By Carin LeRoy –
Last week while watching my grandchildren play and ride their bikes outside, a man in the complex where they lived started a conversation with me. When he learned my husband and I had been missionaries, he began to talk about God. Sharing a little of his life history, he told me he had been homeless several times and struggled with addictions. He wanted to talk about spiritual things and hear my thoughts. He felt he was bound by His lifestyle and choices, and it was clear he desired life to be different.
As we talked about God, the Bible, and life, I struggled to find what might best speak to His heart. Several times in the conversation the Lord brought several verses to mind, so I shared those with him. Although he was familiar with the Bible, I challenged him to read the book of John again and claim a few specific promises for himself. At the end, he thanked me for talking with him and said, “Pray for me.”
Although I felt inadequate for the conversation, it is our responsibility as Christians to share with others when the Lord gives us opportunity. The lost are searching, and we have God’s truth that will set them free and change their lives.
The Holy Spirit will guide us as we talk with others, but we must also be diligent. God wants every Believer to be prepared to answer questions about our faith in Christ. Be ready and study God’s word.
The memorization of Scripture will help equip us. Paul instructs us to, “Make every effort to present yourself before God as a proven worker who does not need to be ashamed, teaching the message of truth accurately” (2 Timothy 2:15 NET). Let’s remember how important it is to know God’s word and memorize verses that will help us witness to others.
PRAYER: Father, help me to be diligent to study Your word and memorize Scripture. Give me opportunities to witness to those who do not know You. Guide me when I have an opportunity to speak about You.
“…I am sending you to open their eyes so that they turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a share among those who are sanctified by faith in me” (Acts 26:17-18 NET).
By Carin LeRoy –
It’s not often that a pilot aborts a landing. Last year my husband, son and I went on a mission trip back to where we used to serve as missionaries. The long flights overseas generally went without incident as we headed to our destination in Papua New Guinea.
As the crew prepared for the landing in Port Moresby, the pilot began his approach. Things seemed to be going as usual—until the wheels touched the tarmac. Suddenly, the pilot gunned it, and we were in the air again.
What. Was. That?
A man to the left said, “Jesus, help us.” He looked like he was praying.
Nervousness was evident on many faces as we wondered what just happened. In all my years of flying, I had never experienced anything like it. Did we have a flat tire? Was a dog on the airstrip? (That had happened before.) Did the pilot make an error? What was going on?
We circled around to make another landing. This time without incident. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief as we touched down and came to a stop. I believe the pilot touched down without enough airstrip to land safely, so instead made a decision to abort and try again. Plane rides can have their scary moments—just like life.
When life gets scary, where do we turn? To friends? To church? To a bad habit? Do we run or walk away from it? The guy in the plane on my left had it right: Turn to Jesus and pray. In those moments when life seems out of control, God does have a purpose and a plan. He will walk with us through it. Pray, trust God and claim His promises. Soon, we enter another season of life and will look back and know that God, indeed, was with us.
PRAYER: Lord, when life is unsettling and scary, give me faith to trust You. Help me to turn to You in prayer and to claim Your promises for my life. Thank You that You hear me when I pray.
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation” (Psalm 91:14-16 NIV).
By Carin LeRoy –
When my husband was a young man serving in the military, he went home on leave to see family and friends. He visited with one of his buddies that had grown up with him in the neighborhood. His friend had since become a Christian and began sharing about his new faith. Later when my husband began searching for truth, he thought about that friend’s conversation. He found a Bible and began the journey of reading Scripture. My husband realized his need for Christ.
Being a witness and influencing others for Christ is an important part of our Christian life. Sometimes it’s not just a conversation with someone, but also our lifestyle that attracts others to Christ. Abraham was a man of great influence and witness– not only to the nations around him but also to his household. In Genesis, we can see how Abraham influenced his servant for Christ.
Desiring to find a good wife for his son, Isaac, Abraham asked his most trusted servant to go back to his homeland to search for a wife. “Go to my relatives,” he told the servant. Then he gave explicit instructions on how he should look for a wife and made him swear to follow his directives. As the servant traveled to that distant homeland, I’m sure he felt overwhelmed at the responsibility. Rather than believe in his own ability to make the right choice, he chose to do what he had seen Abraham do many times. He prayed to his master’s God.
“Then he prayed, ‘Lord, God of my master Abraham, make me successful today…’” (Genesis 24:12 NIV).
We know that prayer was answered. God orchestrated the perfect events that led the servant to make the right choice for Isaac’s wife. After finding her, he bowed and worshipped God. He realized that Abraham’s God was real because he experienced how his own prayer had been answered. This became the point of his own belief in God.
