A New Commandment – Jesus’ Teaching on Love We’ve been working our way through a Bible study on love, and today we’re getting into the…
The Greatest Commandments – Called to Love We’ve started a new series on Biblical love called A New Kind of Love. We’re studying Scripture together…
Today we’re learning about our calling and gifting. The identity God has given us is not meant simply to benefit our own lives. It is such a wonderful, mighty identity that it is meant to spill out of us and pour onto the entire body of Christ. We’ve each been called by God and uniquely gifted to serve the greater whole, and when it all works together, it is the most beautiful thing the world will ever see, for it is Christ Himself revealed through us!
You guys, God is doing a work in my heart! Jesus is calling to me. I have been processing with Him ever since we got back from our trip to Senegal at the beginning of June. I’ve been almost paralyzed; unable to write because there were just so many thoughts swirling around in my head. I still don’t know exactly what He’s up to, but there are some things I do know, and I’d really love to share them with you.
Today we’re going to examine how self-care relates to “His body.” Last week we looked to the example of Jesus to try and learn what true, Biblical self-care looks like. We discovered that Jesus did, in fact, practice self-care during His time here on earth. Though, it didn’t really look much like the picture the world tries to paint for us.
Jesus made spending time alone with His Father a priority. He went through grueling spiritual preparations before entering into battle with Satan. He was in tune with the Holy Spirit, and willing to change His plans if God led Him a different way. Each of these things required intention, and Jesus was committed to taking care of Himself in order to be fully equipped for the job to which His Father had called Him. Are we called to anything less? (If you have a few minutes, and you didn’t have a chance to read last week’s post, do it now. It lays a solid foundation for what we’re going to discuss today.)
Now let’s look a little more closely at one surprising area in which the Bible calls us to be intentional in our self-care efforts.
Last week I shared with you some final stories from our big trip to Africa a little over two months ago, and promised to wrap up the series this week with some final thoughts and take-aways. As I told you last week, we’re about as sure as we can be (without the ability to see the future) that there is a lot more Africa in our future. How, and when that will happen – we have no idea. But we’re trusting God to lead us in His will and in His time. I’m going to close this series now telling you what our kids enjoyed most about the trip, and their biggest take-away, then my love’s most impactful moments and lessons, and finally my own wrap up of the whole thing. I hope you are blessed (as we were) by how God worked.
t’s been a little over two months since our big family trip to western Africa, but it all still seems so fresh! We’re still talking about it almost every day. In fact, just this morning as we were driving our youngest son to school, he asked if we could go back tomorrow. How we wish we could! Apart from missing all the wonderful people we left behind over there, we’ve also had time to process all that God taught us on that amazing trip, and we long for more! God opened our eyes in so many ways. May we keep them open and continue to pursue His purposes surrounding our lives and ministries! I’d like to take this week and next to share a few more stories, and some of our final thoughts to wrap up the Africa 2017 series. God willing, there will be many more Africa visits to come!
I have felt such a heavy burden for the church (the body of Christ) in recent months! I’ve seen such beauty displayed among its members at times that I feel as if I’ve gotten a glimpse of heaven. Yet, I’ve also seen so much damage being done. I’ve seen ministries torn down, precious people wounded, and I’ve felt the heart of my Savior break over what should never be! The Spirit has led me again and again to John 17, whispering to my soul, “This is my deepest desire – the greatest longing of my heart!” I feel compelled to appeal once more to the small audience I have and ask us all to revisit this passage together, asking God to lead us to the cry of His heart. Asking Him to make us one. So, let’s look together at John 17 – the passage in which Jesus prays for His precious church.
Last week I shared with you the first part of Mariama’s testimony: How she heard about the Lord, and how He miraculously drew her to Himself. I told you about her Muslim family and how after she accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior they abused her, took everything from her, (including her two precious babies) and eventually disowned her. I told you how God provided for her through impossible circumstances and called her to serve Him as a missionary to her own people. I told you how her ministry began and how even as God blessed her through the love and support of other believers her heart still longed to see her children again and for them to come to know her Savior. That is where we’ll pick up now.
This is a true story, but names have been changed and places have been kept very vague. The people in this story live in a part of the world where Christians are persecuted for their faith. Telling their story puts them in danger, but they want people to know what God is doing. God is using these brave believers in mighty ways, but they need our help. They need our prayers, and they need our support.
The sin of sexual addiction runs rampant in our world and people are hurting! Families are being destroyed. Hearts are being broken. Lives are being ruined and even lost! The enemy is winning far too many battles. It can be easy to question where God is in all of these stories. To begin to doubt His sovereignty and His loving care. But Scripture reminds us that He is there. He is working, even when we can’t see it. The enemy may seem to be winning the battles, but the war is already won. I would like to share a Psalm that I hope will be a great encouragement to the precious women who are hurting so badly right now because of it.