Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ministry to India

Presently I am in India with a ministry team. We have been here for seven days conducting crusades, conferences, and prison ministry. I have been unable to access the Internet until today. But I am happy to report that God has been gracious to us. We have seen hundreds touched by His power. This has transpired amidst a nation that is predominantly Hindu and Muslim. Christians represent less than 5% of the population. But in spite of this, God continues to show forth his power. I am so thankful that in the midst of darkness the light of Christ continues to shine through. Although the religious leaders are in a state of resistance, the people are hungry to hear the word and to see the work of God. They rush to the front to be prayed for. Tears fill their eyes and the look of desperation lets you know that their need far exceeds their ability. Looking at them reminds me of the passage where Hezekiah prayed and said, "Lord we can't handle this on our own, so our eyes are upon you." It is my prayer as they look in His direction, God will perform the miraculous by providing for their needs. I ask that your prayer be the same.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Power of a Touch

The gift of a touch is a powerful thing. I conducted the funeral today of a parishioner. One of the last conversations I had with him was about this very subject. Someone had told him that he had been touched by God and he wanted to know what that meant. With my limited ability in the area of interpretation I tried to give him an adequate explanation. I reflected upon the touches we read about in Scripture in order to choose the appropriate one that would fit his situation. I thought about the healing touch in Matthew 8:1-3. Since it was apparent that he was still battling his illness I knew this one did not fit. Going further I thought about the resurrection touch in Luke 7:12-15. Obviously death had not occurred so this one would not apply either. Next, I thought about the testing touch in Job 19:17-21. While this man would have been open to life’s test this one just didn’t seem applicable either. Then I thought about the disabling touch in Genesis 32:24-32. Would he have been up to a wrestling match? Although weak in body I suppose he would have tried. Last of all I considered the sustaining touch in Daniel 10:15-19. This seemed to be the one that made the most sense to me. God in all of our weaknesses shows up with His presence and sustains us so that we are able to endure whatever comes our way. Cecil, being so weak in body needed God’s sustaining touch. I said to him, “being touched of the Lord means that God’s presence has been given to you so that you can feel His nearness as you battle this sickness. God works in different ways. Sometimes He heals us. Other times He gives us His touch in the form of His presence so that we can know He is close by.” Indeed God was near as His sustaining touch became a transitioning touch into eternity. Which leads me to conclude by asking, “What does God’s touch mean to you?”

Monday, September 6, 2010

His Workmanship

My wife and I are in the process of refurbishing a second home we own. Needless to say it has been a challenge. The bathrooms and kitchen have been gutted and completely redone; the floors sanded and refinished. While there is work yet to be done the project is near completion. When comparing this to our spiritual lives I am reminded of Paul's words in Ephesians 2:10 "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works." As we remodel the earthly, so does God the spiritual. The interesting thing is that both works contain similarities. I see three in particular that merit consideration. First, the project always cost more than you expect. We have spent far more than we intended on this house. The same holds true when God chooses to do a new work within us. We often find ourselves saying, "Lord are you sure this is what you want, the request seems incredibly expensive." Second, the project always takes longer than expected. We want it done yesterday, but reality sets in letting us know that the task is a process. So it is with God. He rarely finishes a work overnight. Normally, the job involves days, months, and even sometimes years to complete. Third, when finished you will always see things you wish you had done differently. If you were doing it over you might choose a different size room, color, or cabinet. The same can be said of God's work. After its all said and done we wish we had let God do more in us and through us. We realize the changes he wanted to make but did not force upon us would have resulted in our lives being much more attractive and worthwhile. Yet in spite of this, amidst all the disarray, inconvenience, and time consumption when we look back over what has been accomplished we realize the experience was worth it. Let me encourage you to always yield to God's hand allowing Him to fulfill his workmanship within you. Beleive me it will be worth it.