Having something to offer

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by North Carolina Tentmaker, Apr 22, 2008.

  1. North Carolina Tentmaker

    North Carolina Tentmaker
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    I am not sure where to put this so I guess it is general. I just wanted to share this.

    Earlier this year I preached a message from Luke 11:5-8.

    [5] And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves;
    [6] For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him?
    [7] And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.
    [8] I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.


    My message went along the lines of this. When that knock on your door comes at midnight (and it will), when you are faced with people in need, what will you give them? As Christians of course we should be prepared to meet those needs, not only in our own lives, but in the lives of others. We have the bread of life. We have the salvation of the gospel. We have those things that the world hungers for (whether they know it or not) and we should be prepared to offer it to them. When faced with the trials of life, when faced with poverty and sickness and pain and loss and even death the world shrugs their shoulders and says, “Man, that’s too bad.” They might cry and hug and try to comfort one another, but in the end they have nothing. They cannot help because they have no bread to offer. The world does not have the answers. As Christians we do.

    Last week I was at a service and we had a time for testimonies. One of the young men got up and talked. His wife is noticeably pregnant. He talked and talked about other things and to me anyway it was obvious he was skirting around what he really wanted to say. Finally he got to it. With tears in his eyes he explained that some tests had come back bad on their baby and they were worried. He asked that we pray for them.

    Immediately, without another word, just about every adult in the church got up and went to the alter. One of the ladies grabbed his wife and we all gathered around this couple. We laid hands on them and all prayed. Some prayed silently, others aloud in the communal prayer tradition of the mountains. One of the guys got some oil and anointed them. We prayed for the baby and his (don’t know if it’s a boy or girl yet) health. We prayed for the couple that this would bring them closer together and not drive them apart. We praised God for what he had already done and thanked him for what he would do. I don’t have any answers to our prayers yet but it was a pretty awesome God moment. Please pray for this couple yourselves and I will try to update you when we know more.

    Afterwards, on the way home, I remembered my earlier message. You know faced with that same situation the world can sympathize, but has nothing to offer. They have no bread. Yet as Christians we have something we can do and something to offer in the direst of times. We can do more than simply shrug and say, that’s bad. It is good to actually have something to give.

    Here is something else really cool. I had two of my children with me there, my oldest who is 16 and his sister who is 10. I got up when everyone else did and we prayed. I guess I had just assumed that my children would sit there in the pew and wait. That is what other kids there (and some of the adults who were not comfortable getting up) did. But after we prayed, and we prayed for 10 or 15 minutes, not a super long time, but we did not rush. Anyway, after we prayed I got up and turned around to go pack to my pew, and there was my son right there praying with the rest of us. I never told him to or even talked to him about it, he just did it. Wow, it is exciting to watch him grow in body and in spirit.

    Just wanted to share this, comment if you want.
     
  2. Sopranette

    Sopranette
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    Yes! But sometimes it's a looong time between bench warming and having something to offer. People get tired of waiting for that moment. People start to wonder if there's somewhere else where they can be of service. People start to wonder if theyre just not good enough to be of service. They have asked God many, many times, and received no answer, for years. I guess I wonder sometimes if God has forgotten about some people.

    love,

    Sopranette
     
  3. exscentric

    exscentric
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    Come on tentmaker, ya tryin ta be a church or somethin? Sometimes the Spirit can actually move in a church where he is allowed - fantastic! :thumbs:

    Sopranette, know that you are not alone. I've been running into folks for years that are wanting to serve but due to the restrictions of "church" are not allowed. One especially, was a deacon and shared with me one day that he loved to preach, (and he could - he had just finished) but had no talent whatsoever for the shepherding side of being a pastor. Due to the setup of his church he was not allowed to do that which he felt the Lord wanted him to do.

    IF, and I believe it to be true, that EACH of us have gifts of the Spirit, then it would seem that ALL would be ministering in the church where we have been planted and not so many of us sitting in the pew all the time. But then what do I know :laugh: Somehow I don't think it relates to God's attribute of forgettfulness!
     
    #3 exscentric, Apr 22, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2008
  4. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    God always answers prayers. Sometimes the answer is "no", and sometimes the people do not believe they have received an answer because it is not the one they want.

    Be still and wait on God. When one is ready for a ministry, God will provide one.

    We must prove ourselves worthy in small things to be trusted with larger ones.

    "Little Is Much When God Is In It"
     
  5. North Carolina Tentmaker

    North Carolina Tentmaker
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    Of course you know God has not forgotten you Sopranette. Others may have but not God. He knows exactly where you are.

    That is something that Satan attacks me with on a regular basis. The idea that I have been put up on a shelf and forgotten. That by word or deed I have proven myself unworthy and God no longer has a use for me. Of course none of that is true, but Satan does use it to bring me down. Successfully on occasion.

    God knows where you are. He will use you when and how He decides, not when we think it is best.

    Remember Moses? The 40 year old prince of Egypt and military commander was found unfit to lead the people of Israel and had to flee Egypt for his life. Yet the 80 year old shepard who could not talk plain was used by God.
     
  6. Sopranette

    Sopranette
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    I'm just a little confused. As a parent myself, if one of the kids wants to help, I always say "yes", even if it means redoing the task secretly later on. I have done the small things like cleaning bathrooms and pulling scap metal on the vacant property next to the church in the middle of summer, and a copperhead crawled right past me (I was wearing sandals) . Now I'm ready for more. No, I think it is the people who continue to say "no". They will have to answer to that one day!

    love,

    Sopranette
     
  7. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    That's a little bit different. God picks people to use whom He doesn't have to have someone 'secretly' redo it later on.

    If one of your children wanted a paper route and they were not responsible enough or ready to handle it. Wouldn't you say "no", wait until you are ready?
     
  8. superwoman8977

    superwoman8977
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    Wow! What an awesome message! After my husband left me last year in a new town where I knew no one, had no job, no money and was going to be homeless. I was devastated I didnt know where to go or what to do so I hit my knees. I gave everything to God. Within a week I had found a new church and then I was blessed with an awesome job with the army. That job held even more blessings than I could imagine--Yes it was with the army and my husband was a soldier and I used to hate him for being a soldier but this job has taught me to have a deeper respect for all soldiers as well as my husband and the time they are away from their families etc ....in the middle of losing everything..God finally gave me my purpose..to minister and pray for other armywives in situations just like mine. Once I forgave my husband for the cheating and kept my marriage in prayer, it was like the walls of bitterness and resentment went away and in place was this peace. Sometimes we have to go through the muck and the mire to get our feet on dry land. No my life isnt perfect but my husband and I are dating and by the end of May should be back under one roof. I have a job I love, people that I work with are awesome and I have an awesome praying relationship with the Lord, what more could a girl want. When you give up and get out of the way, God does so many amazing things in your life you can hardly imagine.
     
  9. Sopranette

    Sopranette
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    Of course, there are some things my kids are not ready for. No paper route around here, but I never let them use the stove or the lawnmower. But I still believe if their help is accepted for the little things, like loading up the clothes washer or the dishwasher, then maybe it will build them up to cooking or cutting the grass one day. If I constantly say "no" now, why would they even bother to help out later on? And there are things I demand that they do every day, like putting their dirty clothes in the hamper, or putting their shoes in their room.
    As for God redoing things someone has already done, I think there are people who plant a seed of faith somewhere, then others come along and prune that plant as the years go by.

    love,

    Sopranette
     

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