Do you love Me more than these?

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I have been contemplating this question a lot over the past week. For me, one of the biggest struggles with moving overseas and serving in Latvia is leaving my family and friends. I know I will be able to see them via Skype, and when we return to reconnect, but just the thought of knowing I will be halfway around the world without them close scares me sometimes. This is a big issue that I have had to work through over the years, but as things are becoming more of a reality that fear has been slipping back in. I hear the doubts of the tempter as he tries to discourage me away from the calling God has placed on our lives. And as the doubts come, I hear the still small voice asking, “Do you love Me more than these?” I reply, “Yes, Lord. I love You more.” “Then, follow me,” He gently responds. This is a continual process, as I work through my doubts and fears.

During this process, I was reminded of a couple interactions Jesus had with people desiring to follow Him. In Matthew 8:18-22, Matthew writes:

Now when Jesus saw a crowd around him, he gave orders to go over to the other side. And a scribe came up and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” Another of the disciples said to him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.” (ESV)

These two men desired to follow Christ. One was asked to give up comforts; while, the other closeness of family. Ultimately, Jesus was calling them to decide. Would they follow Him no matter the cost? Would their allegiance to Him be above everything else?

Do you love Me more than these? Are you willing to follow Me where I lead? Do you trust Me? God is calling me to Latvia, and I will follow.

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~Thoughts from Tim

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Simplify Your Life: Investing in Eternity

 

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We have been challenged lately on the topic of investment. When we come to the end of our lives, what will really matter? Although Nordstrom would have us believe it, I can tell you we won’t be regretting what we didn’t buy. Last weekend, David Carroll from Gospel for Asia spoke at Salem Heights Church. He told story after story of people in the most spiritually dark parts of the world giving their lives for the Gospel. Willingly accepting death and persecution so that others would know life. And was it worth it? They thought so. People now know Christ and are saved because of their sacrifice.

In light of Eternity, the thought of spending our lives merely accumulating things seems amazingly empty. So many souls in this world live without hope, without peace, without knowing the redemption from their sin and guilt that is available to them. In fact approximately 2 out of every 5 people in our world have never heard the Gospel. Meanwhile, in America, we hold the wealth that could enable faithful workers to go into these dark places in the world with the light of the Gospel. 

Families that make more than $10,000 a year (that probably includes all of us) are wealthier than 84% of the world. Those that make $50,000 a year make more than 99% of the world. What does that mean for American Christians? We are in a unique position to impact the world for Eternity. If we chose to simplify our lives even a little so that others would have the opportunity to hear the Gospel, we could make a HUGE impact in our world. We challenge you to pray that God would give you eyes to see the world in light of Eternity. How can you use the resources God has given you to impact the world? Maybe you can support a missionary, or give towards a ministry that reaches out to the most vulnerable and poor in the world. Maybe God will call you to go, or to pray.

We have been personally challenged as we realized how often we think about providing for our own comforts. We have justified our desires so many times over the needs of others. We need God to give us a fresh view of His perspective. We desire to invest our lives in people, who are of eternal value, and in the end, we will only regret that we did not give more for our Savior.