Tag Archives: blessings

God can do our work better than us

“One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.” 

This month we had a big fundraiser dinner we were planning for the non-profit I work with.  I was just focused on what I needed to do, which was to work on a video slide show.  As time progressed I knew that there were very few people who signed up to attend the event, an event which would be critical to outreach to donors to continue this important work of investing into the people of our community in need.   If we don’t get pledges for support our non-profit cannot continue to exist.  Yet, in my selfishness I didn’t take time to really think of the impact to our community of having this event flop.  I made a video.  One of the advisors gave me detailed feedback to make it better.  I bristled in response with what I had put my time into.  My pride was hurt.

“When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, ‘Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.’

Simon answered, ‘Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.’”

The night before the event, I was frustrated, we were under pressure to finish many things still, still less than half of our expected numbers of guests, and, to make matters worse, we were having conflict amongst ourselves.  Around midnight, I texted a number of friends to pray for us and the banquet that would be happening in less than 24 hours.

“When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.  So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, ‘Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!’ For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.”

My advisor initiated a conversation with me and we resolved our issue around 1:30am.  I showed up at the banquet hall an hour prior to the event at 5pm to meet with the rest of the team.  Once there I began to realize I had forgotten about a speaker for the video, a screen for a projector, and a power strip.  All things I needed if we were going to show a video.  Even the one thing I was entrusted with I failed to completely follow through with.  Phone calls were made by my advisor.  Different people from our community came through with each item.   People came trickling in, many as last minute additions, and before we knew it all 50 seats was taken.  In fact, more people kept on coming.  We had to squeeze in two more tables!   Different people in our community shared about how they had been affected meaningfully by the existence of our non-profit.  Even someone who does not live in our community stood up to speak and challenged everyone present to consider supporting this non-profit to become an institution that could spread its positive impact beyond just our community.   Needless to say the event was a success.  People were encouraged.  Our community worked together…all in spite of my shortcomings.   God stepped in…and it made all the difference.

“Then Jesus said to Simon, ‘Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.’ So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.”

net-fishing-sea-of-galilee-thomas-r-fletcher

day 21: blessing

Genesis 12:3; Galatians 3:16

“I will bless those who bless you [Abram], and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” – Genesis 12:3

“Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, ‘And to offsprings,’ referring to many, but referring to one, ‘And to your offspring,’ who is Christ.” – Galatians 3:16

although God blessed abraham, the father of the jewish (and the muslim) people, so many years ago, it is important to remember that it was the “offspring” of the person of Jesus the Christ through whom “all the families of the earth shall be blessed”  it says in genesis that it is “in” abraham that this blessing would go out.  it wasn’t from abraham himself that the whole world would be blessed.  it was a person from his line who would bless the whole world…not just bless the people of ishmael or israel, not just any one nation or ethnic group.  who else before or after Jesus offers salvation to anyone who would receive Him…not based on who you are or what you have done or not done?  Jesus alone lived a sinless life so He alone could offer a substitutionary death.  Jesus alone offers this pure life to anyone who would ask…with no strings attached.  i must remember, He may have called us to imitate His example, but He alone lived the life that could save anyone.  the only reason we can be any sort of true blessing to another is because we ourselves have received the blessing that Christ lived and died to secure for us.

how can we remember and thank Him for the promises of blessing that come to us through Him?  in what ways am i experiencing this blessing of God (the life of Christ and all that it entails) and in what ways am i living as an ambassador of this blessing to the rest of the earth?

thank you Lord for blessing us through you.

 

 

blessed are the poor?

why and how are the poor blessed?

for so many years i’ve only heard the matthew beatitude expounded as those who are “poor in spirit”…spiritually poor.  though that may be true, i am learning from scripture (OT law, OT prophets and the heart and nearness of God to the poor, luke 6, james 2, to name a few), and some of my experience has confirmed, that the disciples of jesus who are physically poor indeed experience a unique blessing.  as i was reminded by a sister’s wonderful testimony of the transformation of her alcoholic father that her family left 8 years ago, those who are poor recognize their great need and can experience our great God to meet those needs.  for someone who has experienced an empty cup, how great is their treasuring and joy when it is filled to overflowing?   this is opposed to someone who has only known a full cup, not recognizing Who has filled it, and is consumed with keeping it full rather than consumed with the One who fills.

i am reading “companion to the poor” to try to learn some of what it means to have the heart of Christ and for the poor to be blessed.  according to viv grigg: “poverty is not blessed, but the poor are-those poor who become disciples…because of their poverty, they trusted God in a spirit of dependence.”

“And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples,and said: ‘Blessed are you who are poor,  for yours is the kingdom of God.'” – Luke 6:20