Obedience

Has the Lord ever asked you to do something that just didn’t make any sense? Put something on your heart that your immediate thought was are you sure? Since Christmas, the kids and I in KFC have been studying the life of Jesus. This week’s lesson was about when Jesus called his first disciples. (Luke 5:1-11) At the beginning we find Jesus teaching the crowd. Then He notices some fishermen cleaning their nets. He approaches them and gets into the boat and asked that they push him out a little bit. He then proceeds to teach from the boat. However, when He is done, He tells Simon to go back out and let down his nets. Now, here is Simon who was cleaning his nets, he was done, he was ready to go home. As you read further you find out he and the others had been out all night fishing and they had caught nothing. So, when Jesus says go back out and let down your net. I’m sure Simon’s first reaction was not one of excitement. He could have given Jesus any number of excuses. He could have said, but Master, don’t you know we have tried and it hasn’t worked, or Master, we are tired and hungry. Even Master, could we do this another time? Yet, this is not how Simon responds, he responds by saying, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” What Jesus asked of him did not make sense and he could have refused. Yet he did not. I’m sure you all know the rest of the story. Once he let down his net, they caught so many fish, they could not even get the nets into the boat, they had to get others to help and once they did get the fish into the boat, it was so heavy, that the boat began to sink! Had Simon failed to obey because it didn’t make sense or because he just was too tired, he would have missed out on the greatest catch of his life. Yet, because he obeyed, he was blessed and saw the Lord do a marvelous work. As I thought on this, the Lord spoke to my heart asking me, “will you obey me even when it doesn’t make sense, even when what I ask of you is too hard, even when you are tired and weary?”

Sometimes obeying the Lord doesn’t make sense, sometimes when we obey Him, our friends question us or laugh at us. Other times, we are just too weary to obey and want to put what He’s prompting us to do off until tomorrow. Yet, as I studied this passage I was given a desire to obey Him. The Lord does know what is best, He does know what we need. We can trust Him. So we should be quick to obey His prompting. What He ask doesn’t have to make sense, all that matters is that we follow His command. And rest assured when you do, you should get ready to see the Lord’s blessings flow!

From Scratch

When we lived in the States, I NEVER baked from scratch. Why bother when you can get cookie dough, frozen rolls, and tortillas at Walmart. However since we have been in Korea, I have had to branch out. Today I have spent an entire day making and freezing rolls, tortillas and cookies. It has been time consuming and messy, but at the end of the day, we will be set on these for the next week or two. Not only that, but to be honest things just taste better when made from scratch. As I was baking, the Lord brought to mind the concept of prayer. Most of the time, when I pray I want an instant answer. I offer up a quick, simple prayer and expect that to be enough. Yet, as I look at what the Scriptures say concerning prayer, I realize this is just not the case. “One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up. (Luke 18:1)  How often do I pray for something, only to give up? How much time do I spend on my knees in the throne room of grace? When it seems God doesn’t answer, how often do I become anxious and seek to take matters into my own hands. The answer to these questions are quite convicting. For you see baking from scratch is time consuming, it is messy and not always fun. However, the results are usually worth it. The same is true in prayer, persistent prayer does take extra time, it can be discouraging and to be quite honest, it isn’t always fun. Yet, with prayer the results are ALWAYS worth it. Not only that, but the Lords answer is always better than anything we can dream up on our own! Take the time to pray and be persistent, you won’t be disappointed!

Times of Testing

God came to Abraham and promised He would have a son. Years passed until He and Sarai were extremely old, then an angel came to them telling them that a year from then, they would have a son. This was definetly a shock, for I’m sure they had about given up hope. A year passes and Issac is born, bringing much laughter to their home. Yet, before long the Lord ask something of Abraham that made no sence. The Bible says, “and the Lord tested Abraham…” the Lord told him to take his son and offer him as a sacrifice.  Though it must have been the longest night of his life, the next morning he, Issac and his servants rode off to the mountains to make their sacrifice. Even when he and Issac separated from the servants, Abraham believed they would both be back. His faith that God would provide never waivered, even when he had strapped his son to the rock and raised his hand to slay him. When the Lord saw Abraham’s faith and that he would not withhold his son, He provided the ram. Abraham passed this test with flying colors.  I wish such times of testing could prove as good for me. It seems when tested, I fail miserably. I fail to trust, I fail to believe, I just fail. Yet, I was reminded through a sermon I heard recently that God knows I’m going to fail, does he want me to fail, no, but He is pleased with each small step of faith I take. When a baby learns to walk, we clap and cheer as they take two steps and then fall down. We don’t scold them or yell at them for falling, we praise them for the two small steps. The same is true with God, He is pleased when I take even two small steps and He is there to pick me up when I fall. How thankful I am that I serve a God who is always faithful and true!

What a DifferenceYou’ve Made in My Life

Only God could form a bond of friendship in Korea b/w a Canadian gal and a Southern gal. Yet, that is exactly what He has done. About 4 months ago, as I was getting ready to leave church, I noticed a family who looked a bit lost. Knowing how they felt having experienced it myself, I introduced myself and asked about them. I went on to invite Sherry Lynne to the ladies Bible study, followed by having their family in our home for dinner the following Friday. This began the bonds of a friendship which I know neither distance nor time can unravel. Coming  from a radically different background, different denomination, yet a passionate love for the Lord and His Word. The Lord blessed us with a wonderful friendship. Whether or not they realized the impact they have made upon our family is unknown. However, they have indeed impacted our lives. With their unwaivering faith, passionate love for Jesus and immense prayer life. I know the Lord brought our families together for a purpose and though they will be leaving Korea soon to return to Canada, the difference they have made in our lives will not be forgotten.

Another person who has made a huge difference in my life is a man named Lloyd. Lloyd is from the Phillipines, yet has been here in Korea for 4 years working to send money back to his family. This is a young man who I have never seen not smiling, a man I’ve never seen not giving his all. His love for the Lord and His passion to serve Him, has made me realize how much I take for granted. How quick I am to complain and grumble, yet Lloyd who has been separated from his wife and child all this time, except for short visits, has served the Lord with His all, and always with a smile of joy upon his face. His love and joy are contatious to all who come in contact with him. I will never forget Mr. Lloyd and pray God will continue to use Him greatly now that He is back home with his family!