Let us say “Enough!”

There are those whose teeth are swords, whose fangs are knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, the needy from among mankind. The leech has two daughters: Give and Give. Three things are never satisfied; four never say, “Enough” – Proverbs 30:14-15

I recently made a discovery in researching an article on the horror of human trafficking in West Michigan. It is a huge problem that I really knew nothing about. Now that I know it’s there, now what do I do? That’s always the hard part isn’t it … our response.

The term “leech” in the Scripture means a horse leech which was the belief of a vampire-type creature in biblical times. We all know what vampires do … suck the blood out of a person until they die. That’s exactly was human trafficking does … it sucks the life out of a person until they are no more. It is never satisfied and wants more and more.

The victims are men, women and children … what can we do to rescue, care for and prevent this evil from devouring people? It’s time to take the blinders off and put on the armor … if God is for us, who can be against us?

To read more on this, please go to my article at West Michigan Christian News.

Prayer: Lord God, I cannot fathom the depth of hurt victims of human trafficking experience. I pray that I can be a safe place for them to go … your sanctuary. Amen

Faith Tip: Do you know of someone suffering from abuse. How should you care for them? How would you care for a family member? Applying the same principles is a great start.

 

Beautiful handiwork

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. – Ephesians 2:10

I received an invitation to attend the retirement celebration of Dr. Virgil Gulker, who created the Kids Hope USA ministry. It’s amazing to think about all that has happened with Kids Hope since it began. The passion that God has for the children is evident as the ministry grew by leaps and bounds throughout the country and even in parts of the world. Thousands of mentors became the hands and feet of Jesus to a child through Kids Hope were created for such a time as this.

God created us for good works each day. We may have a schedule put together for our day, but God’s schedule for us has added opportunities of kingdom worth. Through our journey of today, could we bring encouragement to someone, help a person with a task, share Jesus with someone not familiar with him, bring a cool cup of refreshment to another … the possibilities are endless. Our schedules need to be flexible to have God’s woven into it, and experience his beautiful handiwork.

Prayer: Lord, each day I thank you for the opportunities you give me to share your light. I pray that I don’t focus too much on my own schedule and be open to yours. Amen

Faith Tip: Look for the ways God wants to use you today.

Be brave … be humble

English: fireworks seen across the at Washingt...

English: fireworks seen across the at Washington, D.C., USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

… if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. – 2 Chronicles 7:14

With America celebrating another birthday, I appreciate the sacrifices made for the freedom I enjoy today. Many brave men and women gave up countless things back in the time of 1776 following their dream of independence. Their courage of humbling themselves to the cause is a model to me today.

As our country ages, there are so many things that we can be proud of in the development of the United States. God has truly blessed America. Unfortunately, like the Israelites in the book of Judges, we have a cycle of sin that brings us to our knees. With the freedoms God has given us, we have gone astray from his truth and made our own truth. This sin has created illness in our country.

The brave thing for us to do is to humble ourselves before God and seek his way. We have lost our way in so many areas of life and allowed sin to waltz in without any effort to hinder it. All of us are a part of the problem, and all can be part of the solution. It begins with prayer.

Prayer: Lord, forgive me when I have not done what I should have in my life. Empower me to go forth in your strength and power and pray for the healing of our land. Amen

Faith Tip: Join in the courageous group of prayer warriors and seek God for his healing to fall on us as a nation.

Poor in spirit

A poor woman going through the garbage, in sea...

Image via Wikipedia

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:3

Have you ever seen someone digging through the garbage can looking for food? It is heartbreaking. They do not have the money to buy food. They are poor. There is so much hunger not only in areas around the world, but also in our nation, states and communities. They physically are in need of nourishment.

What is being poor in spirit? It is our recognition of being in need of God’s grace. We realize we are sinful creatures and in need of a Savior. If we place ourselves on a shelf for the spiritually rich, we in fact alienate all that God is trying to do through us. We consider ourselves “fixed” and no longer need grace. We distance ourselves from what we don’t need. Being spiritually rich will bring us further apart from God for we believe we no longer need him. Needing God will draw us closer to him. Being poor in spirit will bring us the richness of the kingdom.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for this teaching on what it means to be blessed. I pray that I can apply its truths to my life. Amen

Faith Tip: Take some time to think about your own spiritual wealth. Invite the Holy Spirit to show you your need.

Heartburn Moments

Burning heart

Did not our heart burn within us . . . ? —Luke 24:32

Yes, that’s it! This was my reaction after reading Oswald Chambers’ devotion for today. The Luke passage above was used and I know that feeling of heartburn….the good kind. Not only do I really feel the presence of the Lord during those times, but I know that God is doing a great work right at that moment. It reminds me of Moses seeing the burning bush. It is an attention getter. It is the mountaintop experience that can be experienced again and again. Our hearts need to be open and seeking God to realize those special times. If we have our focus on something else, we may miss it.  

Prayer: Lord, thank you for those moments where my heart is burning with you. I am so grateful to see you at work. I pray that I can always have my eyes focused on you. Amen

Faith Tip: Watch for God today and see if your heart burns.