“What does it mean to have a reprobate mind?”

The phrase “reprobate mind” is found in Romans 1:28 in reference to those whom God has rejected as godless and wicked. They “suppress the truth by their wickedness,” and it is upon these people that the wrath of God rests (Romans 1:18). The Greek word translated “reprobate” in the New Testament is adokimos, which means literally “unapproved, that is, rejected; by implication, worthless (literally or morally).”

Paul describes two men named Jannes and Jambres as those who “resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith” (2 Timothy 3:8). Here the reprobation is regarding the resistance to the truth because of corrupt minds. In Titus, Paul also refers to those whose works are reprobate:

“They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate” (Titus 1:16).

Therefore, the reprobate mind is one that is corrupt and worthless.

As we can see in the verses above, people who are classified as having a reprobate mind have some knowledge of God and perhaps know of His commandments.

However, they live impure lives and have very little desire to please God.

Those who have reprobate minds live corrupt and selfish lives.

Sin is justified and acceptable to them.

The reprobates are those whom God has rejected and has left to their own devices.

We know what a reprobate is; a person that rejects the Light of Christ and chooses to follow the darkness, so that person falls under condemnation and disapproval by God.

They are godless and wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness (Romans 1:18). As a result, he gave them over to this reprobate and virtually worthless state of reasoning.

Romans 1:19-21

God Himself declares that at least some knowledge—a basic, foundational understanding—is available to virtually everyone. However, an interesting danger is revealed here. Note how this unfolds: “. . . because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened” (verse 21). These people knew God, just as the people addressed by Isaiah and Amos and in Hebrews had knowledge of God. Yet, they obviously did not honor God by conducting themselves according to what they knew of Him. They failed to put their knowledge into action, and instead, let their imaginations run wild and began worshipping things apart from what God had revealed of Himself. Their imaginings, Paul says, led them straight into idolatry. In other words, they did not hold fast to what God gave them.

Might we have a reprobate mind?

The good news is, truly converted followers of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ do not have to worry about such a thing.

Hungering for Corporate Prayer


Many Christians are thinking the same thing these days. We know that time is short. We can feel the pressure building.  It makes our hearts beat harder as we contemplate the surreal landscape of the hour in which we are living and try to come to grips with the reality of Bible prophecy being fulfilled before our very eyes.  

We cringe at the stories that flood the media. We have a hard time going to sleep at night because of the horrific and threatening news and find ourselves quoting  Scripture in the dark to quiet our fears.

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalm 91).  This Scripture is comforting and strengthening.  Meditating on each piece of the armor in Ephesians 6, also, helps me to stand against the enemy’s taunts.                        

Still, if you are like me, you find yourself wanting to pray together with other believers. Pray… together.  It seems this is the farthest thought from most Christians’ minds.  Even inside the believing churches’ walls, corporate prayer is scarce.  Yet, Jesus said in Matthew 21:13b:

“It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer.” 

So, why aren’t we falling on our knees as a church body and crying out to the Lord for mercy in judgment and for grace to live for Christ?  

Why aren’t we pleading together for all the great needs we hear about? 

Why aren’t we confessing the sins of our nation? 

Don’t we need to tell God how sorry we are for our wickedness? An avalanche is coming, and we just go on with business as usual.  This lack of corporate prayer inside the church building in these unprecedented days is as mystifying to me as the deafening silence there concerning these “perilous times.”  

Is there a connection between these two issues?  Has political correctness, aka “the fear of man,” choked out the prayer meeting?  If we can’t talk about it, we can’t pray about it.  Right?

“The fear of man bringeth a snare:  but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe” (Proverbs 29:25).

 Believe me, when persecution hits hard in America, people will start gathering together for prayer.  Why wait for worse things to happen?  We may not have the opportunity to freely pray together for long. I believe God wants to do amazing things even in a dying America. Only our unbelief will stand in the way.

 “And He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief (Matthew 13:58).”     

