Wednesday, September 24, 2008
My heart is heavy as I think of the situation in Haiti. Pastor and Sister Turner in Saut D'eau have kept us up to date of the difficult situation that is going on after three hurricanes hit them in less than two weeks. The last, Hurricane Ike, did so much damage that bridges were washed out and crops were completely destroyed. Having been there before and knowing how desperate conditions are normally, I cannot even fathom what it must be like for them. Now, on top of flooding and food shortages, the standing water is becoming a haven for disease such as malaria. At one time I did not understand what people meant when they said that there was an outbreak of malaria. Now, since my trip to Africa this summer where I contracted malaria, I have a completely different outlook on the situation. I know the pain and the sickness that are associated with this disease, and it truly breaks my heart to know that adults and little children who are already so weak are having to deal with this problem. As you read this, please pray for God to supply the need of food and medicine to this isolated region. It is critical that they get help this week. There has been a great revival in this area as of late, and please pray that God will use this to bring even more away from the emptiness of voodoo to peace and hope in Jesus Christ.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Last night at our cottage prayer meeting I gave a thought on this subject from Psalm 56:1-7. Often when we talk about praying for our enemies, we simply use the scriptures of loving our enemies and turning the other cheek. While there is a definite need for us to do both at times, I also believe that there is a time that we pray for God's hand of judgment to be made known in their lives. The real point then is our motivation for this prayer. If I truly love that person, I am asking God to do what He deems best to get their attention. Often we have tried many things, but we realize that they are only going to respond to the mighty hand of God. The Apostle Paul even instructed the church at Corinth to turn one of their own over to the devil so that he might be brought back to the faith. This type of prayer is not done lightly, but it is scriptural. We approach God in this way with humility wanting what He sees as best.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
This weekend I tried to teach one of my children how to ride a bike. Two of my children were fairly easy to teach, so I expected the same of the third. It went far different than I imagined. After almost two hours both of us were exhausted and frustrated, and in true "Dave" like fashion I became angry and irritated. You would have thought that I asked a Marine drill instructor to teach my child how to ride a bike. Then, God got a hold on my heart.
We took a break, and I challenged my child to realize that they can do all things through Christ. I challenged them to realize that they were capable if they would apply themselves. I began to use positive reinforcement instead of degrading criticism. After the 15 minute break we tried again with these new methods of encouragement. Within five minutes my child was riding away with ease.
As I contemplated this last night, I though that Christ must be the same way with us. Something that is so simple that it should be easy we make complicated. Yet God differs in that He does not quit on us or give up. As His creation He knows that we are capable to do all things through His power. Maybe we should stop trying to teach so much and start learning.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
While having family devotions with my family the other night, we read where Jesus told the man that was healed at the pool of Bethesda: "Sin no more."(14) Immediately I recalled the admonition that Jesus gave to the woman that was caught in the act of adultery: "Go, and sin no more."(John 8:11) I believe that the subject of repentance has been ignored by many that would call themselves followers of Jesus Christ. From Jesus to John the Baptist to the Apostles, they all preached a message of repentance. We have admonished people to confess their sins (to agree with God about their condition), but we must not stop there. We must teach them that they must turn away from their sin as well. Jesus Christ desires to make a change in people's lives and not simply have them agree that they are sinful.
This is the danger of simply having people repeat a prayer and then telling them that they are saved. Both children and adults alike will agree to pray a sinner's prayer to ease their conscience or make them feel better. Jesus Christ came to change lives and not simply make people feel at ease about themselves. 2 Corinthians 5:15 says, "He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again." Let us be bold in sharing the light of Jesus Christ and show them that Christ desires to change them from the inside out.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Matthew 5:16 says, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father in heaven."
God gives us so many opporuntities to let the light of His love and grace shine through our daily lives. Now more than ever is that true. With the amazing advancement of technology we can let our lights shine to an entire world in just a matter of seconds. That is my prayer for this blog. I desire for God to use this outlet to broadcast His message to the lost, encourage believers, and share some personal things about my life.
I hope that you find it to be encouraging in your life! Thanks for reading and come again often.