Matthew 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit
We weren’t put on this Earth to roll out of bed, moan and groan, barely make it to the coffee pot, get dressed, go to work, make a meager living, make a couple meaningless transactions, draw a paycheck, and go home to do it over and over again.Our life on Earth wasn’t meant to be that way! We aren’t put here to simply exist and go through the motions – though it’s hard to see that at times.
I was thinking this morning about my aunt. I remember years ago, when I would see her (I was a teenager then), she would come over and want to share something about the bible, or about God. Now, me, at that point in my life – didn’t “get it”. I was more like.. “Oh no, here comes crazy aunt so-and-so again coming to share what Jesus did for her! She has gone nuts!”
(laughing in retrospect) I just didn’t “get it”. I didn’t understand then. When I went back to visit my family this past December, I saw my aunt again. She didn’t have that spark anymore. She had nothing really to share with me, and her visits were mute and hasty. In her embrace I felt her loneliness. I never knew you could feel that emotion from a simple hug – you can. She was one of the few that “got it”. Something happened in her life where God was present. Whether God guided her, protected her, or comforted her in times of need, she got it, she understood. I have no doubt in my mind (knowing what I know now) that God had touched her personally. Then I wonder what changed? What happened? Did life get too much for her? Did circumstance begin to rule her? Did she forget where she placed her bible?
John Hagee said this is one of his telecasts, and I never forgot it:
When you see people with a tattered and torn bible, they rarely have a tattered and torn life.
I didn’t get it then, but I do now. Our days are so short. Every breathe we take is one closer to our last. What are we doing here anyway? Do you think we were put on this Earth just to gather treasures? Build a house and drive a gas guzzler? Enjoy a weekend rendezvous anytime the notion strikes? NO! The bible warns us about this!
Matthew 6:19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
Proverbs 23: 4-5 Do not overwork to be rich; Because of your own understanding, cease! 5 Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; They fly away like an eagle toward heaven.
Proverbs 10:22 The blessing of the LORD makes one rich. And He adds no sorrow with it.
We are put on Earth to be the eyes, ears, and hands of God. He can’t touch another life in the ways that we can. Someone may talk to you, but never even dream about talking to God.
- Do you think you were born into your family by accident?
- Do you think you live where you live by accident?
- Do you think your neighbors and friends are by accident?
Each person you come in contact with, offers a chance to minister. And let me just put this in as a side note for some of you…..You don’t have to “minister” as intrusive as: “JESUS LOVES YOU! GET SAVED OR YOUR GOING TO HELL! SEE YOU IN CHURCH ON SUNDAY AND BRING A DISH!”
believe it or not, people do this!
That is NOT how you minister to people.
People never care how much you know until they know how much you care!
It’s time we get into our communities. It’s time we get into our friends and neighbors and find out what makes them tick! Where are they hurting? Where are their needs? Some people may need groceries so they can move from survival mode to actually being able to love and move toward other human emotions. Some people may need someone to talk to over coffee. Some people just need to vent.
We as Christians should be those people who listen. To take time, to minister, to fill the needs. Life on Earth is about the people. It is about saving the lost and guiding the misguided. It’s about telling the truth and shaming the devil. If we can wrap our brains around that one simple truth, we can make our part of the world a little better and increase our treasure in heaven 10 fold.
I don’t know about you guys, but once you get a touch from God, nothing on this Earth can compare to what he can offer you. No amount of money or treasure can give the love, the happiness, the comfort, and the joy that God can. Absolutely nothing can compare.
I pray that you heed this.
I pray it touches you personally.
Afterall, that is what we’re here for.
Take my life and give it meaning
fill me up with love and care
I feel the best is yet to come
and with it I’ll see you there
my hope comes daily now
I get that fresh renewal
instantly my hands flew up
and then my wings they grew
I’ve never felt better
at times, more sane
yet it doesnt matter
it’s the new life I gained
I may stumble each turn I take
I know lifes changing fast
you will guide each step I make
I know you are leading me back
I never thought you would lead this way
but I am thankful you withstood
for all you have done for me
you have always been good.
