Don’t Give Up

In the latter part of Luke 18 we read about a blind beggar sitting near the roadside asking for help. In those days many people who were crippled or blind were at the mercy of others. Government assistance was non-existent, and if their families did not or could not care for them they often resorted to a life of begging.

We can only imagine the desperation that must have been in this man’s heart as he heard that Jesus was passing by. It is obvious that somewhere along the way he had heard of this man who touched blinded eyes, made the lame walk again, and was offering hope to the hopeless.

Scripture tells us that he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” However, the crowd wasn’t very merciful to him. The crowd told him to be quiet. The crowd told him to stop. To the crowd he was simply a nuisance and a bother.

But he wasn’t going to let the crowd keep him from calling out to Jesus. The Bible says that he cried out even more. His concern was not the crowd, his concern was Christ! He was not going to be quiet until he heard from Jesus. Even though he couldn’t seen Jesus, he believed that Jesus was his only hope, and the solution for his blindness.

Jesus is attracted to our weakness. He doesn’t walk by and ignore the cry of faith and desperation. He is the Great Physician, not only for our bodies, but most importantly for our souls. He is waiting to show Himself strong on our behalf.

Jesus stops and heals the man. However, the man’s life is never the same. His faith in Christ not only allowed his sight to return, but it also brought reconciliation in his soul. Jesus said that his “faith had made him well.”

When he left that day he didn’t forget what Christ had done. He didn’t use Jesus as a “spare tire” to get what he wanted out of Him and then forget about Him. He left that day glorifying God! This miracle, and his response to it, caused others to give praise to God as well.

Regardless of what voices are telling you that “waiting on the Lord” is just a waste of time…don’t give up.

Regardless of who is telling you that you are beyond help and beyond hope…don’t give up…turn to Jesus.

Regardless of where the circumstances of life may bring you…don’t give up…through a personal relationship with Christ you know that He is right there with you!

In the words of Winston Churchill, “never give up!”

Short Term Mission Trip–What to Expect

Ok we are going on a mission trip this summer! Yeah! Here is what to expect:

  • We aren’t going to have enough people so pray for more
  • Expect to be bullied,¬†harassed, attacked, injured and to possibly die
  • You cannot bring:
    • Extra Money
    • Extra Clothes
    • Cell Phone
    • Toiletries
    • Electronic Devices
  • You will eat and live with total strangers
  • You are going to be expected to preform miracles

So who wants to sign up?

I’m not sure how many parents will sign the permission slip for this one! For that matter how many adults would be willing to go?

This is the short term mission trip requirements found in Luke 10:1-12. Jesus was going to send out 72 people (36 teams of two). However, He indicates there are still more people needed, so the first matter of business for his recruits is to PRAY! The same is still true for those who are interested in taking short term mission trips today. Prayer is vital. If you are planning a short term mission trip bathe it in prayer. Bathe the participants in prayer, bathe the city in prayer and bathe those who you are going to minister to in prayer!

Secondly, Jesus lets them know that He is sending them out “as lambs in the midst of wolves” (v. 3). All they that live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. For most of us and for most of the mission teams that we host in America, that simply means someone saying, “I’m not interested…get off my property, etc.” However, what if it meant more? Are we any better than the martyrs who willingly shed their blood to take the Gospel to the heathen? Make sure your mission team knows there will be opposition and prepare them to face that opposition with a Christ-like spirit.

Thirdly, Jesus instructed them not to carry any excess and to depend upon Him to provide them with a place to stay and food to eat (vv. 4, 7). I’m not suggesting you go on your next mission trip without any hotel reservations, money or food. However, pray for creative ways to help your group learn to¬†depend on God to do something great! Jesus wanted these 72 disciples to strip away any dependence they had upon themselves and their belongings and depend wholly upon Him! Find a way to let this trip become a way to put God to the test (not tempt Him, but rather test Him…see Malachi 3:10).

Fourthly, Christ enabled them to have the power to heal the sick (v. 9). Though God still heals, these apostolic sign gifts are not for us today. However, if a mission trip does not have the supernatural touch of God upon it, what spiritual mission has it accomplished? Let this be a time when those who are involved depend upon the power of Christ to get out of their comfort zone! This summer, one young man had never taught a lesson before. However, he was willing to do so and the Lord used him to share the Gospel and a young man received Christ as his Savior! In a sense this young man was a vessel whom God used to bring healing (spiritual healing) to this lost soul!

If Jesus’ invitation were extended to your church or mine in hopes to recruit a short term mission team the volunteers may be few. However, the harvest is still plentiful and we need to pray that the Lord of the harvest would continue to send forth the laborers into His harvest field!

Choose the Best Part

Who is the most important person in your life? Pretend you haven’t seen them in 18 months and they were coming for a visit. You knew they would not be able to stay long and you are not sure how long it will be before you will see them again. However, you are filled with joy and excitement because you are going to be able to spend a little time with this friend or family member. You want to make it special so you begin to plan for the celebration of the ages. You spare no expense in your preparation and finally the time comes! The doorbell rings and standing on your front porch is the one you have been longing to see and hold in your arms. The greeting is sweet and your entire household is thrilled. You invite your guest in and you rush into the kitchen to finish the final preparations for your exquisite meal with them. The rest of the family gathers in the living room to hear the latest stories from your honored guest.

Minutes and hours pass by as you put the final touches on the food, the trimmings and the dessert. The dining room table is decorated with your finest china. The crystal glasses from attic have been washed and they glisten in the candlelight. Everything is now ready and you walk into the living room to invite your guest and your family to come in for dinner. However, your guest looks at you with tears in their eyes as they place their cell phone back into their pocket.

“I have to go,” they say. “I just received word that my mom has been rushed to the hospital after a tragic car accident and they are not sure she will make it. I’m so sorry, I will have to catch the next flight out.”

Your heart breaks as you watch them speed out of the driveway and then reality hits. While you have spent the last three hours preparing to entertain and feed your guest, you have spent no time with your guest. Now the opportunity is gone and you have no idea when you will have it back. The last three hours have been a waste and the very one you wanted lavish your love upon has now gone away.

The same is often true with us as Christians. We are “busy” for the Lord and in the Lord’s work…yet how much time do we really spend with Him?

In Luke 10:38-42, Martha was busy preparing a meal for Jesus. There is no more important guest than this. Martha was doing a good thing for a good reason. However, she was upset at her sister who was enjoying the presence of Jesus, but not helping in the kitchen.

Martha asks Jesus, “Do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.”

Jesus’ answer may have surprised Martha and it may surprise you as well. He said, “Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

Jesus reminds Martha that she has gotten so busy try to do things “for Jesus” that she has neglected spending time “with Jesus.” Jesus lets her know that He is not going to rebuke Mary, because Mary has chosen the best over what was good. Yes, it’s good to serve Jesus, but when serving Jesus causes us to neglect Him it becomes a burden rather than a blessing.

As a matter of fact Scripture indicates that our service to God will be much more productive if it is preceded by time spent with God! So let me encourage you today to just spend some time with Him in prayer and His Word. It will be time well spent!

Sometimes I Just Want to Write

Truth is, sometimes I just want to write. Sometimes I write out my prayers to my Heavenly Father. Sometimes I write a note to my awesome wife. Sometimes I write a text message to one of my family members. Sometimes I write a FaceBook status or write on someone’s wall. Sometimes I write a tweet on Twitter. Sometimes I write a thank you card to a friend who has been a blessing. Sometimes I write a message and leave on the kitchen counter. Sometimes I write a blog like I’m writing now.

Yes, sometimes I just want to write.

Now I want to write what I found today in Psalm 107:1, 9: Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.