Let Nothing Move You

Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58

Those in the ministry know the joys and pains of helping people. It’s often a thankless, sleepless, and tireless job. People don’t always act the way they should or the way you want them to act. People can be downright stubborn and ornery!

But this verse gives us all hope. You see, if we were in the ministry for the money or the prestige or the fame, it wouldn’t last. But we’re in it for the people. Yeah, they’re stubborn, but we also know that God must love them and is getting ready to do something in their lives, because why else would you be ministering to them?

Take heart. You know your reward is a heavenly reward and the work you’re doing on behalf of other people isn’t in vain. It’s nice to be reminded of that when you’re in the thick of things.

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Nobody’s Perfect

Blessed are they who are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord. Psalm 119:1

Nobody’s perfect.” If we’ve heard that phrase once, we’ve heard it several thousand times. Often it is spoken when a person has failed to meet someone else’s standard. And dare I say, often it is an excuse.

Of course we all make mistakes, and nobody is perfect. Trust me when I say that this phrase was coined when the person saw me coming! The Psalmist tells us, though, that we will be blessed if we are blameless as we walk according to the Law of the Lord. How do we connect the two? On the one hand, we are all sinners and fail. On the other, God said we will be blessed if we walk according to His law.

I think it all in your attitude. If as a Christian you aren’t even trying to live a Godly life according to the principles set forth in the Word of God, it’s a problem. If you’ve resigned yourself to the fact that you fail and you’ll always fail and why should you try to succeed, that’s also a problem. However, if you genuinely seek to live according to God’s Word and still fail, you are on the right track. You have not let sin or the circumstances of the world harden your heart. You are, as the Scriptures say, a man after God’s own heart.

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Persecution for the Gospel

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Matthew 5:11

This is another one of those hard teachings of Jesus, especially to those of who have never undergone real persecution. In fact, when we were thinking about moving to a Muslim country, I was amazed at the looks people gave me when I tried to explain that our mail would be read and our telephone conversations would be monitored. Then the real shocker was when I told people to never ever refer to us as missionaries (because the term “missionary” does not have a positive meaning in many lands).

It’s true. It’s many lands, it’s a crime to be a missionary. If you lead someone to Christ, it is dangerous for the person and his/her family if the authorities find out about the conversion. Such is the case of many of our Brothers and Sisters in Muslim, Hindu, and Communist lands.

And yet, the church is often vibrant (and possibly secret and underground). Growth occurs and the authorities scratch their heads because they think they’re rooting out the problem.

Pray today for Christians in the Indian state of Orissa. As many as 10,000 Christians have had to flee their homes, and up to 500 people have died at the hands of the Hindus. There isn’t a lot of news coming out of Orissa so the reports are sketchy.

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Be Not Still

O God, do not keep silent; be not quiet, O God, be not still. Psalm 83:1

Have you ever wanted to grab God by the collar and shout to Him about the major problems that you see around you? I’m not talking about the fender bender you get in or the coffee you spill on your blouse. I’m referring to the major injustices you see around you: child abuse, rape, murder, abject poverty, general lawlessness. Of course we’ve seen it and wanted God to act NOW! It just doesn’t seem fair or right. If you’ve ever thought this, you’re correct. It isn’t right! It wasn’t God’s original intention for those things to happen. So why doesn’t God just step in and take out the evil-doers?

That’s the question that philosophers, theologians, and “normal” people have been asking for centuries. God certainly could do it that way, but He doesn’t. He is often silent, and we’re not always privy to the reasons. We seek and discover. We don’t always find the answer we want or the answers we’re searching for but there is value in asking the questions.

And yet, we know that one day those wrongs will be “righted,” those hurts will be perfectly healed, those injustices will be judged rightly. When His justice comes, it will be swift, fair, and perfect.

In other words, God may be silent at times, but He’s not blind.

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Just to Gaze

One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple. Psalm 27:4

Have you ever just dropped everything to do what the Psalmist did?

Just to sit in the Lord’s presence.
No agendas.
No checklists.
No prayer requests.
Nothing to lose; everything to gain.
Open and vulnerable.
Just to sit.
Just to ponder His greatness and the magnitude of His love.
To fathom the unfathomable.
To bask in His glory.
To prostrate ourselves before Him.
To pour out our hearts without the lists and the checked items.
To listen.
Five minutes or ten minutes.
An hour…two hours.

Have you ever done that?

How would our lives be different if we did it often?

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