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Please enjoy the Daily Devotions for November.
Each day, a new devotion will be listed at the top of this page.

To view previous month: October

November 22
That is the Gospel of Jesus!

One of the delights of reading Scripture with a small group is that sooner or later God shows up in an observation, a question, or in our mutual effort to make sense of a biblical text.

A while back I met with several students to consider the significance of two incidents in the life of Jesus: the anointing by a sinful woman in Luke 7 and His meeting with Zacchaeus in chapter 19. In the first incident, Jesus was invited to a Pharisee’s home for a meal. While there, a weeping, “immoral woman” knelt before Him and poured expensive perfume on His feet.

Jesus responded: “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”

In the second encounter, Jesus spotted Zacchaeus while passing through Jericho on the way to Jerusalem. A short man, Zacchaeus had climbed a Sycamore tree to see what was happening. To everyone’s surprise Jesus invited Himself to lodge at Zacchaeus’s house. Later, Zacchaeus pledged to make up for his extortion with promises of repayments and gifts to the poor.

As our discussions were drawing to a close, one student observed that, from his perspective, both the woman and Zacchaeus were dishonest in their expressions of repentance. He thought Jesus should have known better than to fall for their false sincerity.

As we concluded our study the realization of perhaps the most central theme of the texts hit me:

That is the Gospel of Jesus! He didn’t fall for anything, but offered forgiveness regardless of the speaker’s sincerity. He promises hope and deliverance to the unlikely, the unacceptable, even those we may perceive to be unworthy.

Reflection:

When you turn to Jesus in the midst of your most desperate state, He welcomes you unconditionally. You don’t have to pass a sincerity test. You need only be open to the free gift He offers.


Luke 19:9-10   

Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”

Submitted by: Scott, North Carolina

November 21
The Gentle Weapon


Reflection:

Men, in particular, often shy away from describing “gentleness” among their major attributes. Yet combined with kindness, gentleness can be one of the most visible ways of revealing Christ’s presence in a person’s life. Jesus was gentle and kind in a way that spilled over into His dealings with everyone He met––especially those whom the world tends to cast aside. It is never too late to ask Him for ways to share His gentleness and kindness with others.



1 Peter 3:15-16

Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way.
Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ.

November 20
New Life

How do we know when someone is a Christian? The Bible tells us clearly that the Holy Spirit produces these fruits—characteristics and behaviors—in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, (Galatians 5:22-23).

But is there something else? Does a person’s countenance reveal the joy that a belief in and relationship with God brings? Many Christians would testify to this. Our staff member, Tim, describes his experience when he visited an international student and his family.

“I went to see Kang and his family before they returned to China. After reading through Genesis with Kang and his wife, Mei, Mei became a Christian. Soon, the entire family became believers, and all five—Kang, Mei, Xiu, the baby and Mei’s mother were baptized on Sunday! The real shock was looking into Kang’s eyes. I saw the presence of Life itself. It was the same feeling as when I am fishing and the fly line pulls at my hand, or something breathes beside me in the darkness. It’s always shocking to meet life where I thought I was alone.”

Tim and Kang use Skype to study the Bible and pray together. Of course Kang was alive before he became a Christian, but was he living in the way that God had meant for us to live? When we become Christians and know that we are now saved, is there a joy that shines through our eyes? For people who don’t know about our new salvation, perhaps there is something different, but nothing they could put their finger on. For people who are believers themselves, perhaps the spirit recognizes the new indwelling of the Holy Spirit in our brother and sister.


Reflection:

We should ask ourselves if the light of the Holy Spirit shines through us. Do others know that we are Christians by our fruits? It’s so easy as life happens to lose that spark and become apathetic. But we can examine our hearts and pray that the Lord will renew our spirit and reignite our zeal for Him.



Matthew 6:22
Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light.

Submitted by: Tim, Missouri

November 19
Don’t Hate the Sinner


It is not easy to live as a Muslim student in the United States. New students continue to come here as the evening news programs run stories about protestors marching at Ground Zero, Islamic terrorists making threats, and pastors burning Korans. Many Middle Eastern students feel unwelcome in America and sense that everyone here regards them as potential terrorists.

People have good reasons for those suspicions. Islam requires unconditional submission to the Koran, which teaches salvation by works. Many Muslims justify acts of violence and reward these acts for promoting the spread of Islam.

Does that make Muslims our enemy? No! God created them in His image, and He loves them. He gave His Son for their salvation. The enemy uses world religions and philosophies as his weapons against the resurrection and Lordship of Christ. The only way we can make a difference in this spiritual battle is by living out the love of Christ and the truth of the Gospel…one person at a time.