 No, I don’t believe America will be resurrected at this point. The signs are everywhere.  Judgment is falling fast on our nation as well as the world. We seem to have hit the downward slope at full-speed and are headed for the “end of the age.”  Yet, there is so much we can do in prayer; and, oh, the strength that comes from praying together. 

Although secret prayer is our lifeblood, we need prayer with the Body of Christ, too, especially now.  Let’s join our hearts together and pray for all we’re worth as we face uncertain and, yes, downright scary days ahead. 

Where should we start? The battle is great everywhere we look. Consider Israel, now surrounded by raging satanic hordes.  The Lord said we are to “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6).  Think of the privilege we have to minister to the seed of Abraham in their hour of great need.  

We know what is coming from reading the prophetic Word, and we have been commanded to pray for God’s chosen people.  Don’t we want our prayers to be used to bring salvation to “all Israel” (Romans 11:26)?  What about the persecuted church all over the world, fleeing for their lives and being tortured in a myriad of unspeakable ways?  We need to intercede at God’s throne for them as if it were our own plight.

“Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity as being yourselves also in the body” (Hebrews 13:3).  

What about our unsaved loved ones, neighbors, friends, and other acquaintances?  Will they be left behind at the trumpet sound?  The Tribulation is near, but death could be even closer.    Some of us have been praying for years for these dear ones.  Lest we faint at this critical hour, let’s hold up each other’s arms and cry out for God to open their eyes. There’s so much more I could add here, but I think it should be obvious that the need is urgent, to say the least, which calls for our united fervency.  

 Remember the Lord Jesus in the Garden as He was pouring out His soul to the Father concerning the cup.  He went to His disciples more than once and found them sleeping. He said to Peter,  “What, Could ye not watch with me one hour?” (Matthew 26:40b).  They went back to sleep. 

How could they have been so oblivious to the times? They had been with Him and heard all His teachings. He kept telling them, but they just didn’t get it. Don’t you think they would have been on their faces agonizing  with the Lord if they had known what was about to take place?   

Well, we know.  If we have read our Bibles, we know.  The birth pangs are growing stronger with shorter intervals.  To say the  situation is dire is a monstrous understatement.  The stage for Daniel”s 70th Week is being set at a dizzying speed.  The church’s departure must be close.  If ever there were a call from the Lord for us to come together in corporate prayer, this is surely it.  We don’t want to miss this call like the disciples did on that dark night in the Garden. 

I have not been able to find prayer meetings in the usual places, but God has heard my soul’s cry for fellowship in prayer. A couple of evenings each week I tune in to an Internet prayer meeting where some godly men lead the cyber-connected congregation in prayer and Bible study. They are courageously facing the issues and praying the way the churches should be praying, as well as working tirelessly to deliver the gospel to the world. 

It is a great joy and blessing to be able to agree with them in prayer regarding these incredible times. Then, one or two mornings a week I meet with my sister on the phone long distance. We pray for many things but lost loved ones in particular.

We know that time is running out. We have combined our efforts, encouraging one another to keep trusting God to work in their lives.   Also, when I can meet with friends and family members in my living-room or theirs, I take advantage of every opportunity for corporate prayer.  

Christian friends, if gathering for prayer is a desire of yours, God will supply.  Ask Him.  I believe He is hungering, too. For all eternity we will be glad we answered His call.                 

“ …and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14b emphasis added).

START WHERE YOU ARE

START WHERE YOU ARE

by Chuck Swindoll

Jonah 1-4

To start over, you have to know where you are. To get somewhere else, it’s necessary to know where you’re presently standing. That’s true in a department store or a big church, on a freeway or a college campus . . . or in life, for that matter. Very, very seldom does anybody “just happen” to end up on the right road. The process involved in redirecting our lives is often painful, slow, and even confusing. Occasionally, it seems unbearable.

Take Jonah. (No one else wanted to.) He was prejudiced, bigoted, stubborn, openly rebellious, and spiritually insensitive. Other prophets ran to the Lord. He ran from Him. Others declared the promises of God with fervent zeal. Not Jonah. He was about as motivated as a six-hundred-pound grizzly in mid-January.

