Sunday, March 31, 2013

4/1/13- For Whom is Christ Risen

Matthew 12:50
For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

Thoughts: The Bible is both inclusive and exclusive.  It is inclusive for all people.  Anyone can come- God invites all to come. "Whosoever" is welcome.  It does not matter what you look like, where you are from, what your status or economic situation is.  Anyone is welcome. 
    But welcome to do what?  Not to do whatever we wish.  Not to do the opposite of God's will.  In the end, God is God- not us.  Anyone is welcome through the door- and more than that- they are invited to come.  God does not wish that anyone would perish.  But we are invited to listen to follow- not to go our own way.  We exclude ourselves from God's house, when we rebel against the God of the house- without ever mending our ways.  

Prayer: Lord, if all are invited to experience you, the Risen Christ, help me to spread the news everywhere.  

Saturday, March 30, 2013

3/31- Declaring God’s Glory- When the Son Rises- 1 Corinthians 15:41-44

3/31- Declaring God’s Glory- When the Son Rises- 1 Corinthians 15:41-44

41 The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor.
42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.
If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. (1 Cor. 15:41-44)

Thoughts: Philippians talks about shining like stars in the universe.  One day, the dullness of sin and the weakness of our body will be polished so that the brightness of the way we are designed to be will be seen.  Our own resurrected bodies will be "like Jesus's" resurrected body.  So this resurrection of Christ is not a fictional- "Jesus rising in our hearts."  But the New Testament sees it as something real that is meaningful and shows us what we will be like in heaven.  
The resurrected body is beyond all pain, and tears.  It is a glorious body.  Our bodies here are like seeds compared to the plant of the body we will have in heaven.  A seed is small, limited, and self-contained.  But a plant is blossoming, growing, beautiful and bearing fruit. When Jesus rose from the dead- God's glory was shown and declared.  We should not be ashamed of declaring God's glory today.  

Prayer: Lord, thank you for your resurrection this day.  May I be reminded of the hope of my own eternal life. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

3/30- Declaring God’s Glory- the Deal is Sealed- 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

3/30- Declaring God’s Glory- the Deal is Sealed- 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried,that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, (1 Corinthians 15:3,4)

Thoughts: It is curious in some ways that burial is included as an essential part of the work of Christ sandwiched between Christ's death or resurrection.  The burial makes the death of Jesus sure, certain, and real.  The burial is the closing of the door on the life and death of Christ.  It is similar to the sealing of the tomb.  When Lazarus died and was buried, it was certain that he was not faking or swooning his death.  In the Lazarus story the body had started to decompose- so the miracle of Lazarus's resurrection was that much more real.  So too the burial of Jesus assures us that Jesus did not revive coming off the cross.  Nor is it likely he hopped up with the grave clothes on and pushed the stone over himself.
     Another meaning is found in the phrase "buried with him in baptism" (Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:12). There is almost a mystical implication- just as we died with Christ (Galatians 2:20; Rom 6:8; Col. 2:20) we also are buried with him in baptism.  The burial certifies the death just as our baptism certifies our being born again.  As our sins were paid on the cross, our certification as God's own was given in burial. 

Prayer: Lord, thank you for dying and being buried for me.  

(Carl Henry Block Burial of Christ)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

3/29- Declaring God’s Glory- in the Cross- Good Friday- Galatians 6:14

3/29- Declaring God’s Glory- in the Cross- Good Friday- Galatians 6:14

May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Gal. 6:14)

Thoughts: We subtly boast of things that do not matter.  The world's status symbols do not last- cars, houses, beauty, money will not last.  It is sad to live our lives for things that fade, or to be envious, jealous or boastful about things that don't matter.  But on the other hand, the cross is like the golden key that opens the door to forgiveness of sins, removal of guilt, assurance of God's love, and eternal life.  We boast not in ourselves but in what God has done for us.  On this Good Friday- we are grateful for the goodness of the Lord who gave Himself for us.  

Prayer: Forbid it Lord that I should boast save in the death of Christ my God.  All the vain things that charm me most- I sacrifice them to His blood.  

(Bronzino- crucifixion of Christ 1545)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

3/28- Declaring God’s Glory Proclaiming Service and Love- Maundy Thursday- John 13:32-37

3/28- Declaring God’s Glory Proclaiming Service and Love- Maundy Thursday- John 13:32-37

32 If God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and glorify Him immediately. 33 Little children, I shall be with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come,’ so now I say to you. 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
36 Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, where are You going?”
Jesus answered him, “Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you shall follow Me afterward.”
37 Peter said to Him, “Lord, why can I not follow You now? I will lay down my life for Your sake.”

