Join God’s mission to the military

Galatians 5:13 Called to be Freedom.

Two interesting and difficult realities of military service is the continually moving around and the temporary family separations caused by deployments and training. We know this places stress on family life and we believe God is calling His military children to be a source of comfort and hope to their community. Postings disrupt the sense of normality in our military family as does the other major disruption of taking a family member away for weeks or months at a time to attend a course, or go on deployment. Families adapt to the change if they have a sense that the change will not take away all that they enjoy. They adapt even quicker if they have someone like them to walk with during these times.

The Military Christian Fellowship recognizes the strain put on families and wants to help. It knows that in addition to continually looking for a new doctor or dentist, getting children adjusted to new schools, and finding new places for social interactions, families also want their spiritual concerns looked after. Families want a place to worship but they also want fellowship with people like themselves. They’d like to know believers who live the similar transient life. They want to be able to find solace in another brother or sister while on deployment, on course, or even while doing their day-to-day work. Spouses want fellowship with other spouses when they are left minding the fort while the military spouse is away servicing their country nearby or afar. Our military Christian families do find fellowship in their churches but sharing with those who undergo similar day-to-day experience, with other military believers, has its rewards.

The primary mission of the MCF is to take the gospel to the unsaved in the military community. However we are also deeply concerned for our serving and retired Christian military community. We know the value of being able to fellowship with those likeminded. Only the community truly knows what life is like in service to their country and we want to find ways to connect that
community with other military brother’s and sisters. We want to build on the network of Christians already within the community to be there for one another. We also want them to join our mission, God’s mission, to take the gospel into our military community. We of course have a concern for all those who do not call Jesus Lord, whether they are in the military family or not. But, we believe because the community has common experiences, struggles and joys, God will use that bond to strengthen and grow it.

Prayer is the backbone of the MCF and we want our military community to come along side us and pray with us for the military. We have prayer partners with no affiliation with the military, other than a concern for those who serve, and we want our Christian military brothers and sisters to have that same passion. We have recognized the need to be more strategic in our prayers for the military and have developed War Rooms (prayer groups) to battle the enemy . Additionally we will develop and distribute prayer lists we call The Shield, to focus our prayers efforts. Prayer will open doors to other MCF undertakings. It also causes people to change their involvement in God’s mission.

Will you take some time to reflect on your role as a Christian in the military community?Will you talk with God about His desire for you regarding this community? Will you pray with us as we seek to serve our military family? Will you use your freedom in Christ to help free others?

Talk to God

When asked if they pray, many people will say they do. Yet, when asked what area of their spiritual life is lacking, they say prayer. People are saying they are praying but they aren’t praying well. So, what is wrong?
Read 1 Peter 5:6-7
Prayer is how we get to communicate with the Creator of the Universe. God makes Himself available to hear from us and when He responds, He reveals much about His character and ours. As we share our emotions and thoughts with God in prayer, we can be convicted, enlightened, or even blessed. When we have meaningful and intimate conversations with God a relationship blossoms and we begin to understand God’s plan for humanity and even our purpose in His plan.

God allows us to experience His creation through emotions and senses. He connected with Adam and Eve in a very intimate manner setting the precedence for future relationship building. His spirit was definably with them in the garden. Genesis implies face-to-face encounters also occurred. During their interactions, Adam and Eve’s body language and words revealed their emotions to God just as His presence revealed something about His love and concern for them.  God taught that real connection, that leads to relationships, stems from verbal communication and face-to-face contact. Although communication changed after the incident in the garden, God continued to pursue His creation and taught us we can remain connected to Him if we are willing to talk and listen.

If we asked someone to share their status using 140 characters or less, a surprisingly high number of people will be able to do that. They can create a short, sweet, to the point statement about how they are feeling, what they are doing and so on. People can do this because this is how we communicate in the world today. We post updates using tweets, pictures, and emoticons.  However, these do little to create closeness.  It’s tough to grasp an understanding of an individual based on updates. Studies have suggested that it is difficult, if not impossible, to develop a meaningful relationship with someone using 140 or less characters. Yet, people continue to hide behind their smartphones and tablets while seemingly having little time for face-to-face social encounters.  Many believe they are socially connected yet studies reveal that despite the number and variety of social media tools available to us, more people are feeling isolated and lonely.

