What I Don’t Have
I love traditions, and one of our family traditions is our Thanksgiving tree. Every November I set up our Thanksgiving tree in our dining room, and then throughout the month of November we write things that we are thankful for on paper leaves and hang them on our tree. Each year I love to look back through the leaves of all the previous years and am always overwhelmed at God’s goodness.
Typically, when we are asked to list what we are thankful for, we automatically think of what we have….good health, family, friends, a warm home, food, pets (our dogs always make the tree every year)…but this year I am reminded of what I don’t have for which I need to be thankful. So, here are some things that I don’t have that will be added to my Thanksgiving tree this year:
- I don’t have to walk in guilt or shame. 1 John 1:9 states, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Psalm 103:12 reminds us that “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” I honestly can say that I never wake up feeling overwhelmed by shame. I don’t go to bed at night feeling guilty. There are definitely times that I am convicted over sin in my life, but once I confess those sins to the Lord and experience cleansing, I’m done with it. I don’t have to carry a burden of guilt. Jesus took those sins to the cross, so I don’t have to walk in guilt or shame ever again.
- I don’t have to fear judgment. “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.” (John 5:24) Prior to salvation, I was under the wrath of God (Eph. 2:1, Jn. 3:36) and awaiting judgment, but my eternal life began at the moment of salvation when I passed out of death into life. Jesus took the wrath that I deserved so that I no longer have to live in fear of God’s wrath.
- I don’t have to worry about losing my salvation. Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.” (Jn. 10:27-28) I don’t go to bed at night wondering if I have “done enough” or if my good deeds have outweighed my bad deeds. I know that I belong to Jesus and that He holds me securely. My salvation, my future, and my eternity is in His hands, not mine. What a relief!
- I don’t have to live aimlessly. Because of Jesus, my life has meaning and purpose. Eph. 2:10 states that “we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” God has a purpose for my life. It is to know Him and to make Him known, and He has prepared specific work for me to do in order to accomplish that purpose and bring glory to His name. God is at work in my life conforming me to the image of Christ (Rom. 8:29). I’m not going through life just marking off days on the calendar….I am being conformed to the image of Christ so that I can bring glory to the One who created the universe but also knows me by name! How amazing is that!?
The longer I have been a believer, the easier it is to take these blessings for granted, so it is good for me to remind myself of what I have been spared. My prayer is that you also know these blessings, and if not, I would love the chance to share with you how these things can be true of you as well.
Vision Ministries Food Drive
November 13 & 20
- Soups & Broth
- Canned Vegetables
- Canned Fruits
- Beans (any kind)
- Spaghetti Sauce & Pasta
- Hamburger Helper
- Macaroni and Cheese
- Mashed Potatoes
- Dry Beans (1 lb bags)
- Rice (1 lb bags)
Missions & You
Come to the Missions Women meeting on December 4, Sunday, 1-3 pm (new meeting time!)
Meet some of our missionary women, learn about navigating cultures, hear about women traveling on short-term trips, and pray with us for our missionary women on the field.
You can make a world of difference!
First floor classroom, the Annex (2121 Nottingham Drive, next to the Mill).
Our missionaries of the month:
Kasey Krominga, returning home after completing her 4-year term in Austria
Phuong Ngo, returning home after her terms in Mexico and China
Women in Missions-Nicaragua
With the generous support from many who contributed financial assistance, prayers and words of encouragement, ten ladies from the Denton Bible Church boarded a plane to Nicaragua October 15, 2016. Of the women who went, six were ‘newbies’. They had never been on a mission trip outside of the States. The other women had served in Nicaragua and on other teams sent by Denton Bible Church. Weeks of preparation had heightened our anticipation to teach and serve. Those who went felt God’s call to serve. Many of our hesitations were calmed by God’s Word; 1 Thes 5:24 states, “God will make this happen, for He who calls you is faithful.”
After arriving we were awed by the beauty of the country. As we drove to the CCM compound in León we saw some of the many needs of the people who live there.
The extreme poverty, lack of basic infrastructure, and dire family situations were heart breaking to all of us.
During the week, over forty ladies from twenty-two area churches in the León area attended. Many traveled over two
hours each way to the CCM compound each day, hungry to hear God’s word. Their determination to attend no matter the distance, sometimes through the rain and mud, was humbling.
Our theme for the week was ‘Our Identity in Christ’. Our lessons consisted of “Gospel Centered Life”, Lies Women Believe, and Servant Leadership on Our Identity in Christ, Humility and The Four Temperaments and how to use the temperaments effectively in serving one another. Several ladies shared what they had learned during closing time each day. One woman stated, “Now I know I am not saved by good works. I know now, it is only by the blood of Jesus Christ.”
The week brought about many changes, not only in the ladies we were teaching, but in ourselves. They have so little, but gave so much. Even though we did not speak the same language, we connected by smiles, hugs and serving one another. We were blessed as they shared their lives with us. We were all moved by the theme song, ‘At the Cross’ by Chris Tomlin. We learned the song in Spanish and were able to sing and worship God together in Christian fellowship.
We were so blessed by the CCM team. We cannot thank the CCM staff, interpreters, cooks and housekeepers enough for their tireless work. Each of them was a shining example of a servant leader.
Close relationships developed between the team members, interpreters, staff and ladies who attended the conference. Many tears were shed as the ladies left on last day. With words of hope and encouragement, and promises to return, we ended the conference with the theme song. The last line expressed our hearts as we left Nicaragua, ‘I owe all to you, I owe all to you, Jesus.”