The Life of Maestra Megan

Adventures in the life of a Costa Rican Missionary

Who gets eternal life? March 12, 2018

Last night it was my turn to lead Sunday School.

We talked about Nicodemus and how his curiosity led him to seek out Jesus and ask more questions.  Jesus told him “Everyone who believes in me may have eternal life, life that lasts forever.”

This didn’t ring true for Nicodemus; surely Jesus didn’t really mean everyone.  After all, some people didn’t know about God at all, others were flagrant law-breakers.

Jesus assured Nicodemus—as he does to you and me—“Everyone.  God loves the world so much and wants everyone to have eternal life.”

 

I asked the kids, what types of people does God love?

Old people?  Yes

Police? Firefighters? Yes

People who steal?  Yes

Bullies? No   (No?  I pause, let them think)

…God loves them but he doesn’t love what they are doing. (Bingo!)

People in wheelchairs?  Yes ….Jesus heals them

People who sleep on the street?  No  (Again, pause, time to think)

…God loves them very much but he doesn’t want them to live on the street because they might get run over!  (Precisely!)

 

We finished with an activity to encourage and love others just as God loves us.  We wrote out the words ETERNAL LIFE on colored papers and decorated them. With only 3 kids, each of us had to work hard to reach the approximately 40 total number of people in church that night.

It was time to head downstairs; the kids were clutching their orange papers and bouncing up and down.  They had instructions to approach everyone, because eternal life is for all who believe in Jesus.  I hadn’t clued in the pastor ahead of time, but he gladly let us jump in during the last few minutes of the service.

Those kids took their task seriously!  They ran around the room several times, handing out ETERNAL LIFE to every person, including the musicians up on stage.  We still had many papers, so we left the sanctuary and went to the nursery, up to the soundbooth, searched out the custodian…leaving no stone unturned.

And, there were still papers leftover.  Samantha held several in her hand, alternately staring at them, and scanning the room for anyone who had been overlooked. The boys were still running around asking people if they got one…

I didn’t expect this level of commitment, and I didn’t quite know how to console them when they came back and reported that yes, everyone there had received a note, but we still had extras.  (I was just going tuck the extras back into my bag, no worries)

 

This morning I wondered if God might not feel the same way as these kids.  God loves everyone, in the whole world, and deliberately prepared a gift for us—not just for a select few, but a generous amount large enough to reach every individual. 

Many people have already believed that Jesus is the Son of God, the way, the truth, the LIFE.

And yet, there are still more orange papers, unclaimed.  

 

The Bible is full of word pictures that illustrate God’s desire:

The Lord’s eyes scan the whole world to find those whose hearts are committed to him and to strengthen them. 2 Chronicles 16:9

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.  Psalm 34:18

Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again and again. Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst—not ever. The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life.” John 4:14

He will swallow up death forever!  The Sovereign Lord will wipe away all tears.  He will remove forever all insults and mockery against his land and people.  Isaiah 25:8

You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever. Psalm 16:11

Like my enthusiastic kids, God is running around, intentionally pressing LIFE into the hands of those who want more.  It’s yours for the taking; dare to believe.

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Are you ready? February 6, 2016

It is one thing to follow God’s way of service if you are regarded as a hero, but quite another thing if the road marked out for you by God requires becoming a “doormat” under other people’s feet. God’s purpose may be to teach you to say, “I know how to be abased…” (Philippians 4:12). Are you ready to be sacrificed like that? Are you ready to be less than a mere drop in the bucket— to be so totally insignificant that no one remembers you even if they think of those you served?

my utmost  Gulp.  It feels like I am blindsided every time I open up this year’s devotional, My Utmost for His Highest.  Oswald Chambers, how could you know?  Especially since you died a hundred years ago.

 

I am a missionary, in my 10th year of working with many unwanted, unloved, and disadvantaged children and families in a slum outside San Jose, Costa Rica.  People look at me and tell me “you do amazing work” all the time.  It’s easy to let such comments go to my head.

 

I also struggle–as a single woman in a foreign land–with a sense of belonging.  Most of the time I feel like I definitely don’t fit in, or that others don’t allow a place for me in their world.  So, being noticed gives me a somewhat fleeting significance.

 

This is not what God wants for me.  He does not want me to turn heads, receive accolades, or to be remembered over a lifetime. He wants me to serve him… rejoicing even as I am entirely used up.  (Philippians 2:17)

 

I guarantee I am not going to get this right most days, but I am ready for a change this year.  Here’s my subsequent conversation with God….borrow it if you’d like.  I know He would like to hear from you.

 

 

“Father God, forgive me.  You know how self-centered I am, and how much I want to be noticed by others and told “well done.” Change me, Lord, from the inside out.  Teach me the way of your suffering servant.  Teach me to pour myself out to YOU, not to others around me.  Fill me with joy, whatever menial task I face, and most especially when no one takes notice of me.  Make me willing to be utterly forgettable, if it means that you receive the glory.”

 

Go into the world…….. December 31, 2014

For-every-100k-facebook

I just got a New Years greeting from missionaries in Papua New Guinea….soon they will be rolling in from friends in Russia, Egypt, Spain……..More than 500,000 people have left their own comfort zone in order to bring love, mercy and salvation to another country.  Please remember them in your prayers today and into the new year.  I also challenge you to show your support for these servants by giving financially to their project or mission.  

Full-time service implies great sacrifice.  These ordinary people have obeyed the call of an extraordinary God, and stepped out in faith to work where few have gone before, yet most missionaries only receive half of the funds they need to live on.   Think of someone you know overseas…maybe they are fighting for clean water, education, health care, job training, church planting, university outreach.  Won’t you step up and join them in that work?  Your $25–$50–$100 a month will surely extend their ministry by one more year. 

 

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