While on an overseas flight to Israel, I found myself separated from the rest of our group due to an error in booking. While everyone else was enjoying the flight sitting together I was stuck near the front of the plane in the last seat of a row of 6, center aisle. Behind the seats was a room that the flight attendant used a key to go into.
Don’t mind telling you I was feeling sorry for myself as I heard the laughter of my group further back in the plane. While I was having my little pity party, a very tall, distinguished looking older gentleman came and sat at the other end of the row. I thought this is just great….now I’ll have to leave my shoes on and sit up straight all the way over the ocean! I could tell he wasn’t too pleased with the arrangement either. I wondered why the rest of the seats weren’t filled in the section & the rest of the plane was full.
Settling in with my book, The Late Great Planet Earth, which I had read once already, I noticed the man looking at me – he seemed to be puzzled. Finally, he asked me if was in the right seat. I said yes. He asked me to look at my boarding pass, so I did & it confirmed I was in the right seat. He introduced himself and asked me where I was going. I told him and he explained that he was on his way to Moscow. This interested me & I asked him if he was on business or had relatives there. He told me he was an envoy to Russia & traveled this flight weekly. He told me that “This whole row of seats is expressly reserved for me – standing reservation by the government. In fact, I keep a change of clothes here in the room behind us at all times. That’s why I don’t understand how you were given that seat because I usually am able to lie down since the row is always empty.”
I apologized & said I didn’t understand why they separated me from my group, who were obviously having a very good time in the back! So, we came to a friendly agreement to make the best of the situation. He asked me what I was reading & I explained to him it was a book about prophecy & the end times. He listened closely as I told him the events that were to unfold – which probably included Russia. I was able to witness to him as he asked pointed questions. We had a very intelligent conversation & we both agreed I could keep the seat. I never saw the gentleman again, but he has the book.
Jesus – I love Him & sometimes His travel arrangements may seem strange, but I don’t question, I just go.
“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.John 15:9-14 NKJV
While praying about my one word, song, and verse for the year, I asked God to take me on a journey. I figured it would be something I didn’t expect, because that’s what He does. But I had no idea it would be this. I had no clue as to what I would learn about Him, myself, and others. It has been painful, but necessary… and I still don’t have a word, song, or scripture. Instead He gave me a phrase, a playlist, and sent me flipping through my Bible looking up all kinds of scriptures (not claiming to be an expert or anything like that. I’m definitely a student here.) I feel led to share part of this journey for some reason, even though it is very personal to me. So I’m following the Holy Spirit on this. Please know that I do not mean to offend anyone, act like a know-it-all, boast pridefully, or anything else negative. I’m simply stating what I have learned recently, because maybe just 1 person out there needs to read it… and when God says write, I write. You may not like me after reading this, and that’s okay. Feel free to stop following and reading, etc. because I don’t care about numbers, that is not why I blog. I don’t make money doing this so you’re not hurting me by quietly slipping away… though I hope you don’t and instead see the honesty of my heart in what I am going to share. This journey is far from over… but here is where I have traveled and where I am now… (It was originally going to be a simple post with a few graphics, music videos, and barely any words. Next thing you know, it’s a really long post. Bear with me on this, please and thank you.)
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.John 3:16 NKJV
1 John 4:11 it says Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. - Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven" width="500" height="500" srcset="http://raisingstickyhands.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/LOVE-the-lost-MORE-than-the-enemy-HATES-them-1-John-411-scripture-reference-Raising-Sticky-Hands-To-Heaven.jpg 500w, http://raisingstickyhands.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/LOVE-the-lost-MORE-than-the-enemy-HATES-them-1-John-411-scripture-reference-Raising-Sticky-Hands-To-Heaven-150x150.jpg 150w, http://raisingstickyhands.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/LOVE-the-lost-MORE-than-the-enemy-HATES-them-1-John-411-scripture-reference-Raising-Sticky-Hands-To-Heaven-300x300.jpg 300w" sizes="(max-width: 500px) 100vw, 500px" />
Imagine for a moment that there is a woman who has only two options of places to live. Both potential roommates offer for her to live in their homes for free.
The first one says that he loves her and will take care of her every need, but actually hates her and is extremely jealous of everything about her. While he is very abusive, he has others in the home show her ways to dull the pain, lie to her, and cause her to feel an artificial love so that she is content and does not always feel the strain of the abuse. His intent is to strip her of everything with one hand while he pretends to care for her with the other. While the smiles are false, her roommate (slave driver would be more appropriate) steals everything he is jealous of and she is constantly watching her back. The words in her ears sound positive and her body momentarily feels good.
