Be A Crazy Farmer
This last week I had the incredible opportunity to go on a work and witness team to Cactus and Dumas, Texas. It was a blessing and a privilege to be a part of what God was doing in these small towns. We put on a VBS and a gymnastics camp which God used us to reconnect people who had been disconnected from the church. We did a lot of physical labor including painting, digging, planting, moving gravel, installing carpet, and more which God used to create a more comfortable space for these ministries to happen. I could go on and on about the different things God did that week, but this is supposed to be a short devo. I want to share one of the things that God taught me on this trip.
Every night before bed we met as a team and debriefed about our day. On our last night, Pastor Todd (One of the pastors we worked with on the trip) shared some insight about the Parable of the Sower that I had never thought about before.
He told many stories in the form of parables, such as this one: “Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seeds. As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them. Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died. Other seeds fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants. Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted! Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”
Jesus shares later in the chapter the meaning behind the parable being how different people apply the Gospel in their lives. How some are receptive to the Good News and how some are not. But how often do we think about the farmer in this story? You see, the farmer is kind of a crazy farmer. This parable doesn’t begin with the farmer preparing the soil. It begins with him throwing seed all around his field, seemingly not caring where it ends up. The farmer is us, followers of Christ. And our commission as Christians is not to prepare people. It's not to make sure they are the perfect humans and then tell them about Jesus. No, it is our job to spread the good news of Jesus Christ no matter who it is. It is to throw seed (the gospel) all over and not care where it lands. We can do this by doing big things like going on a mission trip. However, it is really in the simple things where we begin to see the biggest change. Offering to help someone, taking someone to lunch or eating with them, being friendly to that person who is difficult to get along with, praying with someone… It doesn’t matter who the gospel falls on to. As long as we are doing what Christ has called us to do. I encourage you to ask God to show you the people who need to hear and see the Gospel in your life, and to give you the courage and strength to go and spread it like a crazy farmer!
For years, I have rejected the phrase “God will never give you more than you can handle” in favor of the phrase “God will never lead you where His grace cannot sustain you.” Well, over the last few weeks, my strength and faith have been tested in ways I have never experienced before. I feel like everything I’ve ever said about God’s grace and an individual’s faith are being put to the test, that this is where the metal meets the road. I have lost count of the amount of times I have heard either my wife or I say “when it rains, it pours.”
On father’s day, we went to our favorite Chinese restaurant. We have a fun little ritual where my wife picks out everyone’s fortune cookies for them at the end of the meal. When I opened mine, it had two of the little ‘fortunes’ in it. They said “The day only gets better” and “It can’t rain all the time.”
Never doubt that the God we serve is still the God that created the Heavens and the Earth (Gen. 1:1), and in Him is life, which is the light of men (John 1:5). That God never has and never will abandon His sons and daughters. Sometimes we just need reminded of that.Pastor Jared
Walk in the Same Way: A pondering by Holly Woodbridge
1 John 2 3 And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, 5 but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: 6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
From a kids song by Frank Hernandez:
I wanna be just like You, Jesus
I wanna do the things You do
I want my words to always be true
I wanna be just like You
The Hymn writer, Thomas Obediah Chisholm, voices it like this:
I have one deep, supreme desire,
that I may be like Jesus.
To this I fervently aspire,
that I may be like Jesus.
I want my heart His throne to be,
so that a watching world may see
His likeness shining forth in me.
I want to be like Jesus.
When I was young and was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would answer, “I want to be like Jesus.” And I still do. I am not very young any more, but as I walk with my Savior that is still my desire. How about you?
Let me close with this chorus as our prayer:
O to be like Thee! O to be like Thee!
Blessed Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
Corrie Ten Boom grew up near Amsterdam in The Netherlands and was part of a well-respected Christian family. After the Nazi invasion in 1940, the Ten Booms hid an estimated 800 resistance fighters and Jews in their home, protecting them until they could be moved to safe houses.
In February 1944, the Ten Booms were betrayed and put into imprisonment by the Nazis. During their imprisonment they were placed in solitary confinement and interrogated. Even in these harsh and harrowing conditions Corrie led a nightly prayer group with a smuggled Bible.
Corrie was eventually released by what may have been a clerical error (some coincidence eh?). It would save her life and allow her to go on helping others, as well as teaching on prayer and forgiveness.
