I read about bristlecone pines and found myself with new appreciation for our precious missionaries that take the Great Commission literally (as we all should).
Bristlecone pines are so interesting. They are highly resilient to harsh weather & bad soils.
“Bristlecone pines tend to occupy new ground. They do very well where most other plants cannot grow such as in rocky soils in areas with virtually no rainfall.” (“The Secret of the Bristlecone Pine” Homiletics, July 2002)Please pray for our spiritual bristlecone pines as they occupy new ground. These men and women thrive where most of us could not. They move to places where God’s Word often falls on rocky soil & they may see very little fruit for their efforts.
Pray for their effectiveness, resilience, & safety.
Lutzer, Erwin W. The Cross in the Shadow of the Crescent: an Informed Response to Islam’s War with Christianity. 37969th ed. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2013. (Chapter 6)
“The Secret of the Bristlecone Pine” July 2002, Homiletics, pp. 21-23.
You remember in old Westerns, pioneers would be traveling in a covered wagon caravan and then there would be a threat of some kind, so they would circle the wagons to protect themselves?
It was a great defensive tactic. However, the longer they stayed in that circle, the more dangerous the situation would become. Enemies could mount up, encircle their circle, and wait them out.
Most importantly: Forward progress would be totally stopped.
Have our churches been in a holding pattern of “circling the wagons?” Have we been on the defense to the exclusion of progress? Have we become so obsessed with our own safety, that we’ve lost all forward momentum?
Have we become inwardly-focused rather than outward?
Look, I know that we are under attack today. God’s Word makes it unmistakably clear that we are engaged in a spiritual war whether we realize it or not (2 Cor. 10:3-6; Eph. 6:12). Circling the wagons is sometimes necessary, but it should only be a temporary move, not a permanent one!
Yes, we get together (the infamous “holy huddle”), pray for each other, and help each other (Gal. 6:2): REGROUP!
But then, we are commanded to head “West” again with the Gospel message!
Ref: John Simmons, “Circle The Wagons?” Dec/Jan issue of the WV Baptist Newsletter 2017/18.
Take a second and look down at your feet. Do you have shoes on? I have prayed a lot of prayers, but never once have I prayed for God to give me a pair of shoes. Have you?
In fact, I have lots of shoes. I have more shoes than one person needs or should have.
Could it be that we are spoiled? God has so richly blessed us and now we are spoiled rotten? We are so incredibly blessed; just look in your closet and weep at God’s provisions.
“God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” – 2 Cor. 9:8
Rather than bickering and complaining like little kids about all the things God is not doing for us, let’s try to thank Him for the mountains and mountains of blessings He has already given us.
In your prayers this morning, did you ask God to please give you some shoes so that you could stop going barefoot? Yeah, me neither.
“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.” – 1 Chronicles 16:34.
Thank you, Lord Jesus. Thank you.