This Is My Father's World

Seeing beyond the garbage

"What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for those sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him." Philippians 3:8-9 (NIV)

At a New Year's retreat in Bangladesh, I found an idyllic spot for my quiet time--a secluded beach atop a cliff overlooking rice fields and waterways. The sun was warm, the distant sound of villagers echoed, my bible lay in my lap, and I had a whole hour ahead of me -- pretty close to perfect!

Then a man with a basket on his shoulder strolled up to the cliff edge and dumped garbage over the side, right in front of me! Not such a perfect spot now. I looked over the side, and there was a mound of trash piled at the bottom. He must have wondered, Why is this foreigner sitting there in front of the garbage dump?

That knowledge didn't chase me off. The prospect of a quite hour with the Creator of the beauty that I could see blinded to the ugliness of the garbage that I couldn't see. It was another lesson from God about learning to look at the world through spiritual eyes.

Sometimes the places where international missionaries serve aren't much prettier than garbage dumps. Maybe even the place where you live is not optimum. Yet the Father wants us to look beyond the physical world and see Him with our spiritual eyes. When we desire to know Him above all things we can do this. In my quite time that morning above the dump, God led me to Philippians 3:8-9. Those words became my New Year's resolution--to know Him more! Knowing Him allows me to continue when life seems more like a garbage dump. -- T.D.F. Missionary South Asia


Oh God may I be willing to look pass the "garbage" that distracts me from keeping my eyes focused on you. May I know you more this New Year, and may I hear your voice through your word as I face each day. I pray for Christian workers all over the world to dedicate themselves again to seek only your will and to give you all the glory. Amen.

Source: "Voices of the Faithful" Inspiring stories of courage from Christians serving around the world with Beth Moore and friends who put their lives on the line for God. Compiled by Kim P. Davis, Page 427, Thomas Nelson Publishers, ISBN # 1-59145-364-x

God Is for Us
Dr. Charles Stanley

Romans 8:31-34

Throughout life, there will be times when our sins and failures lead us to conclude that God is disappointed or angry with us. How can He still love me after what I've done? If I'm really forgiven, why do I still feel so guilty? At such time's, we need to fix our eyes on the truth of Scripture and ask the questions Paul posed in Romans 8.

If God is for us, who is against us (v. 31)?

Our heavenly Father proved His loyalty to us when He delivered His own Son over to death in order to save us. Without Christ's atoning death on our behalf, we would face eternal separation from God.

Who will bring a charge against God's elect (v. 33)?

No accusation against us can stand, since at the moment of salvation, the Lord justified us. This means we were legally declared righteous, while still in our sinning condition. No one can reverse this transaction and make us guilty again. To doubt our blameless standing in Christ is to declare His atonement insufficient to cover our sin.

Who is the one who condemns (v. 34)?

Although Satan rails against us, Jesus' death and resurrection are proof that we are right with God. Christ took our condemnation and gave us His righteousness in return. Now He sits at the Father's right hand, interceding for us.

When doubts about the Lord's love and faithfulness arise, focus on truth. If we judge His loyalty to us by our circumstances or feelings, we will never get an accurate view of God. True security lies not in our good performance, but in our relationship with Christ, and no one can take that from us.

For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit

Fernando Ortega - This is my Father's World

Simply trust Christ and follow Him. He is the one who fulfills dreams
and gives hope for a new year of serving Him.

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