In a teaching on Effectual Prayer Corrie told her audience about catching a cold while living in a concentration camp. Her sister Betsie told her to pray and ask God for help. Corrie laughed at her sister. Betsie still prayed for God to give Corrie a handkerchief. It was just a simple, practical prayer. After she said Amen, a friend arrived and gave Corrie a gift of a handkerchief. “How in the world did you know that I needed a handkerchief?” asked Corrie. Her friend replied, “There was a voice in my heart who said bring a handkerchief to Corrie Ten Boom.”
Corrie continued, “Can you understand what a handkerchief tells you in such a moment? That there is a Father in heaven who hears it when on a very small planet, the earth, some one of his children prays for an impossible small thing, for a hankie, and that Father in heaven tells one of his other children – give a handkerchief to Corrie Ten Boom.”
As we approach Father’s Day this weekend, may your heart be filled with a true sense that you are being heard by a Heavenly Father who cares about even the simplest of your needs. I encourage you to pray with the quiet confidence that you are in conversation with your Abba Father.
Love and Prayers,
YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO ANYTHING
Romans 10:2-4 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
The statement “You Don’t Have to do Anything” still echoes through the corridors of my mind, after one of my high school teachers expressed her profound direction to my questioning why we had to learn certain mathematical equations; which to me seemed to be of little value. I’ll give you the conclusion to her directive later. But for now, it is enough to just consider her statement.
Paul began as a crusader to eradicate all Christians, until he yielded to God’s plan, then was transformed into a mighty Christian soldier for Christ.
Jonah was stubborn, refusing to go to Nineveh, until he met up with a great fish that looked upon him as fish bait and a free lunch. Although Jonah chose to do nothing, that did not deter God’s plan for Jonah, thus saving him and sending him on a mission to spread God’s message.
David made a plethora of mistakes, ran away even hid in a cave to avoid both his king and God. But even there he could not hide from God’s persistent presence. All in all, David was still a man after God’s heart, choosing to follow Him.
We, you and I accomplish God’s purpose for our lives as we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, and His road map of truth for our life; the Holy Bible. Ananias was fearful of choosing to do something rather than simply staying in the comfort of doing nothing, “But the Lord said to him, ‘Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. (Acts 9:15)
Timothy received a spiritual gift, for Paul tells us this, “For I wish that all men were even as I myself. But each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that.” (1 Corinthians 7:7)
All Christ followers have a calling and purpose, but we must each decide for ourself to come to know God’s special purpose, uniquely created and tailored by God’s hands for our life. It takes faith, and be assured God will make us uncomfortable until we step out and fulfill that purpose. A purpose that transcends beyond this life. God has gifted you with the abilities to live out your purpose.
And now, the conclusion to the rest of the statemen: “You Don’t Have to do Anything”, “But, Your Grades Will Show It!”
Jesus has told us, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” To simply do nothing is to never realize the purpose God wants to reveal to, in and through you.
You don’t have to do anything, but your life will show it. So, choose to be different, be willing to say “Yes” to the Lord and He will reveal His purpose to you. Then yield to His will, and walk according to the purpose He has called you to.
God Bless you in your journey!
Sincerely Yours in Christ
Rev. Jerry Schmid
A Tribute to My Heavenly Father
As a young adult growing up, I had a burning desire to know my birth father. I had never met the man. I just knew of him or at least knew of the man that was supposed to be my father. As a child, I craved the love and affection of a loving father; someone that would tell me how pretty I was or how glad he was that I was his little girl, like other fathers told their daughters. I spent many a day daydreaming of that perfect father – the one that would one day come into my life and sweep me off my feet, only to wake up to the reality that I didn’t really know my birth father, and the father that I had been unfortunate enough to know was abusive. I began a search for my father when I was twenty eight years old, only to find out what I had always envisioned would never become a reality.
One day while sitting in a church service on Father’s Day, I was listening to a message that really spoke deep into my heart. The pastor was describing a Father that would always love you unconditionally, always be there for you; never abuse you. A Father that would meet every need you ever would have; a Father that would never leave you or forsake you. A Father that loved me enough to give me the best gift a Father could give – His one and only Son.
