An Expected End

Jeremiah 29:11 -For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Most Christians have heard or read this scripture. I know it’s a favorite amongst the people I know. 

It is a scripture often shared in the midst of confusion, disappointment and times of waiting on the Lord. In it, the prophet Jeremiah writes to the people in captivity these encouraging words that God has them on His mind. He is thinking good thoughts towards them, thoughts of peace; with a future and a hope in mind for them.

What I find interesting is that this letter was probably read by Daniel, Hannaniah, Mishael, and Azariah. Jeremiah basically tells them to live a full life while in captivity because they will be there for seventy years. They are told to build houses, get married, have children, and to let their children do the same. So in the midst of their captivity in Babylon they are told that they may as well get comfortable because they are not going anywhere, anytime soon. And yet, God has a plan to bring them good and not evil, to take them somewhere!

Isn’t it  interesting in life how we can find ourselves in an uncomfortable place or situation and we can’t settle down because we just want out.  Daniel and the three Hebrew boys, (as they known) were in captivity, not of their own making, but captive nonetheless. And from reading the book of Daniel, we can see they had a profound commitment to the Lord. But they were in captivity where it seemed that their dreams had come to an end. Then they hear these words from the prophet Jeremiah! “Use this time wisely! Build yourselves a family! Buy a home and get a career because I have a plan for you to bring you to the place that I have always had in mind for you!” (My own paraphrasing, of course!)

I have been teaching for about 13 years now and when I began this job, I prayed and asked God’s permission before moving in this direction. While it has not all been bad, I have never truly gotten settled in the job, thereby, hindering myself and limiting myself in what I am experiencing in my “career”. My heart wants to be free to do ministry work, but my financial situation dictates that I have a job. There are times when I literally feel as if I am in bondage.

And yet, even if it is true, God says, “flourish!” God tells me that He has a future and a hope for me. I like the KJV that ends this verse with: “to give you an expected end”.  That is my focus. The expected end. I am not where I want to be, doing what I want to do, but I know God has somewhere He is taking me.

Visions, dreams, words of encouragement all have me in this amazing place of ministry, touching the lives of God’s people like Maria Woolworth-Etter, Kathryn Kulhman, and Smith Wigglesworth did in the early 1900s. But my reality has me in the classroom redirecting disrespectful kids, creating lesson plans that rarely work like I envision, and jumping through hoops in a system that is designed to squeeze every ounce of our creativity and individuality out of us and the students that they can get. It’s challenging to see God’s plan! 

And yet, because He is my God, my Lord, and my Savior, I choose to continue to trust Him. To believe that in spite of what I see, hear, and experience on a daily basis in the workplace, He has an expected end for me. And so my assignment is to flourish in my environment and demonstrate the love and power of God to those in it.                                                                                             

So on the flip side of the aggravating parts of my job are some real positives. I have touched the lives of many children in a positive way! Just this year alone, I reached out to a student who previously was tortured by the enemy in her mind, causing her to pass out when she was filled with anxiety. During report card pick up, her father expressed his appreciating, even mentioning that these attacks had ceased as a result of my relationship with her. Praise God! I remember a student who wouldn’t talk in public because of her intense fear of her life situation, but after a few weeks in my class, she began talking, interacting with other students and eventually shared what was happening in her life so that we were able to get her some help!

As a working woman I can identify with the vast majority of the world when I preach, understanding the challenges and frustrations of living out the principles of  Christianity in the workforce. I have real life examples that are constantly happening before me and with me to keep a spice in my teachings and sermons and help me to connect with the audience. I have learned how to adjust to different audiences as I have to teach different students, different grades, and different contents on a regular basis. And mostly, I have first hand knowledge of the real world experiences that are plaguing our society, keeping ever before  me that people truly need the Lord! 

So! Am I thrilled with where I am at in life? Not really! But I have made a decision to flourish where I am at while I wait for God to bring me to my expected end! And as long as that is my heart, the “captivity” will be a place of “great exploits” and not a place of “deep disappointments!” Wonderful Jesus!

Will God Cancel Debt?

