Looking for that Moment

I wouldn’t say I’m not a really bold person. Too often, I wish I were more bold, but my prayer lately has been for God to help me to see. “Open my eyes and let me see what and who You want me to see, and if you want me to speak, please, give me the courage, and I’ll speak. ” That’s been my prayer.

A few days ago, my husband and I walked onto a used car lot in town, met one of the salesmen, and he ended up sharing his story with us. He’s a retired South African pastor, living now in Georgia, and his wife is battling cancer for the second time. They’ve been married for 40 years, and he hopes and believes for 40 more; yet, when circumstances arise like this, it naturally brings doubts and fears. We stood right there in the parking lot and prayed for his wife’s healing.

Today, a lady showed up in our church foyer lost in her way to Florida. Mind you, our church is not just a step off the interstate; yet, her GPS had brought her down this street, and she stopped in for directions. She was on her way home to take care of her house before the possibility of Hurricane Irma sweeps in. I gave her directions and asked her if I could pray for her before she left. She said yes. We prayed; she cried, thanked me and went on her way. I have no idea if I’ll ever see her again, but I haven’t been able to get her off my mind all day. I pray she makes it home safely and that her home stays safe through the storm.

You never know who God will bring your way or why. The most important thing is to keep your eyes and hears open, ready and waiting for when He says, “Speak. Move. Tell them about Me.”

This is an older song, but it really puts “teeth” to what I’m trying to convey here. 😉 Hope you enjoy.

https://g.co/kgs/ubCQ8H

*This is a YouTube video. I do not have access to, nor do I own, this video.*

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Are We Like Him?

As Easter draws near, and we get ready to celebrate with our songs, our meals and our families, I wonder if we remember who Christ truly is. He is Christ the King. He is Life Everlasting. He is Savior, and He is our Risen Lord.

If we who call ourselves Christian are not living as Christ, then our words are not true. He was light to a darkened world. He was love to an angry crowd. He was truth to the hypocrite, the sinner and the lost. He was a healing balm to the broken and the bruised. He gave up His life for those who hated Him the most for just one to see His forgiveness and love while on the cross.

Does the world see Jesus in me and you? The Jesus that they see, does it make them want more or less of Him?

Are You Comfy?

Comfort and apathy can go hand in hand. We are all creatures of comfort to some extent. I love warm cups of coffee, good books and a great big quilt to snuggle under for an enjoyable night of reading. Some like to drive for comfort, some like to sleep. Some like to get comfortable in the quiet while others enjoy the comfort of people and noise. Comfort for one might not be the comfort of another, but we all enjoy being comfortable over not.

Yet, in our prayer life, our worship and our passion for God, comfort should not be the mode of operation. Comfort can create apathy and apathy creates a death of passion. Comfort and apathy can creep into our prayer lives when we grow comfortable in where we are and over confident in what we are doing. It can lull us to a slumber where we neglect the voice of God and, eventually, even neglect the things and people of God.

When we grow too comfortable, we will become callous in our prayer life, lazy in our worship and apathetic in our God-message to others. Too often, as God did with Moses, He will call us beyond our comfort zone to reach the world around us and to deliver them out of the bondage in which they live. If we are only seeking what causes us comfort, then, we will be more apt to resist change, challenge and things controversial to the common worldview around us. God never called us to blend into this world. He called us to change this world by showing them His love, and His love will always challenge them to leave behind the sin in which they live.

Just as Moses did, when we decide to follow God and walk out of our comfort zone, we may question our ability. We may walk into ridicule from our own families and friends, and we may face a king who hates us and desires destruction for us, “but if God be for us, who can be against us”? (Romans 8:31)

Can we sit back and let this world ‘go to hell in a hand basket’ just so we ourselves may remain comfortable? NO! We must find our voice. We must step out of our places of comfort, complacency and apathy and seek His face. We must step up and allow His passion for the lost to infiltrate our lives to go and seek them. Look around you. See those who need Him and share His message for the redemption of their souls!

“Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.  Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.  Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.Philippians 2:1-4

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:2

 

 

 

Counted Worthy

Acts 5:41-42 “The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.  Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.”

…rejoicing because of ridicule and persecution?? Who does that?? I don’t see many in today’s society who get excited over verbal attacks, much less, physical attacks! You can pick up today’s paper or turn on the nightly news and see accounts of those who are angry at any intolerance, any mocking or even the slightest implication of ridicule for their given faith, lifestyle or even choice of words. These men, here in the Scripture, were thrown in prison, mocked, accused, about to receive a death sentence, and ended up simply being flogged (for anyone wondering, that means “to be beat with a whip or stick”), and yet, they left rejoicing, because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. 

This Scripture is so challenging to me. 

I don’t know about you, but I’m not crazy about suffering, and especially, about being beat with a whip or stick. Honestly, that’s not quite my vision of a “fun day!” Yet, these men loved God so much that they were willing to go through all of this just so they could testify of His Name. They rejoiced that the suffering came their way, because it enables them to preach more boldly to others of His glory, and they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news from that day forward!

With the news headlines of all the Christians around the world being killed by ISIS, and so many other happenings in our own nation, this scenario is coming so close to being a reality within our own Land of the Free and The Brave. Growing up, I never thought this could happen here; yet, now, as an adult, I’m not so naive nor idealistic. I know it can happen in the blink of an eye, and to be honest, it does give me pause. 

I read books like Jesus Freak and Fox’s Book of Martyrs, and my faith is challenged by their boldness in the face of persecution. My petty little worries of friendships, light bills and “Are my children doing their homework today?” vanish into thin air in the light of their martyrdom. I pray I can be found this faithful. I pray I can be found this encouraging and this bold to share my testimony with others even if I am staring death in the face. 

It’s so easy to boldly proclaim your allegiance when no one is threatening you. It’s so easy to declare your faithfulness when you don’t have a gun aimed at your head, or your children are lined up at the stake, but as I read Jesus Freaks, I truly wonder if I could keep my bold faith when looking down the barrel of a semi-automatic or my children’s very lives are being threatened.

I pray I am found faithful and true. I pray I can remain steadfast and committed to the One who saved me, forgave me and gave me new life. I pray that, if I am found worthy of suffering disgrace for His sweet Name, I am able to stand, rejoicing, proclaiming His goodness and grace for everyone to see. 

How about you? What do you see? What would you do?