Standing in the gap – when a friend is dying

Intercessory prayer is it for you?

Jan 28, 2016 – I was extremely moved by today’s devotional by Blackaby called, “God is Looking for Intercessors.” It was like any other devotional, or so I thought, but then again I’ve been waking up in the wee hours of the morning for the past week, not able to go back to bed. Its 4:41 am right now, I’ve been up for over two hours. I’ve been thinking it’s because I’ve had lots on my mind: work, family, friends. So much to do so little time.

And then I think it’s most likely my subconscious thinking of a distant friend who has been living with an inoperable brain tumor for the past year. I’ve been awakened with thoughts of her life and possibly of what’s left of it, her children, her marriage. I tear and cry easily. I think of things that frustrate me about people and nit picking over minuscule little things and think to myself, “can’t we all just move on” and why do we make such a issues of trivial things – in regards to the daily things in life, these are my thoughts over minors things, that it shouldn’t matter when people are dying.

Then I read today’s devotional:

S – Scripture

Ezekiel 22:30 “I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn’t have to destroy the land, but I found no one.”

O – Observation

God was speaking to Ezekiel to deliver a message to the people of Israel, but they wouldn’t listen AND the Lord could not find ‘someone’ to stand in the gap on behalf of the sins of Israel’s leaders. If you read chapter 22 verses 23 to 31 you’ll understand.

In today’s devotional Blackaby talks about how we can apply this verse to our lives today. Here’s Henry Blackaby’s comments:

God looks for those whose hearts are prepared to be intercessors before Him. Intercessors have hearts in tune with God’s heart. They are so acutely aware of what is at stake, for their land, that they will stay before God as long as necessary in order to obtain God’s answer. That is why you do not volunteer to be an intercessor. God enlists you.

Why do we not intercede as we should? Perhaps we are afraid to put God to the test. We worry that God might not answer our prayers. Yet God promises that if we ask, we will receive (Matt. 7:7). We may fail to intercede because we believe the busyness of our everyday lives is more effective than prayer. Jesus warned that apart from Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5). Without being intimately acquainted with God and His will, all of our labors are futile. Perhaps we fail to intercede because we misunderstand the heart of God. Jesus wept over the_city of Jerusalem as He interceded for it (Matt. 23:37). If we truly have God’s love within us, we will feel compelled to plead with God on behalf of those who face His imminent judgment.

Intercession is a lonely business. There may be many days or even years when there appear to be few results for your labor. Yet intercessors can be the only ones standing between a family and God’s judgment, or between an individual or nation and God’s wrath.

A – Application

How do I apply this to my life? Well, after waking up daily and not being able to go back to bed I’m reminded of something my Aunt Charlotte told me many years ago when I first became a Christian. I told her that sometimes I would get up early and can’t go back to bed and she said that I should begin praying as the Lord may be stirring my spirit to get on my knees and pray. When I asked her, what do I pray about, she said, just have a conversation with the Lord, ask Him to show me who and or what to pray for and He would. Honestly I’ve learned that when I can’t go back to sleep I just say, Lord help me sleep, not who should I pray for.

It’s been a while since I’ve been, “stirred in my spirit”, a restlessness in my sleep, so for that I am sorry I did not instantly go to a place of prayer. Oh I did pray the first time it happened, but then thought it might be something else as it’s been everyday for about five days and I’ve been getting up earlier and earlier.

The lesson is I wasn’t as diligent as the Lord wanted me to be. I wasn’t listening to Him. Yesterday I took some time in the afternoon, about 20 or 30 minutes to “hear from the Lord.” But got stuck in the busyness of work and quiet time. I believe the Lord kept waking me up again and again, earlier and earlier, to tell me to stand in the gap for my friend, her family and the things He places on my mind to pray for.

P – PrayerJesus Praying

Father, I ask that you would forgive me for not taking the time to earnest seek you when you call upon me. I ask that you would give me the strength to intercede for that which my friend is wanting to pray for herself and at times is too weak in body but not in desire to seek you for the salvation of her family members that do not know you. I ask that you would heal my friend and if that not be in your greater plan as we know that our lives are temporary here on earth, I ask that you would help her and her husband and children to find your comfort and peace as she prepares for the time she has. If you need to wake me again, I pray that I would immediately go to my knees and seek you, so that I can intercede for those who need it.

I am thankful that your son Jesus came to this earth to die for our sins so that we don’t have to pay the eternal penalty of our sins. I’m thankful that we don’t have to carry our burdens on our own – Psalms 55:22. We can share each other’s burdens, Galatians 6:2; and we can go to you Lord and you will give us rest – Matthew 11:28. I thank you for all these things and more. In Jesus name, Amen.

