Gifted Receivers and Needy Givers

Yesterday I had lunch with my favorite niece.  Even though she and I do not see each other often because we both lead busy lives, each time we get together is a real joy.  We come away with excitement and thanksgiving to the Lord for our relationship and what God is doing in each of us.

We spoke of many things, but mostly it was about the family…hers, mine and ours, catching up on what we all have been doing.  It is wonderful to be a friend with a family member.

I have also been blessed to be the older woman in her life and have taught her the ways of the Lord. Our time of discipleship before her marriage was a three-year period in which God prepared her.  She is married and has six beautiful children.  What a blessing!

Our pastor chided the congregation yesterday that we must bring the good news to the market place.  I desire to do so, though being introverted by nature this is not an easy thing for me. However, yesterday at the restaurant I took the opportunity to do so.

My niece and I had a very attentive older woman wait on us and it seemed quite natural to speak to her about faith.  In keeping with what pastor said, I asked her some questions regarding her country of origin, which was Bangladesh, and a short conversation went on from there.

She and her husband came to America because a large company in New York employed her to sing, although she didn’t seem to want to talk about it further.  She told us that when 911 happened they became frightened and moved to our state to get away.

I wonder how many others ran away in fear of more terrorist attacks?  I was in New York a few days after the 911 attack and I talked with some that were intent on leaving.  In fact one lady had her car and her children packed up and was putting gas in her car to leave that day.  How far is far enough to avoid terror, anxiety or fear?

I asked our waitress what her religion was, she answered that she was Muslim, but that there were many religions in her country.  She emphasized that there was only one God over them all.  She loved to pray, she said, and she wanted us to understand that the terrorists do not represent Muslims.  She further stated that nowhere in the Quaran does it say that violence is acceptable.

I told her that we Christians do not believe that there is only one god or that our God is the same as theirs.  I told her that we believe that a person must be born-again, as the Bible says. We talked of Jesus and she told us that she believes he is a prophet.  I said we believe that He is the Son of God, the Savior of all who come to Him.

She then alluded to denominations in Christianity.  I explained a little to her, but she began to get nervous and ended the conversation.  I pray that she will come to know the one true God, the creator of Heaven and Earth and His Son, Jesus, for true peace can only be found in Him.

How many stories are there?  How many people who are scared and running from something?  How many wrapped up in a religion that, in the end, will not profit them?  And, all the while the truth can be known to anyone who will search it out.

God has not made people to be robots.  Each of us has been given a mind with which we think and examine concepts and ideas, this was a great risk on His part, because then we could choose to rebel against Him.  Many thousands of people have done just that.

In the devotional book, “Jesus Calling”, by Sarah Young, Page 116, the devotion for April 21st, Jesus says,  “Though My blood has fully redeemed you, your mind is the last bastion of rebellion.”  How true that is!

I heard this statement many years ago:  “You cannot keep the birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from making a nest in your hair.”  We are responsible for what we allow to “bed down” in our mind.  Not every thought we think is from ourselves, not every thought is a God-thought, some thoughts are sourced from the enemy of our soul with the devious purpose to deceive us.  We must know who is speaking to us.

For years of my life I heard many voices.  I did not know any better than to listen to what I heard, after all it sounded like my voice.  Thank God for an older woman of God sent to help me.  For three years this dear saint taught me, disciplined me, trained me and prayed for me.  I would not be where I am today had that not happened.  I have taken great joy in passing this blessing on to others.

It matters what we hear, but it matters more what we entertain or meditate on, because thinking becomes actions and actions make character and character makes a life.  Life lived for self, will always end in disaster, does not fit the mold.  Each of us was created by God to be “Sons of God” and any other pattern will not work.  How often we accept the deviant as the norm, when nothing could be further from the truth.

Know this, dear reader, God loves you, you are each His special creation as it is recorded in Psalm 139 verses 13-16.  Verse 16 tells us that God watches over every conception and the growth of the child in the womb.  Their spirits come from Him who created them and sent them, this is why abortion hurts the heart of God.  Each child is a gift and He is wounded when those gifts are returned to Him.

Oh, if only we could or would see from His point of view!

My mentor told me that  “We are all gifted receivers and we are all needy givers.”  It took awhile before I could grasp the full meaning of this statement, but I have come to believe it.

Bottom line:  No human being, save one, is perfect.  We are all flawed because we are all sinners by the fall of our first parents in Eden.  We all sin and fall short of the mark of perfection, which is the holiness of God.

Thank God we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous!  To Him we can come with all of our short-comings and failures.  He stands in the gap between the judgment we deserve and the holiness we fall short of, He is our Savior, He is the bridge over which we can come to God and be accepted.

Thank God for Jesus!  Thank God for the cross, where He paid a price He did not owe because we owed a price we could not pay.

Blessings to you!

Joy

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