“Having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.-Colossians 2:14

I am well aware that this scripture is referring to the debt cancelling of our sins at Calvary! I am a recipient of that debt cancellation and I am eternally grateful!

Recently, I have been challenged to believe that it means more than the cancellation of the debt of sin, but also the debt of finances.

I read it in the NASB, which is the version I have placed above and when I did it resonated in my spirit. God cancels certificates of debt consisting of decrees agains us! Wow! And I don’t know about you but I have debt of decrees against me: (mortgage, school loans). And let me go on record as saying, we are faithful in fulfilling our responsibility to pay these loans off! No one who takes out a loan should willfully forfeit on that loan. We are to honorable people before the world as representatives of Christ!

Having said that, I am becoming more convinced that God will cancel financial debt and I have heard many testimonies of debt cancellation and have even experienced it personally. When I was pregnant with our second daughter we didn’t have health insurance. So we paid the gynecologist and the hospital for a normal birth. Well, it wasn’t normal and she was placed in neonatal ICU. The bills were great! However, the hospital told us of a program where we might be able to get some financial help. When it was all over with, they took care of the entire medical bill and gave us all of our money back. Hallelujah!!

A member of my family was in college and had a huge student loan debt of over $200,000. Her debt was cancelled (meaning she didn’t have to pay it) when someone else paid it in full for her!

A couple weeks ago our church experienced debt cancellation in a similar manner. A lawyer called our pastor for a meeting. In the meeting, our pastor was given a check large enough to pay off our church (debt cancellation) and purchase some much needed updates for the building! Isn’t He wonderful!! The giver of the finances had never met our pastor, and he had never met that individual. But God can do whatever He wants to do to bless His people. Glory!

So, as I have meditated on this verse of scripture, I will reiterate that I fully understand what Paul was referring to, but I must say that I believe even more so today that God doesn’t just cancel debts of sin, but debts we can believe Him for! As a congregation, we have been paying our mortgage and believing for God to supernaturally pay off our mortgage! And He did!

I know people don’t believe in the prosperity of the gospel, but then, this is only for the believers. Jesus Himself said, “If thou can believe…!” Wonderful Jesus!

A Good Father!

Psalm 89:26 – He shall cry to Me, ‘You are  my Father, My God, and the rock of my salvation.’

Father’s Day around here was a joyful event. My daughters insisted on us going out to lunch with their dad on Saturday, and then I had to cook dinner on Sunday for him. They bought his favorite pie: banana cream pie, purchased him some gifts and lavished the love on him. He’s a good daddy!! Although our daughters are all in their twenties, they are still daddy’s girls. It’s a joy to watch their relationship, to see their love.  

As they were growing up, he was very involved in their lives. He took them to the park, helped with homework, took them to movies, sat on their bedsides to chat with them, and counseled them through life. A girl couldn’t ask for a better earthly father,

But the most important thing he did for them was to let them know that he relied not on his strength and wisdom but on the strength and wisdom of his Heavenly Father. He lived and continue to live a life that says, “Father God, I’m trusting you with this!” Again, he’s a good father!! Each of them have accepted Jesus as Savior and also know Him as Father!

As I have thought about writing my post this week, all I wanted to write about was two things: the father my husband has been to our daughters, and the Father God has been to me!

Over the years, I can say that God is truly, ABBA Father to me! I can’t imagine where my life would be today if I had not given it to Him so many years ago. Just like my girls, I love my Father! Our relationship is special to both of us! 

We go for a lot of walks together! He listens to my quirky conversations, and my heart’s cry! He’s always there for me when no one else is. I depend on Him to counsel me, to console me, to straighten me out.  Just whatever!!

I can be myself with Him!! I don’t have to talk religious talk to Him or pretend to be what I am not. He loves me as I am while gently molding me into what He wants me to be. Who wouldn’t love Him? He is my Father, my God, and the rock of my salvation!”

Chris Tomlin and Housefire sings a song, “Good, Good Father!” I love singing that to Him because He is so good to me, and has been all of my life. 

