Works of God

We are thankful that God is always at work causing team members to look more like Jesus. We desire to testify of the grace of God in our lives, and that through the working of Christ in us, you will be encouraged in your relationship with Jesus.

Praying by Faith

psalmsbible“But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O LORD, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of Thy mercy hear me, in the truth of Thy salvation.” (Psalm 69:13 )

Over the last few months, the Lord has been convicting me on the state of my prayer life. My study of prayer began in September as our team started reading A Praying Life by Paul Miller. Through that book, my attention was drawn again to my relationship with God as my Father. The Lord showed me through the truths in that book many ways in which I had not been treating God like a Father. Often, I don’t really believe He wants to give me good things. I tend to look at Him a lot as a disciplinarian, even fearing losing His love because of my continuing failures and sin. How sinful is that thought! I realized my view of God as my Father was very flawed. I began to pray for a strengthening of faith. I began to be bolder in my prayers and look for ways God was answering prayers in my life.

Now, four months later, I can see how God is answering those prayers. I’m actually seeing God answer prayer! These prayers were answered by simply choosing to believe God rather than worry or be anxious. God gave me grace to believe.

There were many passages of Scripture that were an encouragement to me in seeing God, but I want to share just one. In 2 Chronicles 20 , Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, was about to go into a great battle. His first response was fear, but immediately he turned to the Lord for help. God’s response, “And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's… Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.” (2 Chronicles 20:15-17 ) Judah showed great faith in God. Imagine the fear and doubt they could have showed! God commanded them to go down to the battle and just stand there and watch! They obeyed, and God won the battle for them. As I read this story, I was rebuked for my lack of faith. I belong to a God who is all-powerful, nothing is too hard for Him. I’m praying the Lord would strengthen my faith. May He be glorified as He reveals His power. Lord, teach me to pray by faith!

-Reba Snyder

 

Providing for His Children

joshcaroprovide2This coming February my wife and I are expecting our first baby. We are so excited about the birth of our daughter. My wife is about ready to be done with being pregnant at 7 and ½ months, and I am ready as well to see this little girl. Now, lest you mistake my being ‘ready’, I guess I should state that I am in no way qualified or experienced enough to be a good daddy except by the grace of God. However, in preparation for the baby, many new changes are going to happen in our lives. First of all, we need to have a place to live. So far, we have lived in other people’s houses who have been gracious to let us stay for the week of meetings, or in a church parsonage. However, with a baby it will be difficult to live in other’s houses. This means getting a trailer and along with that a truck. GEM (Galkin Evangelistic Ministries) has been gracious to say they will provide the trailer. So, we are in the search for a truck. Along with that, the insurance, the family health insurance, etc. . .

Now, this is where people begin to have opinions. Some say that we should just wait and see what the Lord provides, having faith, believing that He is going to provide all our needs and that we should not worry or be too stressed about it – leaving out working hard. Others would say that we need to just be diligent and work hard to provide what we can – leaving out trusting in God.  None of these opinions would intentionally leave out the other, but what should be our focus? The scripture clearly does define what we should do.

The Bible clearly condemns the man who is lazy and does not provide for his family (1 Timothy 5:8 ). However, the Bible also says that anything without faith is sin (Romans 14:23 ). With this in mind, my wife and I are working diligently, trying to search out all the options, doing our homework, and trying to provide all we can. However, we also then must exercise faith – depending on the Lord for our daily needs, as well as our future needs. We know He is faithful, not because of our hard work, but because of His excellent character – who He is. If our salvation is secure based on His faithfulness, then surely we can trust Him for all things. Please pray with us and watch as the Lord WILL provide for his children.

-Josh Roland

   

His Word in My Heart

christymeditationHave you ever struggled with focusing your thoughts even when having your quiet time? Have you ever struggled with your mind thinking on hurts and lies when doing the mundane, like driving, doing dishes or laundry? Do you ever struggle with the torment of fearful thoughts? I have. In fact I would find my mind wondering and then realize I was thinking evil and beg God to forgive me and change me. Then without realizing it my mind would go right back to where it was. This was starting to wreck havoc in my heart. The mind is the battlefield and I was losing many battles. “But God, who is rich in mercy..” and the One who is committed to my sanctification intervened through a friend giving me a book called His Word in My Heart by Janet Pope. As I read her testimony, I saw my great need to have God’s Word continually in my mind and in my heart. She “traded moments of daydreaming for moments of meditation.”
This book has helped to start the process of transforming my thinking. Here are some snippets from her book:

- “There are many avenues that lead us into a greater knowledge of His Word, and memorizing is just one of them.”

