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Words of Encouragement
The failure to transform can have really serious consequences for you brother. I believe very strongly what RMI ministry says is true. That this time you’re separated from your wife and loved ones is time to grow closer to the Lord; to repent; time to seek His face; time to get right with Him. These times are difficult but also this is an opportunity! You WILL see the Lord’s faithfulness during this storm when you take time to get things right because He gives you the power to.
Psalm 119: 67-72 Before I was afflicted, I went astray, but now I obey your word. You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees. Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies, I keep your precepts with all my heart. Their hearts are callous and unfeeling, but I delight in your law. It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees. The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.
So many times in the Bible the Israelites were called to come back. Often they refused. Sometimes they had contempt for the Lord. The Lord in his infinite patience, mercy, and kindness debated with them through the prophets. Think about a study from Malachi. These men saw nothing wrong with leaving their wives and kids for younger pagan women! It’s out of this situation where the famous line about divorce comes from later in Malachi. They were still not willing to transform.
Malachi 1:6-7 “A son honors his father, and a slave his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?” says the Lord Almighty. “It is you priests who show contempt for my name. “But you ask, ‘How have we shown contempt for your name?’ “By offering defiled food on my altar. “But you ask, ‘How have we defiled you?’ “By saying that the Lord’s table is contemptible.
Now, Elijah like the Israelites in the desert saw the hand of God. Fire came down raining from heaven. He outran King Ahab’ horse. Yet when Jezebel threatened his life, at that moment, he could not see past that moment. He was unable to remember what God had just done. He ran into the desert and the angel of the Lord came to get him. Yet Elijah was not able to go back to the face of the queen. I have listened to somebody say this is how he lost his mantle, why he had to hand it down to Elisha. Yes, Elijah is a great prophet, he is taken up to heaven in chariots of fire. But perhaps there was more victory waiting for him? Dare I say that he could have been more victorious had he transformed himself a bit more after running into the desert? Had he taken the time to transform his thinking when he was in the cave, had he stopped running away. Twice he was asked what he was doing running and hiding.
1 Kings 19:3-5:9; 13 Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.
. . . And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
. . . Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
My favourite analogy is the journey of the Israelites from Egypt to the Promised Land. Had they taken time to transform in the desert, (stopped complaining, had more faith, stop being sinful) the journey would not have taken them 40 years it would’ve taken a matter of weeks according to some Bible scholars. Please do not fail to transform during this time of separation. Take this time to deal with things that you need to deal with.
One thing I remember dealing with was irritability. I was quick to anger even over petty things—always trying to assert myself rather than remaining calm. One man from church pulled me up on this very nicely he told me to think about what the usual outcome was of being irritable. The outcome was having a quick temper which led to arguments sometimes over the pettiest things. For example, my family would not eat the vegetables that I had bought. I would pull them up on it and this would frequently descend into an argument. They did not care for them. I saw it as a waste. I was not willing to cover their shame (as the father covers mine in Luke 15 and Zechariah 3). However, then I thought how little those vegetables costs, only $30. I then asked myself, “Patrick is this argument really worth that $30?” and the answer was “No!”. So I have learned to hold my tongue in this and in so many other things. How many arguments can you count that was so petty that you fell into? How many times did you try to look good, feel good at the expense of your wife and others? Now is the time to transform.
Use this time.
Then please submit a praise report to share what happened so I can use it as proof of this principle in the lives of other men like you.
~ Patrick RESTORED in Australia
If you haven't already done so, please take a moment to read my testimony and then my wife's encouragement.
Also, here are the previous letters from prior months that I hope will inspire you in your Journey.