Where is your “marketplace”?

“So he was reasoning in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and in the market place every day with those who happened to be present.”

Acts 17:17

How can God use me?  What am I supposed to be doing?  Where do I serve in the church?

Have you ever asked yourself these questions?  Often when we get involved in church, we struggle with not being sure where exactly we fit in.  We see people public speaking, but that makes us nervous.  We see people singing & playing instruments, but only a few think they are talented enough for that.  Sure there is giving, helping set up, and being on committees, but we want to be doing ministry even beyond these things!!!  So what do we do?

Take a moment to consider this:  What if your calling is not in the church?  What if your calling is to serve the church in the marketplace?

We see in the passage that heads this post that Paul’s ministry consisted of two components.  First, he would speak in the synagogue and then he would go to marketplace and talk with people there.  Let us take a moment to consider if God is possibly sending you to a marketplace of your own!!

  1. Why the marketplace?

Because that’s where the people are!!!  Many years ago a reporter interviewed a notorious bank robber named Willie Sutton.  During the interview, the reporter asked why Sutton robbed banks.  His reply, “Because that’s where the money is.”

Why did Paul go to the marketplace?  Why should we seek out our marketplace?  BECAUSE THAT IS WHERE THE PEOPLE ARE!!!!  More specifically, that is where the lost are.

We have to acknowledge the truth that not many lost people randomly walk into churches on Sunday.  If we want to reach the lost, we will have to go to them.  Jesus makes it pretty clear, “Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations…” (Matt 28:19)

We have got to get out of the mindset that ministry only happens within the walls of the church.  Scripture shows us the opposite was more true.  Paul had some success in the synagogues, but it was on the block and in the marketplace that people were being saved.

  1. How does it work?

Okay, so maybe you are on board with going to the marketplace; now what?

Where do I go?  If we are going to go the marketplace, we have to know where it is!!!  You may think this is going to be some crazy place that you have never been before, but that actually is not the case.  Your marketplace is where you already are.  It is your work.  It is the restaurants you frequent.  It is the organizations (outside the church) you support.  It is your child’s sporting events.  It is the grocery store.  Your marketplace is all the places you already are.  You do not have to go looking for someplace new; you just have to open your eyes and see the lost people who are already all around you!!1

What do I do?  We always make this more complicated than we need.  You share Christ.  First, you share Christ by your actions.  You give others priority over yourself (Rom 12:10).  This may mean a simple smile, a quick apology, or a caring gesture.  Show the people around you that you are not only interested in yourself, but you have a genuine concern for them.  Then, you have to actually tell them about Jesus!!!  Look at the words Luke uses to describe Paul’s actions in Acts 17:17-18.  He “reasoned” in the synagogue.  Later, he “conversed” with the philosophers.  Finally, he “preached” Jesus and the resurrection.  Paul’s ministry was not done from behind a pulpit but on the street, giving and taking in conversation.  He listened.  He responded.  He spoke into people’s lives.  He pointed them to the Messiah.  You can do all of those things too.

  1. Why does it matter?

At the very end of the chapter, Luke writes this, “But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.” (v. 34) This is why we have to go to the marketplace!!!  There are people right here in Hardin County that have never heard the Gospel and they probably will never voluntarily darken the door of a church building.

Think about it this way:  Would you ever just walk into the local mosque?  Or the synagogue?  Or even attend a Catholic mass?  Why not?  Probably because it would be intimidating!!!  You don’t know their customs or expectations.  You might be afraid that you would accidentally offend someone.  Or you just don’t believe that they would have anything to offer you at their services.  THAT IS HOW THE LOST SEE US!!!!

IF we have been called to make disciples of all nations, and IF the nations are not going to just magically waltz through our doors, THEN WE HAVE TO GO TO THEM!!!!

I know this may feel horribly uncomfortable.  Sharing Jesus without the pastor nearby may feel like walking a tightrope without a net, but you can do it.  You have to do it.  There is no plan B.

We are his messengers, his witnesses, his ambassadors.  We have been commissioned to do this.
 
Let’s go!
 

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Get off the fence!!!

