Signs, Wonders, and Shortcomings . . .

Don’t put your life in the hands of experts
who know nothing of life, of salvation life.
Mere humans don’t have what it takes;
when they die, their projects die with them.
Instead, get help from the God of Jacob,
put your hope in God and know real blessing!
God made sky and soil,  sea and all the fish in it.
He always does what he says; he defends the wronged,  he feeds the hungry. God frees prisoners— he gives sight to the blind,  he lifts up the fallen. God loves good people, protects strangers, takes the side of orphans and widows,
but makes short work of the wicked.
God‘s in charge—always.  Zion’s God is God for good! Hallelujah!(Psalm 146:3-10)

The change of administrations in the US, and the arrival of a new, younger, smarter, more saavy president has many of us hoping for an inevitable end to the current economic, international, and domestic crises.

Those expectations have been seriously compromised by President Obama’s reversal of the ban on international abortion funding by the US. Family planning I get, wellness programs for mothers and infants I get, but abortion? How is the re-institution of a global  genocide (destruction of 945,000,000 children, 1920-2005) ever a righteous solution to population issues?

Happily, believers have solid ‘trust’ options! We are disciples of a God who always comes through for us–albeit sometimes his answers and our desires are different, but He’s forever faithful–our trust in Him is warranted.

Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;  he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

In my own faith community, Christian Life Assembly, our leaders have recently mobilized a comprehensive program to deal locally with our region’s multiple-crises needs. The program includes family and individual financial counseling and support, clothing, a food bank, and access to donated community-based professional services and to individual CLA volunteer services. Believers at CLA are organizing to walk the talk.

It’s what Jesus admonished us *all* to do–remember?

When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:

“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.

“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.

“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.

“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.(Mattheww 5:1-9)

“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, thenHe will sit on His glorious throne.

“All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats;

and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.

“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;

naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’

“Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink?

‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You?

‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’

“The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’

“Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;

for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink;

I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’

“Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’

“Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’

“These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”(Mattheew 25:31-46)

If ever the world needed REAL DISCIPLES–the healing, delivering, restoring, forgiving, merciful, supportive, Welcome-to-His-Kingdom, need-a-hand-up? kind, it is now. Are you willing to be His hands, feet, shoulders, and heart to a seriously hurting world? Are you willing to make a radical choice to be His REAL Disciple?

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.

“He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.

“These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues;

they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.

And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed. And they promptly reported all these instructions to Peter and his companions. And after that, Jesus Himself sent out through them from east to west the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation. (Mark 16:15-20)

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