Somewhere down the line, the prophet got his inner directions cross-wired. He wound up, of all places, on a ship in the Mediterranean Sea bound for a place named Tarshish. That was due west. God had told him to go to Nineveh. That was due east. (That’s like flying from Los Angeles to Berlin by way of Honolulu.) But Jonah never got to Tarshish, as you may remember. Through a traumatic chain of events, Jonah began to get his head together in the digestive tract of a gigantic fish.

What a place to start over! Slopping around in the seaweed and juices inside that monster, fishing for a match to find his way out, Jonah took a long, honest look at his short, dishonest life. For the first time in a long time, the prophet brushed up on his prayer life. He yelled for mercy. He recited psalms. He promised the Lord that he would keep his vow and get back on target. Only one creature on earth felt sicker than Jonah—the fish, in whose belly Jonah bellowed. Up came the prophet, who hit the road running—toward Nineveh.

Changing directions requires knowing where you are. It necessitates taking time to honestly admit your present condition. It means facing the music, standing alone inside the fish and coming to terms with those things that need attention, fishing in the seaweed for a match. Before you find your way out, you must determine where you are. Exactly. Once that is accomplished, you’re ready to start over.

HAVE FAITH, HAVE A PLAN

Read Exodus 2:1–10

Jochebed had faith. She also thought through a very creative plan. I’d like to pause to reflect on this tension between careful planning and full-hearted faith. Are they mutually exclusive? Not on your life! Yet to talk to some believers, you might be led to think otherwise.

I’ve talked with unemployed men and women who tell me, “I’m just waiting on the Lord to provide a job.”

“Fine,” I reply. “And where have you placed your resumé?”

“Well, I’m not going that route. I’m just waiting on God.”

“Oh really?” I say. “Then I hope you don’t mind remaining jobless for awhile.”

The old motto of soldiers during the Revolutionary War applies to many areas of life: “Trust in God, but keep your powder dry!” In other words, place your life in the Savior’s hands, but stay at the ready. Do all that you can to prepare yourself for battle, understanding that the ultimate outcome rests with the Lord God.

To walk by faith does not mean you stop thinking. To trust God does not imply becoming slovenly or lazy or apathetic. What a distortion of biblical faith! You and I need to trust God for our finances, but that is no license to spend foolishly. You and I ought to trust God for safety in the car, but we’re not wise to pass on a blind curve. We trust God for our health, but that doesn’t mean we can chain smoke, stay up half the night, and subsist on potato chips and Twinkies without consequences.

Acting foolishly or thoughtlessly, expecting God to bail you out if things go amiss, isn’t faith at all. It is presumption. Wisdom says to do all you can within your strength, then trust Him to do what you cannot do, to accomplish what you cannot accomplish. Faith and careful planning go hand-in-hand. They always have.

Godly Living

TITUS 3:1-8

JULY 26, 2017 BRIAN AMERSON

CHAPTER 3
Godly Living
Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men. For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God will be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men.

How many of us ” live peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.”

This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God will be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men.

Go To Church On Sabbath, Is That A Rule?

Christians should go to church on Sabbath.

Why?

Many would say, “It is one of the Ten Commandments!” (Ex 20:8) But, that is a weak reason since many argue that Jesus fulfilled all the Laws and removed the requirements of the Law from us. (Eph 2:15 Col 2:14 Mt 5:17 Rom 3:28 6:14) (I don’t believe <ba>)


Questions to consider about this ‘should’ for Christians:

Are Christians, who go to church on Sabbath, obeying and fulfilling the 4th Commandment?

When Christians go to church does that mean they are keeping ‘His’ day holy?

Does it please God when Christians go to church?

Is the Sabbath only on a certain day?

What are the Hebrew meanings of Sabbath, remember, keep, holy?

Is the Sabbath a day of rest?

Do we rest when we go to church?

What is God’s rest?