On campus, we continue to make progress with our Muslim friends. We had three Muslim Ph.D. students stay with us until they could find housing. We took two of them to church the first Sunday, and they have continued going on their own ever since. They asked for Bibles, too.

In spite of the tension between Muslims and the Western world, there shouldn't be tension from Christians. Burning the Koran does not do any good. Instead, we should initiate respectful discussions about the Koran and the Bible and trust God to open their hearts and minds to the truth.


Reflection:

May our welcome and interaction with people from the Middle East let them know that we do not judge or hate them. When we pray, let us remember that we do not battle against people but against the devil and his evil lies.


Ephesians 6:12
For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.


Submitted by: Dan, Oregon

November 18
Lives Well Lived

Reflection:

When we reach our final days on earth, our thoughts will not linger on money, jobs, errands, or the countless tasks that consume so many of our waking hours. Instead, the love we have shared with friends, loved ones, and even complete strangers will linger with us––and inspire those who watch us depart. Those who have made their lives an outpouring of that love remind us that every day is a new opportunity for each of us to do the same.


II Timothy 4:6-8

As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.

November 17
Goals

Four months after his arrival in the United States, Timothy finally gathered enough courage to approach his instructor after class to ask, “How can I become a Christian?” In his mind, he equated American with Christian, and assumed any American could answer this question. He had come to the United States with a goal.

The instructor referred Timothy to a school administrator who passed him along to me and another pastor friend. I remember feeling amazed that God had brought this student all the way to the United States, already hungry for Jesus! We met with Timothy over a cup of coffee and spoke at great length about Jesus and Christianity. Over the next few months, we continued to meet with Timothy. When we finally heard his whole story, we sat back in awe to see how God had been at work in his life over the course of many years before he even arrived in the United States. Only now, in looking back, could Timothy see how all the pieces fit together.

Meanwhile, Timothy has struggled greatly with his English language skills. In addition to finding out about Jesus, he had set goals to finish a bachelor’s and master’s degree in the United States. His biggest obstacle seemed to be English—especially listening and understanding what he heard. We began meeting together weekly not only to study the Bible, but to work on improving his English at the same time. Timothy feels he has almost reached the decision to undergo baptism, and we continue to pray that he will progress in his faith, as well as his language skills so he can accomplish all the goals he set for himself in the United States.

Reflection:

You may have to guide conversations to bring up Jesus and salvation, but every once in a while someone will approach you with a hunger that surprises you. Be ready for each and every situation and clearly share the way to engage in a relationship with God.


Romans 10:9-10
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.

Submitted by: Matt, Oregon

November 16
The Hidden Value of a Broken Clutch

Reflection:

Andy did not swerve over and stop that day to reach someone for Christ; he was merely being a good citizen. Yet, God (who sees both present and future) knew that Andy’s act of kindness would bear great fruit. We invest so much in the personal roadmap of our lives that we may forget that the Author of our lives sees our destination long before we do. We only see one turn ahead, but He sees the whole picture.


Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

November 15
With or Without

We originally met when Aran arrived to do graduate work in our city; he and his wife lived here two years. During their two-year stay, the Lord blessed them with their first child, and they delighted in becoming parents.  As well, Aran had found a personal relationship with Jesus Christ during his undergraduate studies in Texas. Before moving to California to pursue graduate studies, he had led his entire extended family to Christ and had also become established in Christian Officer’s Fellowship in his military unit back home. Now that he had finished his postgraduate studies in America, he had accepted a position as a United Nations Peacekeeper in a war-torn African country.

However, Aran had a problem.  When the time came for them to leave, they knew they could not expect their next living conditions to measure up to the standards they had recently enjoyed. After completing his undergraduate and graduate studies in the United States, Aran had become accustomed to the comforts of our western culture. He enjoyed a nice apartment with electricity and hot water. A friend had given him a car to drive, and he enjoyed living in a place with fresh air and very little pollution.  His stipend from the American government covered food for himself and his family. In short, his experience as an international student had spoiled him, but he had to move on.

“I admit that I’m weak. I’d like to stay in this place [America]. We have so much here, and yet I know that God wants me to go,” Aran acknowledged to me.

Many international students experience struggles when they leave the material wealth (that many Americans take for granted) and return to their home countries. In some other countries, these students only have electricity on certain days of the week, or very polluted air and/or water. Also, floods, storms, or other disasters cause severe damage to many economies and infrastructures of countries around the world.

