The Mission Does It Right!
August 1, 2017
Over the last few weeks I’ve had the opportunity to speak on Wednesday mornings at The Mission here in Bakersfield. This has given me an opportunity to observe what great programs they have. When we think of The Mission we often think only of their ministry to the homeless, but as I’ve discovered they are so much more than that. They also have an excellent year long rehabilitation program for those struggling with various addictions plus many ways to help individuals get back on their feet with jobs, apartments, and support groups in the community.
The men that I have been teaching on Wednesday mornings are very attentive, teachable, and inquisitive regarding how to live as a strong witness of the change God has brought about in their lives. It encourages me to see the way the leadership deals with these men and women who have come to a point in their lives where they feel almost hopeless that things are going to change and improve. They listen to them, encourage them, and help them find ways to make good decisions to do those things that are helpful in their integration back into society in a positive way. I’ve discovered that The Mission is doing it right!
GOD, HELP ME! The other morning I had one of those moments as I was reading Psalms when I was struck by the words, “steadfast and willing.” The passage reads, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from you presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” Psalms 51:10-12. What struck me about this passage were the words, “renew a steadfast spirit within me”, and “grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.” When I looked up “steadfast” in the dictionary it said, “unchanging, steady, loyal, constant.” When I looked up the word “willing” it said, “to decide on, to choose, to yearn for, desire.” As I thought about this, I realized that in order to be steadfast and willing in my journey with God I was going to need God to show me how to do this because I could not be willing and steadfast in my own fleshly power.
I turned over to Proverbs and just happened to be reading in chapter 3. As I was reading He began to answer my question, “God, how do I do this?” I’m going to take a little editorial license here but I think you will get the point. He begins in verse one with, “My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart.” My response was okay, but why? He continues, “for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity.” This is good I can understand this. Then He says, “let love and faithfulness never leave you.” Again I’m thinking why, ” Because you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.” By this time I’m becoming very interested. As I continue to read He says; “do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.” Why? “Because this will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.” Health and nourishment, that’s good, I like this, so I read on. “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops.” Okay, what’s the benefit? “Then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.”
Then He ends with, “my son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke.” Why? “Because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.” I’m thinking wow, this is great stuff! God shares with us His wisdom, and shows us exactly how it will affect us. If you heed His counsel, this is what will result. Doesn’t it make sense that if you don’t, what you will reap will be the opposite of the good that God desires for you? What was exciting for me was when I fully began to realize that when we ask God to help us be steadfast and willing in our walk, He has already provided not only wise counsel but the benefits of relationship with Him as our loving Father.
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Thank you for your continued support of Wholeness Ministries. We continue to see God do exciting things and there is much on the horizon we will share with you in the coming months.