Thoughts: When we serve others, we are serving and glorifying God.  Maundy Thursday is a day in which we remember the mandate to serve and love.  Jesus washed the disciple's feet, and told them that they should serve one another.  Then He gave a "new commandment" to love one another.  The newness is not to love, but to love as Christ loves us.  When we go out of our way to serve and love it makes us stand out from the usual, and encourages others to see that Christ makes a difference. 

Prayer: Lord give me eyes to see how I may serve and love others. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

3/27- Declaring God’s Glory with GoODworks- Galatians 6:9-10

3/27- Declaring God’s Glory with GoODworks- Galatians 6:9-10

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. (Gal. 6:9-10)

Thoughts: In our busy time, we are so weary from doing so many things to really entertain ourselves and find comfort- that we have little energy for doing good.  When we are wounded and hurt, it is hard to help others or think beyond ourselves.  But when we begin to see that we are not put here for our own comfort or for our children's comfort and happiness, we begin to see that we are called to help the hungry, the stranger, the ones in need.  The passage above infers that God blesses those who do good to others.  
     GOoDWorks is a great organization that works with churches and individuals to help those in need with food, housing, and a helping hand. If such organizations popped up everywhere the world is made a better place one family, one person at a time. 

Prayer: Lord, give me opportunity to do good, and then give the strength, will and resources to do it. 

3/26- Declaring God’s Glory with Hurricane Sandy Victims- Matthew 25:37-40

3/26- Declaring God’s Glory with Hurricane Sandy Victims- Matthew 25:37-40

37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ (Matthew 25:37-40)

Thoughts: "When did we see you?..."  We see far more needs in the world than we used to see. Because of television, internet, social media- like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter we see far more images of the hurting than ever before.  It is harder now to change the channel and turn our heads away.  Perhaps especially the needs of Hurricane Sandy victims come to light again and again.  
     For Christians the opportunities and call to help is even clearer.  When did we see you, Lord hungry, thirsty, a stranger, naked, sick, in prison?  It is important to open our hearts and our hands to help those in need. 

Prayer: Lord give me eyes to see you in the lives of the hurting.  Give me the will and opportunity to serve you as I serve others. 

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance support for Hurricane Sandy (click here)

(LMPC group at Hurricane Katrina Relief in Mississippi.  We hope to send a crew to NY this summer). 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

3/25- Declaring God’s Glory with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance- Psalm 46:1-3,10

3/25- Declaring God’s Glory with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance- Psalm 46:1-3,10

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 
though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

Thoughts: In the midst of the mountains falling into the heart of the sea and the waters roaring and foaming, God is our refuge and strength.  It is in times of disaster that we realize that God si there for us.
    Presbyterian Disaster Assistance has as its motto: "Out of Chaos Hope."  Christians go into places of disaster to help a neighbor in need.  God cares for those who are hurting, and asks us to care as well. 

Prayer: May we declare your glory by helping those who have faced disaster.  

Saturday, March 23, 2013

3/24- Declaring God’s Glory with Youth in Mission- 1 Timothy 4:12

3/24- Declaring God’s Glory with Youth in Mission- 1 Timothy 4:12

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. (1 Timothy 4:12) 

Thoughts: Timothy was young when he was appointed as the overseer of the Ephesians churches. But Paul reminds Timothy that he had been taught the scriptures from infancy from his grandmother and mother.  He reminds Timothy that he had been commissioned with special gifts.  Paul also had sent Timothy as his envoy on at least two occasions in order to train him and give him confidence. He was labeled by Paul as a co-sender of six of his letters, and was with Paul in the missions to much of Asia Minor.  Paul encourages Timothy to not be timid (1:7) and to put his confidence in God.  
    Mission trips help build up confidence and faith. Mission trips and church camps are the two major reasons adults say they have kept their faith.  Mission trips help young people to stand up for their faith, and teaches them courage. 

Prayer: May you, O Lord, raise up young people to be strong in their faith and courageous.  