God wants to hear from us. He does not want updates. He want to know our heart. He wants to hear our passions. He wants to hear our pain. He wants to hear our confessions. He wants us to listen. He wants us to know Him. He wants us to grow in faith and worship.We can’t share who we are or what we truly desire in 140 characters or less and God can’t help us if we can’t connect.

It any wonder why people struggle to pray? People are losing their ability to connect to the world around them. They are unintentionally isolating themselves and are dependant on instantaneous, short, communication bites to express their thoughts and feelings. This does not allow for depth, understanding or intimacy. Prayer connects us with God who wants a real, two-way conversation with us. Prayer starts and grows relationships but the relationship God desires takes time, emotion, and surrendering our self before Him. Prayer keeps the connection alive and real. It requires more than a few happy faces, single word thoughts, or LIKEs. It requires our whole being to properly connect with the Supreme Being, God.

 

 

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for….

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1

During extensive military training, extreme demands placed on participants can cause some to lose hope. Their weakened physical and mental state may lead to self-doubt and despair. Some will even second guess their decision to participate or even remain in the military. A hopeless mindset is very destructive and so the military reminds them to draw on past experiences and to keep themselves moving forward. Our military, especially those in operation roles, must be in training mode all the time and when they are not training they are putting that training into practice. Learning, training, and doing creates FAITH in an individual’s own abilities, helping our military overcome adversity.

FAITH involves trust and grows as we practice what we are taught. If an individual possess all the qualifications and licensures to practice dentistry but never treats anyone and even refuses to help someone in need of emergency dental work, is that individual really a dentist? No. They are nothing more than someone with knowledge and potential. To be a dentist, an individual must treat patients. The same principle applies to people who say they are Christians but don’t live by faith. FAITH leads them to live according to scripture and to seek and follow God’s will and direction for their life. FAITH causes them to believe and trust in God’s provision, comfort, protection, leadership, and wisdom in all things. If an individual can’t identify how they are living by FAITH, are they really a Christian?

Serving in the military is linked to surviving and overcoming obstacles. During training or day-to-day service, our military are often exposed to different operational scenarios and these experiences gives them the FAITH that they will overcome their circumstances. Those with limited exposure must rely on others to coach and guide them forward but they must personally continue to do all they can to bring themselves up to a functional mode. Because, as with most struggles in life, we start by facing it alone, and so we need to be able to survive the initial assaults.

A Christian’s faith is tested when one faces life in the raw; when an illness strikes or a difficult financial situation occurs or family disharmony is present. Our response to these situations will suggest what kind of FAITH we have. Individuals can lose themselves in fear or grief and will struggle because they are unable to focus on anything other than their predicament. A Christian living by FAITH recognizes struggles, and seeks God’s help. We know He offers a calming effect to help us examine our situation and deal with it. FAITH reminds us of His love and His promise and helps us keep our eyes on the prize; Jesus.

God could make all our life’s struggles go away if we ask. However, He has given us the ability to make decisions and choices and wants us to use our moral and common sense to do so. Most predicaments we face are self-inflicted and like a good Father, He lets us face them. He knows our experiences and study of His word will help us choose wisely. Even in situations we did not seem to bring about, He walks with us but does not interfere. He will offer comfort and peace to address fear and grief, allowing us to put into practice what our FAITH has allowed to grow in us. God’s desire is that we don’t panic or lose hope when life gets tough, but that we put our FAITH in Him to bring us through whatever life has to offer. Talk with God during good times and acknowledge His presence so that when the going gets tough, our first response will be to seek Him and allow our FAITH to carry us.

When I had lost all hope….

