Sometimes it is harder to keep our word than we can ever imagine. I’m know I have made commitments I have been unable to keep and I hate that. Even the best of intentions can be made without a full understanding of what the future holds. Of course, we can only plan to the best of our ability, but we should take very seriously the thought of a promise or commitment.
I am so thankful for God’s promises. He always follows through. He is always on time and He often delivers in unexpected ways.
Why would a Savior enter the world in such humble circumstances or die such a brutal death?
How could God work in and through a sinner like me to communicate His Gospel message to those in my sphere of influence?
How will He use my past in combination with my present to contribute to my future?
Today I am blessed to celebrate the resurrection of the Savior: The Promise Fulfilled. If God can make good on that level of commitment to me, I need to ask for greater trust that He can work out the other details of my life. He has already made the most important provision for me through Jesus. I think I can trust Him with the rest of my details.
He is Risen!
He is Risen, Indeed!
Our congregation participates in a program called Kairos Prison Ministry International. There is a lot to the organization but one thing they do is take trained volunteers into correction facilities to share the Gospel during a carefully and prayerfully planned weekend. Here is a link to their website: Kairos Prison Ministry International
If you or someone you love has been in trouble with the “Law” you know the heartbreak, the stubbornness, the relief, the fear, the anger, the hesitation, the disappointment, and the hard work it takes to turn in around.
Please pray for offenders and their families. Pray for those who have changed their ways to be strong in their resolve to live a healthy and law-abiding life. Pray for those who are heading down that path to be caught sooner rather than later and wake up to the trouble they are causing. Pray for the families who are often caught in a cycle of shame and blame.
Pray about your involvement in ministry to offenders and their families. If you feel ministering to offenders (or their families) is a direction God may be leading you, there are several organizations out there.
(part 4 of 5)
Lures and bait have the same job to do and they are both useful depending on what kind of fish you are going for as well as what is happening with the weather and how deep the water is. While a fisherman might seem to favor an approach, it is important for them to switch up what they use depending on the climate and circumstances.
I am not a big fan of using the “lure & bait” analogy when I am talking about sharing the Gospel. I wouldn’t want to be accused of “bait & switch” or be thought of as a trickster when sharing what God can do. There is something about luring and baiting that feels sinister to me. I think satan uses lures and bait all the time to hook us on things that distract us from God’s Word and His desires. I don’t think satan is a catch & release guy like my husband, Don, is. Satan would love to keep us on his line for our lifetime.
And for a similar reason, I haven’t been a big fan of the idea of being “hooked on Jesus”. Have you seen colorful construction paper fish with big smiles next to a big hook on the bulletin board at church? That isn’t reality for the fish: it isn’t a happy time. I think my mind never really resolved that part of the analogy. And I don’t know that God meant for it to go that far anyway. Usually being “hooked on” something isn’t a good thing (unless you are hooked on phonics)!
But let’s talk about the fish ~ they are hungry and they are attracted to shiny things. And if you watch any environmental videos you know there is a problem with fish and other wildlife eating trash from our oceans and rivers. It is very disturbing. They are vulnerable. They lack discernment. They are being duped. They are getting caught by things that are not good for them.
I have been in that very same place. Have you?
Do you see people around you taking the bait of a dangerous offer? I find it is often easy to see it when I have been in the very same place and recall being lured into a compromising activity. Once the bait is accepted there seems to be increased offerings and when there is a deep hunger, anything looks like good food.
If you see someone “taking the bait”, you are, at the very least, called to pray for them. I don’t believe God brings things to our attention and expects we will do nothing. The challenge is often what we should do. Prayer is a great way to start. Watch & pray. If you are praying and seeking God on the matter, I believe He will let you know if more is required of you.
For further consideration:
John Bevere wrote a great book: The Bait of Satan. It is definitely worth reading, particularly if you have ever gone through a time when you have been deeply offended by the behavior of another.