I realized there in that pew for the first time, how blessed I was and didn’t even know it. God had given me a Father, a Heavenly Father that could give me what no earthly father could ever give. I also realized how blessed I was to have husband like God had given me. He was that kind of father, the kind I always dreamed of having, to the children God so graciously blessed me with. He was the best father any child could ever want.
I never searched again for my birth father. It didn’t matter anymore. God had healed my heart and had wrapped His loving arms around me and I no longer had a desire for an earthly father.
So today with Father’s Day fast approaching, I say a huge thank you to my Heavenly Father who has been the best Father I could ever have. And a huge thank you to my Heavenly Father for blessing me with a father for my children like Arnie was. Arnie is no longer with us but his memory still lives on and he left a great legacy to all of his children. The time he spent with his children and the memories they created together are something that will always remain. They are the fathers today to their children because of the example he set before them.
So if you are a father, cherish those children God has entrusted into your care. Spend quality time with them and make great memories with them that will last a life time. But most of all point them to Jesus and to our Heavenly Father by the words you say and the way in which you live. Some day when this life on earth is finished, we can be assured that when we stand before our Heavenly Father we will all have to give an account of what type of father or mother we were. May you live your life so that when that day comes, you will hear the words,” Well done, thy good and faithful servant! “
"Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own:” 1 Corinthians 6:19 NIV
There are no such things as a private life - "a world within the world"- for a man
or woman who is brought into fellowship with Jesus Christ's sufferings.
God breaks up the private life of His saints,
Through those doorways --- God is opening up ways of fellowship with His Son.
world, then thank Him for breaking your heart.
When I went to Timor to spend time as a volunteer missionary, I thought I was going to save “those people”. Misconception one. I thought I’d be teaching “them”. Misconception 2. I thought I was better than them. I believe I’ve shared before, my lessons begun the first night I arrived, when the ladies from the church gathered and shared things I would never have heard here, free of judgement or ridicule. I learned transparency and grace.I learned waiting. The first month was slow going. We hadn’t started classes yet, I was tired of waiting, I wanted to start the work. But in the waiting I was learning, and God was already doing the work.
I learned what true self-sacrifice is as I watched this man, (my future husband) work hard only to get $5/week which he’d turn around and pass out to the young men at the youth center and only keep $1 or less for himself. I watched as he gave a naked man one of the two shirts he owned and put it on him when he stumbled into one of the church services one Sunday morning.
I learned about fasting. I learned patience, flexibility and humility. I learned to see people through Jesus’ lens. And most of all I learned, I can’t do the saving, only Jesus saves.
Acts 4:12 “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” I came back forever changed.
We are in Cactus, Texas this week sharing in God’s mission. We are not here to save the people, or teach them. We are here to be the hands and feet of our Savior. What He does with our efforts is His to decide. I anticipate that our group will come back more “changed” than those we will be serving alongside. Pray for us this week as we represent our church and serve God’s children!
1 PETER 5:1-11
● Humility begins when we LET GO.
● Humility continues when we LET GOD.
● The devil’s power is no match to God’s mighty HAND.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 For 12:9)
Most of the time when I think of strength, I think of physical strength and endurance. I think of working out and exercising. But if your physical health and appearance is all you invest your life in, then you’ll miss out on something that lasts forever—the Kingdom of God. And you can’t fight for God’s Kingdom using physical strength alone. The men and women who are really strong—the ones who are world changers—are those who honestly admit their limitations and weaknesses.
In fact their refrain is, “Lord, I am weak. And I need you.”
You see, in God’s Kingdom, being strong isn’t about having a six-pack of abs, the perfect CrossFit regimen, nor is it about succeeding in life and winning people’s admiration. Being strong begins with knowing the source of one’s true strength. It’s declaring, “There is a God, and I’m not him!” It’s recognizing your weaknesses and turning to God to empower you to be the person God made you to be.
The devil wants to make the mighty fall. And he’s the master of making the strong become weak. Sometimes he does this by making us comfortable with a mediocre life that’s familiar and doesn’t require much from us.
On the other hand, God is the master of making weak people strong. And God’s power is no match for the devil. God extends grace to the humble. Our challenge is to live boldly with the strength God provides.
- Pastor Michael
Truth or Consequences
“Pilate therefor said to Him, so you are a king? Jesus answered; you say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice. Pilot said to Him, What is truth?”
At first blush, we would have to say Pilate is asking a reasonable question. After all, most of us voiced a similar question at one time or another.
