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I have been thinking a lot lately about life and death and our purpose for living. A lot of this introspection on this was of this was brought about by the announcement praying for brother Nabil Querishi's condition last year and finally his death from stomach cancer. I watched his vlog posts and prayed often for God to heal him. Also I saw how his desperation to get healing, somewhat biased his normally strong theological knowledge. The topics he preached about for years were being tested first hand to see if what he said was truly what he believed to be true. It's true no one sees God, has relationship with him, or interprets the Bible in a vacuum. All we do, and even our theology, is heavily weighed by our emotions and circumstances. We are just human. Yet I also know that it's good to be unearthed at times so we can challenge our faith and thinking about what we truely know about God. God uses trials to see how well we cling to his ultimate promises of hope clearly laid out in his Holy Word. Without serious trials in life our faith tends to be somewhat theoritical, so we and others need to see it tested and refined as metal is purified by fire.
For me to live is Christ, but to die is gain!
Even though we walk faithfully in the Spirit and have his deposit of assurance in our hearts; even though we worship God daily and have relationship with Jesus the Son with great intimacy and call God our "Abba, Father" with closeness of his presence with us; it is still but a faint glimmer of all He truly is. The apostle Paul reminds us of this "For presently we see through a glass in obscurity; but then, face to face. Presently, I know in part; but then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known." (1 Cor 13:12). Think about this, these are the words of one blinded by direct and personal conversation with the glorified and risen Lord; who God frequently moved within to pen God's own messages to his Church and moved through in power to do miraculous things to heal the sick and raise the dead, and yet he saw dimmly the knowledge of God? What does this say about you and me?
He has shown you O Man, what is good and what the LORD requires of you. But to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.
"May I be daily more and more conformed to thee, with the meekness and calmness of the Lamb in my soul, and a feeling sense of the felicity of heaven, where I long to join angels free from imperfections, where in the image of my adored Saviour will be completely restored, so that I may be fit for his enjoyments and employments.I am not afraid to look the king of terrors in the face, for I know I shall be drawn, not driven, out of the world." - excerpt from a Puritan prayer from 'The Valley of Vision'
Early America was filled with many well educated and literate devout followers of Christ. Prayers and speech like this are full of solid theological meaning and depth that we just do not hear today. We today are some of the shallowest people our nation has ever produced due to the techno-media sound bite attention span most of us have, we rarely plumb into the depths of God's word and truths and apply them so eloquently to our own words and lives. When I read these Puritan prayers, I am challenged to think and ponder God's Word and his blessed truths as they apply to myself. Thank the Lord for many writings from these godly people of early America and beyond. We all would do well to read more of our Christian ancestors and their deep faith and knowledge of God. They offer us much wisdom and inspiration. Who today speaks like this? Who talks about the "felicity" (intense happiness) of heaven? Who refers to our God as the "king of terrors", because truly He is for all the unrepentant! Look how the prophet Isaiah responded to the King of glory when he saw his vision:
Each creature was calling to the others: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord All-Powerful. His glory fills the whole earth.” Their calling caused the frame around the door to shake, as the Temple filled with smoke. I said, “Oh, no! I will be destroyed. I am not pure, and I live among people who are not pure, but I have seen the King, the Lord All-Powerful.”-Isaiah 6:3-5 NCV
And this same God who came and befriended us, saved us from his own terrible wrath to come for our own sins, will return as the greatest terrorist of all time bringing fear to the vast majority of sinners in the world! Look how John's Revelation pictures him!
The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.- Revelation 1:14-18 ESV
But for us redeemed by his merciful hand, we know him as the shepherd of our souls. Truly he is the meek and mild Shepherd who is the defender of our lives.
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. -John 10:14,15
Our Holy Holy Holy God, has given us who trust in him a confidence and peace beyond words, because apart from that, we should all tremble..tremble....tremble.... If still lost in our own righteousness (or should I say our lack thereof) The standard is God's holiness. How will you measure up?
