My 29th birthday is coming around again for the 20th time! Every year for the past 4 years I have gone to help with the Shoeboxes either in Charlotte or in Boone. I consider this my birthday present to self. This year I am going twice! On Monday we will be going to Boone and then on Weds. to Charlotte. I can’t wait! The trip to Boone is super special because we get to take a tour of Samaritan’s Purse Operation Center. I went last year for the first time and I was in awe of how much SP is involved in worldwide. I don’t think there’s anything they don’t do! I would love to be able to work there all the time and I am thankful that I can volunteer there once a year. Today, at the Shoebox center in Charlotte they had a Christmas celebration. It was live on the website and I watched most of it. I got so excited when I heard Franklin talking about the kids and the boxes. He is ALL about the kids receiving the gift of salvation through the giving of a shoebox. It is obvious that the Lord has blessed this ministry. In fact He has blessed it so much that this year 8 MILLION boxes will be going out to 110 countries worldwide!
I am reminded of Abraham in Genesis 12. Listen to these words from God to Abraham:
The Call of Abram
1 The LORD had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
2 “I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.[a]
3 I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.”[b]
4 So Abram went, as the LORD had told him;
During the celebration on the live webcast the mayor of Charlotte, Anthony Fox, came on and spoke these words: ” Let’s work to be a blessing to someone this holiday season. God has blessed us and we extend our blessings across the world through the Shoebox Ministry.”
I know I talk about Bethel a lot and that just happens to be my “thing” right now, but there hasn’t been one day since I started taking this course that God has not brought what I am learning about the scriptures, through Bethel, to my mind. This is one of those things. Abraham was obedient to God’s call and he went. He didn’t go alone, he took his family with him.
Franklin Graham has been obedient to God’s call on his life also. He listened, he obeyed and he acted on what he heard. Today there are many children all over the world who have been blessed to hear God’s Word through a shoebox and Franklin didn’t do it alone-he did it with the help of the church. All churches everywhere! It took prayer, time, patience, finances, blood, sweat and tears for both men to fulfill God’s calling on their lives.
Today, both men are still in action. Abraham is no longer physically with us, but his obedience and legacy lives on in God’s Holy Word and in the world. God said GO and he went. In doing that he was blessed by God and in turn we have been blessed. ” I will bless those who bless you, and him who curses you I will curse; and by you all the families of the earth shall bless themselves.” Without the obedience of Abraham we wouldn’t be where we are today and I don’t even want to think about that and I am glad I don’t have to.
In our Bethel study we have concept pictures and the one for Abraham shows Abraham kneeling on the earth, looking up, holding a prism in both hands. A shaft of light from above hits the prism and the colors pass through Abraham and extend outward over the earth. I would love to show you the picture but since it is copyrighted I cannot do that here, but if you’d like to see it I’d be happy to show you in person! Just ask me the next time you see me! Anyway-the picture is an awesome illustration of how God has blessed us through Abraham’s obedience. When the light hits the prism it goes everywhere- the blessings of God are all around us and we have Abraham to thank for that! God promised Abraham that he would bless him if he did what he asked him to do. God does not break a promise. I’m not saying it was easy and you can read more about it in Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus and the rest of the O.T.. In fact, I urge you to get your bible out tonight and say a prayer, before you begin reading, ask God to show you the way through the scriptures-to point out in your mind what He wants you to learn and He WILL! You may even find it to be a delight to your soul! I know I do! It may even be like a breath of heaven! 🙂