UPDATE – Feb 23, 2016

My friend went home to be with the Lord last week. On Saturday we had her Celebration of Life service. She was only 45, but had done what God asked of her with all of her being and more. Praying for her husband and two children, that they would be strong in Him and that the Lord would carry them when they need it. – Thank you for continuing to pray for them.###

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Asking God for stuff…

In God we Trust

In God we Trust

The Bible says it, so why can’t you ask for anything you want and get it in Jesus name?

For one thing, if you read the scripture to ask for anything in the name of Jesus, you need to read the rest of the scripture: John 14:13-14, “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”

Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/pray-Jesus-name.html#ixzz2iS4j48sX

I would always say, God is not Santa Claus, you don’t make a list and expect whatever you ask for. In Luke 11:1-4 we are taught to how to pray. However, if you keep reading vs 5-11 Jesus used stories or parables to teach the meaning of what he was saying. He says that He will give you the Holy Spirit to those who ask. Luke 11:12.

Now if you’re wondering what does the Holy Spirit have to do with asking for provision when you need basic necessities like food, water and shelter? You may say you’re praying for healing or salvation for a friend or family member – why would God give me the Holy Spirit, that’s not what I asked for.

If you come to understand the source of all you ask for is in the Holy Spirit that can dwell within you then you will understand. I was reminded of this as I’m going through the book, Radical, by David Platt. It has been on the New York Times best seller list for some years and a good read to remind us that God our Father is willing to give us everything we need and things we want when it is based on God’s will, not our own.

We’ll need to do a few things before God will give you the desires of your heart. “Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him…” (Psalm 37:5-7a, NIV).

Seek the scriptures for answers. Look things up in your Bible concordance and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal Himself to you as to why a prayer is not being answered. You’ll find that everything happens for the God’s purpose and in His time. May His Holy Spirit provide peace and comfort as you wait upon the Lord. “Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.” – Psalm 24:17 NLT

Cry Out to Jesus

Random Thoughts…

I wanted to share the video and lyrics of the song, “Cry Out for Jesus” by Third Day. Along with this – I’m leaving some scriptures where the people have cried out to the Lord.  Where are you today? Have you been crying out to the Lord and feel there is no response? Maybe that lack of hearing from the Lord, is the response. Maybe the answer to your prayer, is no and that’s why there’s silence. Maybe there’s sin in your life or the one that you’re praying for and repentance needs to occur. Whatever the situation is, the Lord says he hears us. He will answer, just remember you may not like the answer, doesn’t mean he didn’t hear you. Keep crying out to the Lord, for he cares for you.

Scriptures that “Cry Out to Lord”

Psalm 107:13 Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, And He saved them out of their distresses.

Numbers 20:16 but when we cried out to the LORD, he heard our cry and sent an angel and brought us out of Egypt.

1 Samuel 7:8
They said to Samuel, “Do not stop crying out to the LORD our God for us, that he may rescue us from the hand of the Philistines.”

2 Samuel 22:7
In my distress I called to the LORD; I called out to my God. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came to his ears.

Psalm 34:17
The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.

Psalm 84:2
My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of theLORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.

Psalm 102:1
A prayer of an afflicted man. When he is faint and pours out his lament before the LORD. ] Hear my prayer, O LORD; let my cry for help come to you.

Be encouraged my friend – God is in control – or maybe you need to give him the control.

Lyrics: “Cry Out To Jesus”

To everyone who’s lost someone they love
Long before it was their time
You feel like the days you had were not enough
when you said goodbye

 

And to all of the people with burdens and pains
Keeping you back from your life
You believe that there’s nothing and there is no one
Who can make it right

There is hope for the helpless
Rest for the weary
Love for the broken heart
There is grace and forgiveness
Mercy and healing
He’ll meet you wherever you are
Cry out to Jesus, Cry out to Jesus

For the marriage that’s struggling just to hang on
They lost all of their faith in love
They’ve done all they can to make it right again
Still it’s not enough

For the ones who can’t break the addictions and chains
You try to give up but you come back again
Just remember that you’re not alone in your shame
And your suffering

When your lonely
And it feels like the whole world is falling on you
You just reach out, you just cry out to Jesus
Cry to Jesus

To the widow who suffers from being alone
Wiping the tears from her eyes
For the children around the world without a home
Say a prayer tonight


God Hears Your Cry

Today’s Date: February 15, 2010

God Hears Your Cry

Reading: Exodus 37:1-38:31 ~ Matthew 28:1-20 ~ Psalm 34:11-22 ~ Proverbs 9:9-10 (www.OneYearBibleBlog.com from Feb 14, 2010)

S – Scripture:

Psalm 34:17-18 “The LORD hears his people when they call to him for help.  He rescues them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those who are crushed in spirit.”