“You gotta get off the fence!” I cannot hear these words without hearing the voice of Dave Marcum, my Sunday School teacher and friend. It is an exhortation to believe in God with all your heart.  Dave calls those who shy away from fully committing to Christ as “Fence-riders”, people who sit on the fence by refusing to commit to a position until they are sure they are on the right side.  These are people so concerned about being wrong or looking foolish that they remain silent.  Yes, they may identify as a Christian, but they would not tell another person about Jesus.  They may call themselves Baptist, but it is doubtful that they would take a hard stand on any doctrine.  They are just there… unless they are somewhere else! Unfortunately, we live in a climate where Christians can no longer “ride the fence”.  Even in the last few months, groups have entered Hardin County and demanded that schools and churches have no interaction.  Prayer has been challenged, Christian groups like Fellowship of Christian Athletes are being discouraged, and ministers are not allowed to be present on school campuses. While we do want to honor the separation of church & state, we must also make it clear that we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and nothing is going to prevent us from praying, worshiping, and living out our faith in public! Ironically, this is not a new problem.  Even in Jesus time there were those who wanted to follow Jesus, but they were not sure if they wanted to give up everything.  Let’s look how Jesus handled them.  (Luke 9:57-62)

  1. “I will follow you wherever you go!”
The first person that Jesus encounters in our passage is said elsewhere to be a Scribe. (Matt 8:19) His exclamation in this passage seems harmless enough.  He is professing that he will follow Jesus ANYWHERE!!!
Yet Jesus’ response tells us a great deal about this man’s heart.  “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”  Jesus reveals in his response that this scribe saw God as an employer.  If he followed Jesus wherever He went, then he would be cared for.  He was hoping that following Jesus would be a life of comfort or success.  Jesus is letting him know that it was not so.  This man made the declaration, but there was an unwritten caveat.  He would not have stayed with Jesus on the open road.  He would not have slept outside, and he would have left the moment Jesus was betrayed.
 
Many Christians today are quick to sing, “Every move I make, I make in you.” Yet they would never let Jesus take control of their business, finances, or comfort.  We cannot be silent about our faith, even if it means being ostracized from the in-crowd or missing out on business opportunities.  Jesus is our hope for life everlasting; not our means for comfort in this life.
 
  1. “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.”

Again, we see a relatively reasonable request.  Most of us cannot imagine that Jesus would not allow a man to attend his own father’s funeral.  However, there is more to this excuse than meets the eye.  First, it is highly likely that the individual’s father was not dead yet (possibly not even near death).  Second, the concept of burying one’s relative included all of the business that surrounds the death of the person.  In other words, this person wanted Jesus to put his discipleship on hold until his father had passed (possibly years) and he had been able to collect his portion of the estate!

In contrast to the previous person who wanted Jesus to take care of him, this person wanted to make sure he had secured his own provisions.  He wanted to make sure that he first took care of himself.  Therefore, Jesus response is fitting, “Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God.”  We cannot wait until we take care of every other area of our life before we get to following Jesus.  People who wait for the “perfect time” to start following Jesus will probably never do so.  Instead, we need to remember that “Now” is always the perfect time to trust in Christ and be about His work.

  1. “First permit me to say good-bye to those at home.”

The last reasonable request from the fence-riders is to be able to say good-bye.  Many of us would hope that we would be given the opportunity to tell our families good-bye if we were leaving for a long time.  Again, Jesus sees into the heart of the individual and calls them to truly follow.  In this case, Jesus responds by saying, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

What is it about saying good-bye makes this man unfit for the Kingdom?  Simply this, this man wishes to go back because he wants the approval of his family before he leaves.  Going home to say good-bye means that he can give his family one more chance to talk him out of it, and he can make sure he has their approval in case things don’t work out.  This person is planning his exit strategy.  He wants to be sure that he has a home to go back to.  He is not willing to risk everything to follow Christ.  He needs a safety net.
Many Christians today are the same way.  We want to follow Jesus but not at the risk of everything.  We still want people to approve of our decisions.  We want to believe, but we don’t want to be one of “those people”.  We will follow Jesus, but we won’t do it if it means losing family, friends, reputation, or status.  We want to follow, but only if society approves.  In doing so, we miss out on what the Kingdom is all about.
 

