My <3 vs. God's <3

For the past year or so, I’ve been praying continuously for God to break me so that what I feel on the inside, in my Spirit, could be freely expressed (without shame) on the outside, specifically in the form of crying. Not so that I can act spiritual, not so that I can be proud about my emotions and what the Spirit is doing in my life, but so that I can freely express what God is placing on my heart, to be transparent with my brothers and sisters in Christ, to show God’s love so fully with others that they can clearly see Him in me. I don’t want God to be clouded through me, I desperately want others to see the fullness of His love, His grace, His mercy, His passion for the lost and dying in this world in and through me.

The other night while I was reading through Release of the Spirit, by Watchman Nee, my heart was broken. It was aching so tremendously for my unsaved family, friends, and those I don’t know. Just knowing that without Christ, without accepting His Truth, they are on a pathway that will lead them to Christless eternity. In that moment, I wanted to weep for them, I wanted to let them see the pain that I felt. That if they could truly see how much I loved them, that maybe, just maybe they would see and understand the Truth. That they would be saved. To experience God like I have, His unconditional love, His constant companionship, His never-wavering comfort and Truth. Oh how I want them to see and understand! But still, no tears were shed on the outside.

I told this to one of my friends via text and they mentioned that God loves them more than I ever could. Those weren’t the exact words, but the message is the same. Just thinking of how much I was aching for them to experience, know, understand, and believe the Truth, and then knowing God’s aching is infinitely greater than I can even contain in my weak human existence. Oh my goodness! If only they knew! If only they knew that the very God that created the heavens and the earth, the very God that formed them in their mother’s womb, the very God that sent His ONE AND ONLY Son to DIE for OUR sins wants them to know how much He desperately loves them and wants to be loved by them. If only I could show them… they have NO IDEA how great His love is for them.

I’m thankful that God is working in my life to break my heart for the lost world in a way I wasn’t expecting. I’m so blessed to know that He loves me, ME, the very person whose sins nailed Him to the cross nearly 2000 years ago. To know that even though I feel this way, He feels it greater than I, but He allowed me this little glimpse into His heart. I know that God will give me the ability to cry again. I know that those I’m praying for by name will come to know the Lord. It’s only a matter of His perfect timing. And that I am willing to wait for.

Thanks for reading, If you have any thoughts or comments, please comment on the post. Thanks!! I love you all! and God loves you even more!

The Plane Had Technical Problems!

Today I was in the airport flying from my internship with Gospel for Asia. I was observing all the people walking by, and I was thinking “All these people are going to Hell unless they believe in Jesus.” I was too afraid to say anything about it, or to pass out Gospel tracts to the people passing. The first plane I was going to be on got canceled due to technical problems, so I decided to put a Gospel tract on my seat. I hope someone picks it up and comes to know Jesus through it.

Anyway, I got on the plane and I was sitting a woman. I don’t know her name. I started talking to her a little bit just about the weather and about where we came. I sensed God wanted me to give her a Gospel tract, but I kind of brushed it  off. She started reading a magazine. Midway through the flight I was still thinking about giving a Gospel tract to her. I excused myself from sharing a Gospel tract at that time, by thinking “I don’t care about sharing the Gospel at this time. I just want to sleep.”  So I went to sleep, because I was tired. I woke up, and the thought that I wanted to give her a Gospel tract came back. This was an hour long flight, so at this point I did not have much time to give it to her. So I prayed to God, “Father, please give me an opportunity to share this with her.” Finally at the end I gave the Gospel tract to her and what she said blew me away. It was a Charlie Brown, “What is Christmas all About?” tract and she told me she appreciated it and she would share it with her grandsons.

The reason why I share this, is because often times when I am in a situation where God calls me to share the Gospel with someone I fail a lot. Most of it is due to my self centeredness and not wanting to get out of my comfort zone for the sake of Christ. It is important to remember it is only through Christ’s strength we are able to share the Gospel with others. Without His strength we are not able to do anything and will often times get frightened like I did. It is only when we listen to God’s voice not Satan’s or our own voice we are able to serve Jesus.

I do not want to make the impression we have to go around feeling guilty every time we fail.  Those times we fail  (even though He has told us to go tell some one), God is so gracious to forgive us time after time. I know God forgives me for those times I have a careless attitude and fail to obey Him. At those times, he picks me back up and tells me to keep going and to fix my eyes on Him.  It’s almost as if God breathes His love back into me and empowers me to keep on going.

Wear Green and Pray!

Would have had this up sooner, but computers confuse me 🙂
Buried beneath the St. Patrick’s Day symbols of shamrocks and leprechauns lies the story of a man determined to share the message of salvation with the people who made him a slave….

Patrick grew up the son of a church Bishop in Britain during the early 5th century. He was kidnapped and enslaved and spent 6 years of his early life in Ireland. He did miraculously escape back to His home country only to have God call him back to Ireland in a dream. At this time, Christ was not known in Ireland. Like so many remote villages that God is using Gospel For Asia supported missionaries to reach now. Patrick went willingly this second time to share the message of the gospel to those who were his enemies. (It is said that he used 3 leaf clovers to illustrate the trinity, but I’m not sure if it’s true).

