Monday, November 19, 2012

But if not...

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
(Daniel 3:16-18 ESV)

But if not.

I think those are some of the most powerful words in this passage. "Our God will deliver us out of your hand...But if not.."

That is one of the most amazing sentences to me. These men had such faith that God could, and WOULD deliver them from the furnace, but even if he didn't, they would still worship Him. They would still love Him. They would never forsake the true God.

It shows a contrast to some sects of Christianity today -how so many Christians today can be leaning towards the prosperity gospel, that false gospel that promises health and wealth if you are a Christian.

I pray that we will always live in the "But if not." That we would love our God so much to trust that no matter what happens, good or bad, He is continuing His work of sanctification for HIS glory, however He sees fit to do it.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Lack of insight?

I tend to not post in this blog unless I feel like what I have to write sounds incredibly insightful.

I have another blog, one that I fill with last minute thoughts on faith as they run through my mind, an ever flowing stream of consciousness in more verse than prose. I let it show the less "scholarly" side of me, and reveal the right-brain side of me. The pouring forth of thoughts, with metaphors a blog long that probably only I can pick out.

This post, I guess, will combine the two. I haven't written in here for a while because I feel as though in order to write in this blog, I need to form my thoughts in such a way as to make an article.

In this post, instead, I will attempt at saying what I have learned lately.

  • I recently finished a book on Biblical Hospitality. An incredible convicting book looking at the command for us to be hospitable, the characteristics of a hospitable person, and how to live in order to anticipate hospitality. It has sparked in me a passion for more fellowship with unbelievers and strangers! What an exciting time.. and yet, I could still do so much better.
  • I desire so strongly to make disciples, and yet I know I am not. I miss being so in love with Christ that the passion overtook my everyday thoughts and I couldn't help but spill over into others, making disciples as I grew in excitement over my walk with Christ. Now, I feel as though I have been getting weary in well-doing, as Martin Lloyd-Jones would say. I just pray that He is working through me, sanctifying me in this time so that as others come alongside me I may reach out to others as well.
  • I have been convicted and repenting lately of lots of bitterness in my life towards those around me. Praise the Lord for giving me grace in this area, as well as patience as He waited for me to realize my sin and confess to others in order to reconcile! 
    • As a side note - a recent conference I attended, with Dr. Stephen Um giving a talk on Gospel-Shaped Community, reminded me of the incredible grace that Christ has showed us. He mentioned that Christ reconciled with us when we were unwilling to reconcile. How incredible is that?! Imagine, someone in our lives unwilling to repent, sinning towards us still, continuing to hurt us, and we giving them such a great gift of forgiveness when they don't care and don't even want it. But that is what Christ did! So that is what we can do for others.
  • My incredible husband has showed me daily what true grace and love is. What a gift and blessing he is, daily. Thank you, Vova, for being such a vessel of mercy to me. You are a wonderful man.
As I look over this post, I know that many may not read it, or find any sort of encouragement in it, but as I say at the top of this page - I am looking to grow in grace daily. And I think Christ is using each of these things to help me. I don't have the ability right now to make this more intelligible, so I hope this is helpful. 

In Him,