3/23- Declaring God’s Glory with College Students- 1 Kings 20:13-14, 19-20

3/23- Declaring God’s Glory with College Students- 1 Kings 20:13-14, 19-20

13 Meanwhile a prophet came to Ahab king of Israel and announced, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Do you see this vast army? I will give it into your hand today, and then you will know that I am the Lord.’” 14 “But who will do this?” asked Ahab.
The prophet replied, “This is what the Lord says: ‘The junior officers under the provincial commanders will do it.’” “And who will start the battle?” he asked.
The prophet answered, “You will.”...19 The junior officers under the provincial commanders marched out of the city with the army behind them 20 and each one struck down his opponent. At that, the Arameans fled, with the Israelites in pursuit. But Ben-Hadad king of Aram escaped on horseback with some of his horsemen. (1 Kings 20:13,14,19,20)

Thoughts: In the history of the world, it is the young men and women who lead in the changing of the world-- especially for Christ.  The college students at Princeton and Yale played a tremendous role in the second great awakening.  In the revival that brought forth the YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association) and the YWCA (Young Women's Christian Association) as well as thousands of missionaries from the college ranks- the young college students led in the changing of our nation and world.  So we should pray and encourage the campus ministries in our nation and area.  More than that, we should work to not just keep the status quo with our college students but to change it. Too many times we expect our college students to go astray in college.  Instead we may expect them to bring about revival in our land. 

Prayer: Lord, today we pray for the college students of our land, and especially the ones in our church.  Bless them, O Lord.  Strengthen them to lead us in the good fight of the faith.  

Friday, March 22, 2013

3/22- Declaring God’s Glory with SCOTA Schools- Matthew 15:21-28

3/22- Declaring God’s Glory with SCOTA Schools- Matthew 15:21-28

21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”
23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”
24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”
25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.
26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”
27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”
28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment. (Matthew 15:21-28)

Thoughts: The disciples (and Jesus echoing them) seems a little harsh here to the woman in need.  
It is a harshness that echoes our own- "my people first" attitude.  But Jesus did not keep that attitude, but opened his heart and his help to the woman.  In the end, Jesus was the one that opened up faith in Yahweh for all people.  He told his disciples to go into the world. But in his ministry he opened their minds by telling the parable of the Good Samarita; by living that parable with the Samaritan woman at the well; by healing the demoniac of Geresene (a gentile region); by even going to the region of Tyre and Sidon (a gentile region).
    The woman had a disabled child who was suffering spiritually and physically.  Jesus cared for her- leaving us an example.  He commended this faith of the Gentile mother- pointing out that Gentiles can have faith. 
     So our church joins others in supporting children in need.  SCOTA (Special Children of the Amazon) is a program we support and take part in Peru through Medical Missions and Amazon Missions Fellowship.  So we also hope that our new Children's Ministry Building will eventually be a place for help for disabled children as well as the healthy- providing respite care. Christians go beyond themselves by helping others nearby as well as far away.  

Prayer: So help me to have a heart for children in need, Lord.  Bless the parents of disabled children, especially those I know this day. 

Men of Lake Murray Presbyterian working on a SCOTA playground in Iquitos Peru

Thursday, March 21, 2013

3/21- Declaring God’s Glory with our partner church- Pastor Guillermo Flores- Romans 16:3-5

3/21- Declaring God’s Glory with our partner church- Pastor Guillermo Flores- Romans 16:3-5

Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my co-workers in Christ Jesus. They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them.  Greet also the church that meets at their house.Greet my dear friend Epenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in the province of Asia.  (Romans 16:3-5)

Thoughts: We often skip over these greetings as if we have nothing to learn from them.  But the scriptures say, "All scriptures are God breathed and equip the saints for every good work." The scriptures come across as intensely personal, transparent (in contrast to other religions it does not gloss over the faults of others), but also caring- even of people in other places.  At this point Paul had not gone to Rome, but he knew people there, showed concern for them and prayed for them.  In fact in Romans 1:10 Paul admits he has not been there (and longs to go) but "constantly remembers them in [his] prayers at all times."
           One of the purposes of having a partner church is to relate to them, learn from each other, and pray for them.  Our partner church in Iquitos "Casa des de la Dios" is pastored by Guillermo Flores (pictured below).  People from all over the world travel to Iquitos- the jumping off place for the Amazonian jungle in Peru- for shamanism and witchcraft objects.  In such a dark and superstitious place our partner church serves.  Their Sunday morning services start at sunrise and go all day. They meet every night.  Their enthusiasm for God is contagious.  Today, pray for Pastor Flores and for those you know overseas. 

