Monday, June 22, 2009

His Mercies Are New Every Morning!

This morning I woke up before my alarm went off with the thought, "His mercies are new every morning!" I got up to go find out exactly where that is in the Bible. I found out that it is right in the middle of the book of Lamentations. Lamentations is a book written by the prophet Jeremiah that records his grief over the captivity of Israel. He grieves almost to the point of despair. However, in the midst of that despair, he recalls God's mercies and thus has hope. Look at the passage with me:

Lament. 3:22-32
Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
[23] They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
[24] "The Lord is my portion," says my soul,
"Therefore I hope in Him!"

[25] The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him.
[26] It is good that one should hope and wait quietly
For the salvation of the Lord.
[27] It is good for a man to bear
The yoke in his youth.

[28] Let him sit alone and keep silent,
Because God has laid it on him;
[29] Let him put his mouth in the dust--
There may yet be hope.
[30] Let him give his cheek to the one who strikes him,
And be full of reproach.

[31] For the Lord will not cast off forever.
[32] Though He causes grief,
Yet He will show compassion
According to the multitude of His mercies.

So many times we mull over in our minds thoughts of how bad things are. With each toxic thought, we spin deeper into despair. That is exactly why this passage basically tells us to stop, keep our mouths shut and wait on God. Think about it, no matter how bad your situation is, you have not been consumed if you are still breathing and reading this blog! That's because of His mercies that are new every morning!

When you wake up tomorrow, think about this. Thank God for His mercies that give you a fresh start each day if you only accept it. Wow! Thank you, Father God!!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Graduation Send-Off

I had the awesome privilege of hosting girls from the class of 2009 and their moms at the Legacy Equipping Center yesterday for a brunch. I gave them my testimony of being a Christian in culture shock at secular college. My pastor's wife and youth pastor's wife also encouraged the girls to stay strong in the faith when they go off to college or out in the work force.

I told the girls that when people go to college, something happens to most of them and they go absolutely wild! No curphews! No parents! No rules! Those who think like that end up with many regrets.

I encouraged the girls to stay strong in the Lord no matter who falls away around them. Yes, God's mercies are new every morning, and those who make bad decisions in college can be forgiven and restored in their walk with God. I have seen people in prayer sessions finally being set free from regrets they made 20-30 years ago in college. However, what a better choice to go God's way from the beginning of college and not have any regrets!

Let's take house cleaning as an illustration. If you spill food on the kitchen counter and let it sit there overnight, it will be harder to wipe up tomorrow. The longer you leave it, the harder it gets. Soon you will have to use cleaner and use elbow grease to get it off. You may have to use a scraper to get it off. It is much easier if you wipe it immediately. You don't have to work hard at all. Just get a wet rag and wipe. Now, you can get it just as clean either way, but which way would you choose? It's the same with our lives. When we make a bad decision we need to give it over to God quickly and not let it "sit" on our hearts making a crust that will have to be scrubbed.

I pray that the girls will remember that message when they are faced with multiple temptations that will hit them head-on at college.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

EQUIPPED: Ready for Battle!

That is the title of our VBS going on this week at the Legacy Equipping Center. What a blessing it has been! Just to see the excitement on the kids' faces as we learn about the Armor of God is worth all the many hours we have put into it. One mom told me that her son said, "I can't wait to see what part of the Armor we learn about today!"

We started at the top and are working our way down:
1st day: The Helmet of Salvation
Yesterday: The Breastplate of Righteousness
Today: The Belt of Truth
Tomorrow: The Shoes of Peace and the Shield of Faith
Friday: The Sword of the Spirit and a PARTY!

The kids made Gospel Bracelets and learned how to share their faith with their friends. They also made Breastplates of Righteousness out of brown paper bags and foil. They loved it! They learned lessons about doing what is right. I wonder who is getting more out of this, the kids or the workers! What a blessing to pour into young lives how they can put on the Armor of God and STAND STRONG! (Read Ephesians 6 starting in verse 10.)

Pray and ask God how to reach children in your life. According to George Barna, 85% of Christians in America come to Christ between the ages of 4 and 14. Wow! Do you want to reap a harvest? Consider children's ministry!