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Archive for the tag “Jerusalem”

They will be safe

they will be safe

The imagery of safety is a strong one for me – one of the characteristics of God is that He is omnipotent.  I think that there is a wall of fire protecting me and my family when I allow Him to be my glory.

What I still can’t quite grasp is that this is not as important to most Christians as one might think.  In fact, I know that if we were living in an opulent lifestyle and God called us out to go to a place a little bit more rustic and a little bit more in the open plain, we would reject the call.  Maybe I should go one step further.  I am willing to suggest that even if God warned us that the opulent lifestyle was going to end and that destruction was coming to the region or our immediate world, we would still not want to go.

How do I know this.  Just take a look at Lot’s family – I mean the angel pretty much had to drag that family out of Sodom.  Look at the children of Israel after 70 years in Babylon.  They did not want to go back to Israel even when God warned them the Persians were coming to destroy Babylon.  Would you believe that 90% of the people of Israel decided to stay and perished in captivity.

Just the fact that I would know that I am no longer under the protection of the Almighty would make me want to go wherever He is calling me.  He will always be my safe haven, my shelter, and my refuge.  From that perspective I can lead with confidence.

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Bethlehem

exterior_basilica_natividad

Just thinking how little and low Bethlehem is at yet she has produced the mightest of kings.  We are obsessed with our wealth and postion and yet this tiny town, poor as it was, would be the birthplace of the only King who could save His people.  Our deliver, the Messiah, would be born, as a baby, in Bethlehem and at the time of His death would reign as the eternal King.

 Here is a click from someone who went to visit Bethlehem

 

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Total Surrender

I think it is easier to totally surrender to God, not in a moment of passion or energy, but when I am in depression.

I have quit.

It still is a decision I make, but it is made with a penitent heart and submission.

Anger for wrong against me does not matter because when I look at myself and place myself before a righteous God, I cannot justify myself.  So I yield to His judgements – the consequences of my actions, the punishment of my sin.

I think when we lead and find ourselves in a position where we are exposed to suffering at the hand of others, we are anxious that others should not be led to suffer with us.

We are prepared to go alone, compelling no one to follow.

Yet, my Saviour Jesus Christ enlists those who will come alongside of me during my time of trial and surrender.

It might be a stranger, a foreigner, a new follower of Christ – someone who needed encouragement themselves.  They see in us what we do not see – wisdom and goodness.  They become our friend, a friend like Jesus who loves at all times and will stick with us in times of adversity.

Jesus, may my heart be full of purpose so that in either life or death I will always know that nothing will separate me from Your love.

 

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Asked to do, and you did it successfully

Do you see your life like this – the Lord blessing you and guiding you so that when you are asked to do something, you are very successful at it?  Enough that you find yourself given more responsibility or a promotion or more pay etc.?

I think this does happen.  I can still remember my first real employment opportunity at an insurance company.  I started as mail clerk, then three months later promoted to microfiche clerk, three months later promoted to property management assistant and then three months later to junior buyer.  Still remember my first annual review.  My supervisor did not give me a raise, my manager gave my 3% increase.  HR saw the review and gave me 6% and the VP of Finance saw it and gave me 12%.

However, it also doesn’t happen.  I know that God called into ministry very early in life and so left the insurance company to become the Christian Education Coordinator in a church.  Looked after 40 volunteer groups, all the youth groups and weekday children’s programs as well as supporting Sunday School program and handled the counseling and hospital visitations for a church of 600.  There was myself and the senior pastor.  The senior pastor was never to be disturbed, so this all fell on me.  I remember our first baptismal service – forgot to tell the maintenance person to fill the tank a few days before so that it would be warm.  The Sunday morning, pastor happened to look into the tank and saw it empty!  Well, that ended the service program for the evening.  Needed to order material for small groups – forgot to plan ahead for shipping – had to have it couriered in and a cost that got me into a bit of trouble.  Volunteer programs started complaining that I did not attend their groups or that I was favouring one above another – but working 80 hours a week kept me from visiting them all – the senior pastor thought I was supporting the groups I had established and avoiding the ones he had started – ouch.  Almost lost my marriage in this one – the gentleman that followed me in this employment had an ulcer in nine months and had to resign.  The couple coming in after him had a broken marriage in less than a year.  Regardless – no success, so it seemed.

Then for the next 20 years, whatever task I put my hand to I was successful in and God blessed me with incredible wisdom and discernment both in my employment in ministry and my volunteering in ministry.

It seems that there are things we are called to do – when called God sustains, gives favour and blesses.  When not, maybe it’s not the place for us to be.  However, I will say it seems because I do not necessarily believe it to be true.  God uses everything for a purpose even though we might not see it or even understand it.  But I only believe so if we know that God has called us to do that very thing we are doing.

I find comfort in the life of David.  In one setting, whatever task he does he is successful.  In another setting, whatever he does isn’t working.  He even had to leave his throne and Jerusalem at one point – yet he was called and anointed and knew it – that is what sustained him.  So what looked like failures were opportunities to trust God to carry through – our expression is, “let go, let God.”

Be encouraged today – listen to God’s call, follow through, be blessed and successful in doing it and I pray that a testimony will be born through it for you to share God’s faithfulness to others.

 

 

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