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, that our faith is spreading.  Help me to play a role in that spreading. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

3/20- Declaring God’s Glory- Remembering Where we have been- Zambia, Costa Rica, Mexico- Galatians 1:18-24

3/20- Declaring God’s Glory- Remembering Where we have been- Zambia, Costa Rica, Mexico- Galatians 1:18-24

18 Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days. 19 I saw none of the other apostles—only James, the Lord’s brother. 20 I assure you before God that what I am writing you is no lie.
21 Then I went to Syria and Cilicia. 22 I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. 23 They only heard the report: “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they praised God because of me. (Gal. 1:18-24)

Thoughts: Sometimes in order to move forward we need to remember where we have been- our successes and failures.  Here Paul speaks of "the man who formerly persecuted us" but ends with "is now preaching the faith."  When God uses us, we need to be thankful, and then try to plug into where God will use us in the future.  Our missions are not limited by where we have been- or even built relationships.  Instead they are limited by God's will.  He may have new places, and sometimes the old (like Mexico) close to us.  

Prayer:  Lord you have led me in the past.  Lead me today and into the future trusting in you. 

(Francis Burriss- Zambia c. 2000)

3/19- Declaring God’s Glory in Iquitos Peru- Psalm 96:3

Declare his glory among the nations,
    his marvelous deeds among all peoples. (Psalm 96:3) 

 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:14)

Thoughts: Even in the Old Testament, God shows concern that His glory is spread to the ends of the earth.  He says, "Declare God's glory among the nations."  The word "nations" could be translated "Gentiles" that translation would emphasize getting beyond the nation of Israel and looking beyond the church walls.  The word "nations" could also be translated "tribes" (ethne in Greek- the word used in Mt. 24:14) and that translation would emphasize that we are to speak of God to every language and cultural group beyond physical countries.  About 1985 Christianity became the first religion to be truly international and worldwide.  For in 1985 the last country that did not have Christians in it, had converts in it (Nepal).  However there are about 12,000 tribal groups who have their own language and culture who do not have a Christian witness in them.  Our church (Lake Murray Presbyterian) plays a role in working with a church in one of the jumping off stations to one of the world's remote place- the amazon jungle.  We have a partner church in Iquitos Peru that we pray for and that we visit at least once a year.  The church meets in the mission compound in Iquitos.  The mission compound is becoming a hub for pastors to visit, learn, get strengthened, read books in the library (rare in that area), and then go back to their churches.  We pray for pastor Guillermo and the church (Dios des de la Casa - "God of the House") that meets in the El Jardin campus.  We also pray for the Bodmans, new missionaries with Amazon Mission Fellowship who will be living in Iquitos.  

Prayer: May your love, hope, and mercy be spread not just to my neighborhood, Lord.  May it be spread to the ends of the earth.  Use me, Lord, to play a small part in helping the world know about you.  May your light shine in darkness to the ends of the earth.

Monday, March 18, 2013

3/18- Declaring God’s Glory with Amazon Mission Fellowship- Acts 1:8

3/18- Declaring God’s Glory with Amazon Mission Fellowship- Acts 1:8

 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

Thoughts: God calls us to think and to care beyond ourselves.  He calls us to care for those who cannot return the favor.  He calls us to answer the question, "What about those who have never heard?"  By helping them to hear.  We have found good news- and good news is worth spreading!
Missionaries throughout the centuries have left their homes, fortunes, parents, and comfort to fulfill the calling of going far and wide to help spread good news.  So Jesus' last words were to spread the word- not just in one place but all over the world.  If the Christians had spread the word only in their city- we would not have heard.  If we have heard, we should seek to return the favor by telling others in other places.
    The thought behind Amazon Mission Fellowship and many other mission agencies is that if we can support a full time missionary and send short term mission teams, we will help the churches back home to see the need to support missions.  We are often too short-sighted to realize how great the physical and spiritual needs are in the world.  So a trip overseas helps us- often establishing relationships- bringing peace, understanding, and the love of Christ.  

Prayer: Help me, O Lord to declare your glory- not just in my town or area or nation.  Help me to play a role in spreading good news to the ends of the earth.  

(Group from LMPC in jungle church in Peru)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

3/17- Declaring God’s Glory with Medical Missions- Mark 16:15-18

3/17- Declaring God’s Glory with Medical Missions- Mark 16:15-18

15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” (Mark 16:15-18)

Thoughts: Today is St. Patrick's Day.  Patrick brought hope to a very superstitious and fearful people people.  Tradition says he brought that hope not just with preaching but also with power. Thirty-three resurrections are attributed to Patrick- more than any other saint in or out of the Bible.  But perhaps the greatest miracle of all was the Lord's using his preaching to bring people to Himself.  Over 120,000 Irish were baptized by Patrick- and he started a minimum of 300 churches (some say as many as 700).
     In a similar spirit, our church takes part in Medical Missions in Peru which has started 10 different churches, several schools for handicapped kids, and medical clinics.  When Christ eases physical pain, people listen to his ability to ease spiritual pain.  

