Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday Morning Munch No. 9 - A New Name

Growing up there were a number of titles I wanted to be known by at some point in my lifetime:

Olympic gold medalist
All American
Magazine designer/editor
Kroger cashier (...I had big dreams)
Sports journalist

But now that Christ has invaded my life and I bear His name I only want to have one title:

A beggar.

Not just any beggar, but a beggar of souls.

I am no longer content to sit idly by while the people I love (and the ones I haven't met yet) speed through their one life, wasting it on the failing promises of this temporary world.

John Piper proposed this to Don't Waste Your LIfe's readers:

Of course, we do not use the word cool to describe true greatness. It is a small word. That’s the point. It’s cheap. And it’s what millions of young people live for. Who confronts them with urgency and tears? Who pleads with them not to waste their lives? Who takes them by the collar, so to speak, and loves them enough to show them a life so radical and so real and so costly and Christ-saturated that they feel the emptiness and triviality of their CD collection and their pointless conversations about passing celebrities? Who will waken what lies latent in their souls, untapped—a longing not to waste their lives?

This is what God has called me to do for not just the middle and high school girls at my church, or my classmates at school but everyone I encounter.

I want to not just be the friendly girl who is known by her "bubbly" and "sweet" personality. I want people to know me as the one who loves them enough to tell them the truth. I want to be known as a beggar of souls.

"Some wish to live within the sound of a chapel bell; I wish to run a rescue mission within a yard of hell." — C.T. Studd

Brothers and sisters, we are ambassadors for Christ. We have been given a new name, a new life, a new heart and a new part in this world. We are to proclaim the Gospel with our lives and our lips and love deeply, give freely and forgive in the same manner that Christ Himself has loved, given and forgiven us.

I pray we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God and exercise zeal with wisdom, boldly sharing the Good News of the Gospel with everyone around us - it is the power unto salvation for those who believe.

But how will they believe in Him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? ... Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:14-15, 17)

Be a Beggar

""'Not called!' did you say?'Not heard the call,' I think you should say.Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear Him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father's house and bid their brothers and sisters and servants and masters not to come there. Then look Christ in the face — whose mercy you have professed to obey — and tell Him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish His mercy to the world." — William Booth

Do we really grasp the gravity of the gift we've been given? We have been given life. Life. We were dead and now we live. Why do we not share that verbally with others who are dying?

My encouragement for you (and me) is to prayerfully watch for opportunities to speak life to others around you. Whether it be your spouse, kids, neighbor, fellow church-goer, classmate or complete stranger, speak life to them. Be obedient and leave the results up to God.

He will use it. He will use you.

Go. Speak. Share. Love. Give. Send. Serve. Obey.

May the Lamb of God receive the reward of His suffering,


Monday, September 17, 2012

Monday Morning Munch No. 8 - Redemption is Here

My mind and heart are completely fixed in prayer for the salvation of souls. I am beyond ready for God to pour out His Spirit and save multitudes;

my True Beauty girls,
my family, 
our church members who sit in the pews week after week and know the truth but choose to reject it, 
my classmates, 
my teachers, 
the basketball team,
the lady in Kroger, 
the tiny African baby and her parents who are dying of HIV/AIDS, 
the young men at church, 
the old men who are too proud to ask for help from anyone, especially God...

The list goes on. 

I don't even know all of them, but these people have my heart. I desire so desperately for them to experience the saving power of the Lord Jesus Christ. The One, completely God as if not man and completely man as if not God, who left heaven to come down to us. He didn't make us go to Him, He came to us, meeting us in our sin and pain and mockery of a life and offering the hope of redemption. 

Redemption (Greek word lutrosis from lutroo = to release on receipt of a ransom. Lutroo is derived from the root verb luo = to loosen that which is bound, freeing those in prison, release from prison, opening of what is closed, destroying of foundations, putting off of fetters) describes a ransoming, a liberation, or a deliverance (in the New Testament, especially from the penalty and power of sin).  [From Precept Austin]

I'm writing this because I know the person reading this has been changed by the Lord also has a heart for lost souls perishing every minute without hope. Sometimes it can be frustrating, daunting and downright exhausting pouring into hungry and not-so-hungry souls day in and day out, but don't lose heart! 