Are certain things needed to make the Sabbath holy – rituals, programs, mind sets, trained people?

Who is the Sabbath for anyway?

Who is in charge of the Sabbath?

Dig Deeper

  • Have we been numbed and dumbed-down by our religious traditions?
  • Is there a rest that we are missing out on all because of our tradition that says – ‘Christians should go to church’?
  • Go ahead! Ask questions! It’s okay to question the norm because there is way more beyond established religious boundaries! Fullness is waiting.
  • The early Church (Acts 3) met daily in homes… We fill up an entire day doing Church activities. Is this what God taught in the 4th Commandment?

AVOIDING AN ‘US’ VERSUS ‘THEM’ MENTALITY

AVOIDING AN ‘US’ VERSUS ‘THEM’ MENTALITY

“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” Luke 15:4-7

I heard about a little old lady who was at church for a Wednesday night prayer meeting. And when it came time for her to pray, she said, “God, bless all of us who are here in this prayer meeting. And be with all those evil people out there in the world having such a good time.”

You know, there’s a real problem among Christians today. It’s not a problem of performance or obedience necessarily. It’s a problem of attitude. There are so many men and women in the church today who have an ‘us’ versus ‘them’ mentality. They think that because they go to church, then they’re the ‘in’ crowd and everyone else is just going to Hades in a hand basket. They forget that God is not done with his story of redemption!

It’s my prayer that the people of God today will be a people of unconditional love and acceptance. I’m not saying there aren’t standards. But at the same time we must never forget that we’re to be a hospital for sinners; we’re to be a refuge for people who need to come home.

Jesus said there’s more rejoicing over one lost person who’s found than over 99 righteous people who need no repentance. So when it comes to welcoming others, keep your heart and arms open and never underestimate the work Christ wants to do among the lost!

INSTEAD OF SEEING THE WORLD AS ‘US’ VERSUS ‘THEM’, LIVE YOUR LIFE WITH YOUR ARMS OPEN AND READY TO WELCOME ANYONE TO LIFE IN CHRIST.

Those Who Fend For Themselves

Those Who Fend For Themselves

Bob Mendosa, founder of NAOMI’S VILLAGE

Whether heading north towards the Maasai Mara game preserve or west towards the three gorgeous alkaline lakes teeming with wildlife (Naivasha, Elementaita, Nakuru), countless thousands of eager tourists pass through a highway junction in the dusty truck stop town of Maai Mahiu, Kenya each year. Roughly equidistant from both highways leaving this junction, and cruelly out of sight of the passersby, is a 2-acre plot of land on which 24 families have silently suffered for six years. The din of worldwide concern over the post-election violence that forced them there has long since subsided, their own government has neglected them, and they don’t have the strength of numbers, resources, or visibility to plead their case any longer. Their tattered tents have withstood numerous storms, and along with their weathered skin they bear witness to a resolve that draws both admiration and compassion from visitors. At some point in the distant past, perhaps out of a mix of realism and a determination to be self-sufficient, they proudly named the camp Mwi’hangiri, which means “those who fend for themselves” in Kikuyu.

Just 6 months have passed since President Uhuru Kenyatta, his deputy William Ruto, and other leaders landed a few miles away and handed out checks for almost $5000 per family to two much larger IDP camps prominently located along one of those major highways. The folks living in those camps had long since had their tents replaced by stone houses built by Habitat for Humanity, and as the president finished, he said resolutely that there were no more IDP’s in Kenya. According to an article dated Sept. 9, 2013, in the Nakuru County News Online, women and children started wailing in Mwi’hangiri when they heard the president had left and all hope was gone for them. No houses had been built for them in 6 years and now the only chance at a new life financially had flown south to Nairobi in a helicopter, oblivious to their cries.