I will serve you with all my heart
rip me up and lay my-self down
teach me your lesson, if it tears me apart
I will work on my eternal crown
I wish I knew the “how” lord
I know its better this way
my soul is safe with you
my need in you grows each day
keep guiding lord,
and speaking to me each day
without you I will fail
I don’t want to stray
You have the reins now
Im just following you
hard to see it sometimes
when alone- you can’t push through
Im being selfless now
listening for something too
no more filling empty time
I heard the call, Im coming to you
You look around everywhere these days and see crosses hanging around peoples’ necks. You look on the back of minivans and see the christian fish signs. “Jesus Rocks” t-shirts strolling through the malls. You can look everywhere and see the religion. But where do you look and see the relationship side that God himself has required? I’m stuck in a pondering mode…..
When did Jesus become a money-making aftermarket thought process? I just don’t get it. I don’t think the people that are caught up in “IT” do either! Darlin’, those cross ear-rings sure do look nice, but they aren’t getting you any closer to heaven than the next girl. What are we doing these days!? I am stuck in between the people wearing the outer support for Jesus, and the ones wearing outer support for the Yankees. But my question is: who is actually doing anything more than merely wearing the colors? Just pondering…..
Jesus is not an accessory that we put on before we go to church or when we go out for our day. Jesus should be more like an undergarment that you always wear. One that you HAVE to wear to go out. It should be the most prized possession and the closest thing to who you are. I am not knocking that cross necklace, or Jesus clothing (I own them also)….I just want everyone to see what I see. You don’t just take Jesus off at night and place him in the jewelry box, or the dirty clothes bin. To some, that is all it is. Christianity that is taken off and put on at will. Christianity is more like a birthmark that can’t be removed. Like the mark of your renewed birth. You can try to cover up a birthmark but it is always there. It shows up, and you can’t hide it.
You can wear a cross necklace everyday, yet only go to church on Christmas and Easter. (Chreaster Christians as I heard a pastor call them). It’s not about that! I realize that it is much easier to put on a piece of christian jewelry than to stretch your faith and go the real work of the kingdom. You can keep the t-shirts, hats, necklaces and such, but I think you should also let that light within shine through. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (NIV) Matthew 5:16
Again, just pondering….
There are seasons. Seasons in our lives as well as seasons on the Earth. I do not think this truth is to be taken lightly. We as Christians need to recognize we have seasons also. Ecclesiastes 3 states:
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, 3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, 6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, 7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, 8a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.9 What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure
Today I want to talk about the season of the veiling and un-veiling. See, It is my personal opinion that God blinds us for a season. He is in our lives at all times, but sometimes our simple message is to “wait”. Of course our age-old reply is “God, what the heck am I waiting for?!” But let’s just take a look back at those times in our life when we were waiting. Could it have been that God himself was not only stirring your life, but also others lives that would directly affect yours? Think about it.
“I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, and crooked places straight. These things I will do for them, and not forsake them” (Isaiah 42:16).
The veil is used a lot in the bible. Either for actual tangible veils, or spiritual veils- it is noted that they both do exist – often for reasons predestined by God. Here are a few examples of text:
Job 22:14 Thick clouds veil him, so he does not see us as he goes about in the vaulted heavens.’
2 Corinthians 3:15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts.
2 Corinthians 3:16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
Lamentations 3:65 Put a veil over their hearts, and may your curse be on them!
Ezekiel 13:21 I will tear off your veils and save my people from your hands, and they will no longer fall prey to your power. Then you will know that I am the LORD.