- “The goal is to know God and to walk closely with Him--nothing more, nothing less.”

- Memorizing is just a vehicle for accomplishing His commands to:
-Know God’s Word.
-Remember His Word.
-Do not forget His commandments.
-Have His Word ready on our lips.
-Meditate on His law day and night.
-Dwell on Christ’s words.
-Store up His words.
-Keep God’s Word within our hearts.

“Let’s say, for example, that you are going to memorize Psalm 103 during a one-month period. You begin on the morning of day one, with verse 1, “Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.” Throughout the day, this one verse is your focus. You say it out loud over and over. You think about each word and its meaning. You let your mind dwell on it. You absorb it into your heart. This is meditation. The next day, you add verse 2, “Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” As you say these two verses throughout your day, you are instilling into your heart the importance of not forgetting all His benefits. You can’t wait for the next few days to get into the list of these benefits: who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Psalm 103:3-5 By the time you have finished the psalm, you will have spent an entire month meditating on God’s immeasurable love for you. You will be acutely aware of His presence in your daily experience, and your heart will overflow with praise and gratefulness. Like a cup running over, you will not be able to contain your joy that the God of the universe would choose to love you so much. You will also have accomplished both the goal of meditation and the goal of memorizing Scripture.”

So, with God’s grace, my Bible, 3x5 cards, some friends and my mom as memory buddies, I have started the journey of getting His Word written on my heart.

Are you tired of always being distracted?
Are you with kids 24/7 and feel like you have no ‘quality’ time with the Lord?
Does your mind continually take you places you don’t want to go?
Are you dwelling on fears without realizing it?

As the New Year is coming, maybe God wants you to consider getting to know Him better through meditation and memory.

-Christy Galkin

 

More Like You

jaredwogarticleHave you ever been frustrated or even depressed about a sin or sins in your life that you just can't seem to get rid of? Or what about an area of weakness that you are very bothered and anxious about because you continue to fail over and over. So now you begin to drift between being frustrated, anxious, or depressed concerning those weaknesses or sins you have been doing. To make matters worse, there are days when you are exited because you've been doing good and haven't messed up or failed. Then the moment comes when you fail and sin again and immediately you get frustrated and anxious and the whole cycle starts over.

I write the above paragraph because those have been the questions and thoughts that have been swirling through my head this semester as I have traveled now for a year and a half on the Galkin Team.

God has been doing a great work in my life this semester to reveal sins and weaknesses specifically in the area of pleasing people. I am so driven to please people and to fear what they think of me. I have been keenly aware of this problem and every time it happened I would get frustrated or even depressed. My prayers were, “Lord please help me to stop doing this! Please help me to stop fearing man.”

A combination of a conversation with my Dad and studying Romans 12 really began to open my eyes to truth. One of the things my Dad said to me was, “You can never change what you do until you let God change who you are.” Paul says in Romans 12:2 : “be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” My thinking needed to change. I was focused on stopping what I was doing wrong, rather then begging God to change who I was. So I began to change my prayers from, “Lord, please help me to stop doing this sin” to “Lord, please change who I am in the area of pleasing people.” I also began to get desperate about ways of renewing my mind in the Word every day.

Instead of getting frustrated and anxious when I fail I am learning to get earnest about my sin and remind myself that God loves me and wants to change me to be more and more like Him. I sin every day, therefore I need Jesus every day and the truths of the gospel! One of the songs on the new Galkin CD called Consider Him has been a great joy to me this semester in dealing with my sin. Please read the words carefully. The song says, “Lord change my heart from deep within, purify me once again. Renew my mind to love your truth, make me more and more like you.”