I received an email from Aran once he had moved to Africa, “I pray and read the Word every day. I am thankful to Him for His strength; He has given me constant guidance through many situations here. The change was tremendous for me when I went from a paradise like California to this war-torn country. Through this transformation, He spoke to me and showed me many things. Soon, I started looking at things differently. I met many local believers who, despite hardships, have not lost joy and peace in their hearts."


Reflection:

God blesses some with material wealth while others suffer great depravity. Yet, He calls us to serve Him with joy and gratitude whether we possess much or little. Following the Lord when He asks us to endure hardship requires humility and fortitude, but we know that in every circumstance He will give us the strength and resources to do whatever He asks.


Philippians 4:11-13

Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

Submitted by: Dale, California

November 14
Another Perspective


Americans have so much. Still, many of us live from paycheck to paycheck, watching our money disappear as fast as we deposit it in the bank. It can be discouraging.

Or it could mean our perspective needs to change.

Meet Mutende, a student from Zambia who recently shared a meal in our home. While here, his wife gave birth to his daughter and he looks forward to returning home soon and meeting her for the first time.

Mutende grew up as an orphan. Today, he has a job in the cement and construction industry. But instead of relishing the fruits of his labor, he lives on only 20 percent of his income. He sends the other 80 percent to Zambia to build an orphanage!

Here is a man who knows the difference between being in want and being content. He shares what God has gifted him out of a heart of compassion.   

Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.

Reflection:

Do you have all you need or do you always want more? The Apostle Paul stated we have to learn to be content, implying it doesn’t come easily. So start small. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen or donate money to an international project or provide a meal for a student in need. It doesn’t have to be big if it comes from the heart.



Philippians 4:11
Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.

Submitted by: Karen, California

November 13
Finding Yolanda

When Yolanda first joined my conversation class on Monday evenings, I couldn't tell whether she was a guy or a girl. She wore her hat pulled low over her short hair and part of her face, and her baggy shirt and jeans gave nothing away. But, I could see her loneliness, and that she needed a friend.

Referred by her ESL teacher, Yolanda became a regular attendee at our Monday conversation classes, and soon began to come to our Friday ICF, and various other activities as well. Gradually she started warming up to people and spiritual things. She shared more and more with me, especially during the activities. Once, during a visit to the Bronx Botanic Garden, she asked me if I thought she should fly back home and talk with her "girlfriend" about not being together anymore, since she was getting to know the Lord. I told her I thought this would be something the Lord would want her to do.

I could see how the Lord had begun changing her heart and life from darkness to light. Yolanda spoke very honestly and boldly about the changes in her self. She shared her testimony at the church she attended, and got baptized. She became a great help during Friday ICF meetings, helping me prepare dinner, and talking with and ministering to other students, especially from her country. She even attended a Discipleship Conference.

I felt sad, but not surprised when the Lord led her back home after a few years. I felt confident the Lord would work through her greatly! Even though she had a difficult time with her family when she first returned, she kept growing and continued her work as a nurse. Before long, the Lord led her to a Christian college, and after she finished, Yolanda prepared for a career in medical missions in the Middle East. Several of us have had the privilege of visiting her there, and seeing the Lord at work in her life.



Reflection:

The Lord’s work in an individual’s life is not always obvious to those around them. It can be slow, subtle and/or personal. But sometimes when He works in a heart and life, we stand amazed at the transformation He makes possible. What a privilege to see His hand at work, turning a life around! And what a blessing to see the ripple effect because of that changed life!


I Peter 2:9
But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.


Submitted by: Marion, New York

November 12
Coincidence? Not on Your Life…

Reflection:

We humans are so mired in the realm of our five senses that it is difficult, even for those who have followed Christ a very long time, to remember the Holy Spirit’s constant work in preparing hearts for the Gospel. It is so easy to believe that our words, our boldness, and our passion win hearts to Him––forgetting sometimes that God prepares hearts and orchestrates events long before we ever meet those to whom we witness. What a relief it is to trust in Him.



1 Corinthians 2:10-12

No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.

November 11
The Pleasure of God in the Fame of His Name!

God takes great pleasure in His name being famous---in His name being proclaimed in all the earth throughout each and every generation. The Lord God will not forsake His people (you and me), not because of our wonderfulness but for His name’s sake: 

“For the Lord will not forsake his people, for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you a people for himself,” 1 Samuel 12:22, ESV.

