INTO ALL THE WORLD—Part 3

DEALING WITH DISCOURAGEMENT

Even though I have dealt with people all over the world since late 1968, lately I have been wearied by my sister’s continual requests for medical help (anything ranging from “diagnosis please” to Band-Aids).  They ask for pain tablets, powder for heat or other rashes, creams for fungus, milk or vitamins for heat boils—all this from every one of them–so much so that I finally told one sister I wouldn’t/couldn’t deal with her mother’s painful leg when I had no way of knowing what actually happened.  I was beginning to feel smothered—mainly because it seems I can never just have a normal conversation with anyone anymore.

Last Sunday night, after our evening services, I simply disappeared and went back to the apartment, and of course one younger lady knocked on my door to ask to come in to talk.  I was kind about it, but I told her no.  About half an hour later, after I had rested a bit, two others came just to chat a while. That was refreshing.  They did not want me to do anything, other than listen to their report of what they had been doing the past week.

The very next day in my evening English class, I was trying to help the few ladies who come for extra practice to know how to study the assigned Scripture reading so they will not just call words they don’t understand.

The reading happened to be Deuteronomy 1:9-15.  At the time it didn’t dawn on me to think of the class exercise as an answer to prayer, but later I realized it was.  I started by asking the ladies to read the passage to me in their own language first and then asked them some questions to help them understand what it was about.

Who is speaking?  How do you find that information?  To whom is he speaking?  What is the problem?  What was the solution?  How many men were chosen to be judges or overseers?  How did God bless these men to be able to do the work?

I helped the sisters to conjure a picture in their minds of what it might be like to judge more than a million people from morning to evening—day-in-and-day-out.  Some would take Moses’ advice (judgment or command) and some might not, yet they required Moses’ time to ask.

Then I asked them who had suggested to Moses that his job was too great to endure.  They all smiled when I reminded them it was his father-in-law, Jethro, (Exo. 18:13-24). I showed them how to look for Jethro’s name in computer search engines and where to read more about him.  Only a few have smart phones, and even fewer have computers, but they could see how I searched on the class computer. They could read the passages I pointed out.  They could answer the questions.

I used my Bible Soft program to search some related passages, showing how that Moses had been a prophet and a judge for God’s people since they left Egypt, but after forty+ years he grew weary of their continual coming.  He even dared to ask God if he had given birth to the Israelites and had carried them in his womb.  That was discouragement at its height.  I asked them if we sometimes discourage each other like Jethro and the people had discouraged Moses.  In my own mind, I wondered if I could truly be used, and yes, even abused at times without complaining.  Do I take my problems to God, or do I murmur like the Israelite people did?  Maybe this was a lesson to help me not to be discouraged with “their continual coming.”

MORE BREATHING ROOM

A Response to the original BREATHING ROOM

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me (Phil. 4:11-13).

Continue reading MORE BREATHING ROOM

SEEING THE UNSEEN ETERNAL THINGS

Had you ever thought about involving yourself with things eternal, rather than temporary things? Are there things eternal that we can use to build in our lives?

Another similar consideration: Since God in his great wisdom made this world, did he have temporal vanities in mind, or did he have an eternal purpose for man?

The Lord considered that and declared that the things our eye can see are temporary, while the things the eye cannot see are eternal. Does God involve himself in vanities, or is his work in man eternal?

Continue reading SEEING THE UNSEEN ETERNAL THINGS

CREATE IN ME A PURE HEART

King David prayed, “Create in me a pure heart . . .”

‘However, in his prayer David asked God to do something that He never does: “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10).  “The prayer of the righteous has powerful results” (James 5:16), but prayer will never create a pure heart nor renew a right spirit in anybody. In God’s plan, it is up to each person whether or not he has a pure heart and a right spirit. A pure heart is “broken and contrite,” but God does not do the breaking nor does He bring contrition. Now, as in David’s time, it is up to each individual Christian, not to God, whether or not he loves all Christians “fervently with a pure heart” (1 Pet. 1:22). It is up to each Christian, not to God, if he thinks on things that “are pure” (Phil. 4:8). God “has no pleasure in burnt-offerings,” and the only sacrifices He will accept “are a broken spirit” and “a broken and contrite heart” Ps. 51:16, 17). But God has never broken a spirit or a heart.’ —Hugo McCord (from an article entitled Internet Pornography)

Was David inspired of God? Did God work directly with King David and others?

Continue reading CREATE IN ME A PURE HEART