Recently I began reading through the Bible and am amazed at how the Spirit continues to reveal new things. As I was reading Genesis 11, the story of the tower of Babel, I was amazed to find an entirely new (to me) application of this passage.
I hope I am not taking it out of context, but I believe the rest of scripture supports this application. I am presenting it to you and trusting you will benefit from the thoughts I had as well.
This takes place after the flood and before the call of Abram. Scripture says they journeyed east and settled in the plain of Shinar. There was one language—and one purpose. “Let us build for ourselves a city and a tower.”
Genesis 11: 5-6 The Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. The Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them.”
I am sure you are familiar with the rest of the story—but have you ever thought about these words in the context of the body of believers? One people—one message—one purpose—nothing will be impossible for them. Remind you of other passages of scripture?
Matthew 17:19-20 (NASB) Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not drive it out?” And (Jesus) said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith, for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘move from here to there’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.”
As believers in Christ we belong to one body—we have the same message—the same purpose—the same calling—yet individual gifts. (1 Cor. 12, Eph. 4:4)
Paul repeatedly urged the early church to use the gifts God gave them to serve God and to advance His kingdom. Jesus commanded His disciples (and us) to make and grow disciples until the whole world hears (Matthew 28:19)
John 17: 20-23 (NASB) “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word, that they may all be one, even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us so that the world may believe that You sent Me. “The glory which you have given Me; I have given to them, that they may be one just as We are one. I in them and You in Me that they may be perfected, in unity, so that the world may know that you sent Me and loved them, even as you have loved Me.”
What if we as the church spoke with one voice, moved with one purpose, worked with one goal in mind? In Mark 9:23 Jesus said to the father of the one possessed by a demon “All things are possible to him who believes.” Would we as a body begin to see a change in the world around us? Would we be passionate about declaring His name, His kingdom and His glory to all? Would we be able to make a difference in the lives of those around us who are lost and without hope?
Dear partners, I believe together, we are doing this—and I leave you with the words of Paul to the Galatians: “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.” (Gal. 6:9) Jackie
Hello Dear H*VMI Family,
Recently I was reading in Exodus 30:7-8 “Every morning when Aaron maintains the lamps, he must burn fragrant incense on the altar. And each evening when he lights the lamps, he must again burn incense in the Lord’s presence. This must be done from generation to generation.” “Incense is a physical reminder of an eternal reality. It penetrates our imagination in setting of worship throughout scripture.” (Dictionary of Biblical Imagery) Isaiah gives us a glimpse of this in Isaiah 6 when he sees the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, the whole earth was filled with His glory and the temple is filled with smoke.
Psalm 141:2 “Accept my prayer as incense offered to you, and my upraised hands as an evening offering.”
Revelation 8:3, 4 – “Then another angel with a gold incense burner came and stood at the altar. And a great amount of incense was given to him to mix with the prayers of God’s people as an offering on the gold altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense, mixed with the prayers of God’s holy people, ascended up to God from the altar where the angel had poured them out.”
In scripture we see incense as a symbol of prayer. Did you ever stop and think about the fact that our prayers are a sweet aroma to our Lord and indicate our love, allegiance, and dependence upon Him? As you reflect on these verses, and pray for us and other this month, remember your Heavenly Father delights in the sweet aroma of your prayers and praise. Judy
Thank you for being faithful in your prayers and support of REST Ministries. It is with a heavy heart that I must tell you our street ministry in Elkton, MD has come to an end. We began this ministry last June, and while we had many great contacts most of them were with men—not girls or women. The men were always willing to talk, but many times the women we saw avoided us. Since our ministry focus is on women, we made the decision to seek out other avenues to reach those who are being exploited by traffickers. We will continue the ministry on Kensington Avenue and we are available to provide trafficking awareness training to churches, community groups and schools.
Please know that we value your prayers and support. Please join us in continuing to seek God’s direction for reaching these women.
Judy and I recently had a prayer retreat to seek God’s wisdom and direction for future development of REST, how to best utilized the materials we have written, and how to reach hurting women. We will share more of how God has led us next month.
Some of our ministries will stop this month for the summer and begin again in September, but other ministry continues over the summer, so we deeply value and appreciate your prayer support.
God bless, Jackie
Street ministry continues. Despite the mild winter, the first and third Tuesdays always seemed to be cold and miserable. We had to contend with rain, wind and even snow flurries. We bundled up, got a wagon and filled it with all the makings for a nice cup of hot chocolate and hit the streets, which were for the most part, empty. We did meet and speak to some who braved the cold. J.B. is a young man we have spoken to a few times. He has a recent diagnosis of cancer and was glad to have us pray with him, even though he is not sure that God “likes” him. The last time we spoke with him, he told us he was not sure what was going on with the cancer, but he was encouraged by our presence and concern in his life. Please pray that J.B. and all we meet, will experience God’s great love for him and will enter into a relationship with Jesus.
We have decided to change the day and time of our street ministry. Now that the time has changed and the weather is warming up (?) we will be going out on the first and third Mondays at 7:30. This past Monday, we met up with several who did not want to stop and chat but we were glad to have opportunity to share with one of the first fellows we met last summer. Christopher chooses to live outdoors and is well-kept, well-spoken and very intelligent. We have had many wonderful conversations with him, and he seems to know much about life on the street. He stays to himself and can be a bit paranoid, but is a pleasure to talk with. He doesn't have much interest in "religion" but he is happy to see us and always remembers our names and asks about any team members who are absent. We are building a relationship with him and are praying for the day when he will accept the gift of salvation. As we continue to walk the streets, we see many in need of Christ and our hearts are burdened with the need of local volunteers to come alongside us and to offer a church home for those we meet.