The second one offers to care for her with nothing asked in return but love… which comes easily the more she gets to know Him. He has many gifts for her, some of which she will attain over time, and while He is honest about the fact that there will be difficult times He makes sure that she knows that He will always be there for her. He asks the others in the home to help her get settled in, but instead some of them berate her, tell her that she is not good enough for Him, and become angry at her for not already knowing the rules of the house upon arrival. While the Homeowner is grieved and tries to let her know that He does not feel this way and that the others are wrong, she is so hurt and confused that she considers returning to the home of the one who had no love at all… If the others in the home feel that way and tell her that she is not good enough for Him, she assumes that He must feel that way as well.
LOVE the lost MORE than the enemy HATES them
Okay, I didn’t promise the best writing or illustrations here. HA! It may read out pretty lame, but you probably already get where I’m going with this… because you’re smart and saw the title and the story was obvious… but anyway, this is a big part of what has been going through my heart lately. It seems that we as Christians are so often misunderstood, and to be honest, sometimes we are just flat-out harsh when we should try a different approach. We are quick to judge, defend too fast, and try to dictate instead of love. To someone who didn’t grow up in a Christian home to know and understand what some of what we are conveying to them means, it comes out kind of hateful. How would you feel if you walked into a new friend’s house and their daughter started critiquing every bit of who you were? Not so good. But that’s how we come across sometimes to people who have been lied to their entire life by an enemy that hates them more than we love them.
Oh, he hates them alright. He hates all of us. 1 Peter 5:8 in the NKJV states “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” Satan is jealous of us because we are made in God’s image, we serve God, and we are loved by God. When someone is living in sin, satan is happy because if he can deceive the person enough their hearts will become hard and cold towards God. It’s the only way that satan can hurt God, by stealing those that Christ loves and dragging them into eternal punishment with him instead of them spending eternity with our Father.
“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.John 15:18-19 NKJV
Am I saying to not call sin what it is and help others see the way? Certainly not. What I am saying is that we need patience and compassion. We also need to realize that most people who are lost have never read a Bible and many that are lost are not likely reading one currently, so we are the only Bible that they are “reading.” Ouch, hurts, doesn’t it? We are so wrapped up in our doctrine and appearance of holiness that we have forgotten the great commission of going out into the world and preaching the gospel… and that none of it means anything without love. (See below.) We are not of the world, but we are in it. We should be going out and sharing the Word of God, not judging, condemning, and nitpicking. Although our intentions are well and we know where our hearts are, we don’t take the time to listen to ourselves and hear how we are coming across. While some are brought in with tough love, it does not work for all. Especially for those who have grown up in a world that has treated them brutally. We have to speak the truth, yes, but we have to consider how we are delivering it.
And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”Mark 16:15-18 NKJV
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:1-8
I’m also going to include 1 Corinthians 13:1-8 (I suggest reading the entire chapter, it’s not long.) translated in the Amplified version, because of the depth that it explains these scriptures:
IF I [can] speak in the tongues of men and [even] of angels, but have not love (that reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion such as is inspired by God’s love for and in us), I am only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), and understand all the secret truths and mysteries and possess all knowledge, and if I have [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but have not love (God’s love in me) I am nothing (a useless nobody). Even if I dole out all that I have [to the poor in providing] food, and if I surrender my body to be burned or in order that I may glory, but have not love (God’s love in me), I gain nothing. Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]. Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]. 1 Corinthians 13:1-8 Amplified Bible
(Both translations, and many others, can be found at Bible.com and BibleGateway.com.)
My “AHA!” moment
We have all heard the phrase “you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.” Why do we forget this simple metaphor when it comes to winning the lost? We need to be honest and let the Holy Spirit lead us so that He may bring the conviction on their heart to turn from the sin they are living in. You see, it was in my own life, recently, where I realized that I was putting out more vinegar than honey when it came to witnessing to a particular soul that I care a great deal about. Funny (actually, not so much) thing is, that is not how I was won back to Christ when I recommitted my life to Him about 8 years ago. Many had tried that approach, because they knew that I knew the truth, but they had also made me feel shunned and unworthy. It was actually Karen and Emily’s Mom and Step Dad, Momma Ann and Poppa C, that told me that they loved me, even in my sin, and that Jesus still loved me too. They didn’t judge, condemn, or preach. But they did tell me often how much Jesus loved me. Oh how I hated hearing that at first, but eventually it got through my tough skin and caused my heart to yearn for Jesus again. It wasn’t protesters or loved ones rolling their eyes at me. Not being told that I was becoming nothing and going to hell. It was love, and hearing that Jesus still loved me after all that I had done against Him. That was what drew me back in. So why would I think that the negative approach that I hated so much should be practiced by me? Ugh. Hypocritical, much?
