Thursday, October 29, 2009

Feed them how?

This morning while getting my wife some Curry Donut coffee I was listening to a Christian radio station. The morning guy was blow harding about churches selling their buildings and all their equipment to help people in their community. At first I was in agreement with him. It is the churches responsibility to help the community. Then I remembered the book by KP Yohannon.

KP is a guy who was raised in India. He grew up to become a missionary who was starved and beaten for preaching the faith of Jesus Christ. He had an opportunity to come to America and start Gospel for Asia. His message is about funding home grown missionaries because the west sending missionaries to the east just isn't working anymore. He speaks of how people are starving all over India. We are not called to feed them physically but spiritually.

Selling off your church and all the church's possessions is feeding people physically. When Jesus fed the thousands, he preached and ministered to them for three days before he fed them.

Matthew 15:32 And Jesus called His disciples to Him, and said, "I feel compassion for the multitude, because they have remained with Me now three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not with to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way."

Not to long ago Dr J was preaching on Paul and the book of Acts. He spoke about how Paul had gathered money to be given to the church in Jerusalem I believe. The funny thing is, you never hear what happened to the money. In stead all you hear about is Paul preaching the gospel.

Act 3:1-10
1 Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the ninth hour, the hour of prayer. 2 And a certain man who had been lame from his mother's womb was being carried along, whom they used to set down every day at the gate of the temple which was called Beautiful, in order to beg alms of those who were entering the temple. 3 And when he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he began asking to receive alms. 4 And Peter, along with John, fixed his gaze upon him and said, "Look at us!" 5 And he began to give them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. 6 But Peter said, "I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene -- walk! 7 And seizing him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened. 8 And with a leap, he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. 9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God; 10 and they were taking note of him as being the one who used to sit at the Beautiful Gate of the temple to beg alms, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what happened to him.

Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. (I have no idea who coined that one. It's probably in the Bible somewhere.)

Paul didn't give the man money so he could eat that day. He gave him faith to believe in God so he could be fed both spiritually and physically for a lifetime.

Before a church sells itself off, it really needs to make sure it is God's will. Remember that we are to feed the community spiritually first and them feed them physically. It seems that might be hard to do without the means to feed them spiritually.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Am I guilty?

I revisited an old devotional that I loved. It was on the subject of guilt. The last line in the devotional is my favorite. " The holy spirit brings guilt for things that have not been confessed to God but the devil to things that are already confessed.

It made me think of all the things we can fell guilty about before we confessed them to God. So many times we are reminded of things that we did in our past lives. Some of them pretty bad. We need to remember that once we confessed them to God and were forgiven, they were erased from the book of life.

I love the bible that my wife got me some time ago and is just now getting some use. It has an index and concordance in the back. I looked up guilty and it brought me to Romans 3.

We all have heard Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. That is the only part that Satan wants us to remember. He is very good at deceiving us and even better at using the scriptures to do it. I think I feel a little guilty just typing that verse.

I had never read the next verse but it is just as important as the one before it. Romans 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. God gives us a punch to the gut by telling us we have all sinned and fallen short. Then he lifts us up by telling us that we are all redeemed through the grace of God and his son.

The 24th verse reminded me of something else I read in a devotional a while back. John 19:30 says When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

The term there "It is finished" is the same term used when a debt had been paid. It signified that the debt was paid in full. So in a sense Christ was saying, "It has been paid".

Just remember THAT the next time you feel guilty about something. The Lord has already paid the price for the sin and you are no longer guilty.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Thank You

Last Friday I left a dentist's office with a problem. I had walked in thinking that the pain I had been experiencing in a month was finally coming to an end. Every day around dinner time I was brought to tears by the pain my tooth was giving me. The problem was that the dentist wasn't contracted with my insurance and he wanted $300 that day. I left with the pain and the fact that I had an appointment for Monday (today) and a bill for $105(money I didn't have).

As I left the doctor's office, and the entire way home, I prayed that somehow I would be able to have my visit on Monday and that somehow I would be able to pay for it. As my previous post mentioned I have found myself praying about everything.

An amazing thing happened that night or the following morning. My wife was on the phone with a very special someone and that person said that they felt the Lord telling them to set aside $100 each for my wife and I to get the procedures we needed on our teeth.

Are you kidding me?!? I had been praying about this for barely a couple hours. The Lord is great. Not only did he provide the funds for me to have my first pain free dinner in a month but also he is dealing with my pride.

For a very long time I thought I could provide for my family on my own. I didn't need God's help. Well, I have realized that I have no choice but to rely on God. I can't do it on my own. It is funny. My prayer has now become that the Lord only allow me to be "comfortable" when HE knows I am ready for it. Since I have taken that approach my family's needs have been met every time.

Psalm 26:7 states: That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.

The Lord has been doing some wondrous works in lives of my family. I pray everyday that he continue to do wondrous works in the lives of those he has used to bless my family mightily.

Thank you to the Lord and those who heard his voice and continue to bless my family each and every day.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Wasn't this supposed to be on Paul?

Well, I figured that since I named my blog "Saul to Paul" I should make my first blog on the topic. I pulled out my Bible and started reading on the transformation Saul made to become Paul. I was all ready to pull up some history lesson on how the early Christians were persecuted by the priests in Jerusalem. Well, during the day today things changed.

It all started when my kids started watching Veggie Tales while my wife (the lovely Keriann) was at the store. I had just gotten Zoe (1) to sleep and the boys (Seamus, 4ish and Declan, 2) were getting antsy and loud. I decided to let them watch Jonah, a veggie tales movie. As I was watching the movie I began wondering why I always considered it a children's story.

Jonah was a profit. He spread God's messages all throughout Israel. He had a direct line to God. Jonah had discernment. When he prayed he knew it was God talking. That would be fantastic. The bible gives us a road map to follow for daily living. But what about those decisions that don't involve whether or not you should kill someone?

I am praying more and more everyday. Most of the time it is out of necessity but I am starting to pray more about the decisions that I make. What do I spend money on? What do I do if I'm offered a new job? These are the decisions that we make every day. Their outcome is very important. With or without God? I am sure it will turn out better if we choose with God.

I know that Jonah is supposed to show how God can love the Gentile not just the Jew and that we have to obey God's commands. The other side of the story I think is about how do we know what God's commands are besides the ten commandments. I know that I need to keep praying not only for God to show me what his direction is for me and my family, but also for me to be able to recognize it when he shows me.

That kid's movie sure got me thinking. Maybe next time I will write about Paul.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

My Wife Made Me

Here is my first blog post. My wife made me create this thing. Maybe it will be good. Maybe it will bring joy to someone. She is always right so I am sure this will be no exception.