People ride the fence for many reasons.  Some ride the fence until they know Jesus will take care of them.  Others ride the fence until they can take care of themselves.  Still others ride the fence in hopes that following Jesus will not cost them anything important.  Whatever the reason, those who ride the fence are not doing anyone any favors.  The last thing the world needs is more nominal Christians.  Whatever may have you on the fence, I challenge you to take that leap.  Trust in the Lord; trust in his provision, timing, and promises.  Yes, it will cost you something; it may cost you everything. But it is always worth it. “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.”

(Mark 8:34-35)


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Firmly Planted

A couple weeks ago I got a call on Saturday from one of our church members, John.

“Hey man, do you want to go floating on Monday?”

John had a couple kayaks that he had bought several years ago, but never had gotten them out on the water.  He brought them to church one summer as props for VBS and after ogling over them for a while, he said that we would go one day.  Monday was finally going to be that day.

“Sure!  Let’s do it!!”

A couple days later John and I found ourselves on the Nolin river right by Gilead Baptist Church floating on one of the nicest mornings I had seen in quite a while. 

As we followed the river through many dips and turns, we saw some wildlife, marveled at rock formations and notice the many beautiful trees that hung over the river, providing us shade.

John said, “Isn’t it amazing how some of these trees can have some of the root structure washed out and yet they still grow and hold tight to the bank?”

“I think it is probably a testament to how strong their roots really are.”

As we continued our float, I began to ponder what the Bible says about trees like these and how they related to the life of a believer.

Psalm 1 says:

1How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.

The trees that we passed were a reminder that those cling to the Word of God will continue to grow no matter what the world may throw at them.

  1. These trees grow even in adversity.
    The very fact that we could see so much of these trees root structure reminded us that these trees had been through some stuff. They had seen drought and they had seen flood.  I have no doubt that pollution and liter had passed by their way.  They had seasons where they grew rapidly and times where they barely grew at all. 
    Yet they always grew and they always had to take the good with the bad.  Psalm 1 implies that the tree goes through seasons where a different tree might wither and die.  Living according to Scripture does not promise a life free from doubt, worry, stress, or hardship, but it does promise to give you all you need to endure these seasons and grow in spite of them.
  2. These trees are completely dependent on the source
    Right along with the previous point, it becomes very clear that the tree is completely dependent on the river for everything. No one had to tell the tree to dig down deep.  No one had to tell the tree that it would need a huge, complicated root structure in order to stand firm and take advantage of all the river had to offer.  It did it because it was designed to do so, and the more it grew up, the more it needed to grow down and dig deep in order to remain.
    It really is a shame that we are not as smart as trees.  We constantly need to be told that we have to dig deeper into our source of life.  We grow a little and we think we can put the Bible, prayer, and Christian community on the shelf.  We face adversity and we withdraw into ourselves instead of digging deeper into the Word of Life!  Can you imagine for a moment what would happen to a tree if it pulled its roots back into the trunk during a drought?  It would be dead in a week!!!  So why do we do it?
    We have to recognize that we NEED God, His Word, and a relationship with the Son in order to live in this life.   After that, we need to dig deep into his Word and our relationship with Him in order to get through it all.
  3. The tree uses this blessing to fulfill its purpose
    Now it may be a little self-centered on my part think that those trees’ purpose was to provide shade for me and John, but it sure was nice!!!!!
    Regardless that tree had a purpose. Perhaps the trees’ purpose was to hold the soil in place, or keep the water (and kayakers) cool & shaded, or maybe it was to provide food and shelter for animals that live near the water.  Regardless, it was not there just to suck up water and pull nutrients from the river!!!

We are the same way.  God is feeding you and growing you through His Word for a reason.  I can tell you what the reason is too!!!  You are here to make disciples.  Jesus said these words, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you.” (Matt 28:19-20) Now, I cannot tell you how you’ll do that or what it will look like; you will have to discover that for yourself!  But I can tell you that it will not happen if you don’t stay rooted in God and His Word!

