June 14, 2017
It has been a good start for our team in Guatemala, with lots of opportunity this week to serve the children, learning center staff and Los Verdes community. Please continue to use the daily prayer guide for them. They return Saturday.
The prayer guides for our teams going to Swaziland and Kenya are available below. Both teams leave this Saturday.
I am currently reading the book of Ezra. There are many examples of God’s conviction on people’s hearts to act, and they did!
“In the first year of King Cyrus of Persia, the Lord fulfilled the prophecy he had given through Jeremiah. He stirred the heart of Cyrus to put this proclamation in writing and to send it throughout his kingdom:” (1:1)
“Then God stirred the hearts of the priests and Levites and the leaders of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin to go to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple of the Lord.” (1:5)
“Even though the people were afraid of the local residents, they rebuilt the altar at its old site. Then they began to sacrifice burnt offerings on the altar to the Lord each morning and evening.” (3:3)
“At that time the prophets Haggai and Zechariah son of Iddo prophesied to the Jews in Judah and Jerusalem. They prophesied in the name of the God of Israel who was over them. Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and Jeshua son of Johozadak responded by starting again to rebuild the Temple of God in Jerusalem. And the prophets of God were with them and helped them.” (5:1-2)
Ezra the scribe followed these early laborers to Jerusalem from Babylon, blessed and resourced by King Artaxerxes (7:6) to help with the rebuilding. The hard journey took 4 months, but Ezra and his large travel caravan arrived safe and sound “for the gracious hand of his God was on him.” (7:9) Ezra went because of this conviction: “Ezra had determined to study and obey the Law of the Lord and to teach those decrees and regulations to the people of Israel.” (7:10)
Has the Lord stirred your heart? Are you working through a fear? Are you needing to respond to God’s challenging teaching? Have you determined there’s something you need to do? That is how conviction by God on the heart is described in Ezra. The characters in Ezra who succeeded were the ones who acted on these godly convictions, not knowing what the outcome would be. But they knew “their God was watching over them” (5:5) and that was enough. Ezra knew “the gracious hand of his God was on him” and that was enough.
All 45 who are on mission trips this month had a conviction on their heart, and they went for it. There were so many unknowns when they signed up, but they knew that God was watching over them, and that God’s gracious hand would be on them. That was enough. They are now learning this month where these convictions will lead, how their involvement supports the ministry there, and how their lives should change upon return. Very exciting!
How is God convicting your heart? Are you ready to act? Do you know that God is watching over you and his gracious hand is on you? If so, that’s enough.