O – Observation:

Here’s an excerpt from the “God and Man in Proverbs” via OYBB:

~I am sure all of us have moments of needing help.  Moments of trouble.  Moments of being brokenhearted.  Moments of being crushed in spirit.  The big question is what do we do in those moments?  Or, who do we turn to?  Do you call to God in those moments?  Do you know that he will help you?  Do you know that he will rescue you?  Do you know that he is close to you?  Do you know that He is near? ~

It’s interesting to read in Psalm 34 that this is the Psalm of David, when he pretended to be insane in front of Abimelech in order to be sent away. Then David wrote this passage – to fear the Lord, to receive comfort and eternal happiness. I know that the Lord hears me as the scriptures say to ask and ye shall receive, based on God’s will. David knew that God would take care of him and rescue him, yet he still pretended to be “insane” in order for Abimelech to let him go. It worked. I’m not sure what this has to do with what David wrote in chapter 34, but maybe it’s something to do with the lesson that David had to go through in order for him to learn that God would take care of him and so that we (the generations after) would be able to learn from David’s ways.

A – Application:

I can apply these verses to my life by trusting in the Lord to take care of me even when I am in the scariest of situations. I am reassured that the Lord hears me when I cry out to him, he is close to me when my heart is broken; which is defined as, “having your spirit depressed or crushed by grief or despair.”

P – Prayer:

Father I thank you for your love. Thank you for hearing our cry for help and rescuing us when we are in trouble. You are our Savior, our Lord, and our redeemer. Thank you for forgiving us for our sins, even when we lack faith and trust – allowing us to learn through our experiences so that we can serve you and others better. In Jesus name, amen.

OYBB = OneYearBibleBlog.com

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© elehua808 – 2010- All Rights Reserved

Anxiety or Peace

We’re reminded to give God praise in all things – here’s a great song by Casting Crowns, “Praise You In The Storm” which goes well with today’s devotional.

Today’s Date: February 08, 2010

Don’t Be Anxious – God’s Peace

Reading: Exodus 28:1-43 ~ Matthew 25:31-26:13 ~ Psalm 31:9-18 ~ Proverbs 8:12-13

Blackaby’s Devotional: http://www.blackaby.org/devarchive.asp

S – Scripture:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

O – Observation:

I’ve always appreciated this verse; for its simplicity, yet find the most challenging is the first part – “Be anxious for nothing” – how’s that possible? Knowing that we are all human and we have a full range of emotions. How could we NOT be anxious over the big or little things in life? Well the rest of the verse tells us how – by prayer – asking God’s help, being thankful to the Lord for what we have – let our requests be made known by asking. Since God already knows what we want and need, he wants to hear us ask – to seek – to look towards him and tell him, talk to him in prayer.

Verse 7 – says that once we go before the Lord in prayer – we will no longer be anxious about anything – because he will give us the ‘peace of God’ – a peace that is so great, we won’t know why we are calm – not anxious – because the peace of God will wash over us.

A – Application:

There are always many things to be anxious about – money, relationships, job, school, weather, need and wants…Often times people will go through every emotion they can before they go to God in prayer and cry out, “why Lord, why?” yet if we just go to God first, we wouldn’t need to be anxious and be exhausted from the emotional roller coaster of anxiety we bring upon ourselves.  I will go to God in prayer – to take care of all of my needs and those who come to me and share their problems, concerns – we need to go to God first – so he can take care of it all and we may not get the answer that we want, nor get any answer; but we will have peace.

P – Prayer:

Father we thank you for your love and mercy. We praise you for giving us your word so that we have guidance in what to do in all situations. I ask that you help meet my daily needs of food and shelter; and that you bless us with work that we can provide for ourselves and help others. Lord we ask that you give direction to your will and ways. Help us in our faith. Help us to be focused and disciplined so that all things work together for good to those who love you and are called according to your purpose.  In Jesus name, amen.

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© elehua808 – 2010- All Rights Reserved

Why Pray?

The Prayer

Steps to Knowing God: Pray

Here’s a re-post of – “How to Know God: Pray” by Harvest.org click here to read more about them.

