Thursday, July 29, 2010

Where to Begin, Begining...

Where to begin? That question has been running through my head for weeks now, and now that I am home it continues to plague my mind. Where do I begin writing this blog? I have so much to share with you, but no place to begin. Where do I begin communicating the needs of this land and people that I love? Where do I begin helping a nation where everywhere you look is poverty, and more poverty. Where do WE begin?

I am going to begin with the Word!

If my people, who are called my name, would humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 2 Chronicles 7:14-15

The solution is found in the Word, God's promises. If we would humble ourselves, pray, seek God's face, turn from wicked ways, then He will hear, forgive and heal!

While in Africa, I was overwhelmed with the amount of suffering and poverty. My eyes couldn't take it all in. In fact there was no where to turn and look to get a moments relief. At one point my soul was grieving and I gave up. "Lord, this is an impossible task. As far as the eye can see there is suffering, hunger, thirst, disease, disaster." The Lord reminded me that this is not my task, it is His task. What ever He calls us to, He equips us for!
We are called by His name, to feed the hungry, care for the widow and orphan, and to Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. (Matt 28 18-19). Jesus, teaches us in Matthew, that on the day of judgement He will separate the sheep from the goats. Those who gave Him food, drink, welcomed Him, clothed Him and visited Him will enter His rest, those who didn't, won't (Matt 25). Then James goes on to reminds us that faith without deeds is nothing.
If the God of the bible is true and we call ourselves followers of Christ, how then, do we disobey His word? For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgement, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Hebrews 10:26

It seems so simple doesn't it? To live is Christ. In other words, It is not I who live, but Christ in me. If that is the case, why don't we live as Christ did? Simply Christ! If the Son of Man didn't even have a place to lay his head, why are worried about our next vacation, or our 401K, or how we are going to spend our money on Christmas? If we are Christ, then we have His knowledge, and we know how He wants us to live, then why do we go on sinning?

All these questions and more have been rolling around in my mind. Please understand, that it is I, who am challenged with these questions, I am just communicating my thoughts to you. I heard a great message this weekend that called this kind of living, the kind where we accept Jesus, but don't do what His Word says; Vampire Christianity. It is the kind of Christianity that says, "Give me some of your blood Jesus, so that I am saved from hell and I'll see you in heaven." We are warned about this kind of is simply idolatry and we make ourselves the idols.
James 1:22 ~ Do not merely listen to the Word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the Word but does not do what it says, is like a man who looks at his face in the mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But a man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it- he will be blessed in what he does.

Meet my friends, the Doers. The young boys that you see above, understand the meaning of doing rather than just hearing. The scripture says that if we just hear, we deceive ourselves. But the man who looks intently in to the law that gives freedom, continuously, not forgetting what he heard and applying it...will be blessed. Again, simple text that the Lord intended for us to understand and obey. Joshua (on right) understands enough to abandon self and obey. He is just 23 years old and has given his life for the Mission. He has taken on the task of caring for widows and orphans in his community. He has no job, no support, no food, no electricity, and no running water. He and his friend have heard the word of the Lord and decided to actually do the word of the Lord. Simple faith that requires, according to the Word of God, action.
Joshua takes action for faces like this one. An orphan, unwanted by the worlds standards, but a child of God. Doers, give their lives for the sake of the cross. They give their lives, because Christ gave His, the ultimate sacrifice. Doers, seek God's glory and make it known to the nations, for the purpose of glorifying Christ and Him alone. They don't make up excuses as to why they can't, or what they are waiting for, they hear and then they act.

James 1:27 ~ Pure and genuine religion in the sight of the God the Father means caring for the orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to not let the world corrupt you.

Widows, like this beautiful Jaaja (grandmother). She is alone, and up until she met Joshua, she lived by herself in a house that was falling down, sick and in need of medical care. Today, she is making crafts to sell, and is helping to care for the orphans. When I met Jaaja, I was overwhelmed with love for her, you can see the Love of Jesus in her eyes.

Joshua and his friend, currently care for 2o orphans and a handful of Jaajas. They live in a home with no electricity not because it is not wired for electricity, but because they can't afford it. They all cram into this this tiny house and pray for the Lord to deliver food.
This is what the Lord had in mind when he said in Acts 2:42~ All the believers devoted themselves to the Apostles' teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals, and to prayer....And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need....And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.

We are those apostles! We are to supply our brother Joshua, with his needs.

So where do we begin? How do we begin? It's simple, we hear, then we do. We are all called, it is all of our responsibility. If we call ourselves Christian, then we must stop idolizing ourselves and start Seeking His face and turn from our wicked ways...SO THAT... He will hear from Heaven, forgive our sins and heal our land.


John said...

We had the same experience in Rwanda this summer. May the Lord multiply your efforts!

Tonya said...

Speak it dear sister. God's Word is the truth, and he has taught me since being here in Uganda for this short time that there is no confrontation in the truth, it just is. The truth just simply is. You either speak it or you don't, you either obey it or you don't... no confrontation, just truth.

Love you, and miss you even more.

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