“When I had lost all hope, I turned my thoughts once more to the Lord” Jonah 2:7

I recently underwent surgery. Knowing I’d be in the hospital for a few days, I thought about ways I would share Jesus to those I’d encountered. I packed my bible, a book of prayers, and a notebook. I had talked with God before going into hospital and felt ready to be a super evangelist. The morning of my surgery I was keen and full of hope but my attitude began to change hours after surgery. As the medication wore off I began to feel the effect of the surgeon’s work and it hurt. Despite being given a lot of pain medication, I became distressed. Pain is subjective in that no two people will react the same. I was reacting poorly as I had not imagined the pain I was experiencing was possible. I was very desperate for relief and as I lay rocking myself in the hospital bed, I spoke with God several times about my misery. I knew this situation would only last a few days at most but I found I could not say much to Him as my focus and thoughts were about me and not Him.

Many of us struggle with things that steal our focus and thoughts. Many are being weighed down by the trials of life. When we face a dilemma our thoughts are about our situation and we can find it hard to turn them off. The challenge for all followers of Jesus is to find a way to turn our thoughts to God especially during tough times. This does not mean we ignore the problems we are facing. It means we must find a way to soothe our anxious minds so we can survive the experience and even grow stronger. God offers to bring comfort but requires we first stop what we are doing and focus on Him. Why do you think God tells us to be still? (Psalm 46:10). When we are not still our mind is going to be filled with so much noise from the trials around us that we will never overcome our problems and we will resist God’s offer of aide.

Some relief came to me 36 hours post-surgery. As I lay in bed I noticed a bag that had been given to me by some of the kids in my youth class. On it was written “Open if you are feeling bad or need a hug”. I opened it and found many personalized notes of encouragement. They all seemed to be suggesting that if I focus on God I will be happy. The last note I read contained a verse from Jonah 2:7. I seemed to be in a hopeless state but as I read these notes I was reminded of those praying for me and those taking care of me. I also remembered that God loves me and did not want to see me suffer but knew that some suffering would occur but the surgery would improve my life.

During my hospital stay I had used my bible as a biting pad to prevent myself from screaming. My book and notepad were never opened. I did not behave in the Way I had hoped but I learnt much about my relationship with God. When our minds dwells on something besides the Lord for a long period of time we can become weary. As soon as I turned my thoughts to Him, I began to see some light. What are your thoughts filled with? Is it Christ? Our mind loves to dwell on everything and so we have to make war with it. I found that when I thought only of my pain I was not going to move forward. When we get caught up in our misery and struggles, we are often unable to move forward because we stop focusing on God and think only of ourselves; we almost stop looking for help.

Plan to survive struggles. Trust God’s promises. When He says to be still, He offers a way to calm us so we can sense and lean on His presence. Identify a Christian friend who would be willing to walk with you through your thought times and good times (you are expected to do the same with them). Be each other’s encouragement. Have some scripture nearby that reminds you to seek God and trust  Him. Don’t be discouraged or ashamed when you face a struggle. The evil one and his minions are doing all they can to derail your relationship with God. Jesus said He overcame the world, and so we can also survive it. God’s desire is not for us to hate our lives, but to live it to the full. We can do that if He remains the central focus of our thoughts and actions.

Revealing the depth and vulnerabilities of our faith and trust in Jesus

“The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. ……… If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.” 1 Corinthians12:26

During a recent hospital stay I quickly became aware of the fact that to ensure recovery I had to be vulnerable. I had to reveal things about myself that I had previously considered very private to ensure the medical team had all the information necessary to diagnose and treat me. I also had to trust those taking care of me that they had to perform certain necessary procedures on me, that my personal modesty would normally never allow to happen.

As we walk in our faith there are thing we can do to keep us on the path towards Jesus. We pray, study Scripture and worship Him during a corporate gathering. During this journey we will encounter situations that will reveal the depth and vulnerabilities of our faith and trust in Jesus. When we are spiritually healthy, we can overcome obstacles and even become stronger. However, if we choose to live our faith alone, without other believers walking with us, there is a strong possibility that these struggles will infect our faith and over time may damage our overall spiritual health.