Do others realize that we have a personal relationship with Christ? Is our lifestyle a witness and are we consistent in our walk with God? As we go through each day, let’s remember how important it is that our lives be a testimony to those around us who may not know Christ.
PRAYER: Lord, help me to be a witness for You. Give me boldness to share my faith with others. Help me to have a lifestyle that will draw others to Christ.
“Then the servant left, taking with him ten of his master’s camels loaded with all kinds of good things from his master. He set out for Aram Naharaim and made his way to the town of Nahor. He had the camels kneel down near the well outside the town; it was toward evening, the time the women go out to draw water.
Then he prayed, ‘Lord, God of my master Abraham, make me successful today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. May it be that when I say to a young woman, “Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,” and she says, “Drink, and I’ll water your camels too”—let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.’
Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milkah, who was the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor” (Genesis 24:10-15 NIV).
By Carin LeRoy –
Five years ago while planning my daughter’s wedding, we were on a tight budget. I needed to watch every penny to help her plan the big day. She chose burgundy as her color theme. As I planned the decorations, I wondered how I could use the color theme on the tables without over-spending. On a drive back home across town one Saturday, I had the thought to stop in Wal-Mart and check out their bargain material table. Being tired from running errands all day, I dismissed it.
However, the thought persisted. Stop at Wal-Mart and look at their material.
I stopped, walked to the back of the store, and rummaged through their discounted material. In the piles I found a shiny delicate material that would be beautiful for runners on the tables. It was a match for the color my daughter had chosen. I was thrilled when I walked away with all they had—fifteen yards of material for $15.00!
The Lord’s prompting can be just a still voice that urges us to do something. Is it possible that God would care about such things in my life—like staying on budget? If He can offer us forgiveness, salvation, and an eternal home, can He also not help us with the details of our lives? I believe so. When I obeyed His promptings that day and walked away with the perfect material to accent the tables, I am sure He smiled.
The majority of our lives is consumed with details and the process of day to day living. The Lord desires to sharpen our sensitivity to His Spirit as we move through each new day. Learning daily awareness of His promptings allows Him to prepare and lead us through more challenging situations that may come. Responding to Him offers many blessings as we seek to listen to His voice. Remember, God cares about the small things. Let’s watch for His hand and enjoy His presence in our lives.
PRAYER: Thank You that You are a God that cares about the details of my life. Help me to listen for Your promptings and see Your hand in my life. Give me a heart that watches for and experiences Your presence daily.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17 NIV).
By Carin LeRoy –
We all know the story about the frog in the pot of water. If a frog is placed in hot water, he will jump out. But if you put him in a pot of cold water and gently turn on the heat, he will adjust to the heat until it boils him to death. As he sits comfortably in his surroundings, he never realizes that it will ultimately destroy him. I don’t know if that story is true, but it can apply to life’s circumstances. As Christians we can become hardened to sin, comfortable in our surroundings, or influenced in ways that are harmful before we even recognize it.
In Genesis 19 we read about Lot who lived in Sodom. When two angels went to meet with Lot to warn him to leave, they found him sitting at the city gate. In Biblical times, the entrance to the city served several purposes—to conduct business and legal transactions, to proclaim public announcements and to address community issues. Lot was sitting at the gate, most likely, because he had become an important person in the city, possibly a judge. Therefore, he had high ranking as a leader in the city.
When God chose to destroy the city because of its flagrant sinfulness, Lot hesitated to leave (Genesis 19:16). The angels grabbed him by the hand and took him, his wife and two daughters and led them out of the city to save their lives. He faltered leaving even when warned that judgment was coming. Perhaps family members or friends were left behind, but I also wonder if he had become attached to his position of influence and so hardened to sin around him that those influenced his indecision. It was time for him to leave or he would be destroyed, too.
Sometimes God tells us, “It’s time to go. This is no longer a good situation for you.” When we hear that, do we listen or do we hesitate like Lot? Do you rationalize saying, “I can still be a witness,” or “I like my important position”? Maybe it’s, “I’m doing good things here and trying to be an influence”. But if God has told us to go and we choose to hesitate, will we suffer even greater consequences?
God sees situations that are harmful for us and will send us warnings if we are open to His leading. Don’t get stuck in a bad place if God has clearly shown you to remove yourself. Trust Him with the next step.
PRAYER: Thank you, Lord, that you see and know everything. Thank You that You see harmful situations in my life. Help me to listen to Your voice when you warn me. Give me a heart to obey You without hesitation.
“So be careful to do what the Lord your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left. Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess” (Deuteronomy 5:33 NIV).