Prayer is as essential to knowing God and growing spiritually as breathing is to living and staying healthy. Just as you need to communicate effectively to be a good employee or spouse, our walk with God is only as strong as the communication between you and Him.

You might ask, “If God already knows what we need before we ask, why even bother praying?” Scripture makes a very strong case for prayer in the life of the believer.

  • Jesus told us to pray. Luke 18:1 says, “Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart.” We should pray simply because Jesus told us to and emphasized it in His life and teaching. There really is no better reason to pray than this.
  • Prayer is God’s appointed way of obtaining things. James 4:2 says, “You do not have because you do not ask.” Do you ever wonder why you never seem to know the will of God for your life, why you never have any opportunities to lead others to the Lord, or why you always seem to be scraping by? Maybe you haven’t seen answers because you haven’t asked God. He wants us to experience the blessings of seeing our prayers answered, such as the salvation of a loved one, a divine healing, or a wonderful provision. But we first have to ask.
  • Prayer is the way by which God helps us to overcome our anxiety and worry. Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”When you come to God and present your fears and anxieties to Him, He will give you His peace and comfort. That doesn’t necessarily mean He will take away whatever it is that is causing your worry. But you can know that He is with you, helping you persevere.

  • Prayer is one of the ways we make ourselves ready for the return of Jesus Christ. Luke 21:34–36 says, “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will be as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” As believers living in the last days, our lives should be characterized by watchfulness and prayer (see also Mark 13:32-33).

Whatever concerns you may have at this moment, it is always time to pray! Remember, Scripture tells you to “[cast] all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).

The Bible identifies several different types of prayers we can pray. One model for how we should pray is captured in the acrostic A.C.T.S. Each letter stands for a specific aspect of prayer, arranged in a very natural order.

A: Adoration (Worship)
C: Confession (Of Specific Sins)
T: Thanksgiving (Gratitude)
S: Supplication (Specific Requests)

  • Adoration: Jesus essentially taught us the same thing in the Lord’s Prayer, which begins, “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name” (Matthew 6:9). This puts things in perspective for us. A good example of this type of adoration is found in Psalm 95:1-7. When we take time to praise and worship God in our prayers, we are placing God where He rightfully belongs. As a result, our problems and needs come into their proper perspective.
  • Confession: The closer we draw to God, the more we sense our own sinfulness. When Isaiah came into God’s presence, he said, “Woe is me, for I am undone!” (Isaiah 6:5). The confession of our sin removes any barriers and clears the air of anything that would cause God not to hear our prayers. As 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us . . . ” This is, once again, modeled in the Lord’s Prayer. After “Our Father who art in heaven,” we find, “Forgive us our sins” (Matthew 6:12).
  • Thanksgiving: Our immediate response after confession is thanksgiving. We should be thankful that God would indeed cleanse and forgive us. Should we give thanks because everything is going perfectly in our lives or because we are in a good mood? No, we should give thanks because God deserves our praise. Psalm 118:1 says, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For his mercy endures forever.” As another translation puts it, “His love endures forever.” By giving thanks, or simply expressing gratitude for what we have, we prevent our focus from shifting to what we do not have.
  • Supplication: If we are faithful in the first three steps, the last step will not degenerate into some spiritual shopping list. Too often in prayer, we cut to the chase instead of spending time in adoration, confession, and thanksgiving first. Yet, God does want to hear our needs and requests. Scripture tells us, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6-7). We are also promised, “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:l9).

Do not neglect this vital part of your Christian walk. As someone has said, “Prayer is the breath of the newborn soul, and there can be no Christian life without it.”

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Share Your Prayer Needs

Today’s Date:  January 27, 2010

Share Your Prayer Needs

Reading: Exodus 4-5:21, Matt 18:1-20, Psalm 22:19-31, Proverbs 5:15-21

S – Scripture:

Matt 18: 20 “for where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.”

O – Observation:

Matt 18: 15-20 talks about what to do when a “brother” sins against you. I’ve often prayed v20 when praying with others as we are taught that if there’s more of us praying, not that the Lord doesn’t hear us when we pray individually, but that he wants us to be one, together, “bound on earth will be bound in heaven” v18. We fellowship in good times and bad, we need to share with one another so that we can continue to pray when the other person cannot and lift each other up in prayer as that is what Jesus instructs us to do.