In Christ you are pure and perfect... ...if you don't know him, you are not going to fare well. Terror is the best description.
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. - Revelation 1:17-18 ESV
John was given a great vision of God and saw this exalted view of Christ our Lord, who when he spoke he described "as the roar of many waters", whose hair was white as snow and whose eyes were like flames of fire and from whose mouth protruded a double edged sword (illustrative of the Word of God) and whose face shinning like the sun in it's full strength! If you can imagine, this was John, the one described as closest to Jesus in his ministry yet when John sees our glorified Lord, just like Isaiah when he sees God glorified in his vision falls on his face in total fear before him... Jesus here is pictured as the "Ancient of Days", the one who stands in judgment over all the cosmos...whose voice was like the roar of a mighty waterfall. (I have stood next to the deafening roar of falling water torrents before.) Can you imagine? If you can, then even now you would fall on your face in total humility before God. He is infinitely awesome and powerful. Let us not forget this. In our diminished view of God in our lives we can at times forget how Great is our God. Yet here is the beautiful thing. When we do humble ourselves before him today by faith, on that great and glorious day when all mankind will be on our faces in his full radiant glory, those who he knows and has called by name, those who today surrender their hearts and lives to Jesus; they like John here and like Isaiah in his vision experience will feel the hand of Almighty God reach down and touch them and through the thundering yet tender voice of Christ hear these loving and tender words...
"Fear Not..I Am..."
My question for you is this... Are you...?
When your natural flesh is pulling and tempting you to do what you know is wrong and that which goes against the Holiness of the Spirit of Christ living in you, how do you react? The easy and broad road that leads to destruction is our natural path. We must look for the hard way; the narrow way; the way that brings life. We must bring our minds and bodies under submission to Christ and the Holy Spirit who will help us if we only try. Praise be to God who will make us continuous overcomers if we just try! Go and make every moment dedicated to Jesus! He saved you and will continue to do so! It's not by your own power you overcome anyhow...It's by the Spirit alone. So let's stop taking "rest breaks" in this race for the holiness of Christ and buffet our bodies into submission to Jesus as our Lord and King! In Christ we shall overcome! Press on soldiers... The victories are ours!
You know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize. So run to win! All those who compete in the games use self-control so they can win a crown. That crown is an earthly thing that lasts only a short time, but our crown will never be destroyed. So I do not run without a goal. I fight like a boxer who is hitting something—not just the air. I treat my body hard and make it my slave so that I myself will not be disqualified after I have preached to others. - 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 NCV
Do I ask God for my needs, or do I just fight it out of life myself?Do my prayers go unanswered? Do I ask God with correct motives, for his glory, or for my own pleasures? Am I really loyal to God? Do I realize the world is against God and is his enemy? Do I remember that being a friend and lover of the world is being an enemy of God? Do I dare ask God for things while still loving the world, and really expect him to bless my prayers; really? Do I think God's Word wasn't serious when it said, "The Spirit that God made to live in us wants us for himself alone?"
It's time we examine our lives and come near to God in Christ Jesus. Change our laughing into crying, our happiness into sadness, humble ourselves in repentance in the Lord's presence. Then He will lift us up and give us life and honor. This is how we begin to see the power of God in our lives and our prayers get answered.
Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. - Ps 37:4 In delighting in him, our desires become God's desires.
Now this may sound odd or random, but it's how things work in my mind at times. Due to things going on in a persons life, God uses scripture to teach us what may seem like random truths, but truth nonetheless, because it somehow applies to the world around you. In my meditation and study on James 1 today, I see an application of truth I've never really noticed or thought about in this way.