"Never must we cease to pray until they cease to breathe. No case is hopeless while Jesus lives." -Charles Spurgeon 

Praise the Lord. We are not responsible to save, but we are responsible to speak His Word.

Go. Tell. Minister. Serve. Love. Forgive. Support. Share. Speak. He is worthy.

Dear holy Father,

Thank You for Your love. Thank You for redemption. I pray You continue that work and redeem the nations, draw them to Yourself and show them the love they've only dreamed of. I pray for the people on the above list, save them, God. Open their eyes and reveal Truth to them. Show them mercy, Lord, for they don't know what they're doing as they fool about with frivolous and mundane things while the hope of glory waits expectantly. Don't let them die in their sin, Lord. Redeem them with the blood of You Son- our ransom. 

For my brothers and sisters this week, Father, encourage their spirits, uplift their faces and turn them to see Your face. Refresh their hearts and revive their hope. Help us to share Your Word and our very lives with others this week. May our countenance scream Your glory so that the nations may be glad and sing for joy, so everyone around us may know of the hope that lies within us. Help us to not waste our lives living for anything less than what You died for. 

Father, receive the glory. May the Lamb of God receive the reward of His suffering.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Monday Morning Munch No. 7 - Why do bad things happen?

It's a constant question, "Why does God let bad things happen to good people?"

First, I would ask you to define 'good.'

Then you would most likely stumble over an answer and maybe even rephrase the question to say, "Why does God allow so much evil in the world?"

Either way you're asking the wrong question.

Why doesn't God allow us to experience all of His wrath like we deserve?

There is none good, none (Romans 3:10). We have all fallen from God and are completely wicked.

Therefore, if God removed all the evil in the world He would have to remove us to, because when you eliminate the bad things where do you stop? Murders, rapes, lying, cheating or bad thoughts? They're all bad, so if He eliminated those we'd have to go too.

We constantly ask self-centered questions that are phrased in such a way that look deep, philosophical and sometimes even theological when really we just want to know why we're feeling pain.

Then we want to blame it on someone, and who better but God who is in control of all things?

Ahh, but the majority of Americans, even professing Christians, want a God who will only give them what they want, fix their problems and set them on a course of smooth sailing all the way to the pearly gates.

But God is too good for that.

He designs situations to come in our lives that show us we are not all that we think we are. We are finite, breakable creatures who suffer under the divine sovereignty of a good and holy God. Why? So we will realize He is great and we are not. He is perfect and we are sinners. We are needy and He is the fixer.

God shows us our fragile state and helplessness so that we finally recognize our need for Him.

He knows our inability to come to Him on our own, so He came to us. He did what we could not do: live perfectly. Then Jesus, God in flesh, died our death. He took all of God's wrath on the cross, then rose from the dead three days later finishing the impossible task and conquering over death, hell, sin and Satan.

He doesn't stop there.

God then ordains situations and circumstances to bring us to the end of ourselves so we realize how finite we are and how we need an infinite God. In His breathtakingly beautiful mercy, God saves all who repent and turn from their sins, who surrenders their life into His hands and call on Him in humility and brokenness (Psalm 51:17).

So bad things do happen, pain comes in like a flood and it seems like we can't do anything to fix the situation- praise God! In His mercy He's showing your need of someone bigger than you- Him.

Therefore we can say with great hope, that God will never do anything that is not for our ultimate good and His ultimate glory.

Turn to Him. Turn away from your sin and let God take your life. He makes the painful times make sense and the happy times full of joy inexpressible.

“Our vision is so limited we can hardly imagine a love that does not show itself in protection from suffering. The love of God is of a different nature altogether. It does not hate tragedy. It never denies reality. It stands in the very teeth of suffering. The love of God did not protect His own Son. That was the proof of His love – that He gave that Son, that He let Him go to Calvary’s cross, though “legions of angels” might have rescued Him. He will not necessarily protect us- not from anything it takes to make us like His Son. A lot of hammering and chiseling and purifying by fire will have to go into the process.” -Elisabeth Elliot

If you would like to read more on God's sovereignty and hope through the trials, please read:
Encouragement Through the Trials,
How to Have a Life of Worship Through Trials, Obstacles and Fire,
and God is in Control,
for Scriptures and encouragement.


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