A – Application:

I will ask my brothers and sisters in Christ if they have any prayer requests. I will direct them to pray on their own to our Lord Jesus and to share with their Christian family who are near – and if they feel that they are not able to ask others for prayer because they fear they will lose confidentiality, I pray that they are able to go to the many online prayer sites and prayer partners in their church and small group, so that they know that there is strength in numbers. God will answer; it may not be the answer you want; however we are called to pray together.

P – Prayer:

Father thank you for your love, understanding, grace, mercy, forgiveness. Thank you for hearing our cry, even when we think you have not heard us – you have answered, it just may not be the answer we were hoping for, or it may not be your will or your timing. I pray that your will be done. Amen.

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© elehua808 – 2010- All Rights Reserved

Does God Hear My Prayers?

Does God Hear My Prayers?

S – Scripture:

My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?… Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer….” ~Psalm 22:1-2

O – Observation:

David writes a song which is a prophesy (Ps 22:11-21) of the cry from Jesus at his crucifixion Mt 27:46

J. Vernon McGee: listen to this nine-and-a-half minute teaching about the prophesy of Jesus’ death on the cross.

Henry Blackaby’s devotion:

Who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear. ~Hebrews 5:7

“The life of Jesus provides the model for our prayer lives. God is seeking to mold us into the image of His Son (Col. 1:27-28). If we are to act like Christ, our prayer lives must be conformed to His. Many Christians are unwilling to pay the price that Jesus paid when it comes to interceding with God. Jesus’ prayers came with vehement cries and tears and, because of His godly fear, He was heard by the Father.”

“Why then, did the Father refuse His request? It was not due to any sin in Jesus’ life, nor was it because the Father did not love His Son. The Father said no, despite the unfathomable love He had for His Son, because He  knew He could not spare His Son and save a world. Likewise, the Lord cannot always spare you and your family and complete His redemptive work in those around you.”

A – Application:

As I listened to Dr. McGee’s teaching on this scripture and Blackaby’s devotion on the scripture of Heb 5:7 – I am persuaded that there are times that we will feel abandoned by God, and this may not be due to sin in our lives or sin in the lives of those we pray for, but that it may be God’s will for our prayers not to be answered at the time that we ask.

Blackaby says: “Are you willing for God to deny your pleadings? Will you intercede with the Father so deeply and intimately that even in the midst of your tears you are able to say, “Nevertheless, not my will but thine be done?” The Father will always relate to you out of the context of His love for a lost world. Has God said no to one of your requests recently? Accept His answer. Have you been learning obedience through what you have suffered (Heb. 5:8)? If you have, God may choose to make you a source of salvation to others even as He did with His Son.”

P – Prayer:

Thank you Father for your love and patience, your forgiveness, your grace. I ask that you hear my cry as I pray for the lives of those who do not know you, that they will come to know you in a personal relationship. I pray for those who claim to be your children that they will delve in your Word to seek your wisdom and guidance and share your saving grace with all whom they embrace.  Let your will be done.

Reading: Exodus 2:11-3:22, Matt 17:10-27, Psalm 22:1-18, Proverbs 5:7-14

Today’s Date:  January 26, 2010

© elehua808 – 2010- All Rights Reserved

The Have and The Have-Nots

Date: January 18, 2010

Sharing a Piece a Candy

Scripture Readings:Gen 37-38:30, Matt 12:22-45, Psalm 16:1-11, Proverbs 3:27-32

S – Scripture:

“Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them. If you can help your neighbor now, don’t say, “Come back tomorrow, and then I’ll help you.”  – Proverbs 3:27-28 – NLT

O – Observation & Interpretation:

How many times have you seen someone holding a cardboard sign that said, “homeless” or “need work” or “hungry” – interestingly since moving to this city, I noticed mainly homeless men, will go person to person in parking lots asking for “change”.  In today’s society there’s a large concern for safety. Just watch the news and you wouldn’t want to step outside of your home. I go by instinct, if I feel led I give, if I don’t I move on.  There have been times the Holy Spirit tells you, by the urging of your spirit, go back, don’t turn your back, buy a meal or share whatever you have.

If I’m in my car and someone approaches me I try to give food if I have it, or carry McDonald gift certificates with a few dollars so they can buy a meal. I’ve learned never to give cash, if possible, and I don’t have much anyway, so if they are truly in need they would appreciate the food. All that aside, if I have something or someway to help then the bible says I should help, not send them away.

A – Application:

We have started to gather clothing to donate and I’ve found a local agency that gives donations directly to the homeless so there’s no “sales” of donations and then helping others with the money from the sales. http://www.ourm.org/ – I was listening to the radio and found the Orlando Union Rescue Mission.  When we have extra funds, I try to have a few gift cards on hand in the car to hand out. When we drive long distances we often have snacks and packaged items with us – which we can hand out. In addition, we all know times are challenging for many of us, but we usually have a little more than someone else. I’ve tried to give of my time when I don’t have money to spare and that’s been a blessing.