The Holy Spirit brings us through many of life’s troubles and that is God’s gift to us, however we were never meant to be on this faith walk alone. Just before God created Eve to be with Adam, He said “it is not good for man to be alone” (Gen 2:18). During Jesus’ earthly ministry He was rarely alone. He maintained His spiritual connection to the Father but His daily interactions were with men and women who He helped, but who also helped Him get His message across to others. To maintain a healthy spiritual life we need to be with other believers such as our church family. It is impossible to have an intimate relationship with every believer we encounter but it is possible, and necessary, to build a bonding relationship with at least one or two people. This person should be someone we can be vulnerable with as we share our inner most struggles. This person should be willing to offer sincere advice to help us battle through the challenging times. This is a person, who is not their spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend, is someone we can call anytime day or night to talk with about our faith.

We may not feel comfortable sharing with the whole church family, but they can still contribute to our journey. One of the medical procedures I faced this week was having a catheter inserted on my upper leg to allow constant injections of medicine to directly attack the source of pain. The doctor made small talk with me and then, without notice , threw up my hospital gown leaving me exposed as a baby entering this world. I was embarrassed and stared at the ceiling as he worked. At one point I lowered my gaze and noticed there were at least a dozen people watching him work. I made eye contact with a young man, who waved at me and said “Hi I’m Dave, I’m a Dalhousie student”. My first thought was “who is not watching this show’. I did figure out that he was a student in some medical field and was learning by watching. His presence also reminded about our individual roles with the MCF. Our interaction with people in the MCF is limited to observation, but that does not mean we can’t contribute to the spiritual health of other members. From time to time, we receive prayer requests and they are shared with the body. If we choose to pray alongside other members we contribute. Also, we can grow. When we see the vulnerable position some place themselves in when asking for prayer, we may be willing to ask others to pray for us. We may be like Dave, watching so as to be prepared to help one another somewhere down the line.

God designed us to be with others. We honour Him and each other when they are included in our spiritual walk. We should be wise about what we share. We do need to partner with a mature follower to address the faith issues that tear at our souls. If you don’t have such a partner, pray asking God to reveal a name and then go speak with that person. Remember you must also be willing to hear their joys and struggles. Being vulnerable is humbling and on our spiritual journey it can be very rewarding.

If I had one more day.

I think it would be safe to say that each of us has wondered what death holds in store for us; some may even wonder how they will die. It seems a very disturbing thought knowing that death is inevitable and worse not knowing when it will occur. Do these thoughts make a difference as to how you live today? Do you live life knowing that one day we will stand before God to either face eternity with or without Him? Are we focused on our relationship with God or are we more concerned about our legacy or what people think of us?

Scripture shares a story about King Hezekiah who was a righteous, but vain individual. He had restored the Temple, purged its idols, and reformed the priesthood. He made it illegal for people to worship any other but God and seemed to be a favour with God. During his reign, he became sick to the point he believed he would die. Many dignitaries, including the son of the king of Babylon, came to visit him. During these visits, he bragged about his wealth and even revealed secrets about Jerusalem. Isaiah came to see him with this warning, “This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.” 2 Kings 20:1 NIV. Isaiah also shared that a future generation of Judah would be taken captive by the Babylonian visitor’s kingdom. Isaiah was telling Hezekiah to focus on what was important because he would be meeting his maker. Did Hezekiah think he had more time such that he could feed his vanity instead of his soul?

It is rare for us to know when we will pass from this earth yet, the sad truth of the matter is that many of us think that we have much more time to spare. We behave thinking that when we have done all the things that we think are important we will get our lives straight with the Lord. Jesus came so we could live life to the full now. This includes experiencing joy in daily relationship with God as well as with one another. Jesus brought a message of renewed hope and salvation and desires we share that Gospel message with those we encounter. He called us to be disciple-making disciples whose priority is God. Are you living in relationship with God? Are you making friends with the unchurched? Is your life a witness to those watching such that they are curious as to how Jesus can affect their lives?