Ephesians 6:12 states “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Yet here I was, fighting my loved one instead of the evil and wicked that is trying to steal their life. I kept reminding them of everything wrong they were doing and how disgusting it was in the eyes of God instead of declaring the love that God has for them when they are so hated by an enemy that wants to see them dead… And THAT is how this new favorite phrase of mine was born.
I want to LOVE the lost MORE than the enemy HATES them.
Not only those that I know and love deeply on a personal level, but anyone who is living without Jesus. Just because they don’t realize that satan is there, or maybe they do not even acknowledge him, it does not mean that he is not lurking, tempting, perched and posed, ready to devour them. The fact that God loves them with more love than anyone can ever comprehend is not changed by their blindness or denial of it.
How can we make them want this love that we have? How can we fight the enemy? With fierce unbridled love!
Getting angry at a sinner for being a sinner is 1: hypocritical (Not one of us is without sin, only Jesus.) 2: like getting mad at an apple for being an apple (They need a transformation, which can only be done through Christ.) 3: getting nowhere (Stating the obvious doesn’t fix a problem.)
Love overcomes all. Love, with faith, can move mountains and transform the world. Who wants to become like the angry person? No one. It is the kind and compassionate that cause others to say, “what has that person so happy? I want to be like that…” When you show the love of Jesus fiercely, unconditionally, and abundantly… THAT is when you will see the lost running to the cross, the world transformed, and hearts softened. Not with flashy shows, angry finger-pointing, and weak theology. Too many are running lost. It is time that we sound the alarm and flood the darkness in this hate filled world with the LOVE of JESUS!
Again, my point is not to stop calling sin what it is or to not stand up for what is right… we should do those things. But we need to carefully and prayerfully consider our approach.
This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.John 15:12 NKJV
By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.1 John 3:16 NKJV
(For those that may be curious, here are just a few of the songs on my long playlist for 2015… I’m tellin’ ya, it’s a LONG playlist!)
So many times I will see someone in need, someone broken, someone hungry and hurting and then think to myself, “If only I had the ability to help.”
It is so easy to forget that we are supposed to always be willing and able to help another in need. We are surrounded by billboards and voices telling us that we need to look out only for ourselves and keep everything we can. We are so overcome with greed that we are sometimes unwilling to give up our material items when God asks, let alone another human being that hasn’t even asked but rather obviously needs help. Of course, I wouldn’t even be talking about this if our current way of living was not contradictory to what is written in The Word.
When you reap your harvest in your field, and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. – Deuteronomy 24:19
We are so stubborn and stingy, that we sit on our own material goods until they rot underneath us. What could have been shared with someone in need, we keep tightly in our grip.
What if we actually followed scripture? Oh sure, the Bible says to leave some of the harvest in the fields for those who pass through, and if we all had farms that would work. When we compare it to something we could do now, it all becomes so simple and doesn’t have to leave us in the poor house as well.
What if instead of ignoring the homeless man with a sign, we take him a meal and a coat? What if instead of spending money on something frivolous, we send help to missionaries or those working with refugees like those I talked about earlier this week with the #IAmYourVoice campaign? How about when we buy a pack of pencils in August, we pull out a few and set them aside for Christmas shoeboxes and/or stockings? Food banks for food we will never eat. A family in our church or a local shelter for clothes we never wear.
Now, I’m not saying to help someone else until you are in debt. I’m saying to share.
God calls us to help those who require help. To pray, to give, to have extra on hand should it become clear that someone needs it. God didn’t say to ask yourself, “If only”. He said he would bless us for all the work of our hands.
Let your mouth be open for those who have no voice, in the cause of those who are ready for death. Proverbs 31:8 BBE
I don’t feel that I need to explain to you who ISIS is at this point. There have been 3 well covered beheadings in the news now. Many of us have seen the footage of what they have done to towns and villages and why. ISIS has the mission to demolish anyone and everyone who is Christian or does not agree with them. Their message is “convert or else.”
