Spiritual Ministry Team Letter- April

I’m sitting down to write this (or type this I should say) at the end of Elliot’s birthday.  The kids are settled down in bed for the night (after way too much candy and sugar) and it’s much quieter than it was 30 minutes prior. It reminds me a lot of the world we live in.  So much noise, so much here there and everywhere. And when we choose to finally sit and be still with the Lord, we realize how loud the noise really can be. How easy it is to get caught up in the noise and how we really have to be diligent about stopping and sitting with the Lord in the quiet. Every night when Tyler and I pray with the kids, the one thing we never skip is over, is praying about how important it is for us as parents to teach our children how to have a relationship with the Lord, that there is nothing in this world more important, not even each other. 
*Luke 14: 26-27 “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.” 
Hate here doesn’t mean what we think it does, not strong feelings of loathing, but it means to place in a lower position. Jesus’ words here are pretty straight to the point.* 
We pray that no matter how noisy this world gets, their relationship with the Lord tops everything. That it never wavers. 
There is so much noise right now in this world, it’s to the point where it’s near impossible to keep up. And the worst part is, it is so easy to get sucked in.  To worry, to fret, to get consumed with it, to only want to focus on happenings, and to get angry about it.  I think that’s my weakest link. Anger. Often, I catch myself thinking why Lord? Why do people fall for this garbage? How can the leaders be so corrupt? Why have so many churches fallen away from your truth? How come so many Christians won’t stand up and say enough is enough? Why do we seem to get so caught in such petty things instead of completely focusing on You Lord? How can parents continue letting their children be so heavily influenced by the culture? How did all this junk get in schools and it’s not being stopped? Why is abortion STILL be happening? Why are there so many broken families and parentless children? The list could go on and on.  But I catch myself getting angry.  And the worst part is, when I let all of that consume me, I catch it filtering into my home and how I react to my family. That’s when I have to ask the Lord for His unwavering help. Lord please take this anger away and cover me with Your peace.  Please help me rest in the fact that you will take care of justice in the end and YOU win Lord! 
That’s the most important part, we have to turn ourselves over to the Lord and go to Him, especially in times when we’re feeling all those fleshly things. We are human, so at times (more often than not it seems sometimes) we are bound to feel these ways, especially when this world feels like it’s spinning out of control.  
We are called to be watchman on the wall. So we can’t ignore what’s going on. We HAVE to be paying attention and sharing. Those who don’t know the Lord as their personal Savior won’t have a chance at redemption if we don’t share. 
*Luke 15:7 “I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”*
So as Christians we definitely need to pay attention, share and point it all back to Jesus. The thing is, we have Him to turn to in prayer and we have His word, that has every single answer we need! And through prayer and His word, we can strengthen our relationship with Him, we can have the peace that surpasses all understanding and we can be watchman on the wall, all at the same time. God is so good isn’t He?! I mean really how cool is that, that through Him we can have and do all those things.  (But through Him….not ourselves.)
I was led to a verse today, Pastor Jack Hibbs shared it actually. Isaiah 26:3 “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in You.” 
I encourage you to read the entire ch 26 of Isaiah and then the entire book of Isaiah. 
There is nothing more important than keeping our eyes focused on Jesus.  Keeping our minds pure by knowing what’s going on in the world and at the exact same time, knowing what the Word of God says about it and what we as Christians are called to do. (We are to be different!)
My prayer for everyone is that we are hungering for God’s Word.  And if you aren’t, ask Him to put that hunger in your heart. After that, start reading and diving into His word. And if you’re getting consumed in small things that are pulling you away from your relationship with the Lord, simply ask Him to take those things away.  Ask Him to help clear your mind, protect your mind and help focus on Him. The Lord wants nothing more than to hear from His children and to have a personal relationship with them, being first before anything else. 
Rev 1:4b (John to the seven churches) “Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come….” (It continues on a little more but for this sake I will stop there)
Rev 22:21 “The Grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.” 
Notice how this book begins and ends with a benediction. Showing that God is not only concerned about it’s judgements but also with the message of grace and the free gift of eternal life. 
Let’s make sure we don’t get too consumed with this world, that we miss out on that free gift.
3 questions to ask: 
1) Have I missed out on that free gift? 
2) Am I truly born again? 
     John 3:3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 
     1 Peter 1:23 for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring Word of God. 
3) Is my relationship with the Lord #1, am I asking him to help with any and all decisions that need to be made and am i looking for His approval or the world’s approval? 

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