MARCH 15

Today's Bible Readings
     Exodus 26
     Proverbs 2
     John 5
     Galatians 1
 
MEMORIZE TODAY
''But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb and called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me that I might preach Him among the Gentiles...'' (Galatians 1:15-16)
 
WHEN IT PLEASED GOD
            The Apostle Paul was absolutely overwhelmed with the thought that a sovereign and Holy God would be pleased to call him and to reveal Himself through him. In my own walk with God I never cease to be amazed that a Holy God not only made me a new creation through regeneration but He chose me as an instrument to reveal His Son in me. That is incredible and amazing.
            As servants of God, we must learn to make room for Him - to give God ''elbow room." We plan, predict, and strategize, but we forget to make room for God to move in as He chooses. How wonderful when God comes into our meeting or into our preaching in a way we never expected Him to come. We must never expect God to come in a particular way, but we must look for Him to come. The way to make room for Him is to expect Him to come but not in a certain way. When we expect it and it ''pleases Him'', He will move in.
            We must keep our lives so constantly in touch with God that His surprising power can break through at any point.     We must live in a constant state of expectancy and leave room for God to come in as He decides. When it pleases God to use us, we are a rare people most privileged. Our service to Him is the overflow, which pours from a life filled with love and devotion. When I receive Him and respond to His call, it pleases Him for the two of us to become one in service. The Son of God reveals Himself in me and out of devotion to Him service becomes my everyday way of life.
            The text says ''it is God's pleasure to reveal His Son." His pleasure is not found in exalting the vessel, but in revealing His Son in the vessel. This is possible because of the presence of the Holy Spirit who has been placed within us   to energize us to be a vessel through which the Son of God is revealed. It is all about Him, not us.
            If it pleases God to reveal His Son through me, then it must please me to be a hidden vessel while His Glory passes by. We must say with John, ''He must increase and I must decrease."  This is the essence of His call upon our lives...to   reveal His Son in me!
 
PRAY FOR THE WORLD
            Our prayer focus today is the Dominican Republic in Latin America. This country is characterized by great poverty among its 9 million inhabitants. Growth in the early 1970's has been replaced by devastating decline prompted by world recessions, a growing bureaucracy, and a corrupt government spending freely on costly prestige projects. Although the 90's have seen some improvement throughout industry and tourism, 40% live in deep poverty, and unemployment is still near 25%. Evangelical and spiritual growth has been a wonderful answer to prayer. Here in the 90's, the number of evangelical churches increased from about 2,000 to 3,200. The major challenges confronting our prayers today are that the church there will have the ability to keep those who were converted, and will be able to cultivate a missions’ vision despite the evasive poverty. This is a country that we need to pray for spiritually and economically.
 
A WORD FOR YOUR WORLD TODAY
''There are three things I would like to have seen. They are these:
            Jesus in the flesh
            Imperial Rome in its splendor
            Paul preaching''
Augustine