We stumbled upon this unfortunate group by chance in mid- January when Bonface, our outreach and childcare director, and Flo, our social worker, were on their way to find the home of a prospective child for Naomi’s Village. Bonface was struck with their plight immediately and saw that they needed water most of all. Our NV Board of Directors had just arrived in Kenya and funds they quickly donated paid for 2 donkeys, 2 water carts, and 4 large drums to carry water from a distant source. Within days these grateful people not only had enough water for the daily needs of their own families, but they had started providing for some other nearby needy families outside the camp. We marveled that they could be so giving when others had not done so for them before.

One miserable man had been unable to patch his tent together any longer after one too many storms, and had taken to sleeping in the community latrine building at night. This grieved our Naomi’s Village community, so we raised funds and materials to build him a small modest house. From this seed came a blessing, as we went over to see the house and fellowship with the people one weekday, only to be driven into the man’s new home by a sudden rainstorm. There we worshipped in Swahili, Kikuyu, and English while joyfully occupying the small space, a shoulder to shoulder mass of common humanity that God willed into closer communion that day. We have not forgotten each other since. Our NV children love to visit and help out on weekends. Two other small houses made of sheet metal have replaced the worst tents temporarily.

We shared in the burial service of the oldest member of the camp, Naomi, age 90, in early March. Her body is buried in a corner of the two acre plot, the headstone a reminder that injustice is worth fighting against. She should not have spent her last 6 years on a thin mattress in a tent in a field.

So here is my plea, plain and simple. These people should live in homes. Homes made of stone with a few windows and a door. Homes that do not fall over when the wind blows and leak when it rains. Make a donation and help fund a home. We want to build 24 homes for $3200 each. We want to do this by summer’s end. This will mean the end of at least one injustice I know of. Period.

(This goal has been met. But they have new missions they are working on every day…. PS. Before they would let the houses be built, they-the residents- insisted on a Church first!)

By Bob Mendonsa

Why it Matters

by
Bob Mendonsa founder of Naomi’s Village

Chris. May 2014.

Speak to me until I understand,
why our thinking and creating,
why our efforts of narrating,
about the beauty, of the beauty…
why it matters.

Like the statue in the park of this war-torn town, and its protest of the darkness and this chaos all around. With its beauty, how it matters, how it matters. – Sara Groves

Seven years after moving to  Kenya, I am handling the questions with some degree of confidence now.  They seem cynical- the pithy pushbacks to our hope-filled efforts to help orphans, those burdened by poverty, disease, hunger, or injustice.  “Are you making a difference?”, one might ask.  Or in another form, “Is your approach going to work in changing the overall equation, the big picture, one day?”  In one way or another, the questions carry a “Does it matter?” tone, which can discourage.

The queries can take on a more positive flavor at times, and to be fair, may not always reflect a jaded mindset, but instead the motive may simply be rational thinking. The Son of Compassion, Jesus himself, said, “The poor you will always have with you….” (Mark 14:7), reflecting that serving the less fortunate has a certain degree of inherent futility involved. Even he didn’t predict a win one day.

Yet some see 2.4 million Kenyan orphans, or 1 in 8 Kenyan girls pregnant by age 14 as numbers beyond solutions, and because they are problem solvers, want nothing to do with losing propositions. Others imagine reasons must exist that assign blame somewhere, to someone – a government, a race, a mindset, anything, and they take a side door out of truly engaging. I’m only mentioning a few statistics, a few arguments I read and hear, a few versions of “the question”.  Lately it has almost become the intellectual thing to write an editorial or blog telling others how naive they are to be involved in mission efforts in Africa.

So what can be said in response? Sara Groves wrestles with it rather poetically above, likening our standing against darkness and chaos to a beautiful statue in a park in a war-torn town. Please take a moment to listen to her song,especially if music is your heart language.http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zK1KkqNMunk

But we now have a right to speak, on the basis of having lived among the poor of Africa. Because we moved here and found answers first hand, not satisfied that things had to be the way they were, yet accepting that we might also fail, there are things we can now share.   We understand the concept of a cycle of poverty vividly, and can explain what approaches will and will not work to break it. And know this for sure- it can and will be broken in the Rift Valley of Kenya one day. Perhaps not in my lifetime, but the wheels are now in motion and change has begun. Thousands of children will be adults already on their way out of that cycle, never to go back, nor to raise their kids in it, by 20 years from now.