There was a time I thought I had to serve Him so He wouldn’t zap me, but I have learned over the years that His love is tender and always available to me. Although I fear Him still, it is a fear of reverence, not a fear that says I am scared of Him. 

I feel like I am rambling. But the bottom line is that God my Father loves me passionately and I am delighted that I woke up to that truth! So I thank God for the wonderful father that He gave our girls and for being such a loving Father to all of us! Wonderful Jesus!

There’s Another Way!

And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.-1 Samuel 30:6

Whenever I feel a need for encouragement I think of this scripture.

David is heralded as the greatest king of Israel, but he wasn’t always loved and honored as such. As a matter of fact, he was a man who was often rejected, criticized or attacked.

As a young boy, he was sent to shepherd the sheep. And when Samuel came to anoint one of Jesse’s sons as king, he wasn’t even invited to the dinner. Remember, Samuel asked Jesse for all of his sons, yet David wasn’t there?

And then there was the time when he played for Saul, and although Saul enjoyed and was soothed by his music, Saul threw a weapon at him.

David’s wife rejected him. David’s brothers talked about him when Jesse sent him to check on them. He was running from Saul when he was in Ziklag. He delivered a city and thought they would protect him, but God told him they would not.

Every where he turned, he was met with constant disappointments. And even in this passage, the men who came to him with no hope, who were now warriors because of his leadership, wanted to stone him.

Can you imagine this feeling of overwhelming grief and fear for your life at the same time you are experiencing heart wrenching betrayal? I can promise you at this point, I would have had a pity party! But not David! The scriptures let us know that he encouraged himself in the Lord!

He couldn’t go to his friends, they were part of the problem! He couldn’t go to his family, they had been kidnapped; and he couldn’t go to his pastor because he was running for his life. But there was One who was with him that he could go to and count on, His Lord!!

What do you think he did? I think he did the same things he did when he was out watching those sheep. I believe he sang a few psalms to the Lord, and worship the God whom he had come to love and trust in. I believe he took his eyes off of his problems and focused them on the Lord his God. And then he prayed and asked God what to do about the situation!

Have you heard the song, “Turn Your Eyes on Jesus”? Here’s the first stanza: “Oh soul, are you weary and troubled? No light in the darkness you see? There is light when you look at the Savior! And life more abundant and free! So turn your eyes on Jesus! Look full in His wonderful face! And the things of this earth will grow strangely dim, in the Light of His Glory and Grace!”

David could have easily penned this song for I believe it is what he did. He took his eyes off the problem and put them on His God. He understood the greatness of His God! After all, he killed the lion and the bear with his hands! After all, he slew Goliath in the name of His God!! After all, God had used him to turn a band of misfits into giant slayers! After all, he knew where His help had always come from, and so he encouraged himself in the Lord!

When you are young, I think you have a greater need to talk things out with people. But as you get older, you tend (at least I do) to talk more with the Lord! There are some things that happen that friends and family may empathize with, but only God can work out! There are some things that can be talked about, but only God can fix them! There are some hurts that only He can heal.

Suicide is on the rise. People are taking their own lives because of the hurts and disappointments that they have to deal with. David might have experienced the same temptation, but he didn’t do it. He didn’t allow his emotions and circumstances to dictate his actions. No! He went to Lord and found encouragement!

Please know that there is help in Jesus! He’s the Lord of all comfort and the Healer of all hurts! Oh how I wish that people all over knew of His great love for them. How I wish that we could all learn to encourage ourselves in Him when things get rough! I am praying that those who read these words will learn to find encouragement in the presence of a wonderful and loving God. Wonderful Jesus!

The Children’s Bread

“But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” -Matthew 15:26

As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, I have learned that Christians say a lot of things that they have no idea why they are saying it. As a matter of fact, when I was teaching the discipleship class at church, I would often ask people to explain sayings to me like: “saved by grace”, “sanctified”, or “the righteousness of God” to make sure we were all on the same page.

Recently I preached a message that referred to “the children’s bread” and thought it would be a good idea to explain what it means in case you have heard the phrase but have not understood it. The Bible does say that in all of our getting we are to get understanding.