James 1:17-18 says this. "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures." It's the last sentence that strikes me with this truth. You see God is informing us as he has before in many ways that we are the pinnacle of his creation. The most important. The center of the universe as it were, not as in physically the center, but as in everything in the vast cosmos is all aligned the way it is for a reason, for one most glorious creation of God; Mankind. We are created to bring God great pleasure and glory unlike any other of his creation. We are as this verse says the first fruits of his creation, not the first thing he created, but the reason he created everything that is. As you read through scripture, and the law of Moses, you see how God used the term first fruits to mean the very best and most choice and highly prized of something. It is the most important and most celebrated. Jewish first fruit celebrations as well as in many other cultures, are times of celebration and joy over long expected choice harvests that bring us pleasure. With God, we who are people redeemed by faith in Christ, are the choice first fruits among humanity the children of promise, offspring of Abraham. But even in greater context we come from among humanity to whom all are offered this sweet call of fellowship with our Creator to be united in loving oneness with him as a beautiful adorned Bride of God. The implications of this truth are great. This means there is no greater more highly created beings in the universe. We are the "it" of all creation. Could God have created life on other planets and created other advanced life forms and human-like civilizations? Sure. But did he? Scripture seems to say no, even right here. Everything created in this cosmos was all designed for a purpose. To support and provide for the creation and development of God's first fruit. You. That's how important you are to God. You have eternal worth.
So are there intelligent aliens out there that humanity will discover some day. Scripture seems to say no. The pursuit of them leads to demonic driven idolatry in a desire not be satisfied with God. Every super nova, every black hole, or quasar and every planet, moon, star or galaxy, is all where it is to maintain for a time the fine tuning of the universe to support life on earth; and most importantly Gods greatest creation, you and me. This should encourage you as you study the vastness and complexities and size of the cosmos, and see God made it all for you.
For more on this topic, I highly suggest reading some of the more advanced discussions between science and faith and how all truth is God's truth at www.reasons.org or visiting this link for more on extraterrestrial life. http://www.reasons.org/Search?q=extraterestial+life
Rick Warren in his recent teachings about missions just wrote "God made us to long for adventure" in his design for us to follow the Holy Spirit into the most unusual of places seeking to share the gospel. I know what he means! Yet these adventures do not come at no cost or not without pain and suffering. The costs are enormous, sacrificing all my vacation days every year, all the income most people use to buy nicer homes or nicer cars or nicer "vacation excursions"... The literal costs are high indeed. I have been on a few trips in my recent years and I have come back mauled from bugs and infections...nearly killed by being run over by a boat load of 13 Oxen that badly bruised my shoulder and nearly broke shoulder but filled full of pain. Other times had my expensive phone broken and shattered along with other belongings lost, damaged or destroyed, endured many hours of cramped and painful long trips wedged in tight cars, buses, taxis and way too long of air flights and jetlag, boat rides, and huge heavy Amazon loaded canoes loaded down that run out of fuel and go adrift on the river forcing us to paddle with sticks for hours on end...haha. Times of enduring of extremely hot and scorching sun and humidity carrying cargo and supplies to help the hurting and care for our teams, preaching and teaching in remote places not much fun to get to, putting my health and life on the line with potential sickness and disease eating things that are "very" questionable back home....on and on and on it goes.....yet... God empowers me each and every time for these great Adventures for him. Somehow HE always pulls me through and people get saved and the Church gets built up and people encouraged! Yes following the Holy Spirit can be a bit scarey for those unwilling to fully trust God, because He will take you places you otherwise would have never ever gone, and you will learn what dying to self entails, but in process you will reach people who never would have been reached, had you not gone. This is our calling. Yes it is an adventure, not a burden, but a love thing for Jesus Christ, and a work of the passion of God in us. But if we were to look at it all through man's eyes, some see it as a vacation adventure, which it "aint"! Yes there is some fun we make of it along the way... haha! But it's a lot of sacrifice! It's a lot of work and planning and difficulty. It is not easy following Christ!! But it is much better than staying in 5 star hotels or visiting the nicest safaris or seeing the most attractive and amazing tourists sites, or living in luxury. While staying in dumpy motels or living in mud homes with no power or running water or going poo poo in holes in the ground, I have found the greatest adventure of all that this life can afford... the adventure of following Christ and his Spirit living through me. God my Creator uses me to flow into the lives of willing and open hearts of people for the gospel love of God! It is an adventure! Yes, just not an easy one. But... it is the most glorious one that will bring the greatest tears of joy to your eyes that you will ever experience! Jesus said come and follow me! Let all his people say and "do" a big AMEN with our lives by going and doing what he commands, no matter what! Come with me, commit to stretch yourself from your comfort zone in following Christ and lets go! I am leaving for Africa mid November and Lord willing India and Pakistan end of February of which is plenty of time to still go. Think about it and pray and ask God to send you. Will you be like the prophet Isaiah who heard God calling out for someone to represent him, and his cried out. "Here am I Lord. Send me!
