A Life God Rewards
A LIFE GOD REWARDS 2016 TRUE LOVE WAITS RETREAT
We just had the first ever three day retreat for True Love Waits volunteers. Maybe you are thinking "I wish I was on that retreat!" or "I feel bad because I did not get to go" but it is valuable to think about things that happened yesterday from God's perspective. He planned every detail.
So, as you check out our photo collage of the retreat attendees, remember who is in control of your life and trust God with being God. We learned at the camp that as we trust God in that way, that God is also trusting or entrusting us in the same way.
The retreat theme was A LIFE GOD REWARDS based on 2 Corinthians 5:10 which is about the judgement seat of Christ. Sounds scary right? Well, it's not. Actually, it's the place where God rewards us for what we have done while here on earth. Randy Alcorn says it best "Jesus determines our salvation and we determine our rewards".
THANKS TO OUR FRIENDS
It should be known that two great people helped by their lives impact our retreat. One person is Pastor Pete Briscoe, senior pastor of Bent Tree Bible Fellowship. Pastor Pete http://www.thebema.org/#/what-is-the-bema developed a drama based on a book by Tim Stevenson. We contextualized the BEMA DRAMA for Filipino youth and shared that at the retreat. Additionally, each of the retreat attendees was given a copy of Randy Alcorn's book http://store.epm.org/the-law-of-rewards/ while at the retreat. Randy Alcorn has been a generous supporter of True Love Waits in the Philippines. Join us in praying for the ministries or both Randy and Pastor Pete.
IS GOD REALLY IN CONTROL?
Back to the Blog.
Before we go any further, answer this question - "Who Made You?". Clearly the answer is God. And think about this - "Every individual that ever lived, in every corner of the earth, from the beginning of time until today and into the end of time in this earth, was made by God". And he has purpose and timing for everything. Acts 17:26 says this -
"And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place"
Psalm 147:4 says this -
He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names.
It's kind of crazy when you think about it. And we think to ourselves on a practical level "Why is one man wealthy and another man poor?" Or on a spiritual level "Why is one church large and one church small?" Or why are some people leading a small group and I have no small group to lead?"
Stop and think - do I really believe that God numbers the stars and determines all things? In Tim Keller's book Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God, he writes "God will either give us what we ask or give us what we would have asked if we knew everything that he knows."
HELLO.... TWO - IS A SMALL GROUP!
This portion of this blog is primarily for those who are not leading a small group and wondering why. But it can also be for those that are leading a small group and need to be reminded that is is not your charming personality that brought you a group of people. Yes, in both cases God is in control and he knows everything.
If we are really able to think this way, then it will change how we see wealth and how we experience the times when we have little. In both cases, it is trust. God looks at a persona and says "I can trust you today with this" or "Some people may not be able to handle being in this great a need but I, God, can trust you with the discomfort that comes with suffering and I cannot trust others in this way".
Did you ever think about that? God in His sovereignty, knows who He can trust to be poor?
Or to put it another way, God knows who He cannot trust to be poor. He knows which people if placed in that situation would fail. And so He chooses special people to be poor because He knows that they have the ability to endure.
In the same way, God knows the people that will not complain if they are only leading one person in a bible study or one person to love in counseling or one person to listen to in the midst of pain.
It should change the way that we judge ourselves when we say "I wish I was leading a group of 10 people" or "My friends all have small groups and I only have one person that I am leading and it's not really ministry".
Today is the day that you change your thinking as in the quote by Tim Keller. You say to God "Lord, you know everything 'allow me to lead the person that you want me to lead'". Or maybe you are leading nobody and you are thinking "Why Lord". But if you were leading 10 people and God had one special person to love or listen to, then you might be too busy. It may be a special assignment to be free in order to minister to just one person.
At the recent TLW Retreat we learned that Matthew 24 is about eternity after this life and the author is reminding us that that day is coming and we don't know when it will be. Matthew also tells us that some will spend eternity with God and some without God. The bible says "be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect" and that it is the master that has determined all of these things. Verse 47 says something interesting. It says "he will set someone over the masters possessions".
Matthew 25 repeats the same idea, that there is a master and He has entrusted to his servants His property. We need to see clearly the specifics, that the master is the one that gives. Verse 14 is a picture of God giving something to His servants. To one He gives 5, to one He gives 2 and to another He gives, yes.... only 1. There is something significant here and it's not how many they got but it is who is the giver. Let's dwell on that for a moment.
Who made you? Remember we mentioned that earlier?
Now that you've pondered that, let's go back to the story in Matthew. It's a great picture of the mind of God. Spoiler alert! Two of the gift recipients in Matthew invested in their gifts but the one did not. The person who was only given one did not invest in his gift and it was taken away and given to one of the others.
Do you now see the great value of the one person that you are leading?
The story in Matthew is about money but it is still a picture of how God sees investments, no matter how small they seem.
The question now is have you been faithful with the one person that you are leading. Or is it that you just want to jump to leading five people in a small group?
It's easy to have faith that Jesus died on the cross, was buried and raised again on the third day. Do you believe that? Those that do, will spend eternity worshiping God and enjoying his presence.
Sometimes once we have the faith to trust that God has rescued us, we immediately mount a coup attempt and assume command of our lives. Silly right? God saved me so that he could put me in charge of how he does things.
Be faithful with how he rescued you. Be faithful with the position that he gives you, whatever that may be and whoever he may give you to lead.
Be faithful in God's Love Revolution. He wants to revolutionize your thinking. Be faithful and help True Love Waits Philippines Connecting Filipino Youth to God and His Plan for Absolute Purity.
Be faithful and pray for one person.
If you want to know more about True Love Waits or become a volunteer or invite True Love Waits to your church or to your school, click on this link http://www.wagmuna.com/purity-movement/
Derek Ross, National Director True Love Waits Philippines