 

The trees on the river remind us of our need for God and our mission for God, but it also reminds us that with God we will endure until the end.  I am praying that you will “dig deep” into the Word with us at THBC!!!  God bless!


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Be Gracious

The other day I am home from the office and while I was changing clothes, I turned to charge my phone.  As I did so, I discovered that the plug for my charger was missing.   Well, anyone who has children understands that this meant that my daughter had stolen my plug in order to charge her IPod. 

No sooner had I made this discovery when I heard shouting from my kids.

“You stole it!!!” 

“No, I didn’t!”

“Yes, you did!  You knew I was using that!!!”

I rushed down the steps to intervene before this shouting match turned into a fight.  There in my home office were my two daughters shouting at each other as loud as they could.  My oldest daughter, the one with an IPod, was accusing her little sister of stealing something that wasn’t really hers to begin with.

“What is going on here?”

“SHE stole my…!!!”

“Just like you stole my charger?”

(silence)

It is never fun to be reminded that we are just as guilty of sin. 

In Jesus day, He told the story of a salve who owed his master a large sum of money.  He was unable to pay the large sum at the time in which it was due.  He knew that the normal consequence for failing to pay a debt was the selling of his family and property and possibly prison.  Therefore, he fell at the feet of his master and begged that he would be given more time.

His master felt compassion for the slave and did not just give him an extension, but forgave his debt completely!  The slave did not walk out of that court a man with more time, but a man who had been set free from his debt and the fear of all punishment!!!

However as he left the court that day, the salve saw another slave who owed him a much smaller sum of money.  He grabbed the man and began to choke him, demanding his money!  The other slave begged him for more time in order to pay back the debt, but he would not have it.  He had the other slave thrown into prison for failing to pay the debt.

The slaves deeds eventually made their way to the master’s ears.  When he heard of the incident, his face became twisted with anger and he called the slave back into his presence.  The master confronted him for his wickedness and his lack of mercy and then sent him away to be tortured for the debt that had been forgiven him!  (Matthew 18:23-35)

Through this parable, Jesus reminded Peter that those who have been shown mercy ought to be merciful as well.  On other words, be gracious for you have received grace yourself!

This is something that should be true of all Christians as well!!!  We need to be quick to show grace and quick to forgive.  Here a some quick reminders that may help you do so.

  1. You are not perfect
It always has to start with us.  We have to remember where we used to be.  The slave in Jesus’ parable failed to remember that he had been forgiven a huge sum of money.  My daughter failed to remember that she too had taken things without asking.  We also have sinned against God in many ways and yet He has forgiven us! 
Paul, after listing several sins, says, “Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” (1 Cor 6:11) This passage should be our reminder that were are only different because God forgave us!

 

  1. They are not perfect
Once we come to the obvious truth that we are not perfect; it is much easier to remember that they cannot be perfect either!  We often place the burden of perfection on people.  We want people around us to just know exactly how to respond to every situation.  We want people to do right by us every time; even when that actually isn’t good for us!!!  We place that burden on people and it is a burden that they cannot bear.  When they fail us, we condemn them for being so selfish, mean, and cruel.  We judge them without mercy and often without a full understanding of the situation.
We have to remind ourselves that we are not perfect and we cannot expect others to be perfect either.  Rather, “everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger;” (James 1:19)

 

  1. Christ is perfect, and He forgave

“I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.” (John 8:11) These are the words of Jesus to the woman caught in sin.  He had every right to condemn her.  In fact, He was the only one with a right to condemn her.  Yet he chose to forgive her!

 

Go, and do likewise.


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Reflections from Camp

As many of you know, I have the privilege of co-directing our local associational camp.  This year was one of the most challenging and most rewarding camps that I have been able to be a part of.

God did some tremendous things at camp this year.  We saw kids come to know Christ.  We got to hear from many who wanted to further their relationship with Christ through Baptism.  We even got to talk with several young people who felt a strong pull towards missions.  It was fantastic!

