Focus on the Mission and the Blessings

But Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than men…”

Then they went out from the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to be dishonored on behalf of the Name. Every day in the temple complex, and in various homes, they continued teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.          Acts 5:29, 41-42 (HCSB)

Sometimes I allow myself to get pretty sad about aspects of my life. I miss my children and grandchildren. I wish we had a reliable car or a different place to live. But then the LORD reminds me of His extravagant love that assures me that my family will be together eternally and brings me through His Word to see the lives of those who have gone before me.

Unlike my life here in the United States, the first century disciples were called on to choose death or sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ every time they spoke of Him. And it wasn’t just the Roman government but the local church doing the persecuting. And that is my example. I may not have to choose my life vs obedience to the call on my life but I do have to choose between my “wants” and obediently living where and how God has placed me. And I can do that with a joyful or a whining heart. It’s a choice.

I have friends who live in foreign lands because that is where they have been placed. I have other friends who would like to be in a foreign mission location but have been asked to stay where they are and minister in the U.S. (I’m not sure they haven’t been given harder ground to plow!) It’s about obedience and about how I live that obedience that glorifies God. It is agreeing that He has the best plan and walking in that plan.

God provides all that I need. I am wonderfully blessed in so many ways and every day I should see the bow on the gift of that day! And, not surprisingly, when I start my day with “LORD, thank You for the day. It is the day You made. Point me in Your direction and I will go” then I have invited the Holy Spirit to direct my spirit and the eyes of my spirit to see the goodness of the LORD.

Spending time reading the Book of Acts or Peter’s letters to the church, gives me an opportunity to put myself into his day. I can see into the life of this disciple and see the witness of his life, even 2000 years later. That is encouragement and faith that takes me through another day with Holy Spirit joy!

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, – let me sow love;
Where there is injury, – pardon;
Where there is doubt, – faith;
Where there is despair, – hope;
Where there is darkness, – light;
Where there is sadness, – joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, – as to console;
to be understood, – as to understand;
to be loved, – as to love.
For it is in giving – that we receive.
It is in pardoning – that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying – that we are born to Eternal Life.   Amen.

 Make Me A Channel of Your Peace from the Prayer of St. Francis, set to music in 1967 by OCP Publications, London, England

 

 

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