Brighter than the stars at night

“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” – Matthew 14-15 The Message


My sister in the Lord, Cindy, and me.

Last night, I witnessed God at work. A lovely lady, Cindy Bultema, had a premiere of her documentary He Loves Me at a local theatre. You can watch this Day of Discovery episode on Mother’s Day, May 13, at 7:30 a.m. on ION Television Network. You will be amazed at how God has worked through Cindy. Even though there were  tragedies in her life and bad choices made by her, Jesus put the pieces of her broken heart back together. That’s a story that needs to be shared. The theatre was full of her friends and supporters as she talked about her journey before the viewing.  It was awesome to see the support of the Body of Christ given to her. Her light is shining brightly of a God who still does miracles.


What does God want us to show of the work he has done in our lives? Many times we think we need to hide our weaknesses from people and give an image of strength and being “good,” but actually God’s light shines brighter if we are honest about who we are and what Jesus has done for us. 

Prayer: I thank you, Lord, for the way you make us shine brightly with the light you give us. I pray that I don’t hide it in anyway, but be bold in showing who you are to all. Amen

Faith Tip: Keeping something under wraps that God wants to work through to shine for his glory? Pray about how Jesus can help you into victory over the situation.

The treasure found in suffering

Worship BG - We Are The Body of Christ

Worship BG - We Are The Body of Christ (Photo credit: bemky)

Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. – Colossians 1:24

Is there still suffering for the church today? I’m sure many of us can come up with examples we have experienced or know in which suffering has happened. There are different types of suffering which affect us physically and/or emotionally. There are some kinds of tribulations experienced in other countries that we cannot grasp what that would be like. Is it all worth it?

There’s a lot of treasure mined as we journey through challenges and trials. It is through the struggles where we really discover who we are, who we belong to, who we can trust, and what we are really made of. Without the hard times, we would remain oblivious to many things in life. There would be no growth in us.

So is it worth suffering for the church … the Body of Christ? Jesus seemed to think so. He willingly gave his life for it. Paul knew he lacked some spiritual things and by suffering was able to become stronger for the church. Perhaps that is why James wrote to consider it pure joy to suffer (James 1:2).

Prayer: Lord, the suffering I have experienced has made me stronger and thank you for that. I pray that I can trust you in any circumstance that comes knowing you are using it for your kingdom good. Amen

Faith Tip: Look at an area of your life in which you suffer and try to see how God is working through you in this.

Togetherness

Worship BG - We Are The Body of Christ

For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. – Romans 12:4-5

I recently was the keynote speaker at a women’s event at our church. It was such a great day to gather with sisters in the Lord and talk about God while we served one another in “spa moments.” Events like this usually do not happen with one person … it takes a village. There were ladies especially gifted with food, decorating, administration, hospitality, communication, music and more that made the day so special.

It’s wonderful that we don’t have all the talents and spiritual gifts ourselves. Having a dependence on one another brings us together in unity which glorifies God. This is how the church is meant to operate. Our ultimate dependence is on God who will help us join together and complete the work he has set before us. I imagine this is the way it will be in heaven … doing things together for the glory of God.

Prayer: Lord, I love to work alongside with my brothers and sisters in projects you give us. Thank you for inviting me to be a part of the bigger picture. I pray that I will obey the call you give me. Amen

Faith Tip: Has God called you to be part of a project in the Body of Christ? Consider your talents and gifts that he has given you to bless others.

Building up or tearing down

Wrecking ball in use during demolition of the ...

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“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” – James 5:16

Mary Hinkle, author of the blog Pilgrim Preaching: Keeping Company with Biblical Texts and the People Who Hear and Preach Them, says, “Is there any congregation in the whole Christian church on earth that you don’t have to leave when you are having a problem that you can’t hide.” This is a sad commentary that I pray isn’t true. We as humans all encounter problems, struggles, bad choices, and basically sin in our lives. The body of Christ is put together for a reason. God knew that there would be times when we would struggle and being alone in a struggle is very lonely. Leaving a support system, such as the church, I would think would be more detrimental to the person suffering. The importance of showing compassion and mercy to a hurting person and surrounding them in prayer is where healing will begin.

We need to choose if we will be a builder of the body of Christ or a demolisher. If you have been in the demolishing role before, ask for forgiveness…it is freely given, then turn away from that practice and become a builder. Christ is counting on you to be a part of a supportive body of believers ready to pray and love as Christ where needed.

Prayer: The body of Christ is such a precious gift that you have given us. I pray that I may not look at it as the world looks at it. I pray that I may represent you in every situation giving you all glory. Amen

 Faith Tip: Do you need support from the body of Christ? Find someone you trust and share your hurt or struggle. You don’t need to carry your burden alone.

Praying in the family

Christians at prayer

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Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. (James 5:13-17)

Alice entered the prayer room where two prayer ministers were waiting to serve.

“Good morning, Alice. How can we pray for you?” asked Rita, a member of the prayer team and a very caring woman.

With tears in her eyes, the “My family seems to be falling apart. With the holidays approaching, it is really difficult. Could you please pray for us?”

“Absolutely, we would be happy to.” The three of them joined hands and began to pray.

After the prayer, Steve, the other prayer minister, gave Alice a card.

“This is a prayer card focused on mending relationships. It shows you how you can pray for your family situation.”

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Interceding for one another seems to be part of the plan of God. Not only are we to pray for ourselves, but we are to stand in the gap for one another. Life is meant to be shared, even when it is a real challenge.

God is the healer of all things. So if we struggle in any way, whether it be relationally, spiritually, physically, financially or other, God is the one who can and will heal us as we seek him together. The answers to our requests may not look like what we would expect or want, but God has the perfect plan for each of us. We are made to be in community with one another—the body of Christ.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the brothers and sisters in Christ you have given me. There are so many I haven’t met yet, but knowing they are there gives me joy. I pray that I will continue to pray for those who struggle and celebrate with them during the good times. We are family. Amen

Faith Tip: View others as family and share in their journey through prayer.