Merriam Webster defines truth as: “The body of real things, events and facts. A transcendent fundamental spiritual reality.”
Mr. Webster seems to be reminding us truth is not absolute, unless it is based on the absolute!
It is at this junction of creative thought where we begin to encounter consequences. Things, events and judgement propositions when advanced as truth, when in fact they are not, can quite often lead to negative unintended consequences.
For any truth to be absolute it must be based upon absolute infallible core or source. I think I can say without equivocation, the Bible, God’s Inspired Word, meets that standard.
The fair question Pilate asked (although I doubt he was serious in pursuing an answer) is one we should be asking in the tumultuous world we find ourselves!
There are three common things to consider when searching for the truth of anything:
“Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live.” Ezekiel 37:4-5
I am urgently praying for a mighty movement of God’s Spirit in the community of Montara! This morning I asked the Lord, “What more can we be doing out there?” And the answer from my heart was, “Really, not much.” I reviewed in my mind all we’re currently doing and what we plan to do this summer, and I honestly can’t imagine that a small body of believers could do much more. So it’s completely up to God. But isn’t it always?
I have no idea what causes God’s Spirit to break out in a spectacular way, but I’m grateful to have been a part of it in the past, so I know what it looks like. At the time I came to know Christ, a great revival was taking place in the local church to which He led me. Many people were being saved; the newly-saved were being taught to follow Christ, and people were regularly being called to full-time ministry. It was an amazing time, and in a period of five years I walked through all of the above steps. The pastor was amazing, the people were loving, and discipleship classes were Biblically sound. But it seems to me that those things were the result of the revival, not the cause. Purely and simply, revival is a working of God’s Spirit, quickening the dead hearts of sinners. That’s what I’m praying for in Montara. Will you pray with me?
In Exodus 13:21-22 we are told that Israel was led from Egypt by the presence of GOD himself: “And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people.”
This was an immensely powerful, tangible presence of the LORD who defended his people from Pharaoh’s army but also provided guidance.
Conditions in desert areas can vary greatly as well as quickly. Temperatures can become dangerously hot during the day and quickly drop to dangerously low after the sun sets. The LORD’s presence provided his people with shade by day in the heat of the desert as well as warmth at night with the pillar of fire. Later in the journey, when the Tabernacle was built, His presence continued to be with them.
Our GOD has promised to provide for our needs as well, “And my GOD will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19) I think this is especially important for us to remember during the times we are in now. Our faith needs to be focused on our all-powerful, Creator GOD much more than on a government that can change frequently or on a fluctuating economy. Just some food for thought.
May the Lord’s grace and peace be upon you and yours.
Faith to Move Mountains
Manjhi is very well known in India as “The Mountain Man.” He lived in a settlement in the Gehlaur Hills and worked as a miner. Tragically, his wife had an accident and fell off a cliff while trying to bring food and water to Manjhi while he was at work. Due to the treacherous terrain the nearest clinic was 40 miles away, and he was unable to save his wife. Manjhi vowed that he would never let this happen to anyone again. He picked up his hammer and chisel and spent the next 22 years carving a path through the mountain. In 1982 he finished the 30 ft wide, 25 ft high, and 360 ft long path through the mountain. It cut the walking distance to the next settlement from 35 miles to 10 miles. Manjhi’s determination possibly saved the lives of countless people.
Hearing this story gave new meaning to Jesus’ words in Matthew 17:20 “You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”
Manjhi had faith. I don’t know if he was a follower of Christ or not, but he had faith that he could carve a safer path for the people in his village. In fact he had so much faith that he picked up and used the smallest possible tools you could use for a job like that because it is what he had.
Faith requires us to act. It requires us to act on the things we know to be true even though it may seem difficult or somewhat impossible. How do we know this? We know because God has proven himself time and time again. What do you need to have the faith to do today? What is the impossible task that God is calling you to do? What are the tools and resources around you, even things as small as mustard seeds, that you can pick up and use to do amazing things?
“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Matthew 6:6
The main idea in the focus of religion is
When you pray
It is impossible to conduct your life as a disciple without definite times of secret prayer.
But when ye pray use not vain repetitions . . . (v.7).
God does not hear us because we are in earnest,
We pray pious babble, our will is not really in it, and
Then we say God does not answer; we never asked for anything.
