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Sacrifice

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God created us for adventure

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. image 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!

http://www.aboutfacemissions.com/Missions

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Pleasing God living our destiny

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

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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.

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