Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Near & Far

"Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful." (Joshua 1:8)
Missionaries have great opportunities to share the Gospel.  We often read of those ‘called by God’ that travel to remote places to speak and demonstrate the Good News.
I think at times we feel that we need to travel far so that those that ‘have not heard” can hear the message, this great life-saving discovery. Yes, “for God so loved the world that he died”; died for all sinners far and near.
So, here I am shopping.  Just walking the isles of the store.  I wasn’t in a rush so I browsed every isle, looked at every rack and then finally made it to the front of the store.
I took my two items and placed them on the counter.  The cashier takes my money, returns the change and slides the plastic bag with my stuff close to me.
My eyes dash to the bottom of the bag and I took a double glance.  
Without any hesitation I asked the cashier, “is that right?”  “Does that say John 3:16?” 
She did not have an inkling at what I was talking about.  
On the bottom of my plastic bag, the words “John 3:16” were imprinted on it.
I quickly asked her, “Is this a Christian company?”  
She shrugged her shoulders; clueless, no idea.  
So what does Liz do?  
I unfolded the Treasure; the Good News; the Gospel!
Smiling, I told her, “John 3:16 is Scripture”. 
Another shrug.
“Never heard it?”  She replies, “no.”
What?  This is not the other side of the world.  This is my backyard.
Hmm, ok Missionary Liz has about 15 seconds before the next customer comes to the register. 
“John 3:16 –for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” 
Eyes fixed on me.  It was foreign to her.
“It’s in the Bible, read it. 
Have a great day!”
See, there was no time to further discuss or talk about Jesus after all the next customer is looking at me.  Actually she too is listening, hallelujah!
My hope is that my conversation will reverberate in her mind and soul.  
I wonder if she will ask her manager, “did you know our bags have the words “John 3:16” on them? 

Do you know what that means?” 
I believe I left an imprint; the fragrance of Christ was sprinkled on her heart.
Lord, cause her heart to search. Let her heart be pricked by your Spirit.
The store is Forever 21.  I don’t know much about the store.
This I do know, if they are willing to stamp every bag and honor the Lord, then I will take every opportunity and speak of His Great Grace!
What a great experience!  I was so excited!
Are you ready?  
We never know when we will have to speak of this great treasure in jars of clay. We get the opportunity to speak of this all-surpassing power that is from God and not us. (2 Corinthians 4:7)
Oh, yes –the Savior of the World!
God bless you!~Liz

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Bird on a Wire

Genesis 4:7 (NIV)
If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.

1 Corinthians 15:56-57 (NIV)
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

It has always been a fascinating view --birds, sometimes by the hundreds sitting on electrical lines.  The captivating  display is that they don't die.  They don't get electrocuted.  They sit there as without a care in the world.

Yes, there is a scientific reason.  These birds that perch on an electrical line do not complete a circuit. In order for electricity to run "full circle"  the bird would have to touch the other power line.  These birds seem to avoid death while basking in the sun.

Death in the Scriptures is described as the payment for all who have sinned.

Well, I prefer to sit on an electrical line and bask in the sun!

Truth is we do have a choice, an option not to die. 

This "full circle" has been intercepted so that the connection that leads to death is not completed.

Oh, we all physically come to an end but our soul lives on.

When Jesus went to the Cross and died, he did it to break the cycle that would bring death.  He rose on the third day from the grave to conquer it!  Indeed he has!

The choice is ours.  We have sinned.  We are going to die.  Jesus, steps in and cuts the shock, the sting of death and proposes the Gift of Life. 

Pretty much, Liz is sitting on this line and soon she will die and forever be separated for the Lord.  But a way of escape has been made available to her.  Jesus indeed will complete the circuit and die. His death will bring me life. (John 3:16)

If the bird chooses to move from his position and his wing touched the other line; indeed this bird will fall and be no more. The circuit will be completed and he will die.  I'm not sure if they are that smart but they have found a way to enjoy their little lives and live while relaxing in the sunshine! 

I have chosen to move from my sinful, rebellious way and reposition myself in the Grace & Mercy of God.  I'm not that smart. Actually,  I was blinded by sin.  But God in his great Love has drawn me and loved me to life.

Every choice, every action, everyday we can select death or life.  Eternal life has been secured for me but the enemy of my soul continues to lure me to actions that will kill the joy that God has purchased for me.  I choose The Life, The Truth & The Way!

Two lines.  Two options.
Stay planted on the One line. 
Death has been conquered and the Redeemed Life is ours!

God bless you!~Liz


 Acts 9:32-34 As Peter traveled about the country, he went to visit the Lord’s people who lived in Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas,...