Let me set up the scenario - I'm taking a team of 10-12 people to Ghana, West Africa this fall. We are going to provide leadership training, construction crews to build church buildings and do outreach through medical clinics. We are working hard to collect the needed supplies so that we can serve 100's of people in the remote region of Mafi Kumase. I am on the internet researching organization who provide medicines for mission trips when I get a knock on my door...
A guy comes in to ask if the church would be willing/able to help send a team of Little Leaguers to Flordia to compete in a national championship. Let me say this up front -
THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH LITTLE LEAGUE!!!
What an accomplishment for our little county to win a State Championship and represent North Carolina on the national level. However when I compare that to providing potentially life-saving meds and more importantly the hope of salvation through faith in Jesus to impoverished people in all but forgotten villages the answer is clear. I must say no to that which is good in order to say yes to that which is God.
"For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is,because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames." - 1 Corinthians 3:11-15
Resources are finite and time is limited. It reminds me of what the Apostle Paul said -
"Be very careful, then, how you live —not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil." - Ephesians 5:12-16
Every dollar, every minute, every decision we make matters. That shouldn't overwhelm us with fear but rather fill us with faith that our lives can make a difference. Both in this life and the next!
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
I'm sitting at my dad's apartment in San Diego and wanted to share a couple of thoughts -
“If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” - Galatians 3:29
God’s promises to Abraham were vast and encompassing. God’s plan was to bless Abraham’s marriage, family, health, wealth, property, influence and on and on and on. In Genesis 15, God made a covenant (a legally binding agreement requiring blood to ratify) with Abraham. The scene begins with the sacrifice and almost immediately birds (symbolic of the devil) come along and try to steal it away. Abraham chases them off but soon grows tired and falls asleep. That is when God himself steps in to do what Abraham can’t.
“After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.”” - Genesis 15:1
See the greatest gift God promised Abraham was himself. And we are heirs of the same promise. Jesus is not only the sacrifice, but the guardian of our covenant. He is not only the one making the promises, he is the prize. Abraham faced many challenges throughout his life (most of which were after the promises were made). And God was always faithful.
Here is what I want you to know -
- God has so much more in store for you.
- You will encounter obstacles along the way.
- God won’t give up on you, so don’t you give up on him!
Everyone wants to go higher but last time I checked you don’t get there without a climb. And when you get to the end of yourself I want you to know that you are in more than capable hands.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” - 2 Corinthians 12:9
”And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” - Philippians 1:6
Take care, God bless and know that I love you LifeWay. Much more importantly God loves you with an EVERLASTING love.
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