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Monday, April 27, 2015

Halfway!

Psalm 118:24, 28-29 "This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. You are my God, and I will give thanks to You; You are my God; I will extol You. Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever!"

Yesterday was a big day at the Harder household. Wayne reached the half-way mark for his treatment. It's hard to believe, but we are now done with three of the six weeks of treatment! So far Wayne is taking the treatment well. He is fatigued at times and is losing hair where the radiation beams hit, but overall he is doing amazing. We are so thankful for all the prayers! Please keep them coming, we still need all the prayers we can get. Please specifically pray that we take one day at a time, especially me. It is hard to always stay positive and optimistic when you read about so many people dying from this cancer, even young people like Wayne. Just pray that God continues to allow us to focus on each day that He gives us.



In light of the tragedy taking place overseas in Nepal, our situation doesn't seem so bad. I know that if God decides it is Wayne's time to go, we know that Wayne will go home to be with God. We also know that one day we'll be reunited with him. That isn't the case with so many in Nepal. My heart breaks to think of so many people who have died. Many have never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ or about the love of God. The sermon below by David Platt is one of the things God used in our lives to get us focused on what our calling is here on earth. American Christians have gotten too comfortable in our lives here. We like our safe homes and our safe lives. Safe isn't what God called us to though as believers. He called us to go and make disciples, to tell other's the Good News. 

A missionary who spoke to our children's Sunday School class this last year (our theme was Missions, Orphands and the Persecuted Church) gave an excellent illustration. He was given a bag of candy to give the kids, with instructions to give the candy to the kids. The kids heard this and were very excited. He then told the kids, "I don't think I'm going to share this candy with you. I think I want it all to myself." The kids got very upset and said, "But you were told to share the candy with us." He said, "I know, but I don't think I want to." He then went on to explain to the kids that many Christians are like that. They have been given the Good News of the Gospel of Christ and have been commanded to go share that with others. Instead of obeying, they decide to keep the Good News to themselves. It reminds me of a missionary story the girls and I read last week about Hudson Taylor in "Hero Tales". Here is an excerpt from the story: "Hudson Taylor was discouraged. He had been praching in the city of Ningpo for a year. The Chinese were polite and enjoyed gathering to hear Taylor speak. But no one seemed to take the Gospel seriously. No one believed it. Then after one message, when Taylot felt most like giving up, a respected man stood up and turned to his Chinese countrymen. 'I have been searching for the truth for a long time. My father and my grandfathers before me searched for the truth, but they never found it. I have traveled far and wide looking for it. I have tried Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism, but have found no rest. But tonight, tonight I have found rest. I have heard the truth, and from now on I am a believer in Jesus.' A few nights after the man had accepted Jesus as his Savior, he asked Hudson Taylor a very hard question. 'How long have the people in your land known about Jesus?' Hudson Taylor said, "Oh, hundreds of years.' 'What?' said the man in amazement. 'You knew the truth for hundreds of years and didn't come to tell us? My father searched for the truth all his life and died without finding it. Why didn't you come sooner?'"

That is a question I think all of us need to think on and ponder. What are we here on this earth for? What is our purpose? For those who are God's children, I think it is even a more important question to ask ourselves. Are we doing what our Father asked us to do or are we absorbed in our own lives here in America? Maybe it's time for us to do what Jesus commanded us to do. Matthew 28:18-20 "And Jesus came and said to them, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.'" 

Maybe it's time for each of us to take a hard look at our lives and ask God to cut things our of our lives that distract us from 100% surrender to Him and what He is calling us to do with our lives. There are too many people's souls at stake for us to ignore God's call. How many people are out there looking for the truth but no one is there to tell them? How many people died in Nepal without hearing the Good News of the Gospel because we are "too busy" with our American lives? Maybe it's time for us to think about our heavenly home and eternity over the temperal things of this earth. How is God calling me, how is God calling YOU to respond? May each of us prayerfully seek His will for our lives, embrace that calling, and faithfully serve our Heavenly Father who deserves nothing less then our all. 

Psalm 39:4 "Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is."



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