Wednesday, May 23, 2018

“For Such A Time . . .”


This photo from their Facebook post is but one segment of work being done in Haiti that has a small monetary support from our church – and lots of prayers. This last week, a newsletter mentioning this work also mentioned another ministry work, “Sewing for Souls”, which teaches sewing skills.

That touched a chord with a mission-minded group in our church, “Together We Can Change Lives”, which had had annual fund raisers for specific mission projects. We took the idea from the newsletter and called another missionary to see if it could be adapted to their ministry. The missionary laughed out loud, explaining that they had been praying for a sewing machine so they could teach sewing to help people in their mission.  Our funding was such that we could purchase a sturdy machine, needles, thread and even supply some material.

We also saw God’s hand in the line of letter, thoughts, phone call and actions that answered a missionary’s prayer. The path began before the missionary’s prayer. That tied in so beautifully with our Sunday School’s study in Esther – the book’s central verse:

For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? (Esther 4:14 KJV)

Had the newsletter been simply a request for the mission’s need, had we thought “what a neat idea” and let the idea slide, had we not previously held fund raisers, had the missionary not prayed for a sewing machine – there would be others who stepped in, and while we would not have been destroyed, we would have lost a huge blessing.

Along that same line, I listened to Michael Curry’s message Saturday morning – and multiple millions around the world did, and will continue to discuss it. In that message is the fact that God showed redemptive love through Jesus. Love cannot change the world without God, but God’s love changed the world and is able to change each individual still in this world.

Do you see God’s hand in getting this message around the world through the rare event of a prince’s marriage? It would have been so easy to ask a minister to keep Jesus’ name out of the program, as so many schools have asked of students, to keep from offending.

Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another? Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me. (Matthew 11:2-6 KJV)

John’s purpose in life was to introduce Jesus – then he doubted. He was imprisoned, probably knew the eventual outcome. That would raise doubts – haven’t you had some? Jesus didn’t give a yes or no answer. He listed results. These weren’t promises, these where results of specific actions.

Well, what I’ve seen this past week comes so close: “… and the poor have the gospel preached to them.” I am not offended by the actions or the message Jesus gave to all who will hear. How do you feel about it?

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