It turns out that the veil is used and has been used throughout time. It is nothing new. It just means that when we are meant to see things we are allowed to see them. Interesting concept. Take a look at your surroundings. Look out a window and you may miss something that is right in front of your face. You will miss parts of the picture until you are made aware, and your eyes are unveiled. Now this is just a simple analogy, but far more than this is our current life situations. I believe it’s all a timing issue. I believe its up to the season of your life at that very moment. God knows everything. God’s plan and purpose for us is far more unimaginable thatneither you or I could fathom. Sometimes what we deem silly or crazy- is just Gods way of asking for obedience from us. Once you get to tending to Gods business, he will start tending to yours.
Is there something in your life that you can’t see? Have you been hidden behind the veil?
It is possible for us to look at things through veiled eyes. Situations we are in, maybe that we are too close to- and we cant see past it. Sometimes we truly, ‘can’t see the forest for the trees.’ It’s true in the big things and in the small stuff. I have always written off and on throughout my life. Most times it was when I had motivation or harbored feelings that I couldn’t express otherwise. I took for granted the power of my words. I recently found some of my own old musings. My how it awakened me again. There is a certain truth about my current situation that reminded me that I was under the veil. There is a certain ‘just dessert’ about things now. I knew a lot of things before I was willing to see them through unveiled eyes. Timing is everything. Yes, indeed it is. There is some magnificent divinity to Gods plan and timing that never ceases to amaze me. I look back now, and I see what was an undeniable truth – I was still growing and somehow didn’t have the spiritual prowess to notice or realize. Maybe God had control over the veil. Yet there is no doubt about it that when the veil came off, it came off with entirety. There wasn’t a shred of mesh or fabric over my eyes. I see….I saw…..
It wasn’t long after I started growing close to God that he started placing random people in my path. One of which was Steven. I had met him through work and he was one of my weekly visits. Often I would just visit a few moments and see how is life was going and discuss business. We hit it off. Suddenly we were going to lunch as friends and more than just business aquaintances. He would tell me about his troubled relationship, job concerns, family debockles. I would listen.
One day he called me and said his grandma was in the hospital and would I mind stopping by to visit. I did. The family was so warm and welcoming. That day something changed. He saw me different. He saw me as someone that cared. You know what they say, the world doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Well, it spoke to him.
He invited me to lunch that afternoon. That was the lunch that would change his life forever- yet neither of us knew it. I believe that lunch actually changed both of us. God had been telling me for weeks to “tell my story” and I said ok God, tell me when and how and who. He did. That day sitting across from me was a man who was hurting and I would have never known because I never took the time to ask.
I began by telling him about my latest experience with God (trust me I had plenty to share) and when I told my story – something turned on inside him and he poured out his.
He began sharing with me how he gave his life to God as a teenager. Then he explained a tragedy that happened in his life in his mid 20’s and how it separated him. He has lived with guilt and self loathing and unforgiveness for years. He even thought he deserved to feel that way. No no no! When you have God in your life he forgives. Period! There is no dark cloud worthy enough to hang over your head!
“what can wash away my sin?nothing but the blood of Jesus. What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.”
He knew this – yet he had somehow forgotten. So I began to question his salvation. I questioned his current state of being. Where there should have been joy there was sorrow. Where there should have stood peace there was guilt. I didn’t understand. So I asked if I could pray over him. He agreed.
I prayed. I don’t remember what I said but it must have spoke to him because he wept. Then I wept. It was a truly beautiful moment I will remember forever. Days went by and he called me. He said he hadn’t been sleeping and God would “not let him sleep”.. I knew that position well. I encouraged him to press on, that God wanted to tell him something.
A week or so later Steven woke up in a foul mood. Guilt, anger, uselessness filled his mind. Yet something happened that day. This person hit a boiling point and – in his own words “he broke”.
What happens when you break class????
You can start to heal!!!
He drove to the church he had grown up in, (that he hadn’t visited in years) and went inside. He cried. And cried. More importantly he cried out to God. But for real this time! Steven got saved.
Where there was darkness and guilt, he has peace and light. He is rebuilding himself in Christ everyday. So I thank God for letting me be a part of that persons life. It’s a reminder for me to keep telling my story.