Now that I am home and I have had some time to reflect on all that happened at camp, I wanted to share with you my reflections from camp.

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The Power of Prayer

Last night something fantastic happened.

Last night a small group of people gathered together, reached out into the heavens, and spoke with God.

In other words, last night a group of people gathered to pray.

It seems like the significance and the majesty of prayer has become somewhat lost in the church today.  We cannot help but view prayer as something passive; something you do when you can’t do anything else.  I often find myself saying, “What can I do for you… besides just pray?”  It is as if I am saying that prayer is insignificant or that it doesn’t really matter.

But this is clearly not the case; prayer is by far and away THE most powerful tool that the Christian has today.  It should be our “go to” weapon against the world and the evil one, and it should saturate every move the church makes.  Prayer should be central to the life of the Christian and the life of the Church.  We should above all else be a praying people.

So what happens when God’s people pray?

  1. God hears our prayers.
    Do not miss the significance of this statement! God, the Creator of the Heavens & the Earth, He who put the stars in the sky and keeps them burning, is listening to our prayers.  It does not matter how significant they may seem or how often we pray; God always hears our prayers.  The apostle John said it this way, “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” (1 John 5:14)  How wonderful it is to know that God is listening!
  2. God not only hears He also acts on our prayers.
    One of the most tragic developments of the modern age is a concept called “moralistic therapeutic deism”, which is the belief that God, generally speaking, leaves you alone unless He wants to reward you for being good. Under this mode of thinking, God does not really listen to our prayers, nor does he act unless it’s just to be nice to us, but the Bible paints a very different picture of God.  According to the Bible, God does act on our prayers and He can and will do amazing things if we cry out to Him and seek His will.  The Lord himself says, “And [if] My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”  The God of the Bible will certainly step in to deliver his people and do wonderful, miraculous things.  Believe it or not, this church has experienced it!!!  We have seen prayers answered in miraculous ways that moved us all to worship God!!
  3. God will also change us.
    I think the most unexpected thing about prayer is the effect that it has on the person praying. Last night I came to church overwhelmed, frustrated, and burdened with concerns.  However, as I gathered with the saints I was confronted with the reality that God is still working, answering prayers, and advancing His Kingdom.  I was reminded that God has not abandoned me or His people, and I realized that God already has the victory over Satan, sin, and the grave.  I don’t need to fret because God is in control.  When I walked in, I was a man feeling the pressures of defeat.  When I walked out, I was renewed and ready to fight the good fight.  In 2 Kings 6, Elisha had been surrounded by the Arameans.  His attendant thought they were doomed, but Elisha was not worried.  Elisha then prayed that his attendant would be able to see what was really happening.  Suddenly, the attendant could see a whole host of angels prepared to do battle with the Arameans.  Now, nothing actually changed about the situation; the Arameans were still there and the angelic army had always been there.  It was only his perspective that changed!  God still does this today.  Sometimes it is not the situation that needs to change, but our perspective of it.  Listen as God helps you see clearly!

If you are a member of my church (or any church) and you skip those prayer meetings because you have other more important things to do, please reconsider!!!  Every powerful movement of God throughout history began with a small group of people praying, and that is exactly what we want God to do now!  To Him be the glory, amen!


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Beware Hearty Approval

“and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.” – Romans 1:32

Believe it or not, I like to be liked.  It feels good when people agree with what I am saying, and I often crave that feeling of acceptance that comes with positive feedback, whether it be to my face or through social media.

There is just one problem:  sometimes I do not need approval; I need rebuke.  I do not always have the right heart or the right mindset when I speak and when I post on social media.  I have been surprised recently at how quickly people applaud opinions that can be hurtful or even destructive.  Paul reminds us in Romans chapter 1 that those who are perishing (i.e. the lost) are quick to commit sin and to give their approval to the sin of others; even Christians.  This verse should serve as a warning to Christ followers who crave approval.  Not all approval is good, and we must be cautious when we receive it!

If you are like me, I bet you like approval too.  But let’s take a few minutes and ask ourselves if the approval we are getting is actually the approval that we need.

Here are some questions to consider when people are giving us “hearty approval”.

