Sunday, February 24, 2013

Our Amazing Lord!

Isn't it amazing how God works? When we get ourselves out of His way, set aside our own will and desire and truly allow His Spirit to lead and guide us we may end up in places we never even dreamed of doing things we hadn't ever thought about and yet they are just exactly the right place and the right things to do, bringing Glory and Honor to His name rather than our own. We are finding this truth applied over and over again in our journeying as Ambassadors for Christ.

You may be familiar with the parable Jesus shares in Luke 12:20 about the man who puts his hope in the physical riches of this world only to enjoy none of the fruits of his labor. His focus was on the temporary things of this world rather than obedience to the Lord. In short the story is a snapshot of his life. He is blessed with abundance of goods, but rather than giving thanks to God and seeking how he might honor the Lord for the abundance he's been granted, he makes his own selfish plans which are never realized as his life ends that very night.

The point or moral of the story is simply to give God the glory, to seek Gods way for our lives and not our own ways. To recognize the temporary nature of this life and keep our focus on the HOPE that is ours in Eternity, precisely so that we won't get fixated on the things of this world. This is an especially necessary reminder in this age of instant gratification. Cell phones keep us in instant constant contact and computers connect us to everything the world has to offer at the push of a button. We've grown so far and so fast, and yet the exhortation remains to WAIT UPON THE LORD. His timing, His will, His plan brought to completion in our lives.


We recently had a "plan" about where we were going and what we were going to do.  It was a good plan that included being a blessing to others, preaching the Word of God and leading people to a saving knowledge of Christ as Savior.  A good plan, but it was our plan, not Gods plan.  Thankfully, as we prayed and sought His way for us, He showed us His way.  It wasn't ours, not what we had thought but His is so much better!

One of the things we've had to guard against in our lives since answering the Lords call to live as Missionaries fully surrendered to Him is a tendency to define what we think "ministry"is or what it should look like based on how it's "always been done." We see it in the churches as well. This is what has worked in the past, so we simply continue in our flesh doing what has worked in the past. A few tweaks here or there to keep up with technology, maybe refresh the music ministry to reflect current tastes, but essentially we plod along doing what we've always done.

In the midst of his discourse to believers in the first century, wherein he touches upon many different subjects, the Apostle James makes this great observation that is timely to our lives today.  "Come now, you who say "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit"; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that." James 4: 13-15

We are joyfully and even sometimes painfully discovering that MINISTRY as God defines it is very different from "what we've always done" and very different from what we thought it would be. When we insist on defining what His work is, we limit ourselves to our ability and our knowledge. WE BOX GOD IN. We don't stop His work from occurring, we simply stop ourselves from doing His work and begin doing our own. By putting aside our preconceived notions and truly seeking the leading of the Holy Spirit, we will find ourselves doing things we never could have imagined, for He is infinitely CREATIVE, but they will be the things that bring about His glory, His will and have positive Eternal effect on others lives as well as our own.


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Sunday, February 10, 2013

BEING STILL

We're currently buried under the 38 inches of lovely white fluff that fell gently from the sky all night, and all day, and all night..... I've been gone from the East Coast for so long, I'd almost forgotten what it was like.  It's FAST and it's CONSTANT MOTION.  When I first left New England for the Midwest, one of the first things I had to do was learn to t a l k s l o w e r.  'Cause I was born and raised in this fastpaceneverstoptotakeabreath beautiful New England style of living.

We get like that in our lives, don't we?  Full steam ahead and no slowing us down!  We've got things to DO don't you know.

And there sits that beautiful Psalm 46.  

be still..... the Lord whisper.....be still......and then you'll know that I am God.

Have you ever tried to sit very still for any length of time?  No talking, no motion, just BEING STILL?  It's hard!  Especially if you are always on auto-pilot set at 100 miles an hour. 

Yet, that is what is required if we are to truly get to know the Lord God. Building that relationship is the single most important thing and it takes time.  Our time.  God already knows us.  He made, formed and created us just for His own purpose and pleasure.  There isn't anything He doesn't know about us.  He knows our hearts better than we do! 

We need time to get to know Him.  To not just read the words written about Him, but to spend time coming to know Who He is, that we can trust Him, what His heart for us is, how He acts and interacts with us so we'll recognize His voice.

STOP!  Whatever it is your doing.  Whatever your calendar, or time clock or busyness.  Just stop. Take 5, 10 even 20 minutes, and spend it being still and seeking to hear His voice and KNOW HIM.

