I haven’t stolen anything; I haven’t killed anybody; I haven’t slept with anyone I’m not married to …. but I can surely confess that I have had thoughts about people that were not in line with the will of God on this day; I can surely confess that I’ve wanted something in my life that I do not have; I can surely confess that I’ve doubted even for a moment something that I know God can do. And you know what?!?! All of that is sin!! But you know what?!?! When I admonish my wrong and go before my Father seeking His face — He will forgive me and heal me of my sin and make me write before Him. OH! Hallelujah! Bless His Holy Name! Don’t miss your shout cue, y’all!
God’s people are not exempt from falling into sin. In fact, it is overtly stated throughout scripture that there is none – not one – who does not sin. However, as God’s people – His dearly beloved – we can rest assured that when we sincerely repent from our sin; crying out to Him to forgive us and change us and and committing to change and turn from it – He will not only forgive and cleanse us – but He will surely bless us!
Even in the midst of your failures, don’t miss the promise of Our Father!! It is His promise that He will grant the pleas of His people if they embody/demonstrate/prove a true heart for Him!
What must we do? Humble ourselves. Pray. Seek His face. Turn from our sin. This promise was spoken to God’s people Israel, but I believe that as God’s people today this truth still applies. When you sin (and you WILL sin) – submit to God’s authority; cry out to Him for forgiveness; listen for His direction for you; and commit to never go back to doing that thing and I believe that even when we sin grievously and find ourselves in the hand of our enemy – He will turn that thing around!
Our sin will surely bring with it unpleasant consequences but it is His good pleasure to bind up our wounds – even those He inflicts upon us. Our pride will bring us to destruction – but if we humble ourselves under His mighty hand – He will exalt us in due time. He knew we would falter – and He has always made a way for us to set things right with Him. Forgiveness and blessing! Who wouldn’t serve a God like that?!
If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:13, 14
Thank you for reading my blog during African American History Month as I highlighted some of my heroes. There are a few more after this one. I hope that you have learned a lot and that your heart has been turned toward missions. If the desire to serve has been ignited please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and it will be my great pleasure to walk with you along the road to serve Our King across the world.
Lloyd and Jan Chinn are native to Texas. Lloyd from Edna, TX and Jan from Houston, TX.
In 1999, Lloyd was invited to Ghana, West Africa on a short term mission. Lloyd and Jan had never even met a missionary and had no desire to enter into missionary service; they scarcely knew where Africa was – and had never heard of Ghana. God provided the funds for the journey and they took that as confirmation that Lloyd was to go. God spoke to Lloyd clearly on that trip that Africa would be his context of ministry. In 2000 they took all of their children and 22 other people to the same little town in Ghana – and on that trip, Jan’s experience opened her eyes to the need for discipleship in Ghana. Lloyd’s firm message to the African American church became: “Pray! Pay! or Pack!”
In 2002, Lloyd and Jan were appointed as long term missionaries with CBInternational ( now WorldVenture) and opened a new field of ministry in Ghana. Their mission agency was concerned that as African Americans, they wouldn’t be able to raise the financial support – but God had another plan! The Chinn’s had unprecedented support from the African American church in Texas. In 2004, the Chinns sold everything they owned and boarded a plane with one way tickets to Ghana, West Africa! It wasn’t easy – they did not have a team; they did not know the language or culture; they had to send their sons to boarding school in Senegal; they endured loneliness; the pain of being misunderstood; the hurt of being taken advantage of; a complete change of systems and culture and yet – they persevered. The Chinn’s ability to move to Ghana as a family and have effective ministry was God’s anointing. God called them to it and He equipped them for it. Lloyd and Jan as well as their sons learned the Asante Twi language and developed friendships in both national and local government and across denominations in Ghana and learned to submit to the leaders in the church and in the community which gained them respect and love in the country. The Chinns served in Ghana for 10 years mainly in Pastoral Leadership Development. The needs of the community in Nkwanta led them to also engage in Orphan Care, Educational Development, Women’s Empowerment and Community Economic Development.
In 2013, they returned to the USA on a home assignment which was supposed to last 10 months. During their first few months in the US, the leadership of WorldVenture called and asked them to take on the role of International Ministries Director for Africa. In March 2014, they stepped in to this new role where they are now missionaries to the missionary; providing pastoral care, leadership development and strategic planning assistance for 108 missionary units (some families; some singles) in 13 countries across Africa. They are the first African Americans to serve in this capacity with their mission. Lloyd also serves with MANI (the Movement for African National Initiatives).