In the eternal counsel of God, it has pleased Him to link our eternal future with the glory and honor of His name. He has chosen to link His reputation in heaven and on earth with our entering into heaven itself.

Praise God that our eternal destiny does not depend on us. It depends on God’s honoring of Himself. We are the beneficiaries of God Almighty as He does not forsake us. Absolutely phenomenal!  


Reflection:

So, when you entreat the Lord to hear your prayers, bring to Him your petitions with a plea to grant your request for His Great Name’s sake. “In the name of Jesus, hear my cry for the glory of Your name, Lord.”


 

Psalms 106:7-8, ESV
Our fathers, when they were in Egypt, did not consider your wondrous works; they did not remember the abundance of your steadfast love, but rebelled by the sea, at the Red Sea. Yet he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make known his mighty power.

Submitted by: Ed, North Carolina

November 10
The Student Becomes the Teacher

Reflection:

One of the great paradoxes of our faith is how the almighty Creator of the universe chose humility and servant-hood as the hallmarks of His relations with us. He became one of us---a poor and humble human at that. No wonder He exalts and lifts up those who place themselves last among men.

 

Matthew 20:16

“So those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last.”

November 9
An Every Day God

 

Coming from a Hindu family, I did not know anything about Christianity and had never read the Bible. When I came to the United States, I got matched up with a family in Wichita; they began to share what a difference God made in their everyday lives. They encouraged me to do Bible Study with them and even took me to church.

All of this triggered my curiosity, so I began reading the Bible to know the differences between Hinduism and Christianity. My American family advised me to start in Matthew, but I did not even know if Matthew was a person, place, or thing! So, I decided to start back at the beginning, in Genesis, and I learned things about God I never knew before. I saw that He spoke to Abraham and Moses and that He helped His people come out of Egypt as He guided them every day. I wondered, "Does God really do that?" My mother is a strong believer in the Hindu gods, but I never heard her say that God will speak to you and support you in every day life. Intrigued, I kept reading.

During the week, I would feel stressed about work and my studies. But when I came to church on Sunday, everyone welcomed me with open, loving arms. I felt so fortunate to have one peaceful day a week with these wonderful people. Why did I feel so good about going to church but so guilty about myself? Even when I could keep myself from talking badly, I could not control my bad thoughts. I knew I needed God to change me on the inside, but I did not feel good enough to have a relationship with Him.

Finally, I learned and realized that my sin separates me from God, and the only way I can connect to Him is through Jesus. Being sinless Himself, Jesus took my sin and suffered separation from God, so I could have a relationship I did not deserve. Before this revelation, I had signed up for personal development classes to learn independence, goal setting, and life skills. However, when I realized that the whole purpose of life is to have a relationship with God through faith in Jesus, it released me from obligation. Christianity made it clear that Jesus did everything, so I could know God.

I heard on the radio about letting God sit on the throne of my life. When I asked what this meant, I loved the answer. Letting go of my own will and trusting God for everything seemed like a wonderful way to live. Sometimes, I still get stressed over a problem, but then I remember to talk to God about it and He calms my mind. Pretty soon, I think of a solution.

For example, three days before I was scheduled to start a new job, I still did not have the government card I needed. Without that card, I would lose the job. Thankfully, God reminded me that my life belongs to Him, so I prayed and gave the whole situation to God, trusting that either way, He was in control. The next day, my card came through! My faith grew.


Reflection:

What a blessing to have a God who wants a relationship with us! He came to where we live and became one of us, so we could have a real relationship with Him, the God of the universe! He cares about our lives---the simple, everyday stuff. He wants to be part of it all—invite Him into the details of your life.


Psalm 37:23-24

The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.


Submitted by: Dick, Kansas

November 8
An Anchor

 The following excerpt from a recent email sent by one of the Japanese students I worked with during her days in Nevada has greatly encouraged my heart and vision:

 “These days, I keep thinking about you and the great experiences I had with you. I just want to say thank you…Do you remember when you took me to your church and I cried in the car on the way home? I even remember what the pastor talked about that day; it was about [the] Anchor of Faith. Since then, I kept looking for my anchor, but every time I thought I found my anchor, I realized it’s not reliable, and [is only temporary].

  “I started thinking to find [a] church here; after all the turmoil [of my return], I am ready to face God…It is just amazing how He has led me through these troubled years since I left the US. After I talked to you on Skype and you gave me some verses from the Bible, I started to feel different. I kept them on a notebook and read them whenever I needed strength and energy. I have learned to be patient and faithful [through the hard times]. I feel more stable because I believe God loves me and is always with me. He removed my burden! I am thanking God everyday! Now I will go to the church I found in my city! I met a girl who goes there and she will introduce me to her friends.

