Whether you're brand new to following Christ or a church leader, there are a lot of reasons we get discouraged. Sometimes we feel a bit "alone" in the task at hand, the apostle Paul felt that way too. Not only do we need the physical help of others in the "body of Christ" to fulfill the great commission, but in order to keep focused and "in the Spirit" we need the fellowship and encouragement of like-minded believers on a daily basis.
The "Love Your Neighbor Christian Network" that we will describe shortly has the potential to provide that help. Support and assistance from other believers is extremely critical, but even more important is a revelation of the God we serve and his great love for us. I want to encourage you about that for a minute...
Mankind has a great longing to be loved, appreciated and wanted. Even in the best of situations it seems like this longing is never fully met on earth, and quite often it's so far from being met that most people live in varying levels of fear that they are rejected and despised.
Before we share with you about the new spiritual opportunities open to you, we want to take a minute and encourage you in the Lord. There is a new day dawning in America, a day of unity and purpose in the Church. But in order for that day to dawn, for that change to occur, we must draw from a strength that is not our own. No matter our accomplishments or our failures, we must count it all loss for the greater excellence of knowing Christ. At the heart of that knowledge, the very heart of the gospel is God's acceptance of us into His family.
That longing for acceptance is indeed fully met by our Heavenly Daddy, our "Abba" Father. He has accepted us in His Family entirely, without reservation. It is the blood of His own Son that has purchased this adoption for us. God's own Words were planted in our hearts, His own Spirit took that seed and created a new man. We are his prized garden. God is well able to care for our every need, including the cries of our heart....
Go on, wrap your arms around your heavenly Father. He relishes a hug from his kid. (He seeks those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth. John 4:23) Like a small child trusting the protection of his Father, we are safe in his arms. When everything around us is confusion and pain, He is delighted to surround us and hide us in His loving embrace.
Our Daddy is holding us close and laughing off the dangers around us, they are no match for Him. He knows his love for us, He knows our future, it is one of promise and hope. There is no reason to fear. The dangers may come near, but he pushes them away with no effort at all.
As Christians, one moment we can feel loved like never before, and even safe in his arms, at least when the "demons" are small and the problems seem far away, but then all of a sudden it can change. Why do we tremble when the giants come near, do we forget whose arms are around us?
When a giant the size of Paul Bunyan's Blue Ox stomps beside us with fierce flames coming from his nostrils and dreadful terror surrounding him, we freeze and tremble. But our Father's arms are still around us. God's power is so far above that of our enemies' that our Daddy laughs at the threat and with a flick of his finger launches our enemy into outer space, light years away from us. As we stand in awe of Daddy's infinite power, our foe explodes from distant space like a supernova so large it lights the sky. God is bigger than ANY problem, ANY foe.
The troubles of this life are not worthy to be compared to the glory that shall be revealed.
When troubles and fears, doubts and accusations assail your mind, just remember whose child you are, and the great place He is preparing. While we were yet sinners Christ died for the ungodly. Now that we are in His arms, what good thing will He hold back from his children? What enemy will He let near his beloved?
Your own strength is no defense against so great an enemy, and your anger can't fix the broken life, but the arms of our Father protect the life and soothe the heart of man. He knows what we need, He made us. Though sinful and proud, He saved us.
(Selah is a word from the Psalms that means pause and reflect on that)