Runaway Pursuit

Pursuit with Passion!

 

 [Remember: Runaway Pursuit plus encouragement (even thru suffering) =transformed lives.]

Today finds me in a prison of sorts… unlike the Apostle Paul, mine are not physical chains, but chains of my uncooperative physical body. Like Paul, I used the time 0f solitude to focus on the things of God.  Listening to Moody Bible Institute Radio, I heard a Christian teacher talking about Onesimus..  I’d like to learn more about the lives and bibliography of Ignatius and Onesimus.  I became inspired to write this.

Ignatius of Antioch was an early church leader who wrote letters of encouragement to different churches even while being escorted to be martyred in the Roman Colosseum by lions.

The Biblical “postcard”of Philemon (an epistle written by the apostle Paul that is a part of the canon of Scripture) tells about a man named Onesimus. We are told that Onesimus was a runaway slave of a Christian named Philemon who Paul also formerly saw come to faith in Christ. The Apostle Paul took on the plight of Onesimus as one would a son. Paul told him that he needed to return to the master he’d wronged (Philemon). However, in a letter that Onesimus carried with him, Paul pleaded for the runaways debts and punishment to be accounted to Paul himself. He offered to take the wrong upon himself for the sake of another! Does that theme sound familiar?

In obedience, the runaway slave stepped out in faith and repented. He returned to the master he’d wronged and not only was granted grace-filled forgiveness, but, as a result, Onesimus became better equipped to live out that grace. According to history, Onesimus… this disobedient runaway slave… went on to become a bishop at Ephesus! How awesome is that?

EVERY Christian was once a runaway. The Bible teaches that we ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We ALL like sheep have gone astray and turned to our own way.

Yet, it was when the shining light of God’s spirit and truth pierces our sinful heart that we are freed from sin’s hold on us. We are delivered by the saving work of Jesus Christ when He took the penalty for our sins. He did so “once and for all”! Hallelujah, what a Savior!

If God so greatly desired a right relationship with me that He sent His only son to die, what will I sacrifice for right relationships and for eternal purposes?

This prayer that I pray today is not only for myself, but for all of my siblings in God’s family. >>

I pray that I never live so long in the family of God, that I have forgotten having once been outside of it. May I always remember that my own unpardonable sins have been forever forgiven. May I actively pursue the mission of the Gospel gift … that grace and forgiveness are still the means for welcoming others into God’s family.
God please empower us with your Spirit and use us to reach the runaways. Help us to pursue them with the love that they need– the Love that is You!
All for Your Glory, Amen.

May our runaway pursuit (passion for the Gospel) drive us to pursue the runaway!

Baby Jonah and Family

Listen to God Will Make a Way — I apologize for not getting this update sooner today, but news will be a bit more spread out over the near future as the Silverbergs will tell you in today’s update. I really wish that they were near where I live so that our church people could take turns helping them with child care and cribside watch and prayer. As it is I am specifically praying for God to move specifically in this area of caretaking. This family is being spread out and apart due to circumstances and it seems like it would be better for their family if they could be together. Still I know that as the song goes “God will make a way; where there seems to be no way,” and that is supported in Scripture. I am clinging to what I know to be true about God walking us through trials for benefit of not only ourselves, but those around who watch our reactions to trials; all for the glory of God.

Here is the update letter from Jonah’s daddy:

Dear Praying family,

We just want to say thank You so very much for your prayers and your patience w/ us as we have sent so many e-mails.

We would like to say you have prayed Jonah thru this, but he is not thru this yet. Your prayers have certainly made a big difference, and our Lord’s Grace and Mercy has sustained us and Jonah.

Jonah is still in critical care, not conscious, and on the ventilator, but we believe he is doing better.

He has received wonderful round the clock care at Montefiore Childrens Hospitol. When he improves some more, he will be moved from the 10th floor to the 8th floor, where he will not receive the same care. Valerie will have to be there 24 hours a day,or we will have to pay someone to stay w/ him. Remember, we have 3 other children and Joshy, who is 10, has a very hard to handle case of Autism. We haven’t figured out what to do yet, and would appreciate your continued prayer, as we can’t run the family 24 hours w/o Val, and we don’t have the money to pay anyone.

I will not continue to send updates daily, but every few days, unless there is something important to report.

Thank you again so very much for your precious prayers.

In Christ’s Love,
Marty

PS- Pray for me, the ice shoveling Tuesday and snow shoveling today have taken a toll on me.

Thank you ALL for praying for this dear family. It is going to be essential as these dear ones continue through this challenging season. I will update as soon as I hear anything new. In the meantime we can be assured that even when we don’t know the details God ALWAYS does!


Baby Jonah’s Struggle Update

Baby Jonah
Jan. 12th, from the Silverburg’s, missionaries in Bronx, New York, regarding their critically ill, new born son, Jonah.

Dear Praying Family,
I am trying to dig out from the snow.Cars are plowed in and sidewalk must be cleared. No place to put the snow, so i must carry shovels full and make a pile. Right arm won’t raise up anymore.

Val took Shakinah and went to spend the day w/Jonah. I am watching Joshy and Josiah. Jonah is still w/ us. He has not moved or been conscious since last Tuesday’s surgery. So far 3 cardiac arrest’s. The doctors did a sonogram of his brain yesterday, at his bed, not daring to move him again. They are trying to be optomistic and hope there is no permanent brain damage, but he has not reacted to pain yet. They gave him some pain med’s and changed the dressing on his wide open chest yesterday. They are hopeful that they can close him up by Friday.

Please continue to pray w/ us that they can close him up because the risk of infection is huge. Also, please pray for no brain damage and that he will wake up soon. To close him up, he must drain fluid, so please pray about blood pressure issues.
We are greatful to you for sharing our burden w/ us.
In Christ’s Love,
Marty for Val

Please keep all these things in prayer as the Silverbergs are going through this trial. It would be a special blessing if you were to leave them an encouragement by posting a comment to this post.