Our mission statement of faith is derived from the ministry life of Apostle Paul. Paul found himself in a difficult situation one day. He had been so faithful in serving the Lord. He had given his life to share the Good News of the gospel. His heart was passionate to see people come to a faith in his risen Lord. But here he was, in prison. Paul could have said, “It’s not fair” We might say, he had reason to complain. He could have blamed God for his difficult situation. He could have been overcome by negative thoughts and feelings because of his circumstances, but we see Paul making a choice. He chose to focus on the good things, the blessings in his life. We read about this choice in the book of Philippians.

Even though he was in prison he made a choice to think about things that are honourable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute, what is excellent, and worthy of praise (Phil. 4. 8-9) and encourages his readers to do the same.

Paul could rise above the negative circumstances because he chose to focus on the Lord. He chose to rejoice in all that the Lord offered him – his presence (vs. 5), peace when he gave his anxieties to the Lord (vs.6), contentment in all circumstances (vs.11 &12), strength to do all things (vs.13), and have all his needs met (vs. 19)

As Christians, we too have a choice like Paul did. Difficult circumstances can so easily cause us to focus on negative thoughts which create negative feelings and also actions. This sets in motion a negative cycle that only leads to unhappiness, darkness and despair. In the same way, as we choose to focus on the blessings and the resources we have in the Lord, as Paul did, feelings of peace and rejoicing in the Lord will follow. It is all about how each chose to think about a difficult situation.

As Christians we choose to rejoice in the Lord as outlined in Philippians and dwell on the positive thoughts. These positive thoughts will produce positive feelings and also lead to actions that will bless and encourage others.
Some people grow up with a sense of worthlessness. Again and again some other people tell them they would never accomplish anything in life. They are told they are losers and that anything they did try was sure to end in failure.
The Bible speaks of words of life and death in Prov.18:21 where it says,” Death and life are in the power of the tongue,” As we hear words of affirmation and encouragement they are words of life to us while words of criticism and belittling are words of death.

If we look in the Scriptures we see that God never meant it to be this way. He speaks words of life into the heart of every person. We read in Genesis that when God completed the creation of the world he made man in his likeness or image. This likeness gave man and later also the woman he made the capacity to think, to make decisions, to know right from wrong, to be creative and to have the ability to communicate and have a personal relationship. Not only did God put this potential in the heart of man and woman he also gave them an assignment to use these abilities. They were told to rule over the things he had created and give to each a name. Herein lays the potential to organize, care, and to be in charge.

This is what God had in mind when he created us. He created us in his image so that we could think, make choices, use our creativity, build relationships, faithfully work at the tasks in our hand and be persons of influence in the lives of others.

But that’s not all. This was only the beginning. In Psalms 139 he says we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” and describes the creation of each person with words like “knit together” and “woven together” and “ordaining our days” all of which require a plan by a great creator. God had a plan for each of our lives and put together each person with abilities, personality and potential.

But the greatest evidence of our worth is that he loved us so much that he sent his son to die for us when we were sinners and totally unlovable. We were worth it to him. But there’s more to that as well. When we believe that Jesus died for us and we accept his forgiveness we become his child. A son and daughter of the King of Kings. As we live in that relationship with him we begin to reflect his godly character and we produce the fruit of the Spirit named in Galatians 5:22-23 as: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. The beauty of this fruit in our lives makes each of us a person of impact and influence.

No matter what “words of death” others have spoken about us God’s view of us rises above those words and he speaks “words of life” into our hearts every day. He says, “I created you in my image, I gave you abilities to rule, organize, manage your area of life, I gave you a creativity that if followed will bring you joy, I made you to be a companion or friend to someone, to be a person of influence, you are precious to me, I loved you so much that I gave my son to die for you and now I want you to be my representative to share this love with others on earth.”

At AND-Mission, we believe that God made us persons of worth. He decided when he planned our lives what abilities he would give to each one of us. We all have varying amounts of ability to organize, lead, create or influence but we have the choice as to what we want to do with that which God has entrusted to us. We believe that God also gives us opportunities where we can use these abilities. The fruitfulness depends on how we care for, cultivate and use each of these abilities which in turn results in the fruitfulness of influencing the lives of the people God has placed in our world whether they be children, spouses, employees, friends or neighbors. We are special to God and he wants to use us to speak “words of life” into the lives of those around us.


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