Monday, July 21, 2008
Please pray for the time with my family. That the Lord would bring a refreshing to us all in unity, with thanksgiving through Christ. That we would be strengthen in our inner-being as we fellowship together! I only go home twice a year and really desire for the Lord to use this time well in furthering my families unity in Christ. May we treasure Christ and His sweet grace upon us and continue to pour out grace to each other in reflecting the Gospel. Even so that His Spirit would grow our love for Him more and more through His Word, that we could not help but love and cover each other with grace, as so our Father has done so with us!
My heart is burden in several ways this past week or so and just desire for much growth and change from our Lord. It's true that often we don't have because we don't ask. The Lord is gracious to hear our prayers....and remembering the sermon at church yesterday, the Lord will continue His purposes for His people. Despite how diverse our backgrounds(personalities) might be, how slow we can be in learning, and how we can still struggle with the same sin...the Lord is merciful to complete His purposes for His people. This is seen throughout the early church in the book of Acts and we can see this truth today. God shows His glory through weak people and advances His kingdom despite their lack of trust in Him. The truth that He is the dependent factor in changing us and in revealing Himself to the Nations...is extremely encouraging! Our Pastor Ryan, went through these points seen in Acts and I highly encourage you to listen to that sermon off our churches website!
I don't know about you, but often when I go home I can struggle with the same tendencies of sin and unbelief as I did growing up. It's like a flashback of my old sin patterns and just desire for the Lord to give abundant grace to cause me to remember the Gospel and God's faithful promises during my time at home. And that I would use this time to rest well, resting in the Lord and not just wasting time or growing in laziness! Finding deep rest in Christ through His living Word and letting that be what waters me and causes me to love my family well.
"Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,
“Awake, O sleeper,and arise from the dead,and Christ will shine on you.”
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ."
Thanks for the prayers, I am eternally grateful for them...unto His glory we pray! Amen!
Thursday, July 17, 2008
I am so thankful that the Lord is my Keeper. I am at work right now and was just reading through the Valley of Vision prayers. Which is always refreshing reminder of the Gospel. I originally was just going to post a prayer below, but wanted to share my interesting conversation I just had...
We just had our 15 minute break and I was talking to this guy at work, who happens to be a devout Mormon who did a 2-year mission in Thailand.
...On a side note, I have a heart for Mormons and there are several I work with. Several years ago I got to live in Salt Lake City for a summer and serve with Hidden Valley Presbyterian Church. I spent the summer loving on the youth group girls and encouraging them with the Gospel of grace found in Christ alone. It was an incredible summer growing in the knowledge of Christ and how we were saved only through His grace, not by works. It was such a blessing to work this Gospel-centered and Christ-exalting church, I am forever changed through my time spent in Utah! Pray for this church to continue to be a light in a city that clings to Mormon belief's of works-based salvation to receive peace with God! Oh my heart needs to be more burden for the deceived and lost around me, for apart from grace in Christ I would be in the same place!
...Okay, now that you are caught up to speed...we (my co-worker and I) just had some good dialogue at break that has left me challenged! It started off by him asking how my j-term class went because I had told him I was taking a class over the New Testament last week. Now it gets tricky! The thing that blows me away is that what I explained about the New Testament, he agreed with me. I tried to prob more questions to him about why the Mormon's used there Book of Mormon's in addition to the Bible. You can tell that he has had a lot of experience in explaining what they believe. Yet, they use the very same terminology as Christians do! It's hard to get any where because they think we are meaning the same thing, when I say key words like, "gospel" and "grace" and "salvation". We had to get back to work, but I said to him that I would like to continue to discuss this more later. He agreed.
I'm explaining this story because I'm asking for two things:
- Prayer. Please pray for my Mormon friends here at work. That the Lord would give me favor and wisdom in discussing true Christianity with them in how the absolute truth found in the Bible competes and wins over Mormonism. That the Spirit of God would move and soften their hearts to desire to know the true God of Scripture and bring conviction of the fallacies of their belief and in His kindness bring them to repentance and faith in Christ.
- Can anyone have any tips in evangelizing to Mormon's? I see that its over my head and totally dependent on the Holy Spirit's work. I need to grow in understanding still and knowing how to communicate clearly the excellencies of God and dispute their wrong-thinking and teaching! Again, this is so humbling and sobering that the God of creation would use His little children to declare the goodness of God in the face of Christ! So really, if you could help me with tools and ideas of communicating clearly to them, let me know! Please PRAY for much grace in all of this!!
"Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!" -Romans 11:3
Saturday, July 5, 2008
1. Because He Loves Me By Elyse Fitzpatrick
6. To the Golden Shore: The Life of Adoniram Judson By Courtney Anderson