Hope

Hope

Friday, July 16, 2010

A Treasure...A Pearl...England...

God has changed me through traveling. I have often thought it was the people and it was the cultures that so impacted me and my love for traveling, but I am realizing more and more all of my travels, missions oriented or not have been to grow me closer to the Lord (while often times using the people). Whether it was from one end to the other of the earth and in between...England out of all of these trip has shown me Jesus in a new light and who He is in my life. By His GRACE am I saved and I thank Him for that. He shows me different facets of Himself in each of these places I have traveled. That has been the beauty of my travels. He reveals His character. This time it was His love for us...we so often deny and sin against our Lord yet He chooses to love us still. He showed me how to love and love genuinely.
We had the opportunity to spend time in the schools over there. That in itself was an amazing opportunity and something we would not have been able to do in America. We broke into groups and shared our stories of Christ changing our lives in these public schools. God's Word and glory went forth, but not without many questions and denial. As our team was sharing and answering questions I was burdened at how often I do not share the Hope that I have. These kids were so lost and hopeless and shared stories of their struggles and yet we had the answer, Christ. How often we have become so content where we are at that we lose site of our purpose. I was humbled and challenged as they asked sincere questions about God. "Who created God" "How will you know if God dies" "Why would God let bad things happen to good people" "Who cares about God!" "God's just wants us to follow his rules" ETC. The questions and statements went on and on. God gave us such an amazing opportunity to share His Word with these kids and for that I am so grateful. Many seeds were planted and we left those kids thinking about the God we serve.
One of the things that stuck out most to me was that after all of these questions and talking in the class we were talking with students and a fight had broken out. Soon after we heard that a boy had been kicked in the head and was bleeding. Immediately I grabbed a big rag and ran over to help stop the bleeding. As I sat there with him crying and explaining what happened, to this day thinking about it it makes me sick. It was a picture of our depraved hearts and what we are capable. It broke my heart for people and gave me a love for others like I had never experienced before. I empathized with him in his pain and my heart hurt for his heart more so than his physical pain. It showed me the hopelessness of so many around us and how others suffer at the hands of our sin nature, making Jesus the only answer. He won't let us down!
It gave me a heart to love them and people where they are at as well. It is easy to get frustrated at the situation and want people to change or to know God right now! The thing is, it is not up to us and we have to trust that God is in complete control and be patient! Lord knows we need patience every day! He has His hand on the hearts of those we encountered and those we will continue to encounter. We are just called to obey and share the truth. As I sit here in classes for Biblical Counseling, I am seeing more and more the importance of the hope that God offers EVERYONE. It is about loving people and offering them a hope, where every other method in the world has let them down. We love because Jesus first loved us, not because we deserve it or they do, but because Christ did!
We need to have a Jesus Focus on life. I have learned that even in my pursuit in walking with the Lord I find I get so content in my bubble and forget about others around me. We have a purpose in this life and often we don't live up to that or the potential that God has for us. God calls us to a simple faith. We are to love Him and love others. When we are truly loving Him, naturally we will love others and love them beyond our own capability! Here are ways in which I find that I need to die to myself daily and live for Him!

Jesus Focus...How to make him a treasure and pearl in your life.
1. Right desires (motives)
2. Right thinking
a.. Romans 6:11
b. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
3. Confess, deal with idols
What did you want so badly that pleasing God in that area became unimportant?
4. Right doing, regardless of feelings
a. John 13:17
b. James 1:25
c. Luke 9:23: You have to nail yourself to the cross every day!!

We have such a precious treasure in Christ. We have hope! I am burdened for the kids we encountered and continue to pray for them. I hope you would join me in praying as well. We all need prayer and truth. God has given us all we need for life and godliness and we NEED TO LIVE TO THAT POTENTIAL! He is mighty to save and capable of working in any bodies life! I am so grateful for my time there and have SUCH A LOVE for people of BARNSTABLE and LONDON! What a blessing the Lord allowed me to take part in. I AM FOREVER CHANGED! I have an ever lasting treasure and priceless pearl, I pray that I never take it for granted!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Our Standard!

“The Bible must be our standard.


Whenever we are confronted with

a question about Christian

practice, we must apply the

teaching of the Bible. Sometimes

the Bible will deal with it directly,

and we must go by its direct

teaching. Often the Bible will not

deal with it directly, and then we

must look for general principles to

guide us. It does not matter what

other people think. Their behavior

is not a standard for us. But the

Bible is a standard for us, and it is

by the Bible that we must live”

(J.C. Ryle, Walking with God)
 
The Word of God is our standard. As I have been sitting in classes this week and processing my time in England, it is the Bible that offers the only Hope that can change a person. God is sufficient and His Word is what guides us in our decisions and daily living.
God only guides or leads His people today:

1. By providence (we know it after the fact) – Proverbs 21:1
2. By Scripture (we can know it before we act) – Psalm 73:24
God is a gracious God who has provided everything we need in order to do what He wants us to do (2 Pet. 1:3)
God holds us fully responsible to search out and follow His preceptive will (God’s written Word) in
all of life (2 Tim. 2:15).

Often we spend our days worrying about tomorrow and living in fear about what tomorrow holds or what the future holds. We do not know those things. God has given us His Word to guide us in our decision making and our daily lives. His Word is sufficient!
There are three ways in which we box truth: REASON, EXPERIENCE AND SCRIPTURE. These are all things that need to align, but often times it is reason and experience that win out over Scripture. Scripture should be our standard first and foremost. It is easy to go with reason and experience, but that is wrong. It is to be Scripture married with reason and experience that define our boxes of truth. We must live by the WORD for it is the wellspring of life! Psalm 18:30-31; Proverbs 4:23!