 “I recently came across a passage in 1 Peter 4 talking about how each of us has received personal gifts from God. This motivates me to work sincerely using my God-given gift(s). I am not yet sure what my gift is, but I believe there is something I can contribute to the society and I am so excited!”



Reflection:

How exciting it is to see understanding, growth and maturity in those you have encouraged and nurtured in their quest for God, truth or fulfillment. When Jesus meets the needs and feeds the souls of others, we rejoice with them for what God will do as they pursue Him.


I Peter 4:10
God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve on another.

Submitted by: Kris, Nevada

November 7
Putting Him First


Reflection:

God honors those who put Him first. What have you done lately to show God how He comes first in your life? Would you give up all the world’s attractions just to know Him better? Knowing Him is worth more than all the world’s enticements. Yet, ironically, He often bestows great blessings to those who show that they would throw them all away for Him.



Matthew 6:33
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

November 6
Never Give Up

Recently, I have seen God at work in the lives of our Muslim friends. One young couple, for instance, joined us for Thanksgiving. This allowed us to get to know them better. Imagine our joy when they later asked to attend Christmas Eve service with us! They heard the Gospel message that night and I pray the Holy Spirit touched their lives for eternity.

Another blessing occurred when I suggested to my friend, Reja, that she read the Gospel of Luke. And she did! Then she, too, requested to participate in the Christmas Eve service and the get-together at our house afterwards.

Reja often asks me to pray for her. So I do—right on the phone. And I continue to pray for her salvation.

God hasn’t given up on anyone. Why should we?


Reflection:

It’s never too late for God to soften someone’s heart toward spiritual truth. Continue to pray and be open to the people He places on your heart. Then let Him surprise you with His effectiveness. He will see His will accomplished . . . often despite us! Still, it never hurts to keep praying.


   
2 Peter 3:9
The Lord isn’t really being slow about His promise, as some people think. No, He is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.

Submitted by: Karen, California

November 5
Pass It On

Pat comes from Thailand, where less than 1% of the people claim Christianity. Her sister led her to Christ not long before she left for California to obtain her master’s degree in communications. There she met an ISI couple who poured love and encouragement into her life. They lived out Christian values and priorities that helped her grow in her faith. Then, when she completed her master’s degree, Pat spent a year attending a US Bible college where she realized she wanted to return to Thailand to “do something more meaningful for my people.”

Upon her return to Thailand, Pat worked with several ministries as a journalist and editor as God continued to build her skills and put the pieces together so she could have a significant impact on the Christian community there. Now, she sees her current role, as a free-lance translator for a Christian publisher, as a strategic and vital link in communicating the Gospel to Thailand and helping current believers grow. In addition to translating books, Pat also translates articles for magazines and does interpreting for various evangelistic outreaches.

She says, “I feel the things that I’m doing now are very crucial in terms of laying groundwork and educating Thai Christians. In Thailand, Christian resources are very limited. Everything has to be translated. We have very few resources. Good Thai pastors are overworked and don’t have time to write their own books. All the books that have been translated have been such a great blessing and in some cases groundbreaking for the spiritual growth of Thailand … In the country that is so spiritually dark, I believe these books are helping to kindle the light in many Christians’ lives…”

There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us. A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.

Reflection:

God has uniquely qualified and prepared you for a role in His kingdom. Listen to His guidance and follow through on what He has called you to do.



I Corinthians 12:4-7
There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us. A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.

November 4
Come One, Come All

Isabel came to our area as a visiting English professor from Asia. She joined in our Bible studies and participated both intellectually and socially. As a member of the Communist party back home, she stated that she wasn’t able to become a Christian, but expressed hope for her mother who would soon join her in America.

Sure enough, when her mother and young daughter arrived, they all began to attend our events. They made friends in the local Chinese church and attended regularly. Isabel’s mother, Teri, had a tender heart and before long, put her faith in Jesus.  Praying together regularly, the little family read the Bible daily to learn more about God. Isabel’s daughter, Lisa, enjoyed Sunday School and truly took the Bible lessons to heart.

Teri decided she wanted to be baptized and asked me to do it for her at our church. Although she did not speak English, we could all see her genuine love for the Lord. When the day came, Isabel told me that she had also put her faith in the Lord and wanted to be baptized, as well. She did not know how to proceed in her new faith in regards to her life back home, but she wanted to take the step then.

