June 9

Today's Bible Readings
     Deuteronomy 13-14
     Psalms 99-101
     Isaiah 41
     Revelation 11 
''Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." (Isaiah 41:10)
            I confess that even though the Scripture exhorts me to never fear, the greatest fear is failure. We live in a success­oriented culture, and failure has become the unforgivable sin in that culture. The fear of failure has caused many to forfeit the race of life. The failure to deal with failure is the guarantee of failure. Only One has never failed, and He is able to overcome our fear of failure.
            The truth is, the Bible is a book of biographies of men who failed miserably. They are men that God changed and turned from failure to success.
            Adam was the first great failure, and Adam was the first man to be saved. Abraham lied and failed miserably, but he was the father of the Jews. Aaronled the people in idolatry, yet he became the father of the priestly line. Moses was presumptuous and was not able to enter the Promised Land. He failed, but he became the greatest leader of Israel. Samson failed because of lust, but he became Israel's mightiest warrior.
            David failed through adultery and lying, but he became Israel's greatest king. Peter failed by denying Jesus, but Simon the Weak became Peter the Rock. John Mark failed in the first missionary journey, but he became a great missionary statesmen, and wrote one of the four Gospels.
            You may feel like you have failed, but your failure does not have to defeat you. To fail is one thing, but to be a failure is another thing. God promises to strengthen and help you. Are you afraid today? Look at Jonahin the belly of the fish, surrounded by gastric juices and sucked-in seaweed. I would call him a failure, but soon he is a successful preacher at Ninevah.
            Look at Daniel in the Lion's Den. Jonahhad been swallowed, and Daniel was about to be. He can smell the breath of the lions, but his successful career spans the reign of four kings. Look at Joseph in the pit, that chalky hole in the hot desert. His brothers are laughing at him, and getting ready to sell him into slavery. He is a failure. Joseph, a failure, became Prime Minister of Egypt, and saved two cultures from starvation.
            Who is the biggest failure in all of history? Why, it was Jesus. When they crucified Him and laid Him in that tomb, the world thought He was a failure. It was Friday...butSundaywas coming!
            On Resurrection morning, He came out of that grave alive. That same resurrection power is available to you. The resurrection makes winners out of losers. His power can turn your failure into success. Listen to Him - He says, ''Fear not, for I am with you."
Another of the three Baltic states that we need to focus on in prayer is Lithuania. The situation in Lithuaniais basically the same as in Latviaand Estonia.Lithuaniais another country where expatriates have a great opportunity to make an impact within the country. Pray for God to send these in as His own special missionaries. Again, trained leadership is essential, and the specialized ministries of radio, student ministries, and Christian literature is essential at this time in Lithuania.
''I would rather fail in a cause I know some day will triumph, than to win in a cause that I know some day will fail."
Woodrow Wilson