In response to Isaiah’s warning scriptures shares, “Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord,” 2 Kings 20:2 NIV. God gave him a further 15 years after his illness and Hezekiah made even more changes to his attitude and priorities. God wants us to remember that He is to be given priority above all else. He blesses us with family, friends, and forms of wealth which give us pleasure. He wants us to respect those gifts while honouring Him. We are not to live life according to a holychecklist that identifies how many times we must pray, read scripture or evangelize. However, we are to live with Jesus in our lives and eternity in the back of our minds.

This message is not meant to cause fear but to challenge you with a sobering, question: If I had one more day, would I live it differently from every other day and if so, why am I not treating every day as it were my last?

Are you happy with your relationship with God or must you turn your face to the wall and talk with Him.

I don’t want to, but I will

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize” 1 Corinthians 9:24

Have you started your day with the words “I don’t want to”?You may not want to get out of bed because the health issue that caused you to toss and turn all night is sending shooting pains to all your joints. Maybe you awoke thinking about work where you are just tired of trying to do what is right in a system that seems designed to take and take and take. Or, your thoughts had immediatelyturned to the conversation you must have with your child about what fell out of their backpack, and you know those talks never seem to go well. Even though you know what you must do, you lie there and repeat “I don’t want to, I just don’t want to face the day”.

Paul’s comment (Cor 9:24) to the Corinthians is about self-discipline; finding ways to at least put one foot after the other and start moving. He notices that people are struggling with life choices which areaffecting their relationships as well as their faith. His overall tone in the letter seems to admonish but he is, in fact, trying to motivate by reminding people where their hope lies; it is with Christ who promises to be with us during our good and bad days. He reminds them that they must try to go after the prize to enjoy the life they have.

Hearing someone say, “suck it up and get moving” does not make our concerns go away, more than likely it adds to our frustration. However, we all need a little push from time to time. The Bible is filled with passages that motivate and encourage, and just reading or hearing one can do wonders for our spirit. Consider finding a passage you feel will jump-startyour day and write it on a card. Before you go to bed, place it so it is one of the first things you see when your eyes open. Then say it in your head and then out loud. Sit up in your bed, pick up the card and read it again. The Holy Spirit, who is our comforter, will help you find meaning in those words and can help us get out of bed.

We are not failures or loved less by God if we utter the words “I don’t want to”. We are human and we have been created in the image of a loving, caring and motivated God, but sometimes we struggle. Sometimes these mornings are happening too often and as much as you read your verse, you still feel “you don’t want to.” You must do something about that. Paul ends his thoughts on motivation with the words “therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air” (1 Cor 9:26). He is saying do something meaningful to help you win your race. Friend, please talk tosomeone about your troubles. We are created to help one another. Share your troubles with a friend. If necessary, seek medical assistance. God wants what is good for us and has allowed gifts and talents to flourish in people so they can help us who struggle. Maybe you are that person God prepared so you can help others. Keep an eye out for your friends and be ready to lend them an ear to listen or a shoulder to rest on. Don’t be afraid to encourage them.

For many, getting out of bed can be their prize that day. God knows the world and life we face each day is not the one He intended for us. He offers to be with us every waking and sleepingmoment. He has prepared others to help us face the world. Today, do something to ensure that tomorrow when you awaken, your words are “I don’t want to but I can and I will”.

God’s letter to you

2 Timothy 3:16

I’m certain that many who are reading this article have written or received a personal letter in the mail.  It’s not a popular activity today as technology has changed the way people communicate.  It is much easier but does seem less personal.  Children wrote thank you notes for gifts received, teens and young adults wrote incredibly sensitive and mushy love letters, and spouses wrote intimate letters sharing family news as well as reaffirming their love for one another.