Following their baptisms, Isabel and Teri continued to participate in Bible studies in their Chinese church and with us.  When it came time to go back home, they both would be going back to non-Christian husbands, and this concerned them greatly. We had several very serious discussions about living out their new roles as Christian wives.

Just two weeks before their departure, Isabel’s daughter, Lisa (age 7), decided that she wanted to experience baptism as well.  She had faithfully attended Sunday school at the Chinese Church, and the pastor felt convinced that she understood what her decision meant.  What an honor to have witnessed three generations of Asian women’s lives ushered into the Kingdom of God!

We continue to pray for these dear ones as they live out their faith with their families back home. 


Reflection:

God moves and works in hearts, regardless of one’s background, age, ethnicity, or politics. He wants all people to come to know Him. Do we see each and every person we encounter as a potential child of God, or do we talk ourselves out of reaching certain people who seem too young, too political, or too _______?


I Timothy 2:1, 3-4
I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them, intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them …This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.

Submitted by: Dale, Washington

November 3
China’s Most Fascinating Secret!


Reflection:

Even the spiritually lost recognize the intrinsic value of morality and righteous living in a society. This is why the Chinese government has freely admitted its need for expertise in nurturing the ethical development of its people. Amazingly, their need is so great that they will even tacitly admit its source is none other than God Himself. The Lord is the source for all morality and truth! Pray for this open door.



2 Timothy 3:16

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness…

November 2
A Matter of Multiplication

As the new missions coordinator for our adult Sunday School class, Liz wanted to support our work with international students, so she agreed to coordinate a Thanksgiving Dinner for the students at our local university. The idea was to let students experience the traditional foods of an American Thanksgiving, as well as to explain to our international friends a little about the historical significance of Thanksgiving to the American people.

Like a good organizer, Liz sent around a sign-up sheet for the food items we would need for the celebration several weeks before the event. She even contacted another class to help out with some of the “holes” in the signup sheet. Still, she worried we might not have enough food. She kept asking us how many students we expected, but since we honestly didn’t know, we weren’t much help in reassuring her. We told her to trust God that the food would feed whoever showed up. We tried to sound confident and encouraging, but we secretly wondered if God could pull this off.

The day of the big event arrived. Many volunteers from our class had come to decorate the tables in the Baptist Student Ministry building that had graciously agreed to host our event. The ladies took charge of the food as it came in, organizing everything on the serving tables. The men stocked the drink table and organized the plates and utensils.

Excitement rose when the first few students began trickling in. We cheerfully filled their plates, and they eagerly filled the festively decorated tables to sample traditional American Thanksgiving food. Our excitement soon turned to concern as the line of students kept growing and growing. Liz informed us that at one point the line snaked around the building with students still coming. How could a menu planned for 75 people feed what turned out to be about 200? Would we run out? At what point should we start turning students away?

We continued to serve everyone who came through the line that night. Unbelievably, every single student who showed up got served Thanksgiving fare. We even had enough left over for the volunteers to eat! Does that sound familiar?

Since then, Liz has helped coordinate many more Thanksgiving dinners, and she doesn’t even worry anymore about the food running out. In all her years of putting on this event, it has never happened! In fact, we often have enough left over to make a donation to the night shelter in our city.


Reflection:

This experience gave us a little taste of how the disciples must have felt when Jesus told them to feed the 5,000 who had come to hear Him. Imagine their surprise when everyone ate their fill, and they even gathered up leftovers! God showed us that He can provide today just as He did back then. What big thing do you need to trust God for today?



Matthew 14:20

They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftovers. About 5,000 men were fed that day, in addition to all the women and children.

Submitted by: Lisa, Texas

November 1

Psalm 136:1-9

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
His faithful love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods.
His faithful love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords.
His faithful love endures forever.
Give thanks to Him who alone does mighty miracles.
His faithful love endures forever.
Give thanks to Him who made the heavens so skillfully.
His faithful love endures forever.
Give thanks to Him who placed the earth among the waters.
His faithful love endures forever.
 
Give thanks to Him who made the heavenly lights—
His faithful love endures forever.
 the sun to rule the day,
His faithful love endures forever.
and the moon and stars to rule the night.
His faithful love endures forever.

Reflection:

God proves His faithfulness in many ways, but one of the most obvious is in seeing His hand in nature. Still, do you really need a reason to thank Him for His unfailing, unwavering, unconditional love?

His faith love endures forever—that’s a promise you can count on!

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