Published: Sunday, 16 September 2018 22:51
Written by Don Goulding
“Look at the birds in the sky: They do not sow, or reap, or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you more valuable than they are?” (Matthew 6:25-26 NET_FL)
Food and water, check. Sleeping bags and pillows, check. Extra toilet paper, check. Our first mission trip to Mexico we were nervous about food, beds, and toilets. For mealtimes we ate from tin cans. At night we crawled into our van and shut the doors. And we wrinkled our noses at the bathrooms. The orphanage children must have thought we were loony. It resulted in needless worry and limited opportunities to engage the Mexican cherubs in their world.
Now I travel for months with only a knapsack. I’m learning my bond with Jesus is defined more by my trust in his provision of basic life needs than it is by success in leading revivals.
If I live on more than $2.50 per day, then I’m ahead of one half of the world’s population. There is a trust that develops with the contact of living directly out of God’s hand. The half of us who have more than $2.50 miss that primal relationship.
To live out of God’s hand means I pray through needs instead of fixing everything with money. It means I know my value to my Father, embrace his faithfulness, and wait on his generosity. Taking each morsel from his hand reminds me his touch is near. I can rely on him for breakfast this morning, money to pay bills tomorrow, and life in the full through eternity.
Perching on his hand also infuses me with courage to help the other half of the world.
Prayer: Loving Father, may I trust you today like the birds of the air.
Published: Monday, 10 September 2018 17:00
Written by Don Goulding
For if the many died through the transgression of the one man, how much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one man Jesus Christ multiply to the many! Romans 5:15 (NETFull)
An inventor excitedly rubbed his hands over his creation. He had discovered a way to make intelligent robots that self-replicated. He added a second unit and grinned as they began their task of building offspring.
An enemy sidled up to tinker with the prototypes. The inventor waited to see how his creations would defend themselves. They engaged with the evil one who infected them with a virus that spread through their subroutines. They were still functional but glitches made them lash out at one another.
The defunct coding was passed on to the progeny. Androids with twisted limbs and destructive habits appeared. The inventor had become attached to his robots, so he devised a plan for repair. First, he let the machines learn how broken they were.
A smile tipped the inventor’s mouth when he introduced the cure—his greatest genius ever. It was another prototype and this one had a piece of his own living tissue embedded into the microprocessor. The living DNA wired into this special unit passed on the creator’s essence. The improved coding could delete the virus.
While his DNA-enabled units multiplied, the master-creator went to work on his ultimate future project. He snatched up robots and analyzed their programming. Those without the antivirus were tossed onto a scrap pile where their circuitry snapped and fizzled. Those with the DNA fix were painstakingly given mega-processing chips and refitted with titanium bodies. Now he had perfect, unbreakable offspring to celebrate through all time.
Prayer: Father Creator, use the gift of Jesus to complete your purpose in me.
Published: Monday, 03 September 2018 16:33
Written by Don Goulding
The Lord said to Jonah son of Amittai, “Go immediately to Nineveh, that large capital city, and announce judgment against its people because their wickedness has come to my attention.” Instead, Jonah immediately headed off to Tarshish to escape from the commission of the Lord. … The Lord sent a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the stomach of the fish three days and three nights. Jonah 1:1-3, 17 (NETFull)
Two weeks before I left for the Middle East, I received a message from the brother arranging my mission trip.
“I am very sorry to let you know there are many problems in Pakistan. Bombing and shooting. It looks very dangerous but do as the Lord leads you.”
It was a heated election season aggravated by volatile politics with Americans.
I went to the Lord and asked if I should make the trip. He let me recall a Bible verse. But they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die. Revelation 12:11
What is safety? Jonah would tell us that hiding in anonymity offers no protection. When he tried to avoid ministry he found himself in his most perilous circumstances—tossed into a killer storm and swallowed by a fish. Only when he finally obeyed God did the umbrella of supernatural protection open above him.
I realized there are far greater dangers than the threat of death or deportation. I could loose my one chance to honor Jesus. Waisting the few earthly hours I’m given on my temporal self is the ultimate in foolish risky behavior.
Safety comes from abiding in the exact spot God calls me to. Even if my health suffers, or my bank account zeros, or my friendships sour—obeying God guarantees my soul is in the center of the safety-nest.
I did go to Pakistan. We had to take precautions such as traveling at night and posting guards, but I learned that serving Jesus makes me soar on wings of angels. For me, it was much better than hiding at home with the stench of a fish belly.
Prayer: Father, help me obey your direction and rest in your protection.