Friday, September 18, 2015

Soli Deo Gloria

The more I get to know God in my relationship the more I'm realizing that He is just as much interested in the "little" things in my life as He is in the "big" things.

I remember one time I was planning a Bible study devotional and was all set to share it with the group when I learned that one of our cell groups was going to serve at the homeless shelter in our city the same night I was scheduled to bring the devotional.

I really love going to the shelter and showing God's love in a tangible way, so I arranged for another person to cover for me that night and I went to the shelter. So, on the night that it was my turn to share the study in the place of the guy who switched with me I was getting ready to go to the church when my daughter came home from school and shared an answer to prayer with me, that was such a vivid example of how God cares about all things.

You see, as she was heading to school on the bus she suddenly realized that she had an overdue book at the library and that it was going to cost her a quarter to pay the fine. She didn't have a quarter on her so she did what she does best...she prayed.

One of the things I love about my daughter is her sensitive spirit towards God especially as it relates to praying. She prays for me all the time! When I was traveling and speaking all the time I could always count on her saying "I'm praying for you daddy", and even now that I'm speaking every week, I can always count on her praying.

So, when she recounted her answer to prayer story I was glued to what she was saying.

She said that when she realized she owed a quarter and she didn't have one she prayed something like… "God, I don't know how you're going to do it, but I really need you to answer my prayer request. You see, I have an overdue library fine and it's due today, and I don't have a quarter to pay it. I know you can do it, I don't know how but I trust you. Thank you for always taking care of me."

What happened next is such a testament to the faith of a child and the powerful response of her loving Savior.

She got off the bus and entered her school and as she was going in the boy in front of her stopped, bent down and picked up a quarter off the ground and proceeded to say "free quarter, free quarter anyone want a free quarter?"

I wish you could have seen the joy and excitement in her face and voice as she BRAGGED on how awesome God is!

I love the fact that God is interested in the "little" things as well as the "big" things in our lives, which by the way was the theme of the Bible study I was getting ready to head out the door and go deliver at the Church.

Yep, the same Bible study I was supposed to deliver a few weeks earlier, but got put on hold so I could go to the homeless shelter. God's timing is impeccable, and as I shared Serena's answer to prayer with the group it gave my Bible study a whole new level of personal application!

 God and God alone can do stuff like that! (Soli Deo Gloria)

I've also seen Him at work in the lives of people who have come face to face with real life, earth shattering decisions and after much prayer and counsel have decided to go God's way even though it's going to require much sacrifice. These people energize and inspire me, and I'm so thankful to have the privilege of serving in a Church where God's way is proclaimed!

Who are these people you ask?

Well, two of them were members of our baptism class that were faced with a difficult decision. Follow the Lord by being baptized publicly proclaiming that they are followers of Jesus and set themselves up for future banishment, disowning and persecution when they return home, or not go through with it.

Where is home? China...Why the risk? They are members of the Chinese Communist party which enables them to be gainfully employed back home. If they go public with their new found faith in Christ, they will be in big trouble.

Guess what...they did it! They counted the cost, prayed about it, sought counsel, prayed some more and boldly in the name of Christ identified themselves with their about inspiring!

God and God alone can do stuff like that! (Soli Deo Gloria)

God has been working and it's so awesome to see how He is creatively changing people's lives.

Another time right before the worship service one of our Deacons pulled me aside and introduced me to a lady who recently came to know Jesus as her Savior.

He translated our conversation as she spoke Mandarin. She said that she had recently started following Jesus and wanted to give Him everything.

She owns a Sushi restaurant in our city and wanted me and the Deacon to come to her restaurant to remove all the IDOLS that were everywhere inside the place.

She said "I'm a follower of Jesus now, these Idols have got to go!"

I stood there in awe for minute, and said "let me get this straight, you want us to come and rip down and destroy idols in your restaurant because you want to put God first in every area of your life including your business?"

She said "that's right, I also want you to pray over the restaurant, pray over me and help me dedicate this place to God's glory!"

So that's what we did, and what an incredible experience it was to stand in the middle of a sushi place surrounded by two trash bags full of broken down idols, standing with a brand new Christ follower who realizes what it means to put Him first and pray for God to bless, I'm telling you it was awesome!

God and God alone can do stuff like that! (Soli Deo Gloria)

 So, as I reflect on the many ways that God is working, I'm continually amazed at His power, His creativity and His attention to the "big" things as well as the "little" things.

All I can say is Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God Alone!)

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