When God Arrives Early
The writer of today’s lesson talks about God arriving “early” in meeting our needs, this as a lead-in to a discussion of prayer. God knows what we need and wants us to be engaged in his work. A big part of this is his desire that we be engaged in conversation with him through prayer. Read Daniel 9:4-23. Here we see a really special answer to prayer ~ the angel Gabriel delivers God’s answer while Daniel is still praying! The point we are directed to see in this lesson is not that we should expect an angel to personally deliver answers to our prayers, but the kind of prayer that makes a difference. Look at Daniel’s prayer. We see that:
- He confessed his own sin and that of the
nation for which he was praying.
- He pleaded for God’s mercy.
- He based his appeal on God’s character,
mercy and glory, not on his own.
The lesson then proceeds to look at things that might hinder our prayer life. Here we have:
- Praying to impress others (Matthew 6:5-8)
- Praying without confidence that God will
hear and respond (James 1:5-8)
- Praying with wrong motives (James 4:3)
- Neglecting prayer altogether (James 4:2)
Finally, the lesson writer issues the following “challenges:”
- Take time to talk to God now – no pretense, no fancy
words, no self justification, no personal agenda.
- Take time to listen to God now – he might want to
prompt you in some way… write down any
promptings you sense.
- Don’t be in too big a hurry when you talk and listen to
God. And know that on the trip, we’ll be able to see
And experience him. He is, after all, already at work.
Welcome to the 2011 Onalaska Church of Christ Dominican Republic Missions Ministry web log. This site is to keep you informed about our mission, preparations for our trips and communications with the missionaries in the Dominican Republic.
viajar - Servir - madurar
to go - To Serve - to grow
Levante las Velas y Adelante al Horizonte (LLV y AAH)
Hoist the Sails and Onward to the Horizon
Blog updated March 5, 2011
The OCC - DR blog is being updated to provide information about the 2011 trip and the planned visit to the Dominican Republic in the summer of 2012
Accounts from our activities on Thursday, February 17 are now posted.
This Welcome section and the Current News section that follow have their permanent homes here at the top of the blog. Starting with this update, posts will follow in order written immediately below the Current News. This means that all posts will be available in this window or through the archive list that can be accessed in the Blog Archive menu at the bottom of the right hand side bar.
What time is it in the DR?
The team for the 2011 visit occurred between February 16 and February 22. Reports are being provided in new posts, one post for each day of the trip. We will soon be making plans for our next visit to the Dominican Republic, tentatively scheduled for the summer of 2012.
When God Arrives Early
Preach the gospel at all times. Use words if necessary. There are many ways to share the Gospel message. And even more ways in which the message may be responded to. Read Matthew 13:3-9. The focus is on the soil and seed, not so much on the sower. So what does this mean for us as we prepare to go and sow? Hmm… go sow grow?
It seems to me that the emphasis being on the soil and seed says that important as the farmer is to the process, having the right seed and soil are to be the focus. First, we acknowledge that God’s word is the seed for salvation. Even though we sow, it is not our word that goes out; it is God’s. When others hear the word, it is not our response that counts. It is theirs. While the hearer’s response depends on the quality of the “soil,” we might actually be able to have some affect on this, especially if our actions and words display our trust in God’s plan.
We may not see the results of our sowing, but let’s not let that discourage us. Rather, look at the message in 1Corinthians 3:5-9. Here we see that there are those who plant and those who water, playing roles in God’s ultimately bringing forth the fruit. Having a role in this process is a privilege and a responsibility. Our response should be gratefulness for opportunity and commitment to doing the best we can in carrying out the responsibility, in our actions and, when required, with our words.
Pray for opportunities to share the God’s love in word or deed and that we as a team and individuals are ready to meet these in accordance to what we have been given. Pray too for the Spirit to work in the hearts of those whom we will meet during our travels, that their hearts are prepared to accept the seed.
Salt of the Earth
“Muzungu!” Bill and I heard this often during our mission trip to Uganda. Youngsters would point, laugh and call out to us. So much that I decided when asked my name (by the kids), I would say, “Muzungu.” Muzungu is a general term for “white man,” and comes from the description applied to the British in East Africa to describe how the native peoples saw these European visitors: the word conveys the meaning of a lot of action with no good purpose, like a dog chasing its tail. The British stood out in this foreign land. And earned a special name for it.
In Matthew 5:13, 14 Jesus tells us to be “salt” and “light.” Salt because he wants us to heal, preserve and bring flavor; he doesn’t want us to be bland, flavorless and purposeless, rather we are to be full of life, purposeful and useful to the world through our sharing of God’s love. And he says our light should shine before others so that they may see our good deeds and praise God; he wants us to stand out in the world because of saving knowledge of Christ. Read Acts 3:1-10. What is the reaction to the compassion demonstrated by Peter in his healing of the cripple?
How should being salt and light actually manifest itself in OUR lives? In Colossians 3:12, Paul says, “As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” When we are in the Dominican Republic we will stand out for the color of our skin, the way we dress, our language and our way of doing things. That’s the easy part. Will we also stand out because of our compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience as befitting of the name we carry: Christians?
Pray that we might stand out in the sense of Colossians 3:12 and that God be praised with the enthusiasm of the beggar healed by Peter. Pray for the March travel group as the days wind down ~ and the stress of preparation rises ~ and for the June travel group as they continue their preparation.