Deployed military personnel have always known that receiving a letter was special and mail-call was often the most anticipated event of the day. While serving in Egypt in the late 1970’s, mail and short-wave radio were the only means to communicate with my family.  I remembered that not soon after I arrived in Ismailia there was a mail strike in canada.  As a result, I hadn’t received mail from home for several weeks and when the strike ended I waited eagerly for a letter.  When my first letter arrived, I rushed back to my bed space, laid in my bunk, opened the letter and began to read.  It started off “Dear Master. Woof, woof, woof, bark, bark, bark”;  this continued for two pages.  Although my wife had written many letters during the strike, the first letter I received happened to be the one supposedly from my dog.  I was disappointed, to say the least, but I did not throw it out and read it several times because I knew there was more to this letter than those silly words.

Letters received from our families, even our pets, are very personal.  We rarely share our personal mail with others but if we did, other readers could learn something about the relationship that existed between the writer and recipient of the letter.  Most likely they would not be able to know the exact meaning of every phrase because of missing context such as information about family dynamics.  However, if they desired they could inquire and with additional information, they could even imagine it was written to them.  A third-party reader could also sense deeper meaning behind phrases such as “I feel lonely when you are away” because of their own similar experiences.  This is an event which can be understood across generations, cultures and even time.

Much of the New Testament contains personalized letters to groups of people.  When we read those letters today we can sense the intimacy and often, without having much background information, we are able to understand most of their meaning.  However, we should be cautions because without an awareness of the context (cultural or historical setting of the writer or recipient) our interpretation and application may not be as literal as we believe.  As with the case in all Scripture, it is important to consider that other information can be valuable to our interpretation.  It is also important to know that not everything in Scripture applies to us personally but it will contribute to the overall message of the Bible.  Jesus told us we have the Holy Spirit to help reveal understanding and the truth, but as disciples of Christ who desire to see the value Paul speaks about in 2 Timothy 3:16, we should be more intentional in our efforts to know the truths about our Creator’s purpose and desires for us.

It is acknowledged that in this current age few believers are reading their Bibles.  They accept Scripture can offer truth to their current life as well as their eternity but have numerous reasons for not reading their Bibles.  Many don’t read because they don’t know exactly why or how they should.  Compounding this issue is the fact many have Bible translations that are difficult to read but are owned because of family or faith traditions.  All Bibles are translations and if yours is taught to read, get another translations.

All of scripture can be viewed as a personalized letter written by God to each one of us.  His love for humanity is universal but He has personalized love for everyone.

When we accept the Bible as one long continuous letter from God we can see there are stories, passages and themes that we can take personally.  We have been invited to know Jesus but to do that, we do need to know about Him.  God has written to us and about us.  He knows if we purposefully read His words they can be transformative, affecting our day-to-day lives.  To understand what God is saying to us we need to read and study our Bibles, reflect upon the words, and when applicable, apply it to our lives.

Blessings

Anton Topilnyckyj
Prayer Coordinator

If you believe…..

Matthew 21:22

We all have gotten up early and in limited lighting put on a shirt or blouse only to realize later that it is out of alignment (shirtlop); buttons in the wrong buttonholes? We did everything right, used good techniques, placed each button carefully and through the hole provided, but we had started in the wrong place and therefore achieved an unwanted result.

Have you ever prayed and not felt you had not received an answer or the response was not as you expected? You’ve read scripture about prayer, listened to others pray, studied the prayer practices of people of faith, and set aside some private, isolated time to speak with God and yet nothing. All these are activities that certainly enhance our understanding of prayer yet they may not be the ‘first things” Jesus desires of us when He says He will answer. Maybe we are praying from the wrong starting point. Scripture does speak about our relationship with God in terms of our belief in Him. Maybe we need to examine and reflect upon our believes so that when we talk with God we are starting from the point of belief in Him.