-Jared Mitchell

   

Learning to Talk to My Father

wogpraylikechild2Our team has been reading a book in devotions called “A Praying Life” by Paul Miller, and I have been challenged in many aspects of prayer. However, one that God has particularly been working on me is the area of praying like a child. In the fourth chapter, called “Learn To Talk With Your Father”, the author gives four areas where we need to imitate children in prayer, and the first two have especially been a blessing to me. The first is learning to ask like a child. Traveling with the kids, we get all sorts of requests, from William asking to play Angry Birds on Matt’s iPod, to Eliana asking us to sing the same song to her over and over again. Christ also told us to ask like a child—without stopping, without limits, without regard for cost, functionality, or reality. Just ask like a child. I can ask my Father for something just like the son in Matthew 7 asks his father for a fish—knowing his father would never give him a serpent. I am always willing to give in to my nieces’ and nephews’ requests, even if it means getting a little dirty or singing the same song for the twentieth time—and I’m a sinner. My perfect and loving Father desires to hear my requests, and I know He will answer! But that takes faith, which comes next.

The second point in the book is to believe like a child. Children believe that their parents love them and can give them anything they want. That’s why they ask! Recently, Will and Christy have been talking to the kids about getting a pet, and I’ve been helping them find a good dog breed for their lifestyle. When asked if he wanted either a hamster or a dog, David Galkin, after much forethought, asked Will “Dad, would a bull be too big for our trailer? What about a cow? What about a baby bull?” David still has his faith that Dad is able to give him whatever his heart desires. At some point in our lives, we all lose that child-like faith and belief in our parents—cynicism creeps in, and by the time we enter into a personal relationship with God, we don’t really believe that He will answer us. But, Jesus tells us to believe like a child! The author points out how Christ basically stood on a soapbox and shouted out “Look at this person’s faith!” whenever he met someone who displayed the belief of a child in their father. One was the centurion who so strongly believed that Christ was able to heal his paralyzed servant that he did not even request Jesus’ presence at his house: “…but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed” (Luke 7:7 ). The second is the Canaanite woman who has a demon-possessed daughter. She keeps hounding Jesus, and Jesus’ commendation of her faith is forever recorded in Scripture: “O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt” (Matthew 15:28 ).

The Gospel tells me that God accepts me, not based on my own goodness (of which I have none), but based on the goodness of Christ and His gift of that to me. I am God’s daughter! I don’t have to come before the King of the universe as a dirty, smelly, poor servant girl off the street—I can come to my Father, the King, and ask Him for my smallest heart’s desire. The gospel tells me that I can ask freely of my Father, and He will hear me. But, my prayers are often so adult-like and cynical. I don’t ask for things because I “know” God won’t give them to me. I don’t ask because I want to be a martyr in prayer—I want God to think I’m really giving up something by not mentioning my requests. But, Christ never commended someone for their adult-like and “holy” praying—the story of the Pharisee and Publican tells me that. He told his disciples to have the faith of a child. How does a child ask? They don’t worry about form, about whether their requests are worded in the right way, or whether or not their request is timely. They as in full faith, knowing their father loves them and believing that he is able to do “abundantly above all that we ask or think”. This takes me constantly immersing myself in the Gospel before I can know and pursue God likes this—but that’s what I want! To pray like a child.

-Caroline Roland

 

Learning to Trust

jonwoglearningtotrustI know I’m God’s child, but I sure struggle sometimes. Will often says that every Godward motion is met by opposition from the flesh. I find this to be all too true in my life! God is in the process of lovingly showing me areas in my life that reflect a heart not completely given to it's master. My independent, “Let me think about that before I say ‘yes’,” spirit is indicative of a person who doubts the goodness of God. In essence, I suspect God of not having my best interest in mind.

So where do I go from here? The Gospel. Philippians 2 portrays a Christ who set aside rank and became servant, glory and became man, authority and became obedient, that he might glorify His Father by redeeming mankind. And not just mankind in general, but me. Meditating on these truths, my suspicious heart is set at ease, but more than that, it’s panged with conviction over ever doubting my God’s goodness.

I am so thankful that I have a God whose love for me is far greater than mine is for Him. His mercy forgives, His grace restores, and His gospel assures that His way is best.

“Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” – Jude 1:24-25

-Jonathan Jarrett

   

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