Scripture tells all Christians to be hospitable – but for those of us in the service of the truth, it is a crucial matter! When we are kind, hospitable, accommodating to others who also adhere to the truth of Christ, bonds are formed that help the truth move forward. It is necessary, then, that we know why people are engaged in the work they are involved in — and it is right that we verify that they are teaching the truth — that Christ is Son of God & Savior! These partnerships will help all of us to stand firm and be encouraged when so many are following evil ways.
As for me, I am praying to the Father … asking Him to teach us to listen and give us hearts that can discern the truth. Asking Him to help us to show kindness to others who are in service to the truth – to the end that we might come together for the furtherance of the truth. Asking Him to help us to understand the power of Kingdom partnership & prepare us to welcome His servants and to receive partnerships that He may send our way!
Kindnesses shown to co-laborers of the gospel are necessary … so that partnerships that build the Kingdom of God might be strengthened.
It’s a New Year! I want to keep running to the finish line. The only life prize that matters is the one that has been promised by God, through Jesus Christ … eternal life with him. I’m not there yet, God knows I’m not!!! But I’m committing to leaving the junk and mistakes of 2020 back there … and moving on in 2021, allowing His Spirit to guide and direct me, and doing every single thing for the sake of His glory.
No! I’m not yet all that God wants me to be … but I’m pushing hard to let Him change me, mold me AND make me all that He’s called me to be. It’s what my Savior wants from me. It is why He made me His own!!! (Philippians 3: 12 – 15) So … for 2021, I want to keep moving after some things and add new things that’ll help me be what He wants me to be.
So here’s my 21 for 2021:
Focus on the problem solver, not the problem (preach Reginald!)
Believe I can do things, because He told me to do them
Love, even when the love is not returned
Forgive, even if it happens again
Repent and repent again
Ask for the filling of the Holy Spirit each and every day
Extend mercy to people, just as I beg for mercy from Him
Grace, I’ll give it to others just as He gives it to me
Share my joy
Pour in to relationships that I’ve neglected
Be a respecting baby sister – listening to and being taught by my older sisters, who are amazingly God filled women
Listen and learn from the Word of God
Love and pour truth into my children and grandchildren
Truly take care of my physical body
Lead well in every role God has placed me in
Serve well in every place God has sent me
Love, obey, adore, serve, encourage, care for, invest in … my wonderful gift of a husband
Serve, obey, glorify, uplift, reflect, praise, submit to, listen to, talk to … my God, my Savior, my King, my Father, my All In All
Yield and Submit fully to The Almighty God!! Living fully for His will, His glory, His purpose … for the sake of His Kingdom!
Happy New Year, friends and family!!!
Let’s take the next step in wonderful new ways for the sake of His glory!!
For His glory … let us ALL be willing to do anything!!!
Working in the world of global missions\international ministry/missionary service – whatever you’d like to call it 🙂 is a grand privilege. We work in the power of God to present the world with the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ! Our boss is the most powerful boss on the planet; the most virtuous; the most fair; the most loving boss in the entire world. He is loving; He wants all of us to succeed; He has equipped and called us in specific ways! He created the world and He has accomplished more than we will ever accomplish AND He will bring to pass more than we can ever hope to do in our own power! Perfect — He is absolutely perfect!
But there is, as always with humans, a little bit of a catch. We love to give honor; adoration; credit; distinction to others who have been in the same line of work – as if something that they’ve done is beyond us. It’s normal – its what we do; its what I do! We name things after those who went to the mission field 100s of years ago; we compare one another to those who have laid their lives down for the gospel and gone on to glory; we remind ourselves of what our predecessors have done. Normal ….
The truth of the matter is there was but ONE who counts as the initial missionary – He is our Christ, His name is Jesus. He left His home and throne to come down to this earth and ensure that a fallen world would be reconciled to The Creator. He is the ONE who shed His blood – and only His blood is worthy of any praise and adoration. For those of us who have believed on Him and have since been called to a life on the mission field (Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, or the uttermost parts of the earth) — we all will benefit the same; whether we were called 100s or years ago or just landed in our new place of service.
We just better be careful! There is nothing that we do that will esteem us above Him. There is nothing that we will do that will esteem us above one another. Didn’t you believe on Him to be saved?! Didn’t you answer the call out of your own love and obedience to God? Didn’t you say “Yes” because you were willing to work for His glory and not your own? Aren’t you ready to accept whatever it is He greets you with in glory, even if its not the same as Jim Elliot, Ray Buker, Mark Young, Amanda Berry Smith, George Leile, Grover Cooper or even Lloyd Chinn?!
