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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


Daily Boost

January 14, 2014 - Prayer of the Empty Box

By Randy Mantik

Here's the picture. I drag myself out of bed in the morning. Maybe the coffee is brewing. The first morning light is coming out over the horizon.

I grab a bowl and reach into the cupboard for my favorite box of cereal. I can feel by the weight it's about time to put the cereal on the grocery list. I deposit the remaining contents into the bowl, even the crumbly bits. I may even pull the plastic sleeve out and dump the elusive refugees from the bottom of the box into the bowl. Ah, just enough for a good breakfast! Empty box, but a full bowl; I'm a happy man. (Yeah, I know, it doesn't take much.)

So I'm happily munching away and I get to thinking about evangelism. As I was emptying out the box of cereal into my bowl, it reminded me of how I've been praying for the lost as of late: "God, empty the world!"

What I mean by my prayer is that many would come to salvation, not just a few. That God would, through His Holy Spirit, touch the hearts of people in such a way that it would be like us emptying our cereal boxes in the morning; that God would get every bit, every morsel of lost humanity. So I pray again, "God, empty the box; empty the world of lost souls!"

That is the prayer, or something like it, I believe God would have us pray. How do I know that? "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9, NIV).

God's ultimate desire is to see everyone come to faith. In a sense, God would really like to clean out the contents of all of the lost souls within this world and bring all people to repentance. He really desires that there be none who would fall away and miss the opportunity of receiving His love and mercy.

However, He recognizes the hardness of men's hearts. God knows He left us the choice of whom we will serve. But God is waiting, yearning for those who even seem beyond hope to come to Him.

So there you have it. These are simple thoughts, but practical ones. The next time you get to the bottom of your favorite cereal and dump out every last, tasty bit from the box, join me in praying for our world that all may come to know our Lord. And understand the Father's unquenchable heart of love. He loves every single soul.

God is like the shepherd described in Scripture who left behind the 99 sheep in the fold to go after the lost, wandering one. Just one. Maybe that one is you or someone you know today. Together we can pray, "God, empty the world!"

— Randy Mantik is lead pastor at CrossPoint Assembly of God in Portage, Wis.




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