Simple, yes.  Effective?  YOU BET!  Knowing Him will revolutionize your life!

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

IS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA A CHRISTIAN NATION?

Founded on the idea of freedom.  Not freedom FROM religion, but freedom OF religion, this great country began.  Humble but strong in the belief of individual freedom to worship. To pray. To express praise to Almighty God. ARE WE STILL THAT NATION?
I offer no apologetics. A simple question, you answer.
 IS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA A CHRISTIAN NATION?

Sunday, February 3, 2013

BALANCE IN THE BODY OF CHRIST


When the teeter totter is not resting upon a proper fulcrum it cannot be rightly balanced.  When we, the Body of Christ are not balanced on the ROCK which is Christ, having Him as our Head and His command as our foundation, the Body likewise cannot find proper balance.

In many of our American churches the work of ministry is resting on the Pastor as its fulcrum, not only in expectation that the Pastor will do the work of the ministry while the sheep of the pasture show up on Sunday to sit for an hour, but many times also resting solely on the Pastors whims, desires and personal dictates.  Why is this?  People have abdicated their responsibility to be accountable to one another. Pastor “power” is running amok precisely because the people God intended to be contributing members of the Body see themselves as less  in spirit or ability than those few considered anointed as clergy.

Failure to individually adhere to Apostle Pauls exhortation in II Timothy 2:15 “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God a worker who need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth”,  has left many ignorant and vulnerable to false teaching and the wolves in sheep’s clothing who devour them.  We sit passive in the face of the serious problems cropping up in our churches feeling helpless to stop it. Sin runs rampant and Christians are seen as powerless and ineffective to the very ones we are to example Christ before! 

Somewhere along the way we’ve lost sight of the truth that every born again believer who calls on the name of Jesus as Savior is to be a minister of the Gospel as set forth in Apostle Pauls second letter to the Corinthians 5:17-18 and 6:1 “we then as workers together...”  We have absented ourselves from our role in the Body of Christ and expect to be carried by arms that have no legs to support them!  Apostle Paul revealed clearly in First Corinthians 12:12 the importance of every member of the body doing his or her part. If we fail it is not just we but the whole Body who is failiing!

We turn Pastors, our fellow workers into some sort of celebrity figureheads and bow to them in worship as the foolish Israelites bowed to their own handmade golden calf in the wilderness rather than remain true to the Mighty God who delivered us from slavery to sin.  We place the full weight of ministry upon the imperfect shoulders of Pastors throughout our religious organizations and then we are angry with them at the imperfection that results. As quickly as we shoved them onto pedestals is just how quick  we are to join in the mocking of the world to knock them off with hardly a single prayer and replace them with more imperfect specimens. 

We’ve watered down our Lord Jesus' truth in a false effort to make it more palatable in order to appear we are tolerant and inclusive that the world in turn might find us more acceptable and agree to populate our church pews and include us in return. When that doesn't happen  we seem blind that how they do spitefully use us is really a screaming cry about how desperately in need they are for us to pray for them, to pray for their deliverance from the darkness that grips their souls!

Let me be clear in what I am saying here.  The world does not need Christians to include them, but they violently need us to recognize how lost they are and pray to Almighty God for their salvation.  Jesus sternly rebuked those who took the “work of ministry” to be treated as a light matter. He stressed this important point when He declared in Matthew 11:12 “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence and the VIOLENT take it by force.” 

Take what by force?  Take the KINGDOM OF HEAVEN by force!

The single most powerful force in the hands of a believer of Jesus Christ as Savior and God the Father as Creator is prayer.  Simple, powerful, zealous and energetic prayer laid as an offering upon the altar of Gods throne of grace.  Both in the physical realm and the spiritual realm prayer is our most powerful weapon, affecting both earth now and all Eternity in Heaven!

I do not point these things out from some lofty position of authority but on the contrary, from the position of lowly servant to the people of the Lord, a sinner saved by the gracious Savior. I cry out as the Holy Spirit of God that is in me reveals in order that we all might come together in unity. 

Church, our Head is calling us to obey Him more perfectly in the way of surrender that He might open a way to fuller understanding and intimate relationship with Him for all His sheep. We must continually strive to TURN TO HIM, JESUS, WHO IS THE HEAD OF THE BODY, in order to serve His purposes and not our own.

All Scripture is quoted from the New King James Version. 

Pastor Marie and her husband continue to travel the US, sharing the Gospel of Salvation through Christ alone and exhorting Unity in Christs Church across denominational lines.

You are welcome to comment on the opinion expressed here. 

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