Wednesday, May 6, 2009


I know I have been distant on the REVIVE blog. All my attention and time have been going here instead. So, I have resorted to posting videos and quoting others rather than posting my own stuff. I do intend to jump back on board soon and pour out from my heart in blog posts about what God is doing to REVIVE His Bride! But for now...I'll continue to use the help of others for my this one:

By Kerry Hasenbalg

".....just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless." - Ephesians 5:25-27

If you have spent even a short time in the orphan and adoption field, you have undoubtedly heard the Scripture verse found in James 1:27, "Pure and undefiled religion that God our Father accepts is the care for orphans and widows in their trouble and to keep oneself unspotted by the world." Although it is the most quoted passage in the Christian adoption and orphan care community, I believe it is one of the least practiced. Allow me to explain.

A friend of mine was out leading a four-wheeling expedition, and immediately following the outing, he came to our house to lead a small group Bible Study. When he arrived, he stared talking to me in my kitchen about the study he was about to teach, but it was very difficult for me to take him seriously because he had black splotches of mud on his face. he either didn't realize the mud was there or simply didn't mind, and he would have left it on his face had I not said something to him. Perhaps because many of the others who were in that room also had gone four-wheeling and were covered in mud, it just seemed normal and was not out of place. But because I was clean and freshly showered, it seemed to me to be quite silly. How often are we like that-not even realizing we look foolish because all around us there are others who look just as dirty or worse? The Word says that those who compare themselves to themselves are not wise.

Psalm 1:1 reveals that there truly is a progression of becoming more and more like the world and that it is possible to not even realize it is happening. "Blessed is the man that walks not in the council of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers." Walking, stopping and standing, and finally sitting down. It starts by just taking a bit of worldly counsel, moves to taking on some of the world's ways, and ends with us taking our place at the table to dine, completely comfortable in lives that displease God.

Much of the church is filled with man-pleasers who are unwilling to point out the mud that has splattered on our faces in the course of life, and too many are more interested in being like and accepted by men than being accepted by God. Yet, the Word reveals that God is preparing an acceptable Bride, without spot or blemish, to present to His Son! This is not about being perfect, it is about recognizing the mud on our faces and confessing our sins to a God who declares that He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Caring for orphans and widows and being unspotted by the world is not an either/or option. Some ask, "why has the evangelical church not stepped up to care for orphans and widows," but let us also ask ourselves, "why have we also not chosen to have the muddy spots of the world continually cleansed by God?" Is it the God of mammon we are busy worshiping? Is it that envy, competition, or selfish ambition are present? Or is it that we are not even aware that we are dirty because we are hard pressed to find someone among us who is choosing to be set apart unto holiness? I used to think I was very generous, until I realized that I was comparing myself to those who were stingy. Let us not compare ourselves to one another, for God has given us the great example, His Son, Jesus!

Take a few minutes and ask God to search your heart and reveal anything in your life that needs to be confessed, an way that you have a been spotted by the world. In what ways can you be set apart unto holiness? What steps can you take today to care for orphans and widows while remaining unspotted by the world?

(from my devotional, Seeds of Change)


Friday, May 1, 2009

Think Of Me