Mission Central Podcast – Let God Show You His Love

You must allow God to love you, to shower you with His abundance, to be your provider and your provision. Be embraced by His love. Be overwhelmed by His love. Don’t deny God the opportunity to show Himself to you through His great love for you.

Mission Central Podcast

Here are the key points from this episode:

  • The only way to completely comprehend God’s love for you is to experience it.
  • We experience God’s love as we live by faith and allow Him to take us past any “I can’t” or “we can’t” statements
  • When we deny God the opportunity to show Himself through us we miss the chance to know His love.

“Mission Central” is available on iTunes, search podcasts for Mission Central.
You can subscribe to receive each new addition in your inbox.

Confirmation of His Will

Back in July I posted our story as the Lord led us to leave the pastorate and start out on a new journey helping churches and individuals do missions around the world.  In the five months since then we have had repeated instances where the Lord has confirmed to us that this is the path He has chosen.  It is both exciting and daunting to venture where there are no lines drawn and no path to follow except to see where the next step is.  I want to share some of the things that have happened over this time, as much for me as for those who will read this.

Immediately after our last Sunday at Spring Creek we had to decide where to attend church.  Having been in one church for over 20 years, I thought it would be refreshing to see different churches and how they “do church” as well as hear some of my friends preach the Word (it has been wonderful by the way).  The first Sunday we went to Faith Bible with Amanda and Kevin, our friend Aaron was leading worship that week.  Wouldn’t you know it, it was “Mission Sunday.”  In fact three of the first four Sundays, in four different churches, there was a mission emphasis.  These “coincidences” served to affirm in our lives over and again the Lord’s leading.  Over the last five months we have been in at least 7 mission services, none of which we knew about before we walked through the door of the church.

In November we had an opportunity to do something different and it required much prayer.  We took the weekend to consider the possibility of moving into a different type of work.  That weekend the church we visited had a missionary speak.  He preached on a passage that was key to our original decision back in July.  I dropped out of the new opportunity without hesitation and have had no second thoughts.

The latest instance happened just before Christmas.  The pastor who performed our wedding, Ed Wright, moved to Vermont to begin working at a new Baptist college.  When I heard about it I was intrigued with the idea of doing some work with them in the New England area.  In early December I finally contacted Ed about scheduling a trip in the Fall of 2014.  Interestingly, Ed was going to be in Austin before Christmas and was speaking at Hillcrest Baptist, the church where Julie and I were married and the one we planned on attending the Sunday before Christmas!  Another coincidence.  Through our visits we have decided to take a trip in February there and are now going to work on another one in the Fall.

These are just some of the things that have happened, but it is good to remember all that the Lord has done and how He has led us continually.  One of our wisest decisions back in July was to drop everything, quit both our jobs, so that we would be able to go anywhere at anytime.  We’re learning to be ready to go, to see that those things that some might call mere coincidence are often the hand of God at work as He leads us along a path.  We have to be discerning, choosing those things that are in the path He has directed.  We have to be wise, knowing that there are limited resources, and yet trusting, knowing that He has unlimited resources.  We have to be creative, doing the work when there is no established pathway.  And we have to be faithful, knowing that the Lord has a plan beyond the horizon of our sight.

When we began I told Julie that I could get us to the end of August 2013.  We’ve gotten to January 2014 and I can see through about April.  Looking forward to what comes next.

P.S. Sometime in the future I’ll share some of what I’ve learned about being a Christian who isn’t a pastor or staff member.  It’s been challenging after being on a church staff for the past 30 years.

Experiencing God – Week 5, Day 3

One of my favorite paragraphs so far is on this day. Here it is:

God wants us to follow Him daily, not just follow a plan. If we try to spell out all the details of His will in a planning session, we tend to think, Now that we know where we are going and how to get there, we can get the job done. Then we forget about the need for a daily, intimate relationship with God. We may set about to accomplish our plans and forget the relationship. Or God may try to lead us to do a new thing, but we reject it because it is not in our long-range plan! God created us for an eternal love relationship. Life is our opportunity to experience Him at work. (italics not added)

This paragraph is a very accurate description of what happens in my own life often and what I see in others also. It is a picture of the church at work so often. We get a plan in mind and off we go, “Hope the Lord meets us somewhere near the end.”

I really like the last sentence, “Life is our opportunity to experience Him at work.” This life is where we can see God at work. Don’t abandon Him or get out in front of Him. Wait to see Him do what He does. Rely on Him daily and seek Him and His presence daily. This is where the beauty of a “walk with God” comes out. We are on a journey with Him and the emphasis is on “with.” I want to go with Him, not just near Him.

Lord, help me to seek you everyday and to wait to go with You.

Experiencing God – Week 3, Day 2

Living in the past or living in the future. Allowing my past to dictate my present, or investing in the future.

What a challenging thought for this day. So much of our lives is built around what we have known and how we and our ancestors have lived in the past, but our focus must be on the future, on eternity. Invest our lives in that which will last for eternity. There is the challenge. What lasts? What has eternal value? How do I invest my life in those things? I must scrutinize my own life, examine my choices, my schedule, my priorities, my energy and my resources. I want to make a difference for eternity, not just enjoy this life without thought of “forever.”

Experiencing God – Week 2 – Day 4

I love this quote:
“If there was a formula to hearing from God you would not have to seek God with all your heart.”

It’s so easy to try to bypass the relationship. “Just give me what I need to know so I can get on with my life.” Probably the thing that has stood out to me the most so far is the focus on being God centered as opposed to self-centered. My life is really here for Him, to please Him and to see His will done. This is such different thinking because so much of our thoughts are about ourselves. How do I pay my bills? Where do I work, go to school, live?

God’s will, His plan, my relationship to Him should be the focus of my life. His plan is best and right. He loves me and I can trust Him. My plans are rarely right (though on occasion I happen to agree with Him). Set my heart on Him and building that relationship and I will be just great.

God is At Work!

One thing that is abundantly clear here at Spring Creek is that God is at work. Last night in our Experiencing God study folks had an opportunity to share areas where they see God moving around them. It was awesome to hear the testimonies of how God has moved in the lives of our members and their friends and families.

We’ve seen it in the worship services the past several weeks and I am really excited to see how the Lord will work to deepen our walk with Him this week.

I’ll be posting more regularly as we go through the Experiencing God study. Sometimes I’ll pose questions or record quotes from that day’s study. I’d love to get your feedback, thoughts and questions.