We will not be silenced or discouraged by the naysayers, the darker voices.  As Ernest Hemingway said, “Critics are men who watch a battle from a high place, then come down and shoot the survivors.”  Also Julie has commented so many times, there are many solutions to the orphan crisis, and orphan care is not a competitive venture. As we see others helping orphans differently, we try to remember that, and applaud, rather than compete. We hope for the same spirit of respect and cooperation from others.

So here are at least 3 answers to the basic question, “Why it matters?” to do redemptive work for children when the problem seems unending, without a win in sight.

1) It matters because there are too many children, with beating hearts, beautiful eyes, warm faces, crooked limbs, torn clothes, living parentless, with words to say and lives to share. They know facts you and I don’t, have singing voices that make crowds fall silent sometimes, and some can paint, draw, sculpt, act, dance, and do math in ways that we will otherwise never know. Many of them have no chance to see the inside of a school, the high side of their teen years before being a prostitute or street boy, or the joy of being truly loved.

As I write this, there are 53 million orphans whose collective gifts to humanity are slowly being  squandered, due to a lack of an opportunity for them to flourish. Slow down and imagine the value of it all, the worth to our world…

I have held kids in rural church services, been arrested by the sheer beauty of a passing slum child in Lunga Lunga, seen numerous babies left like trash by desperate mothers with no hope. This has become personal to me. I cannot see statistics, only growing children that God has shown me to love. Unless you allow Him to do that for you, I have not enough words to convey this to you. Most of you reading this are already alongside us, carrying this heart burden with us in some way.

Phillip Yancey, in his excellent book Soul Survivor, noted similarly that, “The great societies of the West have been moving away from an underlying belief in the value of a single human soul. We tend to view history in terms of groups of people: classes, political parties, races, sociological groupings. We apply labels to each other, and explain behavior and ascribe worth on the basis of those labels… I realized I had been seeing large human problems in a mathematical model: percentages of G.N.P., average annual income, mortality rate, doctors- per thousand of population. Love, however, is not mathematical; we can never precisely calculate the greatest possible good to be applied equally to the world’s poor and needy. We can only seek out one person, and then another, and then another, as objects for God’s love.”

2)  It matters because it was never about the end game to begin with! Who said it was about winning anyway? I’m focusing on today’s battles, because it is in the fighting, the struggling for victory, that life is truly lived. I once found satisfaction in taking on only  smaller manageable challenges, then moving to the next. Smaller tasks where a solution was assured seemed satisfying, until God led me here, into the center of a lifelong war on poverty that is not mine to win.

Now, in the same arduous and joyful, soul filling work, I am constantly aware of the magnitude of the task and my weakness. Thus, God can truly be made manifest as beautiful and worthy by working through me. And so if one asks me why it matters to struggle in spite of my weakness, and in view of the magnitude of the needs to be met all around us, I will say it is so that He can be seen as worthy, as the only reason for such love.

Now please don’t think the impossibility of winning the larger war will give us an excuse for laziness or lack of a plan. If you know our ministry, and us personally, we intend to win each battle, or what would be the point of fighting? Surrendering to the enemy, the corrupt, the failed system, is not in our language.

3) It matters because life is short, and there are precious few things worth living for.  We were created in love, for love, and we will be measured on how we loved one day. Your life and mine are vapors, slipping through grasping fingers, ones that cannot hold such a divine thing. So why does rational thought invade so easily when it comes to matters such as these, diverting us from what is natural and intuitive to do?

Stop. Breathe in, out. Think clearly for a moment. Get up and go find another, a weak one in need, and love them. Do so with more time and money than you did before. You don’t own either one anyway.  Give up your right to knowing the results, to winning. Just love, only that.

And when that final scratchy breath leaves your lungs one day, you will know it was right. It will have been nice to feel like a fighter does, risking loss, or perhaps to know the sound and smell of Africa, to hold a helpless child before you go.

