Saturday, July 7, 2012

Laboring Not in Vain

Just a little heart to heart post after our time in Greece. It was hot, but how wonderful to be with so many saints serving in different parts of the world. I loved hearing about everyone's ministry stories and how God is working in various countries. Though fruit is not always abounding, we know He is working mightily among our friends/colleagues and the nationals they work with.

One missionary reminded me about Jesus who spent more time ministering in Capernaum (His dwelling place, Matt 4:13) than any place in His short time here on earth. Yet in Matt 11:23-24, He cursed it for the inhabitants' unbelief. Could He have failed in His evangelism?

In this time and age when churches are preoccupied with numbers, sometimes they prematurely pronounce those who raised their hands during an invitation as truly counted among the saints. One FB friend recently posted, "100 kids in VBS and 10 got saved today." Discipleship, nurturing and teaching of these "new" believers are lacking, so churches don't really know how many of those professing faith are truly saved. They're content to have a number to report, then move on. Missionaries fall into this trap as well, especially because it looks good when we send out prayer letters.

The success of ministry should not be measured by sheer numbers, but by the faithfulness and devotion of the minister to Christ and His mission. Otherwise, both Jesus and Paul were utter failures in their fields. Our job is to proclaim Him and work tirelessly for His glory. It's His job to bring results. And let me tell you, what a relief this is for us missionaries! Lack of response and slow progress are major encouragement and motivation-killers. But then when we remember it is God who brings fruit, we continue on. It is His mission, His work and His kingdom after all, and in heaven, none of His people will have been forgotten or overlooked. Praise God who is sovereign in all things!

"Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain." I Cor 15:58

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Reading the Bible in a Month

My friend, Kim, disciplined herself to read all of the Bible in the whole month of January. She read 8 chapters each day in each of 5 sections (Law, History, Poetry, Prophecy and New Testament). Her husband posted on his blog what she learned in the process. Here are some of what she said:

1. The unchanging character of God is always in the foreground (His holiness, compassion, faithfulness and grace) and shines against the backdrop of man’s continual failures. His focus on the heart stood out this time as well, especially in the Old Testament amidst all the detailed instructions on conduct.

2. God’s message, plan, and sovereign orchestration of all events to accomplish this plan are consistent on every page. I am convinced that anyone who says the Bible is inconsistent has not spent much time in it.

I encourage you to read the rest of what she learned HERE! How about you? Do you have a Bible reading plan? I'm doing the ESV Bible Reading Plan.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

8 Profitable Ways to Read the Bible

1. Begin reading your Bible this very day. The way to do a thing — is to do it; and the way to read the Bible — is actually to read it! It is not merely meaning, or wishing, or resolving, or intending, or thinking about it — which will advance you one step. You must positively read. There is no royal road in this matter, any more than in the matter of prayer. If you cannot read yourself, you must persuade somebody else to read it to you. But one way or another, through eyes or ears — the words of Scripture must actually pass before your mind.

2. Read the Bible with an earnest desire to understand it. Do not think for a moment, that the great object is to turn over a certain quantity of printed paper, and that it matters nothing whether you understand it or not. Some ignorant people seem to imagine, that all is done if they advance so many chapters every day, though they may not have a notion what they are all about, and only know that they have pushed on their bookmark ahead so many pages. This is turning Bible reading into a mere ritual form. Settle it down in your mind as a general principle, that a Bible not understood — is a Bible that does no good! Say to yourself often as you read, “What is this all about?” Dig for the meaning like a man digging for gold.

Read the rest by clicking HERE.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

True Beauty

You can find the teaching by Carolyn Mahaney here from Resolved Conference:

Carolyn mentioned an article, Price of Perfection. I think I found it here:

Some questions to ponder:
  • What extremes have women throughout history undergone for the price of beauty?
  • What false promises does the world offer with beauty?
  • What is God's definition of beauty?
  • What does I Peter 3:3-4 say about what true beauty is and is not?
  • What are 3 ways we can be truly beautiful women?

A Life With No Regrets

Our first discussion is from Resolved Conference sermon from 2006 called

Some questions to ponder:
  • Who was the author of the Resolutions that the sermon refers to? Why did he write them?
  • What does "resolved" mean?
  • What's the key Scripture reference in the sermon?
  • What are the two resolutions for living a life with no regrets?
  • Under the first resolution Pastor Rick mentions, what are the 3 "E-s" that we are to do? (Hint: the three actions start with the letter E) :)

    Monday, January 23, 2012

    Welcome to my new blog!

    After much thought, I realized it is better to have a blog where I can post things I'm studying and learning from the Bible. The title is taken from one of my favorite verses:

    Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!~ Psalm 34:8

    I want this blog to be a testimony of God's goodness in my daily walk with Him. The purpose of this blog is two-fold:
    1. To remind its readers of the goodness of the Lord and help them remember their Creator.
    2. For some who don't know Christ, I hope this blog will direct you to Him who is the Savior and Lord as taught in the Bible.
    My prayer is that this blog will result in its readers finding refuge in Christ by careful study of His word.
    This is initially intended for the group of young ladies I'm meeting with from our church. However, I hope others will find these posts and studies helpful as well.

    This blog is still a work in progress. I have included some tabs above that I deem important. I also added a Google Translate feature on the right side bar. If English is not your first language, simply click on that little drop-down menu and it'll show the languages that you want the blog text to be translated to.

    May God bless our efforts as we study His precious Word together.

    Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?”  For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. ~Romans 11:33-36