09 July 2014

Restless Part 4: Wherever you are, be all there

What are your "places"?

This chapter came at the PERFECT time for me personally.  God is so cool like that!  He always has great timing.  It seems that whenever you are reading the Bible, or doing a devotional study with your group there is something that is so relevant to what you are going through.

We are still studying the life of Joseph.  We are digging deep to find out how Joseph was able to be so darn awesome when he had such awful circumstances!  He was hated by his brothers, sold into slavery, and started working for Potiphar, then falsely accused of inappropriate behavior with Potiphar's wife and thrown in prison for 10 years.

It was the prison part that got me.  How could God possibly use one of his people in PRISON for crying out loud?!  How does an innocent man in prison not grow bitter after 10 years!!!  How was Joseph able to prosper in PRISON?  How did he find favor in PRISON?  How was he so willing to use his god-given gifts in PRISON? (remember when he told the butler and the baker what their dreams meant?)

If I was Joseph and I was thrown into prison for 10 years I'm pretty sure I would not have found favor  with the guards and inn keepers.  I'm pretty sure there would be some major sulking and pouting and feeling sorry for myself.  How did Joseph know that PRISON was one of his "places?"

Jennie Allen had us read MATTHEW 28:16-20

The Great Commission

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said,“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

In this passage God gives us our job description:  This is in my own words
1. Worship God with your life
2. Make disciples of all nations (plant seeds in the lives of the people you meet)
3. Baptize them (encourage your friends, family, and people you come in contact with to be "all in" for Christ
4. Teach them to observe all things that he has commanded us (exhort others and remind them of his goodness and what he expects of us)

So basically our main job is to worship God with our lives and to plant seeds all along the way with the people we meet by sharing the greatness of who He is.  People can only see how great God is in your own personal life by the way you surrender your life to him.

Jim Elliot, the great martyr missionary said, "wherever you are, be all there!"  I know exactly what this means.  Wherever God has placed you currently do it to the best of your ability using 100 percent of your gifts and talents for the glory of God.

So, what are your places?  And by places I mean where is God using you to bring glory to himself and shine for him?  It could be your neighborhood, your workplace, your home, the gym you work out in, etc.

My "places":

My home

My blog

The grocery store

The post office

The bank

The cleaners

My homeschool group

My church

My library

My Mops group

These are my places because:

This is where I invest the most time, where I shine and use my gifts, the places I come in contact with the same people on a daily basis.  These are the places I want to be a blessing.  God has led me to these places again and again and I am doing my best to smile, be sweet, plant seeds, and be a blessing, and hopefully be able to share my faith.  What is more important than that?  I want to have an eternal perspective and be focused on an eternal purpose.

Jennie calls us to cast a vision for each of our "places".  She asks:  How might God want you to be intentional like Joseph in each place?

Then she called us to Dream, Deal, and Draw about our places (I love the homework she gives us because she really pushes us and challenges us beyond the pages of the bible and gets right into our hearts and faces.

In our group discussion today we talked about how sometimes fear keeps us from sharing our faith.  We talked about how sometimes we don't trust God enough to catch us, provide for us, or protect us when we are in scary "places".  Sometimes the place that God allows us to be in is just like in Joseph's case....sometimes it is a place we do not want to be in but we are kind of stuck there because of circumstances that we cannot control.  Our attitude and behavior is what we can control.  We discussed how impressed we were with Joseph and how even though his Place was not ideal he still used his gifts and talents and prospered there all because he loved God and wanted to honor Him.

2 Timothy 1:7 "For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."


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