Friday, February 29, 2008

More Than Bread 2/29/08

Psalm 121:1-4
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

I missed getting the devotional yesterday, because I hit the road to go to a friends wedding this weekend. In the process, we drove through a lot of snow and slippery conditions. I am not sure that this promise(not to slip) extends to vehicles. But the promise that God continues to watch over us and does not slumber is always true. No matter what time it is or what you are facing, God is there for you. Call on your everpresent help in your time of need.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

More Than Bread 2/27/08

Job 12:2-5
2 "Doubtless you are the people,
and wisdom will die with you!
3 But I have a mind as well as you;
I am not inferior to you.
Who does not know all these things?
4 "I have become a laughingstock to my friends,
though I called upon God and he answered—
a mere laughingstock, though righteous and blameless!
5 Men at ease have contempt for misfortune
as the fate of those whose feet are slipping.

Here Job is replying to one of his "friends" who had basically told him that all of his trouble was self-caused. We of course know that Job had done nothing wrong. Job also knew he had done nothing to bring this on himself. What caught my eye was verse 5. It is easy for us to think less of a person in the midst of trouble when we think they have "brought it on themselves". But it would be much wiser to step back and try to relate. I took a crack at curling for the first time. I learned a valuable lesson in the process. It is easier to watch people on the ice than it is to try and manuver on the ice yourself. I fell a couple of times trying to learn how to balance. I may have even provided a chuckle or two to some of those watching. The lesson from Job is to not look down on the troubles of others, when we are in comfort and ease. We should be willing instead to come alongside and be a support and a help in their time of need.

Are you serious about evangelism?

I posted some of these same thoughts at my other blog, but I wanted to place them here as well becuase I think it is very important.
Evangelism is one of those things that we all know we need to do, but many of us put off doing.  I for one have used more excuses than I can remember for why I couldn't talk to someone about Christ.  Well, I am getting sick of my excuses.  Sharing the gospel isn't an optional thing for any of us.  Most of us probably are afraid to share with others.  Maybe we are afraid of saying the wrong thing.  Of course, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, all you need to do is share how he changed your life.  There is no way you can get that wrong.  I saw a video as a part of my class, where Ray Comfort asked believers if they could overcome their fear of witnessing if they were given $1000 dollars for every person they witnessed to.  What a convicting question.  I have made a couple of adjustments in my life based on what I saw.  First, I decided that I needed to go and put my money where my heart is.  A couple of years ago, I heard about an organization called Gospel for Asia.  They are involved in using native missionaries to share with their people the Gospel of Christ.  For $30/month, you can be involved in sponsoring a pastor who is spreading the Gospel in Asia.  I know that it isn't as heartwarming perhaps as sponsoring a hungry child, but imagine the impact of this kind of sponsorship on the Kingdom of God.  I encourage you to check them out.  But even more than that, I encourage you to share your own story whenever you can.  

More Than Bread 2/26/08

Romans 12:15
15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

This verse really struck a chord with me. I did my first ever funeral as a pastor on Monday. It was for a lady who didn't have much family around and whose children no longer have anything to do with her. I never got to actually talk to her here on this earth, but I got to know a few things about her from some who did. What I noticed though, was that the compassion I felt for her and the family she has that I will never meet took me by surprise. I found myself on several occasions over the weekend, thinking about this woman and praying for her family and grieving the hurt that must be there. It wasn't something I take credit for personally. I believe it was the work of the Holy Spirit, living out this passage in me. While it is true that we can never totally understand and fully experience the joy or the hurt of another person. We are told here that we should share in it, both the joy and the pain.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

More Than Bread 2/25/08

2 Corinthians 5:11-15
11 Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. 12 We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. 13 If we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

Where do you get your motivation? What is it that makes another Monday exciting? Sharing our faith is something that many are reluctant to do, and I speak from personal experience. But as we understand God better, we cannot get around the fact that we are called to tell the good news to all. Paul says that Christ's love compels us to live for Him and not for ourselves. This is our motivation. Getting up and getting out is a new chance to share the love of Christ with others. We don't have a choice in this. The love of Christ compels(urges, motivates, prods, you get the point) us to go.