Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Knowing Jesus is All You Need

Dear Friends,

“You can’t say Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you’ve got,” said Mother Teresa. This wonderful woman, she gave her life to the dying and destitute in India, could say that. Jesus was indeed all she had! She knew the truth of Jesus’ words, “Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?” (Matthew 6:25).

Baruch was assured that his life would be saved in the coming disaster, “I will bring disaster on all people, declares the Lord, but wherever you go I will let you escape with your life” (Jer. 45:5). His life was the most important thing in the world. Passion, position, or possessions mattered little in the end. God promised him his life, and that was all. In other words, He said to Baruch, “It’s not a fair world, Baruch, but at least you can be glad you have your life!”

God promised to save Baruch’s life and nothing more. He uses a phrase that describes his life as “a prize of war,” the booty a victorious army extracts from its victims. The word describes someone stripping prisoners of war of all their belongings before taking them off into slavery. I watched the Serbs stripping the Albanians at the height of the Kosovo crisis, I understood a little of the meaning of this word. Even the people’s passports and their legal identification, along with their landholding deeds and valuables, were stripped from them at the border crossings.

God warns Baruch that this will happen to him, but He promises that he will escape with his life.  Baruch was to experience what the apostle Paul was to know years later.  “Through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything” (2 Cor. 6:8-10).  Reduced to grace, down to God alone, God was going to be “God enough.”

Now it was Baruch’s time to respond to all of this divine attention. I believe there comes a time when God confronts us all with the choice that Baruch had at this point. Jeremiah had come to his grand submission in Jeremiah 10:23, saying, “I know, O Lord, that a man’s life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps.” So I believe Baruch repented of his pride and his ambition, made peace with Jeremiah, and set off at his side to finish the fight and keep the faith.

Would we have had the wonderful words of Jeremiah if Baruch had not surrendered his everything to God? If he had left Jeremiah and returned to the palace and his other work? I, for one, am grateful that he passed the test and soldiered on!

What a shout of joy the watching angels must have sounded at that moment!  They knew that God is never limited by age, gender, culture, nationality, wealthy, poverty, education, or lack of it.  Only our pride, prejudice, sheer selfishness, and refusal to submit to the call of God in our lives can limit what God can do through us!


Blessings,

Jill Briscoe
Executive Editor
Just Between Us Magazine


Monday, January 25, 2016

Give Me Your Child

Dear Friends,

Have you ever known a mother that was beyond the ability to pray for her child? These are times when we can pray for her. Once I had an experience like this, but I was on the receiving end.

It was a long time ago, when my children were all teenagers. The dating years were upon us, and I lived in a permanent state of internal panic. Fortunately I had a husband who reveled in those years, and so I leaned on him. One day, however, he was away, so I couldn’t “lean,” and a young man asked my young daughter, Judy, to the school dance. I panicked, until she explained I could come and chaperone. At that I gladly gave permission and the invitation was accepted. Then I looked in my appointment book. Both my husband and I had meetings out of town on the day of the dance. Neither of us could chaperone! I panicked. Suddenly this perfectly nice young man took on another image in my imagination.

I couldn’t get out of my commitment, and so I arrived at the meeting in total spiritual disarray.  Looking at the program, I saw that there was a prayer room. I made a beeline for it and met Margaret, whose ministry it was to help people like me!

I explained my problem, and she listened to me patiently and gave me some Scripture. Then she said I would need to let my daughter go. “After all,” she said, “Moses’ mother put Moses in the little ark and let him go among the crocodiles.” Now that I didn’t want to hear.  Suddenly all the nice boys that Judy knew took on the shape of crocodiles! Then Margaret told me she would be like Miriam for me. She would stand watch on the riverbank in prayer. In essence, Margaret said to me, “Give me your child.” And from that day to this she has carried my child to the upper room and prayed for her.

A few months after this incident, I received a package through the mail. It contained a little crocodile with its mouth tied up. “That’s what prayer does,” said the note.

Can you think of a mother in need, a father in trouble, a friend in dire distress with a child in a rehab facility? Why not contact them and say, “Give me your child.” There are plenty of empty places on the riverbank today, waiting for watchers. You can be the prayer that makes a difference!


Blessings,

Jill Briscoe
Executive Editor
Just Between Us Magazine