So let’s continually offer up a sacrifice of praise through Jesus, which is the fruit from our lips that confess his name. Don’t forget to do good and to share what you have because God is pleased with these kinds of sacrifices. -Hebrews 13:15-16
No matter the pain and suffering you face in this life, we know in Christ it is all temporary. In the midst of it we can still find much joy serving God, giving to others. Fulfilling our purpose, even in a broken world and broken life is the only way to deep joy and peace. As prior verses revealed in Hebrews 13, we can hold on with hope and joy because we know God is not forsaking us, just because we have trouble and difficulty. Our Lord suffered for righteousness sake, and so should we expect to suffer for doing good. There is a sacrifice we must pay because the current ruler of this world is not good. Satan who has limited rule is yet still under God's control but he fights against It and seeks to destroy all God's glorious ones here on earth. So we are encouraged to praise God in Christ through it all. In praising him our hearts are set upon Christ and this focuses us on the joy of living in the hope we have for our greater glory and forever home with God. Yes but even among our personal struggles and times of worship, God's word reminds us here that we need to focus on sharing with the needy and doing good to others, and this pleases him, because it reveals his glory that we are over-comers in this life. After all we are royalty, bride of King Jesus! So let us live in such a manner and keep doing good and sharing with others at any cost. This is our created destiny. You have the power of his Spirit to enable you. Use is wisely and see the smile of God in your life.
God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do…For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. – Romans 8:3,7-9 ESV This passage is spoken in context of the famous memory verse of many Christians over the centuries Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus The law was given to illuminate the depravity of our sin nature and impossibility to be pleasing to God in the flesh.
Indeed it is by Grace we are saved and by Grace that we stand. The commands of God never made anyone good, only faith in his provision has ever made anyone good and right before God.
In regards to the law and the New Testament commands, I think where our confusion lies at times is in the difference in keeping the law for salvation (Justification) or following and obeying the commands of Christ and the principles of the law out of pure love and desire to be like God (Sanctification). These are quite opposite, one is outer self-preservation motivation and one is inner spirit motivation. If you are in Christ you will strive to follow and obey, but if you are not, you will continue in sin avoiding following him. Keeping New Testament "commands" are not our means to purity, but a result of it...evidence of it. I understand people’s desire to preach holiness and greater commitment to follow Christ and his commands, because so many people who call themselves Christians do not seem to be concerned at living in sin. So audience and context is important. It may be that these people are the “goats” or the “tares” that Jesus warned us about among the “sheep” or the “wheat” (Matthew 25:31-46, Matthew 13:24-30). As well we should preach and teach and encourage fellow Christ followers to walk in the light of obedience, for Christ himself said whoever keeps my commands, he it is who loves me (John 14:21). But we must remember this is the result of the Gospel not a way to salvation. Loving God and Jesus as Lord, our master and leader is fruit of the Spirit in us, not the other way around.