"You shall ask what ye will," said Jesus.
Asking means our will is in it.
Whenever Jesus talked about prayer,
But remember: We have to ask of God
Chill! A pondering by Holly Woodbridge
So I just added another tee shirt to my wish list.
TRUST GOD and CHILL
In Psalm 46:10
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
So let’s take some time and practice that right now…
Be… Just be. Be present. Be ready. Wait for it.
Be still… Quiet the distractions. Take time to let them go.
Be still and KNOW! What is it I think I know?
What do I really need to know?
Let go of lies. Hold fast to truth.
2 Corinthians 10:5 “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
KNOW that I am GOD! He is God. He is able, He is good, He is loving.
Choose to trust Him! Ask Him to help you trust.
He finishes with the promise I will be…
“I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
Whatever it looks like, the truth is God wins. He WILL BE exalted.
So surrender. Trust. Chill! He’s got this. HE is GOD!
Exodus 14:14 is another reminder:
The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14
Here is some music to help you to Be Still…and Chill.
Love One Another (John 13:34a)
Love One Another (John 13:34b)
Love One Another (John 13:35)
Love One Another (John 15:12)
Love One Another (John 15:17)
Love One Another (Romans 13:8)
May Your Love Increase (1 Thessalonians 3:12)
Love Each Other (1 Thessalonians 4:9)
Love One Another Deeply (1 Peter 3:8)
Love Each Other Deeply (1 Peter 4:8)
Love One Another (1 John 3:11)
Love One Another (1 John 3:23)
Love One Another (1 John 4:7)
Love One Another (1 John 4:11)
Love One Another (1 John 4:12)
Love One Another (2 John 5)
Perhaps God is trying to make a point. Or maybe I just need to live the point.
THE UNOPENED GIFT
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above” (Jas. 1:17). Paul asked, “What do you have that you did not receive?” (1 Cor. 4:7).
There are many gifts from God that we leave unopened or under-utilized.
As children, even some adults, became really good at present-peeking. You could search through the entire home when no one was watching of course, looking in all the obvious places; the bedrooms, closets, under beds, in every drawer, high shelves, each nook and cranny, every cabinet, under sinks, and even between sofa pillows. You would shake each box hoping to hear a sound making clue, or maybe going to the ultimate extreme of carefully unwrapping and re-wrapping the gift, after careful inspection of course.
But what about the gift that God has specifically given to you? Have you left it in an unopened box, placed it in a dark little corner of your life, hidden it away like a secret that no one should know or find? These are the gifts of love, compassion, purpose, and the potential impact for God that we could have for His Kingdom and even more; which we allow to sit quietly hidden, waiting, to maybe someday be opened and released.
Oh, but if I open it, it may be recognized, or what if I fail to use it right? May I remind you that Peter was given a gift but he failed when he stepped out of the boat, he failed when he cut off a man’s ear, again when he denied Christ three times, and yet Christ said unto Peter “That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”. Then at the day of Pentecost Peter proclaimed the work of the Holy Spirit. He opened the box given to him by God and wisely used it.
Isn’t it time you stopped ignoring the box; the gift God has set before you? Isn’t it time you tore off the wrappings of God’s present to you, examined it closely, and allowed God to purposefully utilize His amazing gift to you? Oh, and if you need to read the instructions, God gave you all you need to be successful in His instruction book, the Bible.
So then if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach. (Rom. 12:7)
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Pet. 4:10-11)
Enjoy the Gift God has given you. You won’t even need batteries! It comes complete with His Power.
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Rev. Jerry Schmid
“YOU HAVE A FRIEND” John 14:15-21
It does make a difference when someone comes alongside us when we are in need.
But there are times when we need
But why does Jesus say, “I will give you ANOTHER advocate . . .”
The writer of John wants us to understand that
John is very clear that
In other words,
The Holy Spirit is the one who falls down beside us--
This teaching is reinforced as he continues to say in this passage,
“I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever the Spirit of truth.. . .”
The ADVOCATE is the HOLY SPIRIT
"I want churrrrch!!” he cried as we left the church building one day.
He didn’t mean the building though, he meant the people, the body of believers, the community. When I look at how my child is received by the body of believers we call our church, I am so very thankful. It wasn’t always that way for me growing up, there were some who were incredible to us and others who pushed us to the side and treated us as unimportant or as a nuisance, who rather than listening and encouraging us as we grew in knowledge and talents, put us down or dismissed us. I see our church becoming the church to my children.
