He Has a Place for You

Some of us fear being useless.

I’ve known many people who “need to feel needed”.

I guard myself against the motive as best I can, for I know it’s inappropriate to seek good works and ministries just to fill my own voids. For one thing, it’s not about us. We’re to do things for God’s glory, not our own fulfillment. For another, work is a harsh mistress. It lets you down, fails despite your best efforts, withholds the kudos you may well deserve. If you’re looking for your fulfillment in work, it will let you down.

But sometimes, my need shows through.

So I turn to God’s Word instead.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)

And I’m reminded that God instilled us with a desire to contribute so that he could fulfill the desire. He has it all covered. We may have to surrender our need, our preference of work placement, and not grasp for it in our own way. But God will supply all our needs, if we look to him first.

 

My and Paul’s Longing for a Harvest

In a few weeks, my church is sending another team to this adopted second country of mine. Our sister church there has just completed its new sanctuary and fruit is continuing to trickle in. I’m not on this year’s team, but if you have a moment to pray, could you shoot one up for this year’s team?

Brandon J. Adams

pragueI was reading through Romans from the beginning while I was in the Czech Republic. The first thing I ran into? An apostle Paul who very much shares my mind on the desire for a harvest.

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.

I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that I planned many…

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ARE YOU SURPRISED WHEN GOD ANSWERS YOUR PRAYERS?

I would be.

Peter’s friends were. Despite their “earnest” prayers for him (Acts 12:5), they were “astonished” when told that he was at the door (v. 14-16).

I believe wholeheartedly that God must deny many – probably the majority – of our prayers for our own good. Our hearts are so wayward, and there are few things better to pull them away from worldly things and back to him than to deny their prayers. We don’t need things. We need God.

But I also believe it’s possible to misappropriate this concept and use it as a cover-up for simple unbelief. That’s my testimony. And that is not good, either.

BE BLESSTIFIED!

mountain-1465027_1920515646898.jpg

I can only speak for myself, but I think we’ve all experienced it. We have prayed to God…we have made a specific supplication…we have interceded for someone else. Then, sometimes immediately, sometimes shortly after and sometimes much later we see God answer that prayer…that supplication…that intercession, just as we asked.

Sometimes it’s exactly as we asked. While others it may not be exactly as we asked but, we can still clearly see it was an answer to our prayer.

Then it happens. That emotion that reveals our true level of faith. I’m not saying an absence of faith, but the true level of our faith. Our emotional response to God answering our prayer.


SURPRISE


Have you ever been surprised when God answers your prayer? Surprised when we already know what He promised…

John 14:13-14 (NKJV)

13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father…

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When You Sin Seven Times in a Day

Hotel Summer Pool Infinity Luxury Sea Sky WaterI came across an article of John Piper’s recently in which he listed five besetting sins with which he struggles.

I chuckled bitterly. If only my list were that short.

Not that Piper claimed only five besetting sins, but I don’t even know how he could tier them. Mine certainly don’t lend themselves to such stratification.

They cling. They bite at my heels. They relentlessly pursue, like a dog who will not yield the chase, or the zombie who knows nothing but the taste of living blood.

The battle is intense. I am not rolling over. One could say that I am winning more skirmishes, making more progress, than I used to be. But something in my heart refuses such encouragement. Total eradication is the goal. If I content myself with anything less, I will inevitably accomplish something less.

And there are days in which I do indeed accomplish much less. Days that seem dominated, marked, headlined by sin.

Then, this evening during repentant prayer, I read these words of Jesus to his disciples:

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It’s Not About You, Christian Graduates

Brandon J. Adams

Graduation is upon you.

What a relief. To be freed from the hallways of the high school you’ve learned to hate and launched upon the world full of possibility. Just to be celebrated is a great feeling. Goodness knows we don’t get enough of that these days. Everyone is flying in from across the country just to attend your party, churches are holding banquets in your honor, and all of it is wonderful. It’s your moment in the sun. Bask.

The graduation speeches are exciting. Live your dreams. Reach for the stars. Realize yourself and your potential. Don’t let anyone tell you who you are or what you can’t do. Perhaps there is some truth there.

But we have a few problems here.

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God Finalizes His Adoptions

For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, and if children, also heirs—heirs of God and coheirs with Christ—seeing that we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. (Romans 8:15-17)

Children Silhouette Family Sunset

Last night in youth group, we discussed God’s adoption of his people – how adoption serves as a beautiful metaphor for how God, in his kindness and magnanimity, chose to save men who, because of sin, were not his own. He initiated the pursuit; he made the first move. There was nothing a believer could do to seek God first; he reached out with his offer of salvation, and we responded. Amazing.

But it occurred to me last night that God doesn’t just initiate; he finishes. He closes.

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Did God Really Know What He Was Getting Into?

Rhetorical question. Great article.

Bareknuckle Bible

Nobody wants to be a lemon.

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