God's Word is Powerful

God's Word is Powerful

Friday, March 28, 2014


If you have ever felt totally alone - you know it is a very hard and difficult thing to go through. When I was a single missionary many years ago there were periods of time when I felt completely alone.  I was in a city of over a million people - but there was no one with whom I could share my fears or longings.  The danger for me was to become self-focused and to think only of my self.  Becoming self-focused NEVER helped me grow in my walk with Jesus or help me to love and serve others. 

I wonder what it was like for Paul alone in that Roman prison at the end of his life...

 2 Timothy 4:16 (NIV) At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them.  

NO ONE came to my support...  everyone deserted me...
I can certainly FEEL the depth of what Paul is saying.  He was left entirely on his own with no support - where were the Christians from the church in Rome?  How does Paul respond?
May it not be held against them...    What?  That is the last thing I expected to hear from Pau; - No One came... Everyone deserted me...  BUT Lord God please do not hold this against them. What an example of how to pray for others even those who wronged us or who have hurt us. 

2 Timothy 4:17 (NIV) But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion's mouth.

NO ONE came...everyone deserted me...BUT the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength...
What an amazing testimony to each of us who are struggling.  This is what we must do especially when we FEEL like we are ALONE.  We must remember we are NEVER ALONE. The Lord the Sovereign God of the universe is ALWAYS with us He is right there at our side.  And just as Paul trusted God for His presence and strength - we too can know that the Lord WILL give us His STRENGTH if we turn to Him when we are lonely, feel abandoned, or feel full of fear and doubt. 

2 Timothy 4:18 (NIV) The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

We do not know for sure - but it is possible that Paul was eventually executed at the end of this imprisonment in Rome.  That is why these words are so powerful The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack... HOW? He was convinced that his future was secure he was trusting God to ...bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. Whether set free to continue to serve the Lord or being executed for the gospel Paul saw the Lord’s hand in ALL of it and was counting on the Lord to STAND by him and to give him strength.

PRAYER:  Lord God - thank You that You are ALWAYS with me whether I feel alone or not YOU are there.  Please Lord help me to grab onto that TRUTH and never let go.  Lord when I struggle and I am tempted to focus my thoughts on myself HELP me to look to You - to Trust You - and to keep on loving and serving others.

Sunday, March 2, 2014


NO Sunday Services... Not some thing I enjoy saying or doing. From a selfish perspective it means doing a lot of things to get the word out (changing voice mail messages, sending - emails, Facebook messages, and text messages). However, the hardest part is wondering if this is the right decision... should we try to meet anyway?  Is it going to be as bad as they say?  What about the ice in the parking lot?  At some point a decision has to be made and then you live with it.  But I do miss meeting together... there is something precious about God's people gathering to honor and worship Him as well as encourage and serve each other. 

As I thought about that this morning I thought about several friends of mine who live and work in very dangerous - closed countries.  They are there for the sake of the Gospel - they are there because they long for others to know Jesus.  So they risk their lives and families everyday.  Many of them CANNOT meet with other Christians especially openly. So as I read the next chapter in my normal reading today these verses took on new meaning for me:

2 Corinthians 4:11-13 (NLT)  Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies. [12]  So we live in the face of death, but this has resulted in eternal life for you. [13]  But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.”

Paul’s situation was so dangerous that he said we FACE DEATH everyday WHY? For one reason - that others may know Jesus and have eternal life.  These verse reminded me of Carol’s nephew who was killed last year because he was living and working openly as a Christian in a close country.  His deepest desire was to see young men and women become disciples of Jesus Christ. 

2 Corinthians 4:15-18 (NLT)  All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory. [16]  That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. [17] For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! [18]  So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

Why would you take your wife and children into dangerous place to live and work?  Paul said he did it for the BENEFIT of those who had NOT yet experienced God’s grace.  He said He would NEVER give up no matter what he was facing no matter what the hardship may be.  WHY?  He saw that the painful present struggles would be overshadowed by the wonder and glory of the gospel the joy of seeing people’s lives changed for ALL eternity.  So we FIX OUR GAZE - or focus - NOT on the hardship or the painful struggle - but on the things that CANNOT be seen... on eternity and our Lord Jesus.  As we do God WILL Receive More and More Glory and that is what it is all about. 

NOT BEING ABLE TO MEET... what would that really be like.. Not just the roads are slippery... or I'm too tired... or it is too much hassle to get ready and go.  But if I meet with other believers I will be in DANGER.  Some of my friends would do anything to be able to be at a Sunday service with other Christians.  But the best they can expect is to quietly carefully worship with their family praying for the day when there will be MANY Believers because of their sacrifice.

PRAYER: Lord God, help me NEVER to take for granted the wonderful privilege of worshipping YOU with others - free from fear of any kind.  Please Lord encourage and strengthen my Brothers and Sisters who are in real danger everyday because they are Serving You.  Please LORD help them see the REALITY that what they do WILL have Eternal Results.