Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A "Wick"

Jesus said in John 5:35 He (John the Baptist) He was a burning and shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.     (Without a wick a lamp or candle cannot give light )

 Last weekend we heard a great message on John the Baptist.  John who was called a "wick" whose purpose was to be used up as a shining light for Jesus.  Plain and simple John life was not all about himself.   Not only did he carry the message, he was a part of Jesus influence in the world, the message owned him.  It drove him to risk all to get the message out to a lost and dying world.  John the Baptist was sacrificial in his role. The notion of self-sacrifice or self-forgetfulness, doesn't often play well in a culture like ours.  He not only lived a peculiar life but spoke words boldly to all around him.   Which is exactly why the queen hated him so she ask the King through her daughter for his head.  A "wick" cannot light itself, a match must be struck and put to the wick for light.  The moment we become believers God light our wicks.   Hide it under a bushel, no, I'm gonna let it shine.

This got me to thinking how much brighter this world would be if saints of God obeyed the Lord and tell the sweet sweet story with boldness such as John.  We can be  bold telling someone which sport team we like, or about the latest movie or which political party we are a part of.    But words about those issue do not bring about a changed life.

Just a few more days Easter will be celebrated. Churches will be full of "wicks,"   John the Baptist time is over, NOW IS OUR TIME to be obedience so the world will see His light in us, by our action and our words telling the gospel to all who will listen.


Monday, March 18, 2013

Dinangat Mail
I wanted to continue on with an update from one of the women from the Dinangat missionary team.  Ellie has been a vital part of the ministry along with the other two wives.  A few ladies and I are studying "contentment" here in the states but as you will read "God's contentment" is never based on where you live or how much you have.  Worry knows no bounderies but neither does the power of God.  Yes it is the missionaries that bring the gospel to these remote people but God use them to teach the missionary heart also.   How I wish I could take you to this beautiful place in the mountains of Papua New Guinea.  To see the love of God shine from the faces of the believers.  To sit with them on the ground as they worship the same God you and I worship.   To meet Ellie and the rest of the team and and hear their excitement at how God is working in  all their hearts.  But for now this precioius testemony will have to do.   

 March 2013

"Yesterday I worried a lot about whether or not I will be able to think straight and talk right when I will meet again with Elli to check the Bible Translation. Then today I worried again, but then I thought that those worries probably make God sad. Hasn't He helped me all those years and hasn't He worked through me and done it well? Why do I think that maybe now God would not help me again? So I stopped worrying and trusted God. And I came and now you see how well it went!"

 This is what Mesari (2nd lady on the right) told me yesterday as we met to check the Bible Translation for understanding, like we do every Tuesday afternoon. Her words touched me. I had to hold back my tears. How can Mesari have such a trust in God after knowing Him only for 5 years? How can she trust Him so much better than I?

 Wearing a ripped shirt and stitched together skirt, without shoes, without a watch, without any jewelry she sat cross legged in front of me on the floor where we read together the words of 1 Timothy 6, 6-9:

 "But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich
fall into temptation…"

 When Mesari heard those words her eyes showed this deep shame. She felt bad, for she felt caught in her discontentment. She said, "Yes, that is true, when we have food and clothes, what else do we need? We have God, our Savior, He is everything we need to live and to die!"

 I don't know what to say. I feel awful. Just a minute ago she told me about her bad house and that at night when the family sleeps the rain drops on them through the bad roof. Now they will need to move to their smaller house in the garden which is further away and they will need to walk a long distance to come to the village every day. And for days now she is wearing this ripped shirt, or for weeks really. Sweet potatoes for breakfast, for lunch and for dinner.

 I feel ashamed. And somehow it feels good. For I see in this moment how precious of an example my Dinangat friend is to me. I am proud of her and I will never forget how she trusts God in her poor situation and finds contentment in Him in the midst of all this. This is what I want! And I thank God for Mesari!

We can  identify with Ellie and her friend Mesari...anxiety comes to us all. One of the suggestion in our contentment study is to write our worries out and put them in an Anxiety Box.   It will be a reminder that God is carrying those worries. Once or twice a year open the box and find God's has taken care of most of our worries. 

 I like what George Mueller said: " The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith.  The beginning of of true faith is the end of anxiety."

                          What helps you deal with your anxiety?


Friday, March 1, 2013

Below the Surface

Of course I love anything to do with missions but this clip made me think about the beliefs of  many people here in the developed country of America.  Often I have heard the phrase, "oh I hope I am going to heaven."  Or, "I think I have done enough good to make it to heaven."   Those words make me want to dig a little deeper into their foundational beliefs.  The better we understand what a person believes, we also gain an understanding into why they do what they do. 

I have said this before but it is worth repeating...without a firm foundation built on the Word of God, anything else is built on sand and will crumble easily.  There are certain groups that would say, leave those people in their natural beliefs but these care nothing for the souls of people or for that matter their daily lives of slavery to fear of their dead ancestral spirits. 

Ace and I have been in this village, it's the one with the postage stamp airstrip that has a take off like a roller coaster ride.  These three families have worked as a team under physically, emotional and spiritual hardship to bring the whole pure truth of God.  I was challenged to take time and build a relationship with people aound so they would let me below their surface.  It is there the issue of their beliefs live.  

I have had to make a cross of two logs, and lie down on it, to show the Indians what it means to crucify a man.  Jim Elliot

Most of us will not reach a village at a time but is there one or maybe two God has brought into your life and encouraged you to get, "below their surface"?