If you want to serve in Africa — get in contact with them, they’ll show you the way! Email them at Africa@WorldVenture.com or at email@example.com
When we are little children, right and wrong are so very simple. Just do what our parents allow and abstain from what they prevent. Stop when they say stop and proceed when they approve. Not so simple when you grow up.
There are foundational dos and don’ts out of Exodus: no idols, no using the Lord’s name out of place, no murder, no adultery, no lying, no lies, no lusting someone’s spouse; no craving someone’s stuff; honor God as Lord, honor God above any other lesser god, honor the Lord’s day as Holy, honor your parents. And I’m sure we ALL do these with no problem at all. (SMILE!!) Well, at least I know you all do. I’ve got a bad hip from kneeling to repent so often! So very grateful for His forgiveness and His cleansing. But that’s not what I’m wanting you to think about.
What about what happens on the inside of you. If you have a personal relationship with The Lord, there is something in your life that He has asked you to do (or not to do) that is in addition to that list above. You know what I’m talking about – His will for your life. This might be giving your belongings to some person; it might be ending a romantic relationship; it might be writing a book; it might be refraining from some food; it might be moving to some foreign country to serve in missions full time; it might be accepting an illness as His assignment to teach believers how to die, etc. It could be easy and uncomfortable. It could be difficult and unimaginable. The bottom line is – you don’t want to do it!
The Holy Spirit’s conviction is strong within you and yet you don’t act in the way that you are led because of your own confusion or even your own fear. And now – you’re not feeling well, you’re worried about who you’re disappointing, etc. I want to encourage you to trust the Lord enough to act in the way that He is calling you. If you just trust Him the confusion and fear that you are facing will cease! I’m serious! The unrest, sickness, dissension, disunity, fear, duality, and sense of disloyalty to the King of Kings will cease! And let’s just be honest — you’re walking in sin when you act against what you know to be God’s will for you even if that action is not something that is against the teachings of Scripture. I’m praying for you!!
But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin. Romans 14:23
A person who does not believe the truth of the gospel – will necessarily rail against it.
As believers, our motive should always be that people come to know and understand the truth of the gospel. Not only that they can be saved from Hell – but that their lives can be redeemed for the sake of the Kingdom of God; the Kingdom that will never end.
When people call themselves believers but they rise up against the truths that are in the Bible because it does not suit them, I am forced to ask myself if they are true believers.
Paul mentions his former ways and clearly tells us that he did these things out of ignorance – because he did not know that the gospel was truth. But once he knew – his life and his behavior was transformed. His life became about exposing people to their redeemer, Christ, and teaching them how to live for Him so that their lives would matter in eternity. Are we doing that? Leading people to Christ AND helping them to live for Him?
Father, May it never be enough for my heart to see a person come to salvation, but may I always desire that they know you personally as Father and are able to give their lives to you so that they will be made fruitful. Thank you for using me as a vessel of honor. I bless your name! Amen
1 Timothy 1:12 – 14
“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus”
Picture it! A world where every Christ follower acts in love in EVERY situation. I’m not talking about loving the ones who love us. I’m not even talking about loving those who are not so loving but are yet dear to us (you know, those crazy family members you don’t really like!). What I am talking about is loving those who mean us harm; those who commit wrongs against us intentionally; those who purpose to bring to ruin the plans that God has for us. I’m talking about going beyond forgiveness and showing them love.
When I look at my wedding ring, I see many facets – sometimes it glistens bright white; at another angle it is a colorful prism; sometimes it looks like clear glass. My point is – no matter how I look at it or how it looks to me – it looks beautiful. Love too – in all of its facets is a beautiful thing. So then, why don’t we just try to take every experience of this day and respond to it in love. My oldest son, Joseph, signs his notes “Live In Love”, a great reminder of what our Christ’s life was like and what His example was for us.
As for me I have to ask myself daily: Can I be love in every situation? Honestly – I don’t know! But I can certainly try. My prayer today is that each person that I have contact with on this day (whether in person or electronically) will know that they are loved!
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. (1 John 4:7-8)