Tuesday, July 2, 2013

the story continues



The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt, but do as I tell you.  3 Live here as a foreigner in this land, and I will be with you and bless you.  I hereby confirm that I will give all these lands to you and your descendants, just as I solemnly promised Abraham, your father.  4 I will cause your descendants to become as numerous as the stars of the sky, and I will give them all these lands.  And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed.  5 I will do this because Abraham listened to me and obeyed all my requirements, commands, decrees, and instructions.

Often God asks us and leads us to do things that just don’t make sense.  The path may not be what you or I would chose.  It might even be strange or seem stupid to the people who look on.  This story has hints of those kinds of things.  But I’d like to put a twist on these verses and ask you to look at it from the perspective of what God has called me and our church to be part of.

When The Community Fellowship was started, in the fall of 2006, I had tried to leave this county, but God had other plans.  Since that time those plans and the vision God has given us have increased many times over.  Some have gone in directions that I did not expect, and these verses open up some it for me.

Seek God where you are!  Too many people get into trouble or get tired of where they are and run from the situation they find themselves in.  It might be right there that God wants to teach you, grow you and plant you so that you can help others learn and grow.  Be careful not to leave the place that God is calling you to.

Living as a foreigner doesn’t mean that you ignore the people around you and definitely that you don’t think you are better than your neighbors.  Live as God called you to live, claiming and holding Biblical truths, and be a great neighbor, an example, a servant and a friend to the people that you interact with.  God has blessed you, and most likely those blessings were given to you so that you can bless others.

God will give you success.  The county I live in has been hit by the economic downturn in big ways with unemployment, lose of businesses and money troubles like much of the country as.  I believe that fact is tied to our church’s calling to serve this community.  God will give us success here as we help others be successful.  He will give us the land not so we will be owners of it but so we can be a blessing to our neighbors, the people God loves.

This happens because we follow what God says.  This happens because God loves people and wants to bless them and us.  This happens because we are asking God to use us where God has planted us.

I am committed to making a difference where I am, but I will confess that it would be or seems that it would be easier to leave when life gets tough.  With the pain of the economy, it would be great to not be around the difficulties that come with bad economy.  Yet by staying, serving, sharing, and loving people I get to help and see people realize they have worth and that God loves them.

There is nothing greater than watching God open people up as they hear and believe what God says.  This is the place He called us.  This is the place He is going to bless us.  This is the place where we are going to see future success and hundreds if not thousands of lives changed by the grace of God.

You know what I am praying for!  The story continues.

NOTE: my family moved to Henry County, Virginia 12 years ago today, and I thank God for His blessings and His call on our lives.  My plans would have been different, but God’s plan is perfect.  I cannot wait to see what is next.

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