Archive | August 2019

HOPE for Abused Children

Forget-Me-Nots remind me of God’s love for his children.
This is how he describes his love in for them the book of Isaiah:
“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
    and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
    I will not forget you! “
(Isaiah 49:15)

When I read stories of how children are abused in such destructive ways, I feel deeply saddened. Many of them believe they’ve been abandoned by God. Jesus assures us that this is not so. He loved the children. To him, they are precious lambs. When his followers pushed them away, Jesus rebuked them and told them they, themselves, needed to become like children–humble, trusting, and truthful.

Jesus, the Good Shepherd, rescues lambs. He carries them in his arms and protects them from the “wolves” who would deceive and destroy them. He said, ” My Father gave my sheep to me. He is greater than all, and no person can steal my sheep out of my Father’s hand” (John 10:29).

He calls those of us who are sheep in his church to come beside him in his mission to rescue the lambs who’ve been deceived and are temporarily held captive. He calls us to bring hope and healing to abused children.

The following poem reflects how a precious lamb might feel when rescued by Jesus. I hope it will encourage you to get ask him how he would want you to get involved in reaching out to captive lambs.

 When you rescued me, Lord!
 it was all because
 Of the love the Father
 Reigning above
 I am His child.
 He will never forget!
 His Spirit within me
 Assures me of that
 I'm no longer ashamed
 I'm no longer afraid.
 The lies of abusers
 I see and resist.
 Your power and love
 Fill my heart every day;
 So no one can ever
 Lure me away.
 Someday, you’ll return
 With a triumphant shout
 And my soul will be free
 No more tempted to doubt
 Never harassed
 And never in pain
 Lord Jesus, I long
 For that glorious day
 Jane Ault

This entry was posted on August 9, 2019. 4 Comments

Whose Approval Rating Matters?

Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval.
Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed
and who correctly explains the word of truth.
(2 Timothy 2:15 NLT)

For my entire life, I’ve wanted and longed for approval. I wanted to please my parents. I wanted to please my grandparents. (And I had eleven of them to please!) I wanted to please my teachers. I wanted to please my employer. I wanted to please my husband. I wanted to please my children. I wanted to please my grandchildren. Most of all, I wanted to please God.

At least I thought I did. For quite a while, I convinced myself that all of this was true. Especially the pleasing-God part. In his kindness and mercy, God did not immediately confront me with the truth he saw in my heart: I wanted to please others so that they would be pleased with me. I was searching for the worth that perfect performance would bring.

I mistakenly thought that pleasing others meant “making them happy.” I did not want anyone to feel disappointed or sad. And if someone was not happy I thought it was my job to cheer them up. Being a person with high emotional sensitivity, I quickly noticed the emotional climate around me. When I sensed any sign of anxiety, sadness, or anger, my mind started designing a plan to fix the situation.

I discovered some surprising things:

  • Some people feel happy no matter what I do.
  • Some people feel unhappy no matter what I do.
  • I can only make one person happy. That person is me.

Instead of making others happy, something impossible for me to accomplish, I want to serve others in a way that benefits them and does not damage me.

I realize that it’s not my job to make God happy either.

 Whose acceptance do I value?            
 Whose approval do I seek?
 The world sees only outward beauty;
 God sees quality beneath.
 Whose acceptance do I value?
 Whose approval do I seek?
 The world rejects the ones who stumble;
 God restores his fallen sheep.
 Whose acceptance do I value?
 Whose approval do I seek?
 The world discards the old and feeble;
 God upholds those small and meek.
 Whose acceptance do I value?
 Whose approval do I seek?
 The world's applause is for a moment;
 God's honor is for eternity.

This entry was posted on August 2, 2019. 6 Comments