There are families on the other side of the world at this very minute that are torn apart. They had no choice. They fought with all they had. They begged. They cried. I’m sure they fell to the ground and wept more than we have ever even come close to. But yet they still watched while ISIS either divided them by viciously murdering parts of their family by beheading or crucifixion and then taking the women as slaves, or they were somehow able to run. Run as far as they can without anything but each other… if they were able… because some of them had to run completely alone leaving all of those that they loved behind lest they save themselves.
Now they are living in conditions that are difficult to imagine. Dirt camps, makeshift tents, uncompleted buildings, or wherever they can find to sleep. They need food, water, blankets, clothes, hygiene items, shoes… the list goes on and on.
I think many of us have become too numb. We are so comfortable. Especially those of us in the United States. Oh sure, we complain and such. No matter where we stand politically. But we have freedom of speech and religion. We still get up every morning, go about our lives, run to the grocery store for food, hug our children, and go about our lives.
[tweetthis url=”http://tinyurl.com/qebcl9t”]Alone, we are nothing, but through the blood of Jesus we are family and we will speak for you. #IAmYourVoice[/tweetthis]
It is time that we speak for those who cannot. Will you join us?
Planet Mommyhood has teamed up with Food for the Hungry and Heidi St. John to launch the #IAmYourVoice campaign. A way for us to let those who are refugees from Iraq and Syria to know that we hear them, we are praying for them, and we are sending help.
Here are some ways that you can help:
Pray. There is no limit to the power of prayer. Pray for their hearts, souls, minds, and for their rescue. That our leaders will do what needs to be done to take care of the enemy.
Give. $22 for one family for hygiene items, $65 – Ensures that three families receive essential hygiene items, including a bucket, jerry can, soap, and disinfectant, $125 – Provides one week of emergency food rations to 10 people to guard against malnutrition. No gift is too small. Donations can be made at http://fh.org/refugees
Stand up and say #IAmYourVoice. Take a photo of yourself holding a sign with the hashtag #IAmYourVoice and post it on social media along with the link to IAmYourVoice.org. Tell your friends to text “refugees” to 90210. (With the text, you are not giving a donation, you are simply asking for more information.) Change your profile and cover photos to the photos available on IAmYourVoice.org. Share the video on your Facebook page, Tweet it, Instagram it, Pin it, + it. Share it everywhere you can. Ask your pastor if the video can be shared during this Sunday morning’s service. Be creative. Let these people know #IAmYourVoice. You would want someone to do it for you.
Attend the Facebook Party on September 18th. On Thursday, there will be an #IAmYourVoice Facebook party that everyone is invited to in order to learn more about how we can help. While there will be prizes and such, we consider this to be a very serious event and would love for you to attend. Invite everyone you know, as well.
On behalf of those who have no voice, I would like to thank you for participating in any way you can to let them know that #IAmYourVoice. God bless.
This is a guest post from my dear friend, Cindy. She brought the story of Masha and the New family to my attention and it immediately melted my heart. With Cynthia New‘s permission, Cindy and I have put this post together so that you may read this story as well. God’s hand is all over this, and I just love watching it all unfold. Let’s bring Masha home!
A girl waits
A long time ago in an orphanage far, far away (okay, a decade, and in Ukraine), a group of girls grew up together. Surrendered to the system and ignored by society, they waited… waited to hear those magic words, “A family is coming to meet you.” Eventually those girls aged out of the baby house that had been their only home. Fortunately for them, they all ended up at the same orphanage for older children, and the only family they had known remained intact.
One by one, families came for the girls. One by one, they left their orphanage for a new life. So one by one, the group got smaller, and smaller. And the girls left behind smiled and sniffled through their friends’ farewell parties, wondering when it would be their turn, and whether they would ever see their friends again.
As many of those girls were adopted by American families, they have seen their friends again. Though they may live across the country from each other, miracles of modern communication helped to connect the families and reunite the girls in their new lives and with their new families. But there is an empty seat at the table.
Today, as you are reading these words, a girl waits. The last of her friends from the baby house, and stuck with a “special needs” health label that scares off many prospective parents, a wonderful little girl waits, hoping that some day it’ll be her turn to hear those magic words.
A mother dreams
Here in America, a serviceman’s family with two boys of their own had an extra seat at their table. They always knew they’d like to add to their family through adoption, but never pursued it because they did not feel they could afford it. But still, the mother dreamed.