Jesus called us to believe. Believe that God created us to be in a relationshipwith Him and with others. Believe that God made and kept promises and despite our desire to choose a path that offends Him, He will not abandon His plan for us. Believe that God has offered humanity a WAY to reconcile with Him and that WAY is Jesus. Believe that Jesus spoke truths that destroy the impact of sin and open a path to a transformed life for those who believe.

Belief can sculpture our patterns of feeling and acting. It can be the cause and affectof our status as a Christian. It is crucial to a relationship with God. When we believe in Jesus we pray knowing it is not something we do to get on His good side but an acknowledgement that we believe in Him. Belief is essential to hearing God’s answers to our prayers.

Let me share these words spoken by Billy Graham that may help you as you examine your belief:

“It is impossible to believe anything into existence. The Gospel did not come into being because people believed it. The tomb was not emptied of Christ’s body that first Easter because some faithful persons believed it. FACT preceded the faith. We are psychologically incapable of believing without an object of our faith. The object of Christian faith isChrist. Faith means more than an intellectual agreement of the claims of Christ. We are not called upon to believe something that is not credible, but to believe in the fact of history that transcends all history. Faith means surrender and commitment to the claims of Christ. We do not know Christ through the five physical senses, but we know Him through the sixth sense that God has given every man—the ability to believe.”

Believe before, during and after you pray and you will be amazed at what Jesus wants

Blessings

Anton Topilnyckyj
Prayer Coordinator

God moments!

John 13:34-35

God is omnipresent; He is everywhere. He is in our hospitals beside our sickly neighbours; He is on benches, grates and shelters where our homeless veterans hang out; He is in the classroom where our youths are looking for purpose from a morally corrupt society. Maybe we should stop thinking we need to bring Jesus into the world, because He’s already there. We need to think about how we can reveal Him and make His love known to those He watches every day. We need to watch for opportunities to reveal God moments, times where God’s loves shows up so He can show off.

Since our creation, God has been on a mission to reveal His love to humanity. We have been invited to join Him and we need to decide whether we will be part of the mission or not. Church is great but the true Church is the people who gather for worship, become inspired, and learn to serve one another so they can go into their world and reveal God. God is waiting for us to reveal His love and glory to the world by our presence in the lives of those not realizing He is with them. This could mean that some may go to foreign lands to build schools or dig wells. But, for the majority of us, our mission field is right outside our front door. God is out there, waiting for us to show up so He can show off through us.

At one time ,I use to advocate the anonymous random act of kindness approach to blessing strangers. Lately, I found myself thinking, wouldn’t it be better if that stranger knew why I did what I did. Wouldn’t it be nice if we did something for someone and when they asked why, we could say “God has blessed me so I could bless someone like you” . God would immediately get all the credit and the glory and people might see the world differently knowing there are people who love God, wanting to love them.

What could you do?

Idea #1. Maybe the school where your children or grandchildren attend are struggling to find lunchroom or recess monitors. If you visited the principle asking if you and some friends could help they might accept. This may get you invited to be a classroom helper reading to children or helping them read. You become part of their community and when the opportunity appears, and it will because God will create those opportunities, you may get to explain what compels you to serve this group.

Idea #2. There are several organization seeking to serve the military community. For example, VETS Canada assist homeless veterans. They have all kinds of opportunities to help and serve. Connect with a local chapter and see what you can do. Because you are doing this to reveal God’s love, He will immediately get the glory even if those you are working with or serving do not see this for a while. You are meeting a need in your community and because you are driven by God’s desire to reveal Himself, you will be given an opportunity to make Him known.

We live in communities where the needs are many. Our neighbours are unreceptive to talking about God because they are putting so much energy into surviving, that they don’t have time to listen or take us up on our offer to come to church. However, they can’t stop from seeing what is going around them and if they watched us become the Church, a loving disciple of Jesus, they will notice and become curious. Jesus said: “the world will take notice when we love each other.” Each follower needs to find a need they can fill. The possibilities are endless but it starts with a willingness to reveal God moments to those who can’t see Him.

Blessing

Anton Topilnyckyj
Prayer Coordinator