Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Sheep and the Goats

"When the Son of man comes in His flory, and all the angels with him, He will sit on His throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate the people, one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats..." Matthew 25:31-32

When Jesus comes, He's going to separate people into two categories based on one condition. Know what that is? Its not confession alone, its not by prayer for forgiveness, its not by baptism, but by how you treated "the least of these." Yes we are reconciled (restored) to God through faith, confession and baptism, but those are lived out every day by following Jesus.

We follow Him best by giving ourselves to the poor, the hungry, the homeless, the sick, the blind, the deaf, the wounded, the lost. All of us can say we have fit into one of those categories at one point in our lives whether phycially or even more importantly spiritually.

Are we doing all that we can to give ourselves to them? If not we end up as goats. You can read further in Matthew to see your fate.

Look at the Israelites in the Old Testament. By the arrival of Jesus, they were cut off from God. We read in Romans especially chapters 9-11 how Israel did not believe and thus God's attention turned to the Gentiles. The Israelites not only didn't believe, but also read all of the Old Testament, and show me a consistent pattern if you even find one where the Israelites cared that other nations didn't believe in the one true God. Show me where they said "Oh look, the Amorites don't believe in God. We should take God to them."

Because of their self interest, God turned elsewhere. He leaves the door open for them, but now He is expressly inviting the Gentiles. Check out my next post for more thoughts on that idea of the Gentiles over the Jews, and a deeper look at Romans 9-11.

Are we serving the least of these? Are we living and doing?

We can all pray for God to create in us a more compassionate heart. I have been, and since He's shown me plenty of opportunities of how to show love to people.

Will we be a sheep?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Willing to go...

My heart says of you "Seek His face!" Your face, Lord, will I seek. Psalm 27:8

This is the first blog post I've done in a while. I took some time off to focus more on doing and living instead of just talking. I had let this become something that came between me and God and to some extent i was no longer truly sharing for the benefit of others and found myself searching for things of interest for people to read as in something funny. And so I return to the reasons I started this blog.

To share my life with you that you might be encouraged.

Over the past year God has opened my eyes to begin to see Him work in ways I would never have imagined. From hearing stories from friends travelling from Ghana to Bulgaria to now even Tibet, and taking part in my first mission trip, God has been speaking to me. Michigan unveiled my eyes to see so much more of what God can do through willing hearts. Acts 29 continues to amaze me at the ways they are impacting Hamtramck, just outside Detroit.

Through those experiences I feel that God is creating in me a heart that is open to His call anywhere. When I first decided to change majors in the summer after my freshman year, I knew in my heart that I wanted to give myself to God, and to ministry. What defines ministry has changed for me over the past year. No longer do I look at it in the confines of being a preacher, or a pastor, but ministry can be so many more things.

The one thing I never thought i would be I am becoming. I feel God is leading me to missions work. Even overseas.

At present, I feel led to Tunisia, a country that is spiritually dry. 99% Muslim. There i would be taking part in a prayer journey through the country. The logistics I am trusting in God for. The $2500 I am at present not concerned about. As with Michigan, God can provide everything I need when I need it.

What concerns me and has been the subject of many prayers is my family understanding.

My parents do not have as much faith in God as I do. Nor do they understand that even though there is a need here, God is guiding me to think globally. My love for God comes into conflict with my love for my parents. Jesus said that He would divide families. While I know this inevitably happens, I can't accept that in choosing this life, I will have to go against my parents wishes.

All I can do is call on God, as I did for Michigan. Because I cannot do this without Him.