For instance murder was and still is wrong. Under the Law it brings me death and condemnation because evil hateful, careless, or reckless thoughts violate its principle of loving your fellow man, so that sin of that must be dealt with. But since Christ paid the price for my crimes of those thoughts and deeds, through faith in him, I am now justified as clean and pure. But yet even under grace, God still wants me to love my fellow man and not think or do hateful things towards him, so Christ has emphasized the greater underpinning command to love neighbor as yourself. The holiness of God and his plan for us to be like him has not changed. Once justified and accepted into the family of God, (not acceptance of our sins, but our souls) we have Holy Spirit inner motivation to be more like our Holy Father God. This is what sanctification is all about, in the setting of us apart for God as a holy people. It is a process in this life. This is our new desire. Before salvation, we just “tried” to not get caught and punished. We really were in hiding from God and tried to avoid his ominous Holiness. Now in Christ we are drawn to it. So we still have rules of living and for holiness in practical life, but these are not for our justification, but for our sanctification.
John Murry said it well… “Indeed, the more sanctified the person is, the more conformed he is to the image of his Savior, the more he must recoil against every lack of conformity to the holiness of God. The deeper his apprehension of the majesty of God, the greater the intensity of his love to God, the more persistent his yearning for the attainment of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, the more conscious will he be of the gravity of the sin that remains and the more poignant will be his detestation of it.”
The "Law" is fulfilled in Christ so its demands for making us holy are no longer needed for our purification and legal righteousness before God. As the Bible says it’s a school master to show us the need for the Savior. When we as born-again children of God fail and sin, which we all do more often than we realize, we are never condemned by God or by the law of sin and death, but are now free from that curse. Yet we as God's beloved will face difficult chastisement and correction if we don't repent from known sin that the Holy Spirit reveals to us, which many times come to us from other godly Believers in accordance with his Word.
These commands of the New Testament are unlike the Law fulfilled by Christ. These were not given by Christ for making us righteous; we have that imputed into us without anything we have done to earn it. But the commands of Christ are our "marching orders" as in military terms for war, on to how to live for Christ as we were redeemed and created to do. We are at war with the lies of Satan and his darkness. We don't preach the commands of Christ to the unsaved, but to the saved to help them follow their Master. We don’t do it in a condemning way, but soberly and with all seriousness because our God is our Father and he does demand of us to walk in his light and will bring correction to us if we do not, but never is the true Christian under condemnation (Rom 8:1) . Just like when one of my children does wrong, I am displeased, but never will I forsake them or abandon them, but I will bring correction and do what must to help draw them towards goodness in their heart. They never need worry that I will cast them out from my love or family, as neither does a child of God never need to worry about being cast out into the utter darkness from which they came. No we are forever his. After all his Spirit birthed in us new life and God will not kill that new life, any more than I will kill my baby. The thought is absurd. But I will demand that my children live upright and do everything to ensure they do.
The Gospel is about salvation and bringing one across from death and condemnation into life, the commands of Christ are unlike the Law of old, they are simply instructions on how to follow him now that we have ability with His Spirit living in us. For those who refuse to obey Christ and live in sin, after loving exhortation to turn from sin(not condemning), we are told to treat them as outsiders. But only God knows really if they are a one of his sheep or a goat. They too should know, if they really have the Spirit in them. Yet wallowing in sin will blind them to even God and their security of salvation. This is why we see so much tension in Scripture, even the New Testament warning that our God is a consuming fire. Sometimes even a wayward backslidden Christian, like I once was, needs a little fear of the Lord restored back into their heart. Truly the fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom, but perfect love, that of walking in his light, casts out all fear as we cry out Abba, Daddy, Father and climb into his holy loving arms to feel the warm hugs of his love! For years as a child of God I walked in sin, I was a prodigal, never climbing in his arms of love, feeling so distant and ashamed of my life before him, but always knowing I had to do something and repent before his strong arm of correction destroyed my life totally. God will even take the life of a wayward child if that is necessary to keep us from polluting his people, but never ever will he forsake us. Never! For he has spoken, “Never will I leave you, nor forsake you.” (Heb 13:5, Duet 31:6) And by the grace of God, I am here today restored, because he finally got through to me by reminding me that he is a consuming fire and will bring serious correction, so never again will I return to that vileness of living unrepentant in sin. He has given me a second chance at living for Jesus, and I plan on using every day to proclaim the amazing grace and love of God in Christ! Truly this is what keeps me wanting to follow every single command of God and making progress towards that.