Sharing, caring, loving, praying for one another, serving, growing with and encouraging one another in Christ.
He was sick a few weeks ago. I held him in the nursery at church while waiting for his daddy to come pick him up because we had an event going on that I needed to be at. As we were sitting there, a church member passed by and stopped to chat for a second. We mentioned Riko wasn’t feeling well, Zinho wasn’t either for that matter. Riko looked at the church member and said “would you pray for me?” O my heart! The church member said yes, and asked if he could pray right then? Such a beautiful moment. (I might have cried a little) It brought to mind this time he cried “I want churrrrch!”
This is a child who knows he has a God who loves and cares for him and can help him when he’s sick. He knows where to turn for help, never shy to ask for prayer. A child who knows he’s loved and cared for in His church, a community willing to take the prayer requests of a child seriously. My son is learning he has others to lean on and love him, not just mommy and daddy. This connection between this church member who took a minute out of his time and my son is unbroken now, in fact Riko joined him for a donut one Sunday morning with no inhibitions. It’s connecting moments like these that will keep our kids in church. They aren’t a nuisance they are a blessing, little worshippers ready to connect to God and others who just have WAY more energy than we do. I want churrrrrch for every child! I want them to have a community that will take Jesus’ words seriously when he said “let the little children come to me…”
What this church member doesn’t know is the next day Riko began to feel better. As he cleared his throat in the morning he said, “is God taking all the gunk away mommy?” (Now there’s another devo in itself right...?) He sure is honey, He sure is! “I think it’s cause ‘he' prayed for me.”
The next time you see one of our littlest worshippers, don’t count them out. Some of them have deeper questions about their faith than you, some of them have a belief stronger than you, that God can do anything. Some of them may grow up to be your pastor or your child’s pastor and they sure can serve Christ with more gusto and guts than you or I! They aren’t the future, they are the church! Let’s encourage and equip, pray for and teach. Pentecost Sunday is over, church, let’s be the church to young and to younger!
"Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord" James 5:14
"But Jesus called the children to him and said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these". Luke 18:16
“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” (John 15:7)
There’s no better mirror for someone’s theology than the content of their prayers. How you pray and what you pray for reflects what you believe about God—who God is, what his character is like, as well as his attitude toward us, his children. It is as if the words we use in our prayers are like mirrored pieces of glass, each one reflecting back our beliefs about the one we’re addressing.
For example, if you pray very small prayers, they you probably don’t really believe in a God who answers big prayers. If most of your prayers are for yourself and your comfort, then this reflects your belief that God is just there to serve you. Or maybe you’ve noticed the way someone facing a tough situation will say, “Well, now that we’ve exhausted all the solutions—all we can do now is pray.” If prayer is your last resort, this reflects what you believe about God.
Today, I challenge you to look at your prayers. What have your prayers been saying about God lately? Then, pray boldly and rely on God as your first choice - not your last option. Would you be willing to trust him enough to pray for his will and not what you think needs to be done? Praying boldly means letting him lead you - even when you can’t see where he’s taking you.
One essential key to a fulfilling and productive lifestyle is to pursue wisdom. Some might be inclined to think, “If I just had more money and resources, then I would have a more fulfilling and productive life.”
John Ross won 2 million dollars in a California lottery. Within a year, he was in jail for stealing a car.
Evelyn Adams won the New Jersey lottery, twice for a total of 5.4 Million. Before two years had expired, she had lost it all in an Atlantic City casino.
Michael Carroll won the British lottery for 15 million. Bought new cars and started a demolition derby. He wasted the rest on drugs and ended up in jail.
Can you imagine a different outcome if John, Evelyn and Michael had been acquainted with Proverbs 4:5-9?
Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding!
Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
“Do not forsake her, and she will guard you;
Love her, and she will watch over you.
“The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom;
And with all your acquiring, get understanding.
“Prize her, and she will exalt you;
She will honor you if you embrace her.
“She will place on your head a garland of grace;
She will present you with a crown of beauty.”
True life experiences teach wisdom is the key to every worthwhile venture. So today, acquire wisdom! Allow God’s Word to guide you in your journey of acquisition…then you will find a fulfilling productive life.