In the above verse Jesus makes the comment that it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs. The background to this verse is that a Gentile woman has come to Him for her daughter’s healing and He makes this statement to her implying that healing belongs to the “children”.

I heard a wonderful story  that illustrates this point: Pastor Bill Winston shared that he went to get some ribs. The lady ahead of him got her order, but as she was leaving she decided to check it to make sure that everything was present. When she looked inside she apparently didn’t see her bread, so she walked back to the counter and asked, “Does bread come with this?”

Now here’s the point that Jesus was making: Healing is a part of the benefit package of salvation. There are numerous scriptures where this truth is mentioned besides in Matthew: Psalm 103:1-3 and Isaiah 53:4-5 are my personal favorites. In other words, if you are a child of God, according John 1:12, then “bread” (your healing) comes with your salvation! It’s in there!!

Years passed before I understood that this was not just a phrase people pulled out of a passage and turned into a cliche, but a profound Bible truth! Healing belongs to those who are born of the Spirit of God, it is their right! It is your right, if you are a child of God! So don’t let the devil tell you differently, no matter whose voice he’s using to do so! Just tell him that Jesus decreed that “bread comes with that” and you want your bread!! Just like the lady in this story went and let it be known that she was expecting bread with her meal and so wanted it,  we have to understand that God is expecting us to be just as bold about getting our healing!

Just as you wouldn’t settle for part of what you pay for at a restaurant or grocery store, don’t settle for part of what Jesus paid for with His blood! Healing comes with your salvation, it’s the children’s bread! So the next time you read this verse or hear this saying, you can say, “I have a clearer understanding of what Jesus was talking about!” I know I do! Wonderful Jesus!!

 

 

 

 

 

Leave the Water Pot

The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” Then they went out of the city and came to Him.-John 4:28-30 

Years ago the Lord gave me this message to share in a women’s fellowship. At that time, I was in school, working, in ministry at my church, with three girls in school. My plate was full!

But also at this time, I had some friends under the attack of the enemy. He was going for the jugular vein, so to speak. They were in crisis mode, and I was exhausted with the must dos of life.

When I was asked to speak the Lord led me to this passage. 

What can easily be overlooked is the background of what is happening. This woman came out to draw water when she knew no one else would be there because she was an adulterous woman. She had already had five husbands and was living with a man. She couldn’t have been very popular with the women. 

Water is very important in our lives, and it had to be in hers. When she came to the well, she just wanted to get her water and return to her life as quickly and quietly as possible. In the natural.

But I believe she was crying out in her heart! Wanting a change, needing a change, and not knowing how to go about that change. Yes, she was a woman with questionable character, but she was also woman who was being abused by the men in her town. Her heart was aching.

Then she met Jesus! Wonderful Savior! He touched her in places her husbands and her lover was incapable of touching. And she, who was an outcast in society, was so blessed by her encounter she had to tell someone. And what did she do?

She left her water pot. The same water pot that she needed to bring water into her home for living, she left! The same water that was so important to her that she went to draw it in the heat of the day. Yes, that water! But she left that water pot and the water at the well and she went to tell the town about Jesus!

The Holy Spirit showed me how the water pot represented the important things in our lives. Just like she needed that water, we need to feed and clothe our families, we need to do our jobs, we need to clean our houses, and work in ministry (we are all called to some type of ministry), and be wives, husbands, moms, friends, etc… But no matter how busy things get, there are going to be times in our lives when we have to leave what is important to us, to do what is important to Him.

Although it came with great sacrifice, I became that listening ear, that sounding board, that voice of encouragement, that prayer warrior, often times with little strength left in me. And some how it got done, or we were able to make do without it. 

The woman at the well led her entire village to Jesus because she was so enthralled with Him that she forgot about her own needs long enough to realize that her village had a greater need; to meet the Messiah! I was instrumental in helping a family that was struggling in their faith, their finances, and their marriage, to keep their eyes on Jesus. The last time we spoke, about two years ago, they were doing well in every area of life! To God be the glory!