  • From where is the approval coming?
    Jesus said that you can judge a tree by its fruit. (Matt 12:33) When you say something and/or post something to social media and the people cheering you are individuals who reject Christ or live in sin, then you should review what you have said.
  • Who is receiving the approval?
    Proverbs 26:28 says, “…a flattering mouth works ruin.” Often bad approval desires to puff up the person.  They want you to feel right and justified in your position.  They will remind you how smart you are, and how you are perfectly capable of forming your own opinions apart from Scripture and wise counsel.  Ultimately, they want you to glorify yourself over godly wisdom and even God himself.
  • What are they really approving?

This is undoubtedly the hardest part.  When we think or feel a certain way, it is very difficult to hold those ideas up to the light of Scripture.  However, we simply must do this in order to really understand why our opinions are being positively received.  Are they approving your right understanding of Scripture and how it applies to the times? (1 Chronicles 12:32) Or are they encouraging you to pursue sinful actions and thus rebel against God and his Word?  If you are not sure, seek wise counsel from godly people whom you respect!

Please understand that not all positive feedback is bad.  Jesus himself said that people will observe what we do and, “glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matt 5:16) Sometimes what you do and what you say will point lost people to Christ; that is a wonderful thing!!!

But be cautious and let all that we do point others to Christ!


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Rest Beyond the River

“In the cross, in the cross

Be my glory ever,

Till my ransomed soul shall find

Rest beyond the river.”

“Near the Cross” by Fanny Crosby

 

This last Sunday we sang a hymn with the chorus printed above.  I was brought to tears by these simple and yet powerful words.  In recent weeks I have had to say goodbye to people who have helped shape my spiritual life.  I have been confronted with discouragement.  I have had to engage in tough, confrontational conversations with people inside and outside of the church.  I have seen my character attacked and my family attacked.  All of this has led me to doubt my effectiveness as the pastor of THBC and my call to ministry in general.  I kept asking myself, “Should I be dealing with all this hardship?”

It was in the midst of this period of doubt and self-loathing that these words pierced my heart and reminded me of what the Lord has told me.

Christ said, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Paul told Timothy, “But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” (2 Timothy 4:5)

These words remind me of the truth of who I am.  I am an ambassador for Christ.  I am a traveler through this world.  This place is not my home.  I will endure hardship here.  I will suffer.  I pray that my suffering will be used to glorify God. 

But I should not seek my peace and my place here.  My soul was made for eternity.  I am destined to be with Christ in glory.  My ransomed soul will find “rest beyond the river”, so I don’t need to keep searching for it here.  If I do, and if you do, then we will be disappointed.

 

Our rest is when we will be with Christ.  If you have not received Christ in this life, then you will never be with Him in the next.  We want to share with you what that means, so join us this Sunday!


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A Wonderful, Powerful Gift from God

In Creation, God made the Heavens and the Earth and all that is in them.  In Genesis 1:29 God tells mankind, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you…”  God had given all the earth as a gift to man.  It was something they were supposed to treasure, maintain, and help to flourish, but before that God gave man an even more important gift. 

In Genesis 2, God explains the events by which God created man and placed him in creation.  During this time God notices something about man:  He is alone. (v. 18) For the very first time God is not satisfied with what He had created.  Man needed something, man needed someone.  God presents every creature that he had created before the man for him to name, but there is not one among them that can serve as a helper for man.

Therefore, God puts the man to sleep and from one of his ribs He makes a woman and gives her to the man.  The first gift that God would give humanity is the blessing of women.  God created man, but He could not say that he had created them in His image until there was woman there to compliment him and fill what was lacking (Genesis 1:27)

Even today God blesses this world and the church with wonderful, godly women.  As we take this weekend to celebrate our mothers, let us not forget to also celebrate our wives, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, daughters, nieces, and granddaughters who fill our hearts with such joy.  Like Creation, these women are to be treasured and encouraged.  For God himself said that they are “precious in the sight of God.” (1 Peter 3:4) They are a reminder that God loves us and He provides for us.  Praise be to God for such a wonderful gift!!!!


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