Saturday, June 9, 2012

For the Sake of the Gospel

"To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. I do all things for the sake of the gospel, 
so that I may become a fellow partaker of it."
1 Corinthians 9:22-23

Last night my husband and I watched "The End of the Spear", the movie about Nate Saint and four other American missionaries who in 1956 were killed by members of an Ecuadoran tribe called the Waodani. The Americans had attempted to enter the tribe's isolated culture, befriend its members, and bring them to Christ, but instead they met their deaths at the hands of the Waodani's spears. After the killings the wives of the murdered missionaries moved in with the Waodani and became like family, eventually leading the tribe to Christ and ending the cycle of killing. It struck me as I watched the scenes unfold how much these missionaries lived out the spirit of 1 Corinthians 9:22-23. They didn't berate the Waodani for their ignorance of the gospel, or expect them to behave differently in their unbelieving state. They lived among the Waodani and loved them first, and then shared the gospel and let God change their hearts. Why do we expect people who don't know Christ to live according to His word? They don't know any better. And neither did we before we came to Him. Let's meet people right where they are and show them the love of Christ. He'll take it from there.

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Delight of God's Consolations

"When my anxious thoughts multiply within me,
Your consolations delight my soul."
Psalm 94:19

God's consolations are found in His word. We can go to the Bible to find comfort and peace in times of distress. And not only comfort and peace, but delight. For when we experience the faithfulness of God to calm our anxious thoughts when we turn to Him, we rejoice in delight. "The little world within is, like the great world without full of confusion and strife; but when Jesus enters it, and whispers 'Peace be unto you,' there is a calm, yea, a rapture of bliss." (Spurgeon)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Larger Faith and Greater Love

"We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater;  therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure."
2 Thessalonians 1:3

The Thessalonians were commended by Paul for their faith and love in the midst of the "persecutions and afflictions" they were experiencing. It was in these troubled times that their faith really grew and their love for one another increased. This is what difficulties in life do for us when we persevere in faith. When we trust the Lord and allow Him to teach us through the trial we find we come through it with larger faith and greater love for those around us. "And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;" (Romans 5:3-4).

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Over-flowing Grace

"Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass."
1 Thessalonians 5:24

God is faithful and He will complete what He has started in those He has called. He starts with wooing us and melting our hearts to receive Him. But it doesn't stop there. He continues to grow us and mold us into the image of His Son. We have no righteousness of our own, only that which is imparted to us through Christ. "We need no more to make us happy, than to know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is an ever-flowing and an over-flowing fountain of grace to supply all our wants." (Matthew Henry)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

In Gratitude and Sorrow

"And following Him was a large crowd of the people, 
and of women who were mourning and lamenting Him."
Luke 23:27

When we comprehend the great love that compelled Jesus to suffer for us -- that it was His choice, His will, and that He could have called 10,000 angels to rescue Him (Matthew 26:53) -- it should cause us to grieve. Grieve over our sin that required what only Christ could provide: atonement. "He was crucified outside the city gates—that is where he poured out the sacrificial blood that was brought to God's altar to cleanse his people." (Hebrews 13:12 The Message). And Christ's great love and sacrifice should cause us to worship in gratitude. "Why those women loved and wept it were not hard to guess: but they could not have had greater reasons for love and grief than my heart has. Nain's widow saw her son restored-but I myself have been raised to newness of life. Peter's wife's mother was cured of the fever-but I of the greater plague of sin. Out of Magdalene seven devils were cast-but a whole legion out of me. Mary and Martha were favoured with visits-but he dwells with me. His mother bare his body-but he is formed in me the hope of glory. In nothing behind the holy women in debt, let me not be behind them in gratitude or sorrow." (Charles Spurgeon) 

Monday, June 4, 2012

True Riches

"Better is a little with the fear of the Lord
Than great treasure and turmoil with it."
Proverbs 15:16

A Christian may be poor financially, but he is rich spiritually. For the fear of the Lord brings spiritual wealth that will last eternally. His future is secure in Christ. "A devout life does bring wealth, but it's the rich simplicity of being yourself before God. Since we entered the world penniless and will leave it penniless, if we have bread on the table and shoes on our feet, that's enough." 1 Timothy 6:6-9 The Message. When we preoccupy ourselves with getting more, we miss the joy of what God is giving us now.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

We're very sorry.
Mountain Manna's Internet Server is down 
for emergency maintenance.

We will return on Monday, June 4.

God bless you.

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