Glorious God, I bless you that I know you!
I once lived in the world, but was ignorant of its Creator,
Was partaker of your good will, but did not know the Provider.
I was blind while enjoying such light,
was deaf to the spiritual, with voices all around me,
I understood many things, but had no knowledge of your ways,
I saw the world, but I did not see Jesus.
O happy day! When in your love's sovereignty you did look on me, and called me by grace!
Then did my dead heart begin to beat,
My darkened eye glimmer with light,
My dull ear catch the echo of your voice,
And I turned to you and I found you...
A God ready to hear and willing to save!
Then did I fall at your feet and hear the thunder of your law,
'The soul who sins must die',
But when grace made me to know you,
And to admire a God who hated sin,
Your terrible justice held my will submissive.
My thoughts were as knives cutting my mind...
But then you came to me in silken robes of love,
And I saw the Son dying that I might live!
In that death I found my all!
My soul does sing at the remembrance of that peace;
The gospel melody brought a sound unknown to me before...it reached my heart...and I lived...
Now never to lose hold on Christ or his hold on me.
Grant that I may always weep at the glory of mercy found,
and to tell others as long as I live,
That you are a sin pardoning God,
Taking up the irreverent and the ungodly, and washing them from their deepest stain of sin.
O glorious God; Father, Son and Spirit, thank you for in me giving freely your salvation! I owe all to you. Amen.
Jim Ball and I started About-Face missions as a way to help us better organize our passions to follow Christ in our lives. He and I met while both recently having a fire put in our bones by God to change our lives and start doing more to see the Gospel proclaimed and people saved all over the world. Being small budgeted middle class Americans, with very limited means, we asked God to use us and send us where ever he wanted us to go. He showed us through some short term mission trips that we can affect much in poor undeveloped countries even with very little financial resources compared to what we Americans had come to expect. Even a single person like me or Jim can do much for the kingdom of God around the world, if only we are willing to sacrifice some of our "American" lifestyle and go and give. We saw so many needs in Africa, India, Pakistan, Philippines and all around the 10/40 window being unmet, that we could not simply do nothing any longer. God clearly called us to go and be his ambassadors of Christ and to help encourage and inspire others to partner with us and take average every-day people who love Christ, and organize them into a connected and involved support system to those indigenous followers of Christ, whom God is using to do his ministry work of helping others find Christ and meeting many of their human needs along the way. Our goal is to be obedient to Christ in making disciples of all people groups, teaching them to obey all he has commanded as we know this is our job as the Church, God's collective saved in Christ people. God choose to task us with reaching all people groups and as Christ said, then the end will come. The Church age will end and Christ will return in his full glory as Judge and Ruler of righteousness! Our desire to see this happen is burning strong in us as we don't want to be people who just say we believe, but live as we really do believe. So this is why both Jim and I press on hard to focus on what more we can do to reach the unreached peoples as much as possible, while not forsaking the obvious places where the Holy Spirit is greatly working and calling us to go even outside unreached groups. All people need Jesus so our mission is to reach all to become fully devoted followers of Christ. For now, God has provided me a great career that provides me plenty of income and up to 6 weeks of vacation, so it works well for me to fulfill my job as Missionary for Christ and Co-leader of About-Face Missions. While I would love to go work with our partner ministers more than 3 trips a year, for now this is what God has me doing. Yet for Jim, it seemed clear to both Jim and I that his job was really limiting his ability to server God effectively as Missionary and Co-leader of AFM and so we both agreed God was calling him to step out from his corporate career and move full time into missionary support and work. As of this month of Septermber 2013, Jim Ball has done just that. By the provision and grace of God we have acquired enough support for him to make the move. Yet his monthly pledge base is still needs a significant more percentage, God has provided enough of a cushion of one time donations to fund him for a while. Yet moving into the less familiar ways of relying on God to provide more directly ones income is always a step of greater faith. So pray with me for great blessings on our President of AFM Jim Ball as God works among our ministry and our strategic partnerships with our supported ministries overseas and our supporting foundations and ministries here to help us! Pray for the last of Jim's support base to commit to being his and About-Face Missions partner. We all are the universal family of Christ working all together for the common goal of living for Jesus and bringing as many to faith especially giving those who never really had opportunity to have it. God loves all peoples, and so do we. When I see that we have Churches, supporting ministries like MLE Ministries, and Showers of Blessings Foundation and so many individuals coming alongside us to help us carry out the missions of Christ it brings such great joy to my heart! In turn we are able to share these blessing to our supported pastors and evangelists who are leading thousands upon thousands to faith each and every year and feed the hungry, help the sick and care for the hopeless and hurting. God is good indeed.
