"And I pray that you being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ." Ephesians 3:17b-18

Monday, April 14, 2014

Not the "normal" mission trip update

In light of some events yesterday and a burden God has placed on my heart, I am deviating from the “normal” mission trip update.
Today started with unexplainable sorrow. We learned the news of the tragic death, that occurred yesterday (Sunday),  of a friend in my Sunday School Class. Within 20 minutes of receiving that news, I received the wonderful news of the birth of my great niece. The wave of emotions were from one extreme to another in a matter of minutes.

As I struggle to comprehend the events of yesterday one thought is resonating in my spirit. God is still God. We have both Blessings and hardship in our lives. Though there are tragic things of this life that are beyond anything we can comprehend...God's desire is "not to harm us but to prosper us" (Jeremiah 29:11). HE desires to have a personal intimate relationship with us, not only here but for eternity. The fact that we live in a sinful world means that there will be pain and suffering  For those of us who have Christ as our personal Lord and Savior we have the assurance that God has overcome this world (John 16:33). A fact that we will celebrate this coming Easter Sunday, remembering that pain and suffering were not God's design, but the choice of man, to whom God gave a free will. A free will to choose Him or not. But HE chose us as HE hung on a rugged cross to pay the ultimate price for our sins, a price that we could never fully pay.

Now, imagine going about your daily life, with all the joys and sorrows that this life brings, trying to adhere to rituals and rules to try to earn the assurance of your eternity. Each day you have to complete tasks hoping that you do it all correctly, always wondering if it is enough. As we drive through this area of the world there are many shrines to various gods with a wide variety of offerings laid before them. Some of these gods are not even worshipped any longer but the people won't take them down and continue to leave offerings for fear of offending some god they don't even know or believe in. They have no assurance of their eternity, but live in fear. Placing their faith in their abilities. A faith based on our abilities is no faith at all as we all have sinned and fall short (Romans 3:23).

That brings me to today's program, the first day of the F.A.I.T.H. Witness Training. As I sit in this room of 28 of my sisters and brothers in Christ I am humbled and encouraged, for they have chosen to spend the only 3 days they have of annual vacation earnestly studying how to share God  with this dark and dying world,. They realizing the urgency of what God has called them to do – to tell others of the one true God.

God is still God.....A God who choose to leave Heaven, live among us in human form, and die a horrific death on a rugged cross then be raised from the dead so that mankind could have Heaven, both here and for eternity (John 10:10b)
The scripture from my devotion this morning:

As our family celebrates the new life God has brought to my  niece & her family, it reminds me of the new creation that we all are in Christ. For Christians we will fully realize the perfection and wholeness that we were created to be when we see Christ face to face – as my friend did yesterday. While he will be greatly missed, I know one thing for sure: One day there will be a great reunion in heaven. Please keep his wife & mother in your prayers as they deal with his sudden tragic death. Their journey will be something I could not imagine – but God can surely carry them through.

So…… the question for each of us is……What have we done with this knowledge of who Christ is? Is HE our personal Lord and Savior?

For me, I have chosen Christ & although I stumble (often), I choose to follow HIM, knowing fully that HE is my Lord & Savior. My prayer is that Christ is Lord & Savior of your life, for none of us have an guarantee of tomorrow. 


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