This past weekend we went on a retreat to Camp Tejas. We called it our “Risk” retreat and focused on what it means to take a step of faith and risk moving out of the normal and into the supernatural. Anyway, I just thought I’d share one of the best moments for me. It was Saturday afternoon and we had a guy named Rodgers speaking to us about his life in Kenya. He made a reference to a story in the book of John (Chapter 5) about the guy who had been trying to be healed for 38 years. He asked if anyone knew the story and I could see the lights going on for Zach, one of our younger guys – he knew the story! He knew it really well ’cause we had studied it in Bible Study earlier this year. Anyway, in that split second of watching him remember the story and the excitement on his face – I knew that my work was worth all the heartache that it causes me. This guy knew the Bible because of something that I had been a part of – thank you God for reminding me that my struggles are worth it. Any “risk” I take for you is no “risk” at all – ’cause you’ve got my back!
I was listening to a sermon by Paris Reidhead called “Ten Shekels and a Shirt.” He explains how we Christians have become humanists without even recognizing it. By coming to Christ because of heaven or some promised “better life” we are coming to Him out of our own selfish desires. We are really only after what we can get out of God – this is humanism. He goes on to suggest that God is still God and still worthy of us giving our lives for even if there was no heaven. More simply – God deserves to receive the lives that He paid for on the cross regardless of anything we might get out of the deal.
As I reflect, I wonder if it’s possible? Is there any way to give Him all I am without expecting anything or does my humanity mess that up for me. I do believe He should have what He deserves, but can’t seem to give myself totally selflessly either. If there was no heaven or any kind of reward, I would hope that I could still serve Him wholeheartedly simply because He deserves it, but. . . .would I???? How can I love selflessly?? How can I give myself unconditionally??
Only by His Spirit. Only by His power.
Lord, help me to be yours.
This link will get you to sermonaudio.com. From there you can search by speaker (Paris Reidhead) and find the download for this sermon. (Ten Shekels and a Shirt)
Miranda and I just moved into our new house this month. It’s kind of a mixed bag of emotions that I have. First, I’