April 22, 2019

It’s the Monday after Easter. As someone described it, it’s like the Super Bowl for Christians and it’s the day after. Ha. And it seems that Satan likes to work overtime on the day after. He doesn’t want us to have victory. He doesn’t want us to stay on that mountaintop. He doesn’t want the celebration to continue. I don’t know about you but every direction I turn this morning it seems there are problems and difficulties. I am reminded of a couple of things in the middle of this. God does allow pain and suffering in our lives to mature us but sometimes it is simply an attack from Satan. We need to be spiritually mature enough to identify those attacks and as the Bible says we must resist the devil. Now we also understand that God can grow us even in the midst of these attacks from the evil one (note Job) but we must fight against the attacks of the prince of darkness. Ultimately we trust in the One who has overcome the devil. He is our strength and comfort and we must draw even closer to Him in times of trouble and conflict and difficulty. He is our guide and He is the one who will lead us in the paths of righteousness so that He may gain the glory even in the midst of our suffering. I am praying that God would gain the glory as we walk that difficult path today!!

I was thinking again this morning about a story I told yesterday about serving and how God created us to serve. I was thinking how that is probably the only thing some will remember from that sermon. But I was also thinking how some people have the gift or service or the gift of mercy while others of us do not. But as we all know it doesn’t excuse any of us from showing mercy or from serving others. God has called us to serve others. In fact, we serve Him when we serve others. And when we fully learn a life of service we begin to understand a little more what His word says in Luke 17:33, “Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it.” I wanted to share this from my personal devotion this morning. We are all working so hard to get things to have a better life or create relationships that will allow us to be more fulfilled or finding a new job to give us more of what we think we need and in reality God says He wants us to give it all away:

“So many of our Savior's teachings seem paradoxical on the surface, but underneath they are brilliantly true. How can life be saved by losing it? How can life be lost by striving to keep it? These deepest truths are proved out, not in the classroom or the lecture hall, but in the very minutes, hours and days of our lives.

A missionary doctor was killed in the Second World War, leaving behind a young and shattered widow. Departing India to return home, she boarded a ship not wanting to live herself. She spoke to no one on the journey, and stayed alone as much as possible. Also on board the ship was a boy whose missionary parents had been killed in Burma. He too, was returning home alone. The boy approached her one day and said, "You know, we are the only two people on this ship who speak English. Maybe we could be friends." The widow was too absorbed in her grief to respond. They parted in silence. But that night, the ship was torpedoed, and began to sink. The widow felt no fear, only relief. She did not fight death. But in the chaos of the hour she saw the boy alone, clinging to the rail and weeping. In pity, she put her arms around him and held him close as the ship went down. Two days later the two were rescued from the South Atlantic, and rescuers said they could not tell who had saved whom!

When we lose our lives in service for Christ's sake, loving others and giving ourselves, we find real life. Jim Elliot said, "He is no fool who gives that which he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.

"Will you give your life away?”

May that be our prayer and our goal today!!

Last Word: We had such a great time yesterday afternoon celebrating Easter with our family. We were blessed to have 4 of our 6 children there and 6 of our 9 grandkids as well. It was a fun time. I also want to wish two of my precious granddaughters a very Happy Birthday this week! My oldest grandchild, Mya Grace Fuller, turns EIGHT this coming Sunday, April 28th. And my youngest granddaughter, Savannah Kate Hixon, turns ONE this coming Thursday, April 25th!!

I am ON MISSION Today! Are You?