Prayer: Lord, bless those who minister to the hurting physically so they may hear the gospel in their hearts and souls.  

(Shirley Salisbury from LMPC standing ina  church built by Medical Missions- with Peruvian worshipers on the steps). 

Friday, March 15, 2013

3/16- Declaring God’s Glory by Supporting Christian Colleges- Proverbs 19:27

3/16- Declaring God’s Glory by Supporting Christian Colleges- Proverbs 19:27

Stop listening to instruction, my son,
    and you will stray from the words of knowledge. (Proverbs 19:27)

Thoughts: Christian colleges began as a way to glorify God and often give good education for those who would serve in the church.  At one time Harvard, Yale, and Princeton were Christian colleges.  In the last sixty years Christian colleges had provided safe retreats for parents to send their children without having to worry about animal-house-like debauchery.  Today, it is hard to find colleges who are associated with churches who still have Christianity at their core.  There is a natural tendency to secularize in order to reach more, be less restrictive, and to broaden the base of support.  But at the same time, many Christian colleges are struggling because we are in a more secular environment, and churches do not support colleges as well as private supporters.  Giving to churches has been down across the board in America, and the emphasis on benevolences have been to give to the poor and needy instead of an education that is only somewhat faith related.  Many Christian colleges are cutting themselves off from their original purpose, from the purpose of their endowments (usually given to a college by church members because of its Christian content),  and from the feeding of those colleges by church members.  But there is still a real need for colleges that emphasize learning on the one hand and more moral and spiritual improvement on the other.  These are not just Bible colleges or pre-seminaries, but places of hope and light shining in darkness.  Such places make a complete circle where the church feeds the colleges with young people and money, and the colleges feed the churches back.   Such places also elicit support, enthusiasm and prayers from parents, churches, and students who wish to keep their faith.  

Prayer: Lord, we pray for the next generation- especially those at college- that they would not stray from you- but rather grow in witness for you.  We pray for the leaders and chaplains at Christian colleges in our land. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

3/15- Declaring God’s Glory with Supporting the Elderly- Psalm 71:9, 18

3/15- Declaring God’s Glory with Supporting the elderly- Psalm 71:9, 18

Do not cast me away when I am old;
    do not forsake me when my strength is gone.
Even when I am old and gray,
    do not forsake me, my God,
till I declare your power to the next generation,
    your mighty acts to all who are to come.
(Psalm 71:9,18)

 Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Tim. 5:8)

Thoughts: In some cultures the old are purposefully and literally left out in the cold to die.  For Christians life is sacred and each soul is valuable- whether very young or very old.  Again, many churches form retirement communities where family can make sure their loved ones are cared for.  It is not fair that those who changed the diapers of the young (when they were helpless) are neglected when they are old.  One of the answers to the prayers above is for Christians to care for those who are older.  In 1 Timothy 5 in the New Testament, it is clear that families are encouraged to care for their elderly- especially widows.  But it is also clear when families cannot (and we may add when resources are depleted  the churches have a role to play in caring for the elderly.  In our state the Lutherans, Presbyterians, Episcopalians have homes for the elderly. So on Mother's Day Presbyterian churches will take an offering for the Presbyterian Home folk who cannot pay their way.  

Prayer: Lord, never forsake us.  Give us grace to not forsake your church nor have your church forsake us.  

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

3/14- Declaring God’s Glory - Caring for Children- Jeremiah 7:5-7

 If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly, if you do not oppress the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm, then I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your ancestors for ever and ever. (Jer. 7:5-7)

Thoughts: Who really cares for the orphans?  In many places orphans roam the streets because there is no government that is urged by the population to care.  I have seen small children sleeping in doorways by themselves where there are few churches to show care.  Christians are called to care because little children who are not being productive are valuable to God.  People that society thinks have no chance, are still valuable to their Creator who made them in His image.  When no one else cares for children, the church is compelled to care and to welcome.
     Thornwell Home for Children is an example of a missionary venture for children.  It began as a way to care for orphans from the American Civil War by a Christian minister.  Christians also started Carolina Children's Home, Epworth Home for Children in our state of South Carolina.  But our call today is to care for the children who are uncared for- abused, neglected, or left to fend for themselves. Part of our devotion to God is to care beyond ourselves- seeing the needs of others around us. When we show love for the least of these- not only do we stand out from the rest but God's power and glory are declared. 

Prayer: So help me Lord to see the children left out, and to do something about these children.