by M.S Lowndes
Increase our faith so we may see
What you're doing in our lives
And all that we'll accomplish in you
So our faith begins to rise.
We need to be reminded, Lord,
Of the small mustard seed
An how the same amount of faith
Moves mountains if we believe.
As we walk in pure obedience
With confidence in you,
Our faith begins to grow and flourish,
Bearing more abundant fruit.
We must go beyond our limits
Of our comfort zones,
Our faith is activated at those times
When we walk into the unknown.
For it's when the safety net is gone,
We realize we need our Lord,
When there's nothing left to fall back on,
We must lean on God much more.
And faith is released in our hearts
As we bend our knee to pray;
We shall be strengthened as we walk
And commit to Him each day.
Russell Deibler (1905-1943) & Darlene Deibler (1917-2004)
As a young wife, Darlene, with her husband, went to what is now the Western Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea. She was the first American woman to travel into the Bailem Valley where she and her husband worked before WWII broke out. With the Japanese invasion on Papua New Guinea, Darlene and Russell were captured and sent to separate concentration camps. Russell did not survive, but against the odds, Darlene did survive and went on to spend many more years in Papua New Guinea as a missionary.
You can read about her life and how her faith sustained her in the prison camps in her book "Evidence Not Seen: A Woman's Miraculous Faith in the Jungles of World War II."
It's nearly impossible for us to be content and enjoy what we have...unless of course we have cultivated "a spirit of gratitude".
Have we ever witnessed a child throwing a tantrum because the gift we gave them isn't the one they wanted?
Have we ever been blessed with genuine thankfulness for a gift that we gave to someone who truly treasured what we gave?
Now, let's apply these two contrasting reactions to our current financial situation. Are we thankful for what God has given to us, or are we on the verge of a "hissy fit"?
Now, let God's Word speak to us:
* The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.
* Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.
* Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father
of the heavenly lights, Who does not change like shifting shadows.
The outlook was bleak. Israel was in Babylonian captivity because they had consumed God's blessings, but had not conveyed those blessings.
In the midst of the darkness, God gave them hope in Ezekiel 36:26-27. God looked to the future and said: I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
Why did God do this? So that the nations will know that I am the Lord.
Just before our resurrected Lord ascended back to heaven He also challenged us to make Him known to the nations. He told us how in Matthew 28:19-20.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.
If we are going to truly "care for people like Jesus does", we must tell people about Jesus. That's why everything we do, every dollar of every offering, every action we take, must be focused on telling the nations.
Praise Song - Come Into His Presence
Written by Lynn Baird in 1999. While vacationing with his family in Sedona, Lynn took a walk on one of the hiking trails. The wild plant life, the mountains, and the little streams put a song in his heart. Before long, he began singing a melody and then added some lyrics.
After writing it down, he filed it away. About a year later, he played it for a friend and soon after the song was introduced to his home church in Glendale, AZ. They sang it almost every Sunday for the next 6 years. He thought only his church knew about the song until he heard a praise and worship tape put out by Integrity Music with his song and before long many people in many churches were singing this song.