I wrote about the homeless child in India that had two pieces of candy and offered me one, just because he wanted to say thank you for visiting him. I think about him often and God knows that little boy has made such an impact on my life.

P – Prayer:

Father thank you for providing and blessing us with our daily needs. Thank you for the abundance that we have where we can share with others. Thank you for the internet that can teach others how to give and share your love. Amen

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When Will God Provide?

Today’s Date: Jan 8, 2010

Reading: Gen 18:16-19:38, Matthew 6:25-7:14, Psalm 8:1-9, Proverbs 2:6-15

When Will God Provide?

S – Scripture:

“So don’t worry about these things, saying, “What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.”  Matt 6: 31-32

O – Observation:

Matt 6:25-34 Talks about not worrying about your daily needs to survive. God will provide. He describes the needs of the birds of the air, and that we, His children – are we not more valuable then they are? V26 – Believing that I as a child of God will have my basic needs met, I need to take steps not to worry as v 34 says, tomorrow will bring its own worries.

A – Application:

Based on these scriptures, God promises to care for us, by meeting our basic needs – food, clothing, water, shelter. It doesn’t say anything about our mortgages, debts we incur, etc.  What happens when we see people who don’t have the basics of food, clothing, and shelter? What happens in today’s economy when both spouses lose their jobs, their home, their belongings, where is God in providing for their needs?  I believe my duty as a Christian is to share that which I have, even if it’s less than what others may have.

My best example of God’s grace and provision is when I went to India and observed a ministry for homeless children, who lived along the railroad tracks.  The people who worked with them would try to get the children into orphanages and childrens homes, but the kids didn’t want to leave their other “family” (the other kids) who choose to stay behind. These children never knew where their next meal was coming from, they truly only had the clothes on their backs. They either ran away or parents abandoned them. They slept along the sides of the tracks and would catch the train (without paying of course) and go from one station to another. The police would occasional come and chase them away. We saw them drinking a strange looking liquid from a soda pop bottle, which we were told often times consisted of a mixture that would make them high. They also were known to “huff” glue or paint.

The outreach workers would visit the kids several times a week to befriend them in hopes that they would accept their help to go to school and enter a shelter. Sometimes the workers would bring the kids blankets or candy when they played with them, as they wanted them to get off of the streets and they didn’t think they would if they continued to provide them food & clothing – so they would visit without any handouts and the children embraced them because they knew the workers cared for them.

I was fortunate to visit the children with the outreach workers, along with a team of people from the US and other parts of India – we played games with the kids and gave them candy. The children seemed to enjoy our company and liked taking pictures with us. They didn’t speak English so we were given information by the workers.  One little boy came up to me and had two pieces of candy in his hand – he offered me one piece. I looked at him, shook my head and said no. He again insisted that I take it from him. The worker that took us to visit the children said I should take the candy, as that’s all the boy could do to show his appreciation for us coming to visit them. I was near tears. I could not see how a child who had literally nothing of material value, and didn’t know when he would eat again, would share his candy and not hoard it – like so many of us today. (I took the candy and when the young boy wasn’t looking I shared it with another child)  That boy wasn’t selfish, he was appreciative and showed love and care by sharing the only thing he had, an extra piece of candy.  Often, we want more and more – whether we have an abundance or barely enough we have trouble sharing, because we don’t trust that God will provide for us.

How do I apply this scripture verse in my life? I have been fortunate. When I look back on my childhood I never thought we were poor, we had a house, clothes, food. We were never homeless and I attended school and played sports.  We didn’t have a lot, but compared to much of our world, we were rich.  I have not only been fortunate, I have been blessed beyond what God promised to provide for my basic needs.  Even during the hard times of unemployment, illness, burn out, and the poor economy – I continue to see God provide for my basic needs. I have to trust that all the other bills, unexpected and expected expenses – God will provide and see us through. I have his Word on that. These are difficult times, however our country has gone through this in the past and has become stronger, and we pray that we will do it again. It won’t be easy, but He will provide.

Mt 6:33   “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”

P – Prayer:

Lord thank you for meeting our basic needs. Thank you for the abundance of gifts and blessings beyond our basic needs through the years, even in difficult times. I pray that I will and am a good steward of your provisions and that we can help others in their time of need. Amen

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