So those are my answers. Get on your feet if you have been unsure. Let’s go. We’ll meet you there with the rest of the joyful losers. At the end, when Jesus finally wipes that last tear away, we will really see why it mattered, once and for all.

Bob Mendonsa

Jesus Is with Me to the End of the Age (and the Week’s Ironing)

Article by Gloria Furman

There is no shortage of sympathizing authenticity available to help moms absorb the impact of life in the trenches. Strangers, friends, blogs, and books freely offer their candid encouragements. I remember one occasion years ago when I was buying a package of preschooler underpants. The store clerk smiled and said, “When you start their toilet training you’re going to feel like there’s urine everywhere. But don’t worry, you’re not alone.” The woman behind me in line echoed her. “Ain’t that the truth!” There’s no doubt about the fact that we receive a special kind of encouragement knowing we’re not alone.

Believers in Christ are surrounded by “so great a cloud of witnesses” who walk by faith, their lives a testimony to the ultimate grace and the greatest peace. The grace and peace these men and women know keeps them going through heart-wrenching trials and even physically-threatening ordeals. God has given them eyes of faith to see our joy-pursuing, cross-enduring, shame-despising Christ who is exalted over all things and is seated at his right hand.

Having been given all authority in heaven and on earth, Jesus Christ gives us our marching orders and assures us with absolute certainty that he is always with us — even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20).

We’re not alone.

For the Small Stuff

My everyday life is not replete with dangers to body and soul around every corner. I’m more likely to encounter a sibling squabble or some kind of monument to my own homemaking procrastination when I round a corner in our home. It’s tempting to consider Christ’s presence as only available for “the big stuff.” Even though I understand my work in the home as facilitating disciple-making to the praise of God’s glory among the nations, my disparaging heart attitude about the repetitive work of ordinary life reveals these fear-filled questions: Does this matter to the Lord? Is he with me?

I often echo Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians and ask it for myself and for others who need encouragement. What kind of assuring joy we would know as the Lord enlightens the eyes of our hearts to know the hope to which he has called us, and the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints (Ephesians 1:18)! What kind of thrilling peace we can rest in knowing that Christ’s rock-steady presence in our lives is never, ever diminished by our foggy, shifting doubts!

Jesus is not absent from our domestic lives as we serve his disciple-making purposes. If he’s with you to the end of the age …

… then he’s with you to the end of packing the last box before a move.

… then he’s with you to the end of a dating relationship that is (finally!) culminating in a Christ-exalting marriage.

… then he’s with you to the end of the adoption paperwork when the judge declares, “Congratulations!”

… then he’s with you to the end of a difficult school year.

… then he’s with you to the end of cleaning a mess that is so profuse you’re not sure whether to laugh or cry.

… then he’s with you to the end of an awkward silence you’re not sure how to resolve.

… then he’s with you to the end of a long night awake with a colicky infant.

… then he’s with you to the end of the month when the budget isn’t working.

Supreme Treasure

Drawing comfort from Christ’s abiding presence makes all the difference in the way we live our lives in the home. Through the gospel of God, which is his very power for salvation, we have been given Christ as our supreme treasure. God’s amazing grace to us in Christ Jesus is the hope to which he has called us, and Christ himself is our glorious inheritance. Because of Jesus our lives are cups that are filled to overflowing with blessings, as John Newton so famously penned,

The Lord has promised good to me,

His word my hope secures.

He will my shield and portion be

As long as life endures. (Amazing Grace)

“As long as life endures” is but a short while, and then eternal life endures forever and ever. Christ will be our shield and portion to the end of the age … and to the end of this week’s ironing.

Gloria Furman (@gloriafurman) is the author of several books, including Alive in Him: How Being Embraced by the Love of Christ Changes Everything and Missional Motherhood. She is also editor and contributor for Joyfully Spreading the Word. She lives in Dubai with her four children and husband, Dave.

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