Tainted Water …

Image

Lloyd and I were driving by a village in Ghana once where there had recently drilled a water well for the local community. There were young local children fetching water from the well.  The children were pulling together on one rope to get their bucket out, and then came shock – horror!  They were fetching the water in a turpentine can! 

We lived among this particular people group, and we knew that the container was not washed out with soap and water or bleach or boiling water; it was only rinsed in the local pond until they couldn’t smell the turpentine and then declared it fit for use.  This community clearly needed not only to know that clean water was important but they needed to understand what things would contaminate the water and what was necessary for them to avoid introducing contaminates into their drinking water.  They needed to know that if contaminates were introduced – this water would bring death and not life.

There is a tendency in the Western world to believe that once we have shared the truth of the gospel with people and they have confessed that they believe – we have done our part.  But I am a witness that what you leave behind is a person that believes the truth, but has no idea what the truth is, or what to do with that truth.  They twist it to fit their circumstance, they ignore the parts that they cannot easily understand, some rise to a position of leadership and then exploit the little that they know to their own benefit – – some minister an adulterated gospel and taint the water for entire congregations!  What is the answer???  The answer is to teach the complete gospel.  That means that we go beyond salvation – and take people to the entire truth of the gospel. 

We have to teach people to study the word of God so that they can come to know the person of God.  If they can’t read the Word, we have to be willing to give the time and resources necessary to teach them how to interact with The Word; audio Bibles, simpler translations, etc. After teaching them to read the word or to listen to the word, we must teach them to interact in the word in such a way that it becomes something that they can apply to their life!  When we equip them with these tools – they will know what the truth looks like and are less likely to fall prey to any contaminated word.  When we equip them with these tools then we are preparing them to protect the word that is taking root in their hearts.  When we equip them with these tools – we ensure that the word will bring them to the abundant life that God has planned for them.

But 🙃 – THIS. TAKES. TIME!!  And, be honest, how many of us are willing to give our precious time to another??  I can tell you as one who lives a life of discipleship,  that it is a 24 hour a day commitment.  The women that I disciple call me whenever they need to, they visit whenever they need to, they invite me to delve into places in their lives that I don’t want to go!  And I am also a witness – that you might have an 8 week program – but I have yet to disciple a new Christian in only 8 weeks!  Discipleship is life on life – LIFE on LIFE!!  It means (here I go again!) loving someone as much as you love yourself. Would you drink tainted water willingly?! I think not!!

Making disciples is easily defined as: TEACHING PEOPLE THE WORD OF GOD! TOUCHING PEOPLE WITH THE LOVE OF GOD!

Touching them with His love means that we’ll give our lives to them for the sake of His glory.

Interestingly – our Savior’s last words to us were that we should go, preach, teach and make disciples.  He really did not say go, preach, teach, and get them saved!  We’ve got to be willing to give our whole lives to the purposes and passions of our Savior and King – He wants them to know Him, He wants them to know the Father, He wants them to be filled with the Holy Spirit.  In the words of my husband, “time has come to stop dunkin’ ‘em and droppin’ ‘em” – we’ve got to start counting them as so dear to us that we not only give them the gospel but our very lives. (1 Thess 2:8)

Encouraged … believing the healing is coming

When dealing with this kind of healing – a situation where my salvation in Christ and my strong dependence upon the Father and my strong listening to the Holy Spirit is real – there is just no way for me to be in fear.

My rules from the doctor in these first two weeks is quite real – I have to study regular language; I have to practice the names of my family; I have to rehearse and reintroduce the names of my friends, neighbors, and others that are in my regular community.

I’m enjoying hearing from people that love me deeply and who just want to be close and understand the journey! I haven’t been able to see everyone physically, but it has been amazing joy knowing that they’ve come by or called.

I’m enjoying the beauty of waking up each day desiring my Father; my Savior; and the Spirit that works in me in amazing ways!!!

It’s only week one – but I’ll be great! I know the survived Jan be used in amazing ways by the God who called me!

Keep praying!

Christ I have nothing but encouragement from being united with You, my Savior I have no doubt at all that Your love is comforting me. I have no doubt, that my Father is ensuring my connection with the Holy Spirit. Father God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit I have no doubt that depending upon you means that I will be like-minded with you, that I will be having the same love that you have placed in my heart and that I will be one in spirit and one in purpose for the sake of my belief in You!! (Philippians 2: 1–2)

Discipleship is Teaching the TRUTH of the gospel

learn_the_truthA 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”

Tainted Water – The Solution Is Discipleship

Tainted WaterOnce while driving in Ghana – we passed by a water well that had been drilled for a local community and saw some children fetching water. They were pulling together on their rope to get their bucket out – and then came shock – horror! They were fetching the water in a turpentine can! Because we lived here among this particular people group, we KNOW that no one washed the container out with soap and water or bleach or boiling water – they just rinsed it in the local pond until they couldn’t smell the turpentine and then declared it fit for use. We love these people and our hearts went out to them.  We immediately planned a healthy drinking water training for them.  A training that would help them to understand what things would contaminate the water and what was necessary for them to avoid introducing contaminates into their drinking water. They needed to know that if contaminates were introduced – this water would bring death and not life.