The desire to adopt was reawakened in them when their pastor adopted two girls from Ukraine. One of those girls belonged to the group that had grown up together and reunited in America. She was very excited to be going off to a new life with a family of her own, but sad to leave her best friend behind, to wait some more.
Her name is Masha
One day, after a sermon on adoption, the family approached their pastor. The idea of adopting weighed heavily on their hearts, and they felt God leading them to make a leap of faith and find a child to adopt. Their pastor asked if they had someone specific in mind, they didn’t. He knew the perfect girl, “Her name is Masha.”
Since that day, Andy and Cynthia New have been working tirelessly toward the goal of adopting Masha, and bringing her into the very community her best friend now calls home. They have completed all the home studies, background checks, and other paperwork for their dossier, which the Ukraine adoption authority has already approved, and are waiting to be assigned an appointment date to fly to Ukraine and begin the in-country process of adopting Masha. But one thing stands in their way: funding.
Adopting a child is not cheap, and bringing home and caring for a child with health issues even less so. This passionate, loving family, who have already accepted Masha into their hearts, need your help to go get their child. They have already raised thousands of dollars through yard sales, tamale sales, online fundraisers, etc. But they need thousands more.
The New family has now been given a date to arrive in the Ukraine to bring Masha home, but they still need the funds to do so. The day is only a few short weeks away, and they need all the help they can get!
This Christmas season, you will have many charities reaching their hands out, hoping to benefit from your holiday generosity. Of course, you hope that a majority of the funds you give go where you intended. But here is a different sort of opportunity for giving. And you know it’s not getting siphoned off the top for advertising or executive salaries. Will you commit to helping the New family bring Masha home?
HOW YOU CAN HELP
You can contribute directly to Masha’s adoption fund here (she is listed on the site under a pseudonym, as are all the children on Reece’s Rainbow): http://reecesrainbow.org/69114/sponsornew
Any donation made through that site will be tax deductible!
Want to read more?
You can follow the New family’s adoption journey at: http://thenewsadoptionjourney.wordpress.com/
Here you can read their pastor tell Masha’s story: http://www.jarrodjones.com/2013/05/bring-marnis-best-friend-home/
Last week, when I first heard about the tornadoes that devastated a portion of our nation, I was saddened. Later in the day when I first saw photos and video footage of the storm and it’s aftermath, my heart broke. Then to hear the first hand stories of the victims… All I could do was cry out to God and ask Him to touch those affected. I can’t explain the emotions I felt or the thoughts that were going through my mind. All I know is that right now, the only thing that can be done is to pray and help in every way that we can.
At this moment, the best way to help is to donate funds or to volunteer time. Thanks to the wonderful and creative ladies that I am blessed to know via the Inspired Bloggers Network, I am able to present ways that both you and I can help those in need.
The devastation in the United State’s Midwest region breaks our hearts, and the Inspired Bloggers Network desires to use our influence and the power of our blogs to make a difference.
“Our prayers are with all of those who are suffering because of this massive storm. We are going to stand by them and do everything we can to help them recover physically, emotionally and spiritually.” – Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham
Volunteers are already in action and more help is needed. Please consider donating your time to Samaritan’s Purse and if you are not available to serve physically, keep those who are working in your prayers.
If you are Inspired to Help, please make a donation to either Samaritan’s Purse or the American Red Cross to support their relief efforts in Texas and Oklahoma and help us track our impact by marking the amount you donated in the form below. If you would like, you can let us know you joined our effort by commenting on one of our blogs listed below.
Message and data rates may apply.
The following bloggers are all participating in the Inspired to Help campaign by posting a call to give on their blogs on Memorial Day… Monday, May 27th.
Please visit on or all of these blogs for their personal thoughts on the Inspired to Help campaign.
What is the Inspired Bloggers Network?
The Inspired Bloggers Network is a group of over 250 women bloggers of various niches, backgrounds, and experiences but all are united as they seek to support and encourage one another while growing their blogs in order to impact the world in a positive way.
This morning I went into my closet. I felt stressed as it was already and was having trouble finding clothes that I felt like wearing. The stress? Caused by my house being cluttered by too many toys, looking for documents needed to close the deal on the home my husband is purchasing for us, and worry because I forgot to take meat out of the freezer for dinner tonight.
Seriously? Pathetic. Talk about first world problems at it’s best. I felt sick as I searched through my closet. Sure, I don’t have a lot. I don’t have the best of the best. But I have clothing. I have a roof over my head. My kids have toys and we are fed every meal. We know Jesus, and we know his love for us…
Do you know how many in this world don’t even know who Jesus is? Who have never felt his love wash over them? Too many.
