(One of my spots to read my Bible when I bring my son to his college classes!)I love when God presses upon me and I feel His leading in my life! Hearing Him, even when He is convicting me of a behavior that needs to change, feels good...no, GREAT! To know He is not done with me, to know He is not giving up on me, is a great comfort.
"...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6
One blessing of 2011 is that I felt *pressed upon* to use a Bible reading plan to read through the Bible (Here is the link: http://www.ransomfellowship.org/publications/notes_biblereadingprogram.pdf ). I am loving it. Usually I choose what passages to read each day. So, I am kind of deciding what I want to hear from God. Using a plan causing me to see and hear ALL that God wants to say, do you know what I mean? So God's Word is presently challenging me *outside my box*.
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16
Over and over and over in my reading the topic of *giving and serving* is coming up. It's honestly been a little frustrating finding and planning things for us to do and give. But over and over as I pray about it, I sense God telling me to just keep my eyes and ears open as I am going about my day and to be sensitive to find needs. And over and over and I try to give I hear God saying to look around my house and give away what I can purposely with prayer.
This week, in our family devotions, we read Luke 12. It was very confirming and convicting in verses 22-34. God wants me to trust Him enough to give until it feels risky, knowing and trusting He'll provide for our needs.
"And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom and these things will be given to you as well.
Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Luke 12:29-34
I was asked about ideas for service that a mom could do with young children. I think the answer is the same for all of us. What CAN you do? Do it for others! When my kids were little we might have them make a homemade card for someone who was ill or bake cookies with me to give away. Everyone loves a homemade picture from a little one and who doesn't like cookies? You could make up invites for church with the cookies for neighbors or just bless someone with an encouragement. Whatever they can do with you they can do for someone else, you know?
I wish I had focused MORE on these things. I often let *life* get in the way. I have often fallen into the trap of wanting the *nice* house, the *pretty* yard and fell into the trap of focusing TOO much on MY kingdom. But it's never too late to change and grow! Our Father is patient, kind, slow to anger, abounding in love!
We just finished reading a biography about Brother Andrew, a Bible smuggler. I was so struck by this one story. He and his wife we trying to fund a large amount of Bible and didn't have the money. So, though she was pregnant with her 4th child, they put their house up for sale. The house didn't sell and they couldn't understand it, until the Dutch Bible Society offered to pay for half the Bibles and loan them the money for the other half. This really, really struck me. In the end, God didn't ask them to give up their house. But he asked them to be *willing.*
That's the question pressing upon me, "Am I willing to give away it ALL for God's Kingdom, to store up treasure in Heaven?"