One of the cardinal beliefs we hold about God is that He is all-knowing. That means that He knows everything that you or I will ever do. He knows this in advance from the day you were born, stretching into infinity. One of the ramifications of this is that He can never be disappointed in us. Disappointment, by definition, means to be discouraged or saddened by the failure to live up to hopes, dreams or expectations. Since God knows everything we will ever do in advance, He cannot be disappointed by our failures, simply because He isn’t expecting us to do anything other than He already knows we will do.
He knows these things, and yet loves us anyway. We can sadden Him, grieve Him, anger Him – but we will not disappoint Him. This is both exhilarating and sobering. It is exhilarating because I don’t have to carry around a false sense of guilt of causing Him disappointment. It is sobering, though, when I realize He couldn’t expect better from me because He already knew when and where I would fail.
The amazing thing of all this is that is shows God’s grace standing above all. Despite knowing my failures in advance, He still calls me to ministry. He still empowers me. He still loves me.
One of the other things you can’t do to God is surprise Him. That, though, will be a subject for another day. Praise God for His omniscience.
Some years ago, when I was teaching at Yellowstone Baptist College, I had the privilege of having Grace Halland in my class. Grace was an exceptional student, with a passion for sharing the gospel and God’s Word. How pleased I was to learn of her plans to follow up Bible school by working with Wycliffe Bible Translators. Grace is now in Entebbe, Uganda, working with the translation teams.
This work is critical. The ability to get God’s Word into the hands of those who need to hear its life-changing message, in their own language, is priceless. I enjoy receiving Grace’s newsletter, as she not only keeps us informed of her work, but also of her life. It is rewarding to see her growth in the Lord, the maturing of her spirituality as she labors for the Kingdom. It is humbling to know that she has given her life to the people of Uganda – not just in translation work, but by adopting children and making a home there. It is satisfying to know that in a very, very small way, I was able to be part of her life, in the time God was speaking to her, calling her to this life of service.
We never know what impact we have on others. We never know how we will influence a person – not just for good or bad, but also in a large way or a small way. God takes all of those influences and works His work in the lives of His children. I am proud of Grace and the work of all Wycliffe translators. I am proud that God enabled me to meet her and spend time with her during her senior year. I do not for a minute take even the smallest part of credit for anything God has done or will do through Grace. It is I that have been influenced by her and her faithfulness.
Lift her up in prayer alongside me. Write to her through wycliffe.org and get to know this amazing person. Look around, God may place you in the path of one of His servants and the relationship you make will be eternal.
Eerily similar to our generation, the days of Noah offer us insight into the coming judgment of God upon our world.
Podcast – Ta Ethne.
|In the days of the Apostles, it was dangerous to follow Jesus… Today that danger remains.
Now, in an unprecedented effort to reach the world with the message of the Gospel – and dangers facing today’s persecuted church… The Voice of the Martyrs is offering their feature-length animated movie, JESUS: He Lived Among Us.
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In repentance, a person is not only moved by godly sorrow over actions that offend and displease God to confess them, asking forgiveness, but to also turn from those sins. The New Testament talks about replacing those ungodly actions with their godly opposites. Beyond that, though, the New Testament command us to begin ministering in Jesus’ name in that same area. For example, Paul tells those who are guilty of stealing to not only stop stealing but to work for what they want. Then he goes further and commands them to work until they have an overabundance so that they can share with others who are in need. In another example, we are told to let no unwholesome or ungodly, corrupt speech come from our mouth. Then we are told to replace it with what it is good, giving praise and glory to God. Beyond replacing bad speech with good, we are told to use our speech to edify or build up our fellow believers.
This is the essence of true repentance. Merely feeling sorry and confessing isn’t repentance. Neither is simply replacing the bad with good. It is going beyond and changing habits, starting new ones that advance the cause of Christ that show repentance has taken place. When that occurs we get off the merry-go-round of confessing, crying, promising to do better and spending next week confessing, crying and promising the same old things. We are now doing something positive for God’s Kingdom, ministering to others, changing our lifestyle to reflect that of Christ.
How repentant of your sins are you?
One ministry we have had the privilege of corresponding with is that of Berean Bible Baptist Church in Binalbagan, Negros Occidental, Philippines. From youth camps to world missions conferences, this ministry reaches out constantly to people who need to hear the gospel. Under the leadership of Pastor Janel Nemeno, they have grown to be shining example of faithfulness. Last year we cried with them as their building burned to the ground. The photos can be seen here: http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc6/207486_210905172268735_7362425_n.jpg
We rejoiced with them this year, seeing a new building rising from the ashes, due in part to generous donations from fellow believers all across the globe. Pictures of their new building can be seen here: http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/c100.0.403.403/p403x403/560415_414485561910694_2010413349_n.jpg
This ministry never lost a beat during the loss. Services and ministries continued to grow and God has blessed them greatly. A Christian academy and a bible college are just 2 of their many ministries. They have sent out missionaries to start many churches throughout the region from the very beginnings of their church. You can read more about this church here: Janel Nemeno – Info – Overview Would you continue to pray for this ministry? Lift up this pastor and his family and pray the Lord’s blessings on their commitment to not only sharing the gospel, but also on their commitment to training Christian leaders and the sending out of missionaries.
Wonderful story … had to share