Dad asked me to share a little in both services this morning and while I was scared to death, it was fun to share what God's doing in HK and it was neat for me to think of how a part of our ministry Dover is with their prayers. I decided to share some specific examples on how God answered their prayers and it was just wonderful for me to focus on God's blessings over the past year.
His message was very interesting and powerful too and I felt blessed to be able to hear it twice! I was able to pick up on some things that I missed the first time around. The message was based on Romans 10:14-17 and the title was 'A Remedy for Rejection.' He was talking about how Paul was confronting the Israelites with the truth of Jesus but how they refused to accept this.
One thing that really stuck out to me was this verse: Acts 28:24 "Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe." Notice it doesn't say couldn't believe... they wouldn't believe. It was a choice that they made and it brought to mind so many situations in which we chose not to do something and then turn around and try to justify the behaviour. One example that he used was speeding. A person choses to speed then when they get caught they try to justify their behaviour by saying they didn't see the speed limit sign. The truth is the truth (for the ex above the truth is the law of the speed limit that even if everyone does it.. if you get caught you will pay the price) and that truth is found in Acts 4:12 "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." And as Christians it is our responsibility to 'bring good news!" (Romans 10:15, Matthew 28:19)) Only God is the one who knows who will and will not be saved but it's our job to make sure we give everyone the opportunity to hear the truth.
And then I attended Sunday School and they are going through the book 'The Life You've Always Wanted' (a great book) and they were on the section of hurry-sickness, I believe it's titled. And we discussed what happens when we live a hurried lifestyle... we lose patience, we respond to others in negative ways, our relationship with the Lord truly suffers. We talked about why we feel the need to 'hurry.' How it makes us feel important, makes us forget our lonliness, prevents us from having to deal with our true selves. It was very interesting and the statement that really got me here was... 'We have eternity with Jesus.' The second he said this I began thinking about all the things I try to do here on earth and how when I get really focused on those things ... my relationship with the Lord tends to suffer. If I'm going to be spending eternity with the Lord why wouldn't I want to take every chance, every opportunity now to embrace my relationship with Him, to discover His truths and to bring others along with me?
It's was just a great morning of worship and I'm thankful that I was able to be a part of it.
Being home and not really having any responsibilities has really made me think about my life, my hobbies, my responsibilites, etc... I've thought about my purposes in different situations. I've asked if all aspects of my life reflect Christ and if not, why? It's made me question why I choose to get so upset, so frustrated at situations when I know that the Lord is in them and that He has a plan. Why do I not choose to rejoice more? It also has me thinking why I tend to shy away from speaking the truth? Why should I be afraid to share with someone what God tells us in His word to Christians and non-Christians? Why do I feel like I have to walk on egg shells when it comes to the truth with some people? Why are people afraid to look deeply at themselves in order to become more like Christ? Why are we afraid to hear words that may hurt at first but will guide us into a deeper relationship with the Lord? I think the biggest question popping into my head is why do christians become content in their relationship with the Lord, how do we become content, why don't we realize that we've become content, etc and it brought me back to what was discussed in church this morning... do we chose to be content because it's too hard to become like Christ?
I've been reminded that it's too easy to get caught up in the negatives of life, to blame others, to justify inappropriate behaviors and how devastating that is to our personal relationship with the Lord and often with others too. But what if we chose to respond by saying, 'Blessed be the name of the Lord' in all situations? To remember that we are not of this earth... and to focus/lean/depend on God? Wouldn't we ultimately be happier, have healthier relationships, and draw closer to God now. I'm not perfect by any stretch but I do pray that what I've learned will stick with me and when I deal with difficult, challenging and even wonderful times that I will say... 'Blessed be the name of the Lord' and rejoice in how He's working in my life.
A lot of thoughts running through my jet-lagged head so I apologize if this doesn't make a lot of sense or flow very well but if I get behind in posting now... I'll never catch up. LOL And note to self... POST SOME PICS!