How many each day go hungry, not having even a cold meal to eat, let alone a hot one?
How many children out there are left cold, just wishing they had a jacket or shoes? The last thing on their mind is toys.
God, forgive me for taking all of your many blessings for granted.
I challenge each and every one of you: DO SOMETHING.
We can all sit here and say “Oh, bless their hearts. It’s Christmas and they’re cold and they don’t even know why we have Christmas.” So what? That does nothing. DO something. Give to missions, become a missionary, make a difference in just one person’s life. Whether where you are or abroad. Put in some effort. Pray? Yes, of course. But something more. ANYTHING more.
The simplest act could change the world.
I’m challenging myself to do more. I’m not going to wait until the New Year, I’m starting now.
How often do you find yourself breathing? Yeah, that’s what I thought. All the time, right? At least I hope… 😉 But how can breathing be a calling? Well, remember how I’ve mentioned before about being the only Bible some may ever read? I’m talking about your every day actions. The things you do without even realizing it. The words that come out of your mouth. The way you come across to others. Being human…
Sure, we all slip up from time to time. I know I certainly do. But in every action, word, thought, & breath I must remember “I never know who is watching. I would hate to cause someone else to stumble. I must be careful, because I never know… I would rather my existence LEAD someone to the Father than to cause them to run away from him.”
The Bible tells us this:
13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, they may see your good works and your Father in heaven.
I need to be set apart. Different. Unique from the world. I have to take into account that if I act just like those who are not following Jesus, they will not see the appeal in following him. They won’t see that living the straight and narrow can bring on a happy life also… with many rewards. Hate the sin, love the sinner. Do good. Speak well. Be positive. Give all glory to God. These are phrases I tell myself to remind me.
When we start to “blend” and not let His light shine, we are causing harm to not only ourselves, but others. For example, our speech. What does it say about our heart if we are saying all the same things they are in the world?
34 Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.35 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.36But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
So basically, If I walk around saying the same things that those who do not follow Christ are, how am I any different? If my heart is the same as theirs, what do they see to make them want to follow Jesus? Not much! This is so important, and something that all should take into account. If we talk like them, act like them, think like them… WE ARE THEM. And by doing this, we are not only hurting them, but ourselves… and most importantly, the One who loves us more than anyone. God is not happy when we don’t do as he says. We should never intentionally give anyone any reason to tear us down.
“Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.
Now, all that being said, we should not judge either. For that, I recommend reading the entire chapter of Matthew 7. SO important. Who wants to be a Christian when they are constantly condemned and preached at? Show LOVE! (And I certainly hope this blog post doesn’t come across as preachy either…)
Just follow your convictions, let your light shine, and do your best. Witness when possible. God will not only bless you, but also someone else!
Just by being here reading this, you fit into this category. You are reading a blog, which is a form of social networking. Chances are you are on Facebook, Twitter, and other message boards or websites where you interact with others.
How exactly can one minister to others in this venue? The list is long and varied, but we’ll go over just a few… It’s rather similar to the “simple” calling of friendship, but slightly different.
When you see a friend or follower is having a bad day, let them know you’re praying for them… and then REALLY DO PRAY FOR THEM. Send them a message of encouragement! A couple days later, ask them how things are going.
Invite those in your area to your church. Post an invite on Saturday and ask that they message you for the address. See if they need a ride if you are capable.
Write a “note” about how God has blessed you and those you know lately.
Worship song stuck in your head? Post a link. If you’re enjoying it, chances are good someone else will also.
When a scripture is laid on your heart, post it. It may just be what someone else needs to read.
Post prayer requests for those who are in need of prayer. Get the word out that someone needs to touch God and needs a miracle. You can never have too many prayers.
Keep your statuses uplifting, encouraging, non-confrontational, and clear. If you feel the need to post about your bad day and are seeking support from friends from time to time, go ahead. But try to have more positive posts than negative ones. When you are angry at someone on your friends list or that is following you, try your hardest not to post a vague update that will only cause confusion. Keep confrontations private. As I said before, we may be the only Bible some people read. When you act out in anger in such a large arena you are only making yourself look silly. (I’m speaking from experience. We’ve all done it, right? Forgive me, Lord.)
It may feel as though you are not making a difference with this ministry, but I certainly guarantee that you are.
What are some other ways that you use Facebook, Twitter, or another social network as a ministry? I’d love to hear your answers!