Invested in You and Your Household – Daughters of Promise – March 27

INVESTED IN YOU AND YOUR HOUSEHOLD

But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. Genesis 6:18

Is God just interested in calling out women, not men, unto Himself? How about men, not women? How about parents but not children? Is He interested in blessing the entire family? s His heart engaged with the ones you love, the ones you serve everyday under your own roof?

In our discouragement over marriages and the spiritual state of children, we can despair and wonder if God cares as much as we do. The good news is, he does! His very first covenant is with Noah and it encompasses his entire family. Most every covenant with His people involves saving someone ‘and their household.’ While that doesn’t mean that every family member will choose God, you can know that God’s heart is invested. He is wooing them even as I write this. Our part is to speak wisely and with holy restraint, live our faith with humility, use our authority against the forces of darkness who are obscuring the beauty of Jesus, and ask the Spirit of God to open the eyes of their heart.

In every way I am discouraged about the spiritual condition of a parent, a child, a spouse, a sister or brother, I can rest in the knowledge that God is even more engaged emotionally. After all, it is Him they are rejecting.

How many strangers have told me in passing, “Pray for my dad, he’s not a believer.” I hear their story, feel something, but several days later the conversation can be a distant memory. Not so with God. When someone I love is constantly on my mind, causing my heart to ache, I can know that God is with me. His heart aches, too.

God instituted the family structure. It’s no surprise to me, as I sit here thinking about all this, that He would desire to bless entire families. We, and our descendants, are alive in the heart of a God whose heart beats with passion for their salvation.

You are a God who remembers, whose love never wavers. My tears are safe with You because I know Your heart aches like mine. Amen.

For more from Christine Wyrtzen and Jaime Wyrtzen Lauze, please visit www.daughtersofpromise.org

A PRIVILEGE TO DIE FOR CHRIST

STANDING STRONG TROUGHT THE STORM

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. Philippians 1:21

The Apostle Paul was convinced that whether alive or dead, Christ is gain. This enabled him to minister amid severe hardship and persecution. It also helped him face the potential of premature death without fear and concern. When Christ is everything, life and death are left in His hands.

Bad news interrupted the Standing Strong Through the Storm (SSTS) training for pastors in a rural town of Colombia clouding the happy spirit felt in that meeting.

A letter was received from Pastor Manuel who explained that he was prevented from attending the workshop. Guerrilla leaders found out about the event. They told him that because of his insistence on preaching the gospel, they would not let him travel out of the village.

The amazing thing is that in spite of the continuous threats against Pastor Manuel, the guerrillas have not been able to carry them out against him. On repeated occasions, the army has come just in time to save him from some guerrilla attack.

While participants were grieving from this news about Pastor Manuel, another pastor, Hermes, told about two attempts against his own life by the same subversive band the previous month. Immediately participants expressed their desire to continue their ministry in places where the gospel is prohibited.

However, seven days later, the guerrillas brought together all the leaders that participated in the SSTS workshop and told them, “We are tired of the Christian’s disobedience. We do not want to kill anybody; the only thing we want is that you stop telling the people about the Bible. We will have to execute you. Tell Pastor Hermes that we will take drastic measures against him since we know that he is the one who encourages you…”

Pastor Hermes reported that instead of frightening the believers, this difficult situation generated a more intense plan of spiritual and ministerial action. The leaders want Open Doors seminars to come to places where it is impossible to preach.

How are they going to do it? Pastor Hermes said that a network of prayer was established during the time they were together. He believes the only way is through personalized training, or delivering a booklet and training to only one person at a time. For now it is the only way to use this tool to strengthen the believers. The training will take longer, but it is very dangerous to meet and to preach in houses because the guerrillas have cleverly infiltrated the area.

He concluded, “Materials from Standing Strong Through the Storm have been the driving force for us to continue preaching…Others also are striving to follow Christ and we have to do the same to prevent our church believers from losing their fervor.

“Besides prayer and fasting, we have to take action…God has protected us up to this moment, and if one day we die for preaching Christ, it will be a privilege.”

RESPONSE: Today I will live in such a way that Christ is honored and glorified. If it takes all my strength or even my death, I will sacrifice all for Him and consider it a privilege.

PRAYER: Pray for strength and endurance for pastors in rural Colombia facing death threats daily.

Living Rich – Encouragement Café – March 27

Living Rich
By Joan Walker Hahn

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.  Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.  In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. 1 Timothy 6:17-19

Money is an everyday concern.  From paying bills, putting gas in our cars, clothing and food, money seems to go out faster that we can bring it in.  But if we use our resources wisely, giving first to God what He has asked us to give, God gives us this promise:

 

Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. Proverbs 3:9-10 NIV

The world’s view of money is that it’s all about how much we can get.  In the Bible, every time the people focused on giving of their resources instead of gaining, the result led to worship and praise.  King David wanted to build a temple for the Lord.  Even though God told him that Solomon would be the one to build the temple, David did start the preparations, giving from his own wealth.  When people saw him giving, they began giving themselves.

 

The people rejoiced at the willing response of their leaders, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord.  David the king also rejoiced greatly. 1 Chronicles 29:9 NIV

When King Hezekiah led the people to give to the repair of the temple, the people gave generously of their firstfruits and tithes and that a great amount was brought.

Since the people began to bring their contributions to the temple of the Lord, we have had enough to eat and plenty to spare, because the Lord has blessed his people, and this great amount is left over. 2 Chronicles 31:10 NIV

As we give to the Lord what He has asked us to give, it leads us to praise Him.  In return, He will bless us and provide all our needs.  It’s a cycle we need to continue.  In fact, we cannot out give God.  The more we give to Him, the more He will bless us.  It may not be in great wealth of material goods, but our cups will surely run over.

More than money, though, there is something else we should desire.  Wisdom is of more value than silver or gold.  No desire we have can compare with wisdom.  (Proverbs 3:14-15)  It is the wisdom of God that teaches us how to live.   It is the wisdom of God, and the guiding of the Holy Spirit, that leads us to handle our finances in ways that will bring glory to Him.

Do you have problems budgeting money?  The Apostle Paul gave the Corinthians advice that we all can follow.  It was their desire to give a worthy offering to the ministry of the Gospel.  But this advice can be followed for every aspect of managing our finances.

On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. 1 Corinthians 16:2 NIV

As we strive to honor God with our resources, we can bring honor and praise to Him; we can meet the needs of others; we can reap the rewards of His blessings that are far more valuable than all of the money in the world.

Heavenly Father, You have so richly blessed me.  Help me to honor You with all that You have entrusted me with.  My time, my talents and my resources are Yours.  Give me wisdom on how to give and spend in ways that will glorify Your Name.

For more encouragement, visit Joan at joanwalkerhahn.com.

© 2020 by Joan Walker Hahn.  All rights reserved.

Do you know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior?  Pull up a chair… He’s been waiting for you.

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The conversation at the Café is always hot and fresh.  We invite you to listen in as we gather around the table to discuss everyday life.

Comfort food for your soul is always on our menuand friends are always close enough to hug.  We invite you to join us daily, as our writer’s share how the Lord continues to transform them into His glorious image.

Still craving more…Join us as we grow together in grace and truth through our online bible study.

Stop by Encouragement Café and listen as the girls share life. Find podcasts, videos, Bible studies, prayer, resources and daily helpings of hope, laughter and friendship around our table. We’ve saved a seat just for you!

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