This Christmas, please take time to BE with Jesus. Spend some time alone just talking to Him as if He were your best friend; after all, He is. Spend even more time NOT talking, but listening to Him talk to you through His Word. That will bless your Christmas more than any gift or family party will. Alone time with Christ is the most blessed space on Earth.
This Christmas, spend some time praying for others, not others in your ministry, but those in other places. Even if your particular area of the world is the most persecuted, most poor, most devastated, think of others. I get more requests for money that I can count. I cannot possibly give to all the requests, as my ministry depends on the call of others as well to provide the services I do for the ministries I serve. In order to do my ministry I must be a tentmaker like Paul.
In the next few months, Above and Beyond will be gearing up to expand its Bible Study ministry. We will be publishing a devotional book on Faith, we will be putting together groups of Bible studies for specific topics that have been requested. Those will be published too. Some of the monies made from those publications will be the money Above and Beyond and Beacon of Hope will use for the monetary requests we get.
Also Beacon of Hope will be reviewing resources for these ministries as we would rather teach those ministries to be “fishers” instead of fish recipients. A group with a skill to earn money on their own is more empowered to do the ministry God calls them to do.
I have heard objections to this, however, if Paul, the Apostle, could be a bi-vocational pastor, then ministries that have many people who are dependent on it, can group together for the good of their church. If they cannot, and they are always looking to others outside of their group, then the dynamic of the group must be looked at biblically.
In the book of The Acts of The Apostles, they sold everything they had and gave it to the group. I realize, just like then, the total assets of the group may be small; however, there must be some kind of craft or trade that can be used to further the good of the group.
To get things started, Above and Beyond, and Beacon of Hope will be looking for resources to enable this type of stewardship. It is not our mission to give money, it is our mission to give empowerment, that means partnership for work.
I will not be posting next week. I am spending time with my Lord and my family. I will leave you with some Scripture and some questions for you to ponder….perhaps the New Year will give you new eyes…..
In the Grip of His Grace,
Cheryl aka Chaplydia
Read 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12
A Life Pleasing to God
1 Finally, then, brothers, F10 we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to live F11 and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: F12 that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each one of you know how to control his own body F13 in holiness and honor, 5 not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. 8 Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.
9 Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, 10 for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, 11 and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, 12 so that you may live F14 properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.
- In verse 1, while Paul tells the Thessalonians that they are living well, how should they continue?
- In verses 2-7, Discuss what holiness looks like; how should we live?
- In verse 8, why is it important to live this way? Who does it hurt if we don’t?
- In verses 9-12, Paul compliments them on their love for one another, is this what your church looks like?
- Also in verses 9-12, he tells them to do more. What are those things?
- How is your church doing what Paul is asking the Thessalonians to do?
- Is your church dependent on others, rather than yourselves?
- What things are you doing as a church to gain income for the ministry?
- What are some things you haven’t tried?
- Pray, ask God to bring you ideas…
- Brainstorm to see what ideas God has given you collectively.
- E-mail Beacon of Hope with those ideas…we will pray with you and try to find resources and people to help you be self-sufficient as God calls you to be.
Merry CHRISTmas….Happy NEW Year….