Against persecution and the intense paganism that plagued Ireland, Patrick served God by reaching people with the message of the gospel. He eventually died for his faith. By his death in 461, it was estimated that Patrick had founded 300 churches, hundreds of thousands had heard of true freedom from sin through Christ’s gift of salvation, and over one hundred thousand had come to know Christ as their savior. His followers re-evangelized Europe as God called missionaries from the once Godless island. Patrick is one of the few figures in recorded history directly responsible for the completely non-violent religious conversion of an entire nation.

I love this story of true love for your enemies and a passion to reach the lost! Wear green and pray for all of those risking their lives for the cause of Christ.

Please be in prayer for all of the people God is calling to reach those who have never heard the gospel before. Pray for the families of those who have been imprisoned or martyred for their faith. Pray that God would call more to the field! Pray that those who are called would continue to lives worthy of their calling.

A Frozen River

“You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth.” – Deuteronomy 11:18-21

This world is broken. The heart of man is dark, not seeking after God.  To change a man, you must change his heart. The word of God is the only thing that will break down the barriers, destroy the sin, change the heart, cleanse the abrasion, heal the wounds, and lead the humbled healed man to the arms of the One who heals.

“And without faith it is impossible to please Him…” – Hebrews 11:6

Where does faith come from?

“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” – Romans 10:17

Where will this broken world hear the word of God? There are a few places, but above all, it will be from us.

“As you walk along the way…” We need to be speaking the word of God in the same way that we breathe.  Jesus said, “…for out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” – Luke 6:45 If His word is in our heart, it will overflow to all who we meet.

To say that the word of God should overflow out of us does not mean we have to quote a verse every hour. Rather our lives and speech should be shaped by the words that He has spoken, and as a result we will be reflections of Him to those around us.

God is not silent. Once a word of God is spoken, it continues on for eternity. All other words are recorded and then looked at as history. They are in the past, read by a reader in the present. But God’s words are current, “living and active.” – Hebrews 4:12 Man’s words are a frozen river. Some of them true, some of them not. They can be examined and learned from. God’s word is a flowing river that you can jump into and swim in. Splashing, drinking, diving deeper and ultimately being drawn in the right direction. The sea, which is the goal and the source of the river.

2.7 billion people, almost half of this world’s population, lives in the proverbial desert. They have not heard of the river. They seek healing in the rivers of their own country, asking, “can we not wash in our own rivers and be clean?”

Millions bathe in the Ganges, believing that it will cleanse them of their sins. Egyptians would worship the Nile, believing it to be the source of all their wealth. And yet all the while, their souls are dying of thirst.

Jesus said, “whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” – John 4:14

What this world needs is to be brought to Jesus that their old self would be drowned the river, that in the rushing waters of baptism their sins would be washed away into the ocean of forgetfulness.  And that they would be raised as a new creation, reborn to a new life.

This is good news! And the world is literally dying to hear it. We must bring them news of this river, by the speaking of God’s word.  One of the ways that His word is living is that it is constantly shared by those who receive it. As we walk along the way, and further than that, purposefully directing our steps and our lives so that our path would be among those who have never heard.

“When the poor and needy seek water,
and there is none,
and their tongue is parched with thirst,
I the Lord will answer them;
I the God of Israel will not forsake them.
I will open rivers on the bare heights,
and fountains in the midst of the valleys.
I will make the wilderness a pool of water,
and the dry land springs of water.
I will put in the wilderness the cedar,
the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive.
I will set in the desert the cypress,
the plane and the pine together,
that they may see and know,
may consider and understand together,
that the hand of the Lord has done this,
the Holy One of Israel has created it.”

– Isaiah 41:17-20

Modern Day Paul

Recently, I was privileged to go to Asia on a Vision Tour with the School of Discipleship students. One of the most impacting parts of the trip was spending a day in a remote village where a Tribal Church had been established.

I sat in a tiny cement Church building worshipping with the local believers. As I watched the believers worship the Lord with such intensity I became focused on one man. He stood in the front and had such an obvious passion for the Lord. He seemed to have leadership all over him. I wanted so badly to find out his story. A few minutes later, I was humbled hearing how God transformed his life.

“My name is Pradeep. For over 20 years I was part of an anti-Christian group that terrorized Pastors and Believers. I was known throughout the region as a fierce man who would beat Christians, burn Bibles and destroy Gospel literature.Often, at the sound of my name believers would prepare to run for their lives.

After 20 years of serving my gods and fighting Christians I found my family more desperate than ever. For two years my family fell sick. We sought relief in our gods and goddesses as well as medicine. The more we tried the worse our situation became. There seemed to be no hope.

Finally, a pastor visited my home and told me, “If you believe in Jesus and pray to Him, Jesus will heal your family.” After sharing about the Lord Jesus, the pastor asked if he could pray. After sitting and watching this man pray I felt the first glimmer of hope for my family in two years.

Over the next few weeks my family was completely healed from our sicknesses. As a result we gave our lives to Jesus.

We have now been serving our Christ for five years. Even today, many believers who have not seen the drastic change in my life are afraid and prepare to flee when they hear that I’m entering a village. I’m so thankful for how Jesus saved us.”

I sat in awe of how God transformed this Saul into a modern Paul. In my heart, I said, ‘O Jesus, I love you so much you are so good, please take us and completely.’

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