To learn more about About-Face missions visit our website http://www.aboutfacemissions.com/ or help support our work with your loving offerings to God. Our donation page and sign up form is here also. http://www.aboutfacemissions.com/Donate
Always your prayers and interaction with us and our pastors is welcome live or via messaging on Facebook, among our pages and groups. Start by visiting our Facebook public page and there you will see links to our private AFM group for those who are serious about being a prayer or financial partner and want to see more of what God is doing. Here is that link. https://www.facebook.com/AboutFaceMissions Lastly, if you want to do more towards helping with the great commission to reach the unreached and to support Missionary Jim Ball in the process, even if all you can sacrifice is about $10.40 a month, we highly encourage you to commit to do just that. Be a part at least at this level and help us really get the message out to those who never had real opportunity to receive the life saving message of the Gospel. Our partner ministry has set up a $10.40 monthly online donation auto charge option for you to join us called the 10.40 priority. We call it this because the 10/40 window of the world is where most these unreached people groups exist. Visit the 10/40 site here. http://www.mleministries.org/1040Priority
God be glorified in all we do as we make much of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior! Amen
Your conduct must be free from the love of money and you must be content with what you have, for he has said, "I will never leave you and I will never abandon you.So we can say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper, and I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" -Heb 13:5-6
The original sin of mankind of pride and to want to be our own independent God is a perversion of the Devil, and today is still his primary way to lure us away from God. The love of money is our desire to be self sufficient, not in need of dependence on God and trusting him for our daily needs. Our flesh nature wants to not be controlled or told what to do,even if for our own best interest. We would rather suffer immeasurable in our stubborn pride than accept God's loving provision for us and learn to trust in him as our provider and our complete sufficiency much of the time. The love and lust for money is based in our not wanting to really live by faith. Even for us who mean well and are striving to live for God, money dependency fights against our God dependency. This is why Jesus said humanly speaking we cannot be both rich and enter into God's kingdom. But praise be to God he can save even a rich man. If you are poor and have little, Bless the Lord for your lowly estate and trust in him for your needs, for if you do, you will see his glory! Don't seek riches. Seek Jesus. If you happen to find yourself "relatively" rich as most Americans are compared to 95%of the world, then work hard to use it all for God's glory in serving Christ. Work to share it away and you to will see God's glory! What you put your dependence in, is your god.
Here the youth minister at Kennedy's Tulumba village Church was a time of much excitement among the children. AFM's first group mission to Kenya, Africa last year in May seems like a thousand years ago, but was just last year. As I think and plan more intently on God's will for myself and our AFM mission to Uganda and Kenya coming up in November, I am a bit anxious to have this trip all settled down as to God's purpose and desire for us when we arrive. I guess that is the human nature side of me to feel always in control, but I know following the Holy Spirit is more about trusting God and allowing him to work through us simply by being obedient to his call, even when I cannot see clearly the paths set before me. Pray with me that the Lord will help me take one day at a time as I desire for my life to be useful in the hands of Jesus my Savior. May God bless my Kenya friends!