It is much easier to recognize what is going wrong in our lives, than it is to rejoice for the good. I don’t know why that is, but it seems that our natural bent is to complain about what is happening to us rather than recognize what God is doing in the difficulty. I’m sure that I have been guilty of that in my own life. As we come out of the Christmas season and I have seen people returning those precious Christmas gifts complaining that the gift didn’t work; was the wrong size; didn’t meet with their liking; etc. — I could only think about how dissatisfied we are most of the time! Just like we forgot that someone sacrificed something in order that we might have that gift; we forget that He sacrificed all so that we might have eternal life.
When Lloyd and I moved to Ghana in 2004 we didn’t speak the language; we couldn’t eat the food; we didn’t know the rules; we didn’t understand the culture. People stole from us; people told us that they did work that they didn’t actually do; the car kept breaking down; pipes kept bursting (once so badly that we had to fetch water and bring large barrels into and around the house for use); bugs were getting into everything; the ceiling fell in; malaria happened; dysentery happened; etc. When all of these things happened – we were careful to encourage one another to rejoice at how God was going to fix it for us; how He was going to use us to be Him to the people we were trusting to fix the problems; how our headaches would bring Him glory. Lloyd and I would go into our room and inspect one another – miraculously we found that neither of us had scars from a thorny crown; holes from nails in our wrists or feet; and not even a spear in our sides! Incredible isn’t it! None of it was Calvary! We believed every time that He would give us the strength to bear it – and He did!! Time and time again – He brought us through all of it.
My dear friend Mike Pickett wrote a song that serves to remind me daily of what it means to count all of it as joy. The lyrics say,
“You are the salt of the earth, a preservative for some. You may be the ONLY reason destruction hasn’t come. If while following God you find yourself in the midst of circumstance; you may have been sent there to let someone know that today may be the last chance to walk in righteousness; holiness; love; peace; and joy in the Holy Spirit of God”
So, yeah — you may be driving a car that is a little older than you like, and it may require a lot of repair; but are you taking that opportunity to be salt and light to the person who will repair the car? You might be facing a different trial everyday in your health; but are you being salt and light to all who visit you and to the doctors and nurses that serve you?
This life on this earth is temporal! Don’t lose sight of that! Our home is in heaven – a place where all will be well! As for the “momentary light afflictions” you WILL face down here — count it as joy AND count it as an opportunity for you to be His glory in this fallen world. Know that as you face each hardship with joy – you will have more patience and endurance to face the next thing. Being used for His glory in the midst of it all is just the icing on the cake! I like icing and the thought of being icing on His cake is an incredible gift to my heart! May the Father move me to trust Him in the midst of it all and may He bend my heart toward full joy and the hope of my eternal hope. Remind yourself in the midst of difficulties and hardships — It Ain’t Calvary!
We can be tempted to live in our Christian lives on the edge of the truth. Well, I should say that it seems that today, the Body of Christ is in some ways living on the edge of the truth because of the struggle of including and attracting more people. Now don’t get me wrong – we demand belief in God for sure! But, we do not always demand a trust in Christ.
Because of the difficulties of the world right now, we can be tempted to live in such a way that we are protecting ourselves from some hurt, or treasuring our own station over that of another. But, that is not love. You see, we are told to give the cloak. We are told to walk the 2nd mile. We are told to prefer others above ourselves. When we neglect the truth and love in our lives, we effectively remove from our lives any guarantee of grace, mercy and peace.
We cannot allow ourselves to be lulled in to a state of complacency — we need to be faithful to the truth of Christ — and the love of God!
When operating outside of the truth, which is that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh and is the Savior; or when operating outside of love, which is obedience to God — then we cannot expect grace, mercy and peace to be with us.
Embrace His Truth. Show His Love.
I’m praying that Our Father will help us to keep Christ at the forefront of all things that we do, for the sake of His Kingdom. Praying that He will help us to stand firm as we meet others who do not acknowledge Christ as coming in the flesh. Praying that He will help us to fight for the truth and for His glory. Please Father, teach me to obey You — which is to love! Bend my heart toward Your will daily – so that my inclination will always be to love! And may grace, mercy and peace by my portion as I honor the truth and commit to love!
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.--Romans 8:38-39