Not only is clean water important — but understanding what can contaminate water is important.   

There is a tendency in the Western world to believe that once we have shared the truth of the gospel with people and they have confessed that they believe – we have done our part. But I am a witness that what you leave behind is a person that believes the truth, but has no idea what the truth is, or what to do with that truth. They twist it to fit their circumstance, they ignore the parts that they cannot easily understand, some rise to a position of leadership and then exploit the little that they know to their own benefit – – some minister an adulterated gospel and taint the water for an entire congregation. What is the solution to this issue?

The solution is to teach the complete gospel.

That means that we go beyond salvation. We have to teach people to study the word of God so that they can come to know the person of God. But what if they can’t read?  We’ve encountered this many times where we work.  Then the solution is discipleship.  We have to be willing to give the time and resources necessary to teach them to read or to provide an audio bible. After teaching them to read the word or to listen to the word, we must teach them to interact in the word in such a way that it becomes something that they can apply to their life! When we equip them with these tools – they will know what the truth looks like and are less likely to fall prey to any contaminated word. When we equip them with these tools then we are preparing them to protect the word that is taking root in their hearts. When we equip them with these tools – we ensure that the word will bring them to the abundant life that God has planned for them.

But this takes TIME!! And, be honest, how many of us are willing to give our precious time to another?? I can tell you as one who lives a life of discipleship, that it is a 24 hour a day commitment. The women that I disciple call whenever they need to, they visit whenever they need to, they invite me to delve into places in their lives that I don’t want to go! And I am also a witness – that you might have an 8 week program – but I have yet to disciple any believer in only 8 weeks!

Discipleship is life on life – LIFE on LIFE!! It means loving someone as much as you love yourself. Would you drink tainted water willingly?! I think not!!

Interestingly – our Savior’s last words to us were that we should go, preach, teach and make disciples. He really did not say go, preach, teach, and get them saved! We’ve got to be willing to give our whole lives to the purposes and passions of our Savior and King – He wants them to know Him, He wants them to know the Father, He wants them to be filled with the Holy Spirit. In the words of my husband, “time has come to stop dunkin’ ‘em and droppin’ ‘em” – we’ve got to start counting them as so dear to us that we not only give them the gospel but our very lives.  In fact – we ought to be modeling the life of Christ in view of people even before they know who He is!!  What a change in the world we could make!

so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. 1 Thessalonians 2:8

The Same … United … One Purpose

unity-in-ChristDivision in the world is front page news nowadays almost every day.  It is sad to see, but the news focuses on the world. not the Body of Christ, so it is not surprising.  The heartbreaking thing is to see the division within those who call themselves followers of Christ.  One of the things that gave me the most delight when we were living in Ghana was the privilege of bringing women together across denominations and people groups to be in fellowship; to study the Word of God; to practice the life of Christ; and to do ministry together.

Now that my role has been based in the USA – I’ve gotten approached by a couple of ladies who would like me to walk with them.  One asked me what joy I get from discipling someone.   I told her that one of my greatest joys is to see those who I walk with unified in love.

As I venture to disciple Christ followers it is my duty to see that the young ladies that I’m walking with know what it means to be unified and why.

  • First, I must teach that Christ has encouraged and admonished us to be one.
  • Second, they must know that my love for them is a gift from God – not anything earned by one of them more than another.  I love them all equally – showing no respect of persons.
  • Third, I must walk in the Spirit – exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit – modeling before them a life that displays an understanding of  God’s presence and a filling of the Holy Spirit.
  • Lastly, I must teach a message of grace, because that is what God’s affection towards us looks like.

As I do these things – I have seen time and time again that they are able to embrace their common purpose to glorify God and are better equipped to walk in UNITY.

My prayer is that the Father will show me how to walk according to His word ALWAYS! That my life will be an accurate model to those who are watching me; showing them the way to godly love compassion and unity.  That the world will see His grace through my life and unity through my own family.  May my life, my words, my actions lead others to become one in Him!

Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose

Philippians 2:1-2