they do to get more) but how we fill it. So, the question begs to be asked, what would God tell us to do to solve this problem, if asked? I’m convinced he would tell us to “slow down” and “Be Still.” One of the wise characteristics of the Blessed man in Psalm 1 is that he “meditates day and night on the word of God. No shoehorning of God for him, because God never leaves his thoughts, his heart, his speech, or his actions. Perhaps we get so caught up on trying to come to church, that we lose sight that we have been told “We ARE” the church.