Tuesday, September 27, 2016

GOD WORKS IN SECRET

GOD WORKS IN SECRET

Genesis 37:28  
So when the Midianite merchants came by, his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and sold him for twenty shekels of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt.


             God humbles his people before he elevates them. He kills them in order to bring them back to life. He devastates them before honoring them. He knocks them down in order to pick them up. God’s methods show the highest artistry and wisdom. We cannot understand how events like these are a part of God’s plan until we were his plan completed. When these events are happening, they can’t be understood, except through faith alone.

            In the same way, faith in the Son of God will comfort me when I leave this earth. Even so, my body will be buried in the ground and eaten by worms; it will rot and decay (Job 17:14). I don’t see God’s plan for me when I look at death. Yet God has promised that I will come back to life. Christ said, “Because I live, you also will live” (John 14:19). But how will I live? I will live in eternal life, in a body that is brighter and more beautiful than the sun. I can’t see or feel any of this yet. But I believe it, and I can tolerate the short delay. Eternal life is already prepared. As Paul says, “Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day” (2 Timothy 4:8).

            But God does everything in secret. We have to be patient while God hides his intentions from us. Jacob and Joseph couldn’t see the future prize. But with the sale of Joseph to the Ishmaelites, the future was being prepared. Gold sees everything as if it has all taken place already. Everything he wants to happen will certainly happen!

 


Faith Alone: A Daily Devotional, By Martin Luther. March 24.

Monday, September 26, 2016

GEOGRAPHY 101

GEOGRAPHY 101

Proverbs 11: 24-25      
One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.


In the land of Jesus, Israel, there are two lakes, The Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea. They are connected by the Jordan River which flows south from the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea. The Sea of Galilee receives  water from the Plain of Gennesaret and from Lake Huleh as well as the hills of Bashan and Naphtali. The Sea of Galilee is small but teaming with life. It is the lake in which the disciples fished for a living and on which Jesus walked. The Sea of Galilee has such a plentiful supply that water spills out into the Jordan River which flows many miles south into the Dead Sea.

In contrast, the Dead Sea only receives water. Its elevation is hundreds of feet below that of the Sea of Galilee and located in an arid,  desert-like environment. It receives water from the wilderness areas of Moab, Kedemoth, and Judah. The Kidron and Jordan Rivers both empty into the Dead Sea. As you can see, it receives much water but nothing lives in it. No plants or fish life can be found there.

One sea receives and gives; bringing vibrancy and life to its waters. The other sea only receives; creating in itself lifelessness and death. The application is clear; if you live a life of receiving only, you will find yourself with a dead heart and a shriveled life. If you only receive and do not give, then you will be like the Dead Sea.

The Bible teaches that if you are constantly sharing yourself and your life with others, giving richly, then you will receive much of life in return. The fullness of the Christian life is found in giving of ourselves that God might be glorified in us as we liberally share his goodness and grace.




Jericho Road Ministries Chapel,  2008.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

WHEN WE FALL DOWN

WHEN WE FALL DOWN

Hosea 14:1-2     
 Your sins have been your downfall. Take words with you and return to the Lord. Say to him: “Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips.”


Some of our staff become deeply troubled and discouraged when clients “fail” our New Life Program. They forget that each of us fail at times, too. We fall into sin and disappoint our sponsor, Jesus Christ. We too sin against God. This subject comes up often here at the Mission.

These failures are disturbing and will bother us. They will discourage us and cause us to ask ourselves where we may have failed in helping the client. We should carefully monitor our programs and actions. But the question remains: “Why do people (clients) fall back into the sin from which God has saved them?” Are they to be listed as hopeless?

To put this into perspective, consider a few things. First is that each of us sin each day and fail our Father. Bad attitudes, an angry voice and a lustful glance can be a daily event that needs our repentance and prayer for forgiveness. Consider the number of prominent Christians who have fallen into immoral acts, theft from their churches or have battered their spouses. When these leaders fall to the bottom, they have fallen as far as some of our clients. Remember King David in the Old Testament who lusted enough to have Bathsheba’s husband killed in battle because of his orders. Jerry McAuley, the “Father of Rescue Missions” fell back into his alcoholism over and over before one day finding the power of God’s grace to never touch a drop of alcohol again in his life.

Be encouraged that all of us struggle along with our clients. Do not take light their sin or your own. But do not be overly discouraged by your own or the client’s fall back into sin. Remember we have Jesus, our ‘high priest’ who can sympathize with our weaknesses. He, too, was tempted in all things as we are, yet never sinned. To Him we can draw near with confidence knowing His grace provides us mercy in our struggle to overcome and our desire to be forgiven, again.




Jericho Road Ministries Chapel,  2011.

Ministry Scenes

Have The Homeless Become Invisible?