With all that I have on my plate still, it is sometimes difficult to pull away and be available to someone, not because of ministry responsibilities but because He has given me a sphere of influence in that life, and I’m the one they need to reach out to them.  It’s not always easy, but He doesn’t always call us to the easy life. People are hurting and they need the Lord. They need to know that He cares, He heals, He forgives, He delivers, He is Messiah!

When was the last time you left your water pot to meet someone’s need that was greater than yours. Yes, you need certain things in life, and so do your family; but there are times when someone will need you more because it is literally a matter of life and death, eternally!  

Because He reminded me of this tonight, I thought I would blog about it. Maybe you needed the reminder also! Wonderful Jesus!

Nothing is Impossible!

For with God nothing will be impossible.”-Luke 1:37 

I heard a wonderful sermon preached from this scripture by Pastor Jentezen Franklin a while ago, and it was just brought back to my remembrance today, so I thought that I would post about it.

If you have ever read the account of the Angel Gabriel’s visit to Mary, the mother of Jesus, these words are familiar to you. And typically when we read them or hear them, we view them in the same way: God is the God of the impossible. There is nothing ( no thing) that He cannot do! And this is absolutely true!!

The birth of Jesus was an impossible feat because a young woman gave birth without the assistance of a man. Only God could accomplish that! As a matter of fact, creation could only exist because of the Creator. Only God could cause the water of a large sea to part, or command the sun to stand still, or raise the dead, or save an individual from hell eternally, to name a few! And what a wonderful, powerful encouragement this scripture is to all who grasp it.

What was unique about his message was that he also spoke on another truth that these few words have within them. Not only is there no thing that is impossible for God, but that “nothing” (doing absolutely nothing) is impossible for God. Now that lit my fire!

Often times we petition the God of impossibilities with our needs and concerns, then walk away from that time in prayer feeling like nothing happened. Time goes on and we see no change in the situation or circumstance and we think, nothing happened. But the truth of the matter is that it is impossible for God to do nothing!!

When we pray, and believe what we pray, God responds! It is impossible for Him to not respond! Even if things haven’t changed in the natural, He is responding, so keep believing. 

We wanted a bigger house, and the plan when we purchased our home was to put a second floor on top. We got an architect, got the plans drawn, applied for a permit and ran into a snag. The project was stopped. Or so we thought! Almost 17 years later, the project moved forward and was completed. We had many opportunities during those year to doubt that it would come to pass, but God was working. Let me tell you some of the things He did!

Our neighbors had a problem with something in our plans, so we decided not to push the matter, to trust that God would bring them around. Relations were stilted for a while, but eventually we began to have a cordial relationship again. As we were neighborly and walked in love, God was changing hearts. (Ours included!) He was also putting people in place to help us to do the work. When it was time, our neighbors were in agreement, the workers had been met and were willing to work on the project, (often times at significant discounts), the finances were available and the wisdom and knowledge needed to do the project was available. 

We thought nothing was happening, for 17 years! But God was happening. He kept bringing people in our lives until the time came when we knew it was the right time to move forward. We saved thousands of dollars because of the right people doing the job the right way at the right time. We made purchases for our home that should have cost much more than they did! Only God could have orchestrated things the way they were put together. And that is just a tip of the iceberg of the things we experienced!

So when I heard this message, and of course I am being brief, it resonated with my soul, causing me to recognize the truth of this statement: It’s IMPOSSIBLE for God to NOTHING on our behalf! He is always moving, causing things to work out for us! As I came in today from laughing with my neighbors, I remembered how God worked things out with them and my soul rejoiced!

He is a good God, a mighty good God, and for Him to do nothing about our situations and circumstances is impossible! We just need to wait and see what the end is going to be while trusting that He is moving on our behalf! Wonderful Jesus!

Worth It All!

The day is ending and we’ve celebrated another Mother’s Day! It came with all of the expected traditions of the day: church, gifts, and dinner with family. Always a wonderful part of the day!

But I can’t help sometimes wondering if it is also becoming a day of great commercialism. Restaurants are filled to capacity and often booked weeks in advance. Greeting card sales soar! And malls are packed as people search for the perfect gift for mom.

And it’s no wonder! Everyone knows that a mother is the heartbeat of the home!

I didn’t grow up with a mom; although my sister did the best she could for us, making sure we stayed together, but she wasn’t mom. And when I was expecting my first child, I was a little concerned about the type of mom that I wanted to be.

So of course, I wanted to be to my children all the things I had missed in not having a mom. I wanted to make sure I was a part of their school life. I wanted to know their friends and their friends parents. I wanted to teach them how to read and write, and handle hurts and disappointments. I wanted to be their confidant, while remaining their mom. I wanted them to have piano lessons because the girl across the street from me had a piano, but I didn’t.  I wanted to teach them to love the Lord my God and how to serve Him. I wanted to teach them how to have a great self-esteem…and the list goes on.

A tall order to say the least. And one not possible without the help of the Holy Spirit! As a matter of fact, not every fully accomplished.  Some times we had take out or a frozen meal! Some times things weren’t picked up! And some times I wasn’t in the “I’m so glad to see you” mood when I walked in the door and they weren’t getting along for whatever reason. We were far from perfect, and I found out that I didn’t have to be; but we created a wonderful home for them and taught them to love God. We made sacrifices so that they could have a better life than we had; and loving each other so that they could see a healthy relationship-well, that part was easy.

What blesses me most, is knowing that we have raised first and foremost, godly young women; beautiful in the sight of the Lord! And they are doing well! Every mother wants to know her children, at any age, are doing well! And even though I didn’t do all that was in my heart to do for them, they turned out alright in the end.

I guess what I’m saying is, that moms aren’t perfect. We have unrealistic expectations of ourselves and of our children, and sometimes we get it all wrong! But with God’s help, we do  the best that we can to love our children and teach them to love our Father. And when it’s all said and done, Mother’s Day is simply a reminder, that it is worth it all! Wonderful Jesus!

 

A Word from God

And now, Lord, You are God, and have promised this goodness to Your servant. Now You have been pleased to bless the house of Your servant, that it may continue before You forever; for You have blessed it, O Lord, and it shall be blessed forever.” 1 Chronicles 17:26-27 

As I read these words tonight they resonated in my spirit. 

David wanted to build a house for God and Nathan, the prophet, told him to do all that was in his heart for God was with him. However, Nathan had a dream and God spoke to him about David.

When Nathan gave David the word from the Lord, it wasn’t the same word the prophet had given. As a matter of fact, God vetoed David’s plan to build Him a house and told David that He would build him a kingdom that would last forever! This blew David’s mind! After hearing this word of prophecy I noticed that there were a couple things that he did:

First, he prayed and thanked God for the word spoken to him by Nathan. “O Lord, there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears.” David acknowledges that there is no God like our God and there is no other God besides Him. He’s worshipping God and giving Him praise.

Second, he accepted that word and agreed that it would come pass. And it most certainly did. “And now, O Lord, the word which You have spoken concerning Your servant and concerning his house, let it be established forever, and do as You have said.” David told God basically, “Go ahead God and establish you word and do what you said!”

I got to thinking about the things that have been shared with me in dreams, or things that were shared with me, by a person I highly respected in the faith, as a word from the Lord. Then I thought of my past responses.

I’m always excited about that word. Every one wants to hear a word from the Lord. But I don’t often pray over that word and come in agreement with it like David did. But lately, I’ve had a stirring in my spirit about some things that God has said to me and my soul leapt when I read this chapter tonight!!

David said to the Lord, “You have promised this goodness to Your servant, to bless the house of your servant, and it shall be blessed!” Wow! It shall be blessed! It shall be done! Not it might be done, but it shall be done!

The promises of God, in His word, are more powerful than that of the prophetic being pronounced over an individual. (Although I certainly believe in the prophetic ministry.) The Bible is a more sure word of prophecy and we should endeavor to accept it as such. But how often do we neglect to embrace the truth of that word?

I was just ministering on the subject of “Healing through Redemption”. A “take God at His word” approach to healing. As I prayed with the people, I encouraged them to take God at His word. And some have testified to being healed, and others will! Glory to God!

Yet I know that there are still areas in my life where I have not fully trusted the word of God spoken over my life, and where I have struggled to accept it and say “be it done unto me with unwavering faith! But tonight my heart leapt as I read of David’s attitude about what God said to Him. And I know that God has just spoken to me!

Daily I have been giving Him thanks for the promotion He has given me and I tell Him I know it is so. But today I was feeling a little silly about it. But reading this tonight, without any searching for this particular topic as I read the Word, I receive it for what it is! A word from God to continue to give Him praise and declare that it will surely come to pass when the devil tries to convince me differently.

Maybe you too are in a place where you need to be encouraged to continue to trust God in spite of what you do not see because of what He said He will do for you! Well, let this passage encourage you as it did me, and agree like David that God will surely bring it to pass! Wonderful Jesus!

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week

They sent their disciples to Him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are sincere and that You teach the way of God truthfully, without concerning Yourself about [what] anyone [thinks or says of Your teachings]; for You are impartial and do not seek anyone’s favor [and You treat all people alike, regardless of status].-Matthew 22:16 

I was looking for a verse to encourage teachers, when I read this one. I think it’s perfect.  A very big part of Jesus’ ministry was teaching, so we as educators are following in His footsteps. 

The scripture  above said that Jesus was a sincere teacher and He taught truth. Every great Bible teacher knows the importance of teaching truth. As we prepare to get before people in Sunday school or bible studies all over the world, we study to give truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

As we prepare to enter a classroom, we want to teach our content correctly because we want our students to learn, even if we have to rethink that lesson and reteach that lesson for them to do so.

Jesus taught irrespective to what anyone thought of Him. Daily teachers go into the classroom in spite of the negative publicity that say we are overpaid and under qualified. We go in spite of politicians using us as their springboard for the next seat in government. We go in spite of parents who suggest that we don’t care or we are trying to fail their child. And we go in spite of the fact that it seems we can never do enough to prove that we are giving it our all.  So again, we are just like Jesus. He taught truth and He taught faithfully inspite of the fact that they wanted to kill Him for it. No has wanted to kill me yet, I don’t think!

We are impartial. I remember my first year as a teacher. A famous rapper had a daughter at our school and she just happened to be in my class. When I was told about them, I didn’t get impressed. I had 28 students to teach. There was no room for favoring a child because of her parentage. Any nationality, any religious affiliation or lack thereof, any social status or lack thereof, rich, middle class and in poverty, the good, the bad, and the gifted…it doesn’t matter because we will teach you if you are sitting before us. 

Over the years I have endeavored to treat all of my students with love and respect. Sometimes I missed the mark, but it was always the goal. I work with a lot of teachers and I see their heart. For the most part, they show up to do their jobs without partiality. And many of them do it quite well!

When I applied for entrance into the education program at my universe they asked me why did I want to teach, and before I could respond they told me not to say because I love children. I obviously said something to impress them I got in and graduated.

After all these years I understand what they were saying. A great teacher doesn’t teach because they love children, although they may, they teach because they love to teach. My passion is to teach. Not that we are allowed to just teach, because if we were, we would. But that’s my passion. Especially in the church. Especially the word of God. 

So to all my fellow teachers who teach because you love to teach, remember, so did Jesus. Rather you teach at your church, in a school, or in a world wide ministry or university, you are important, you are special, and you are doing a work that Jesus did when He was on this earth.

I felt someone needed to tell you that in spite of your difficulties and challenges; or your lack of supplies and support, or your lack of engaged students, or your lack of pay, or your long hours (no one knows about but us) or your cushy position that you finally got after 30 years of service; I am proud to be numbered among you. In the church and in the school room. You are important to the world that constantly wants to beat you up; but you keep going, you keep trying, you keep teaching, and you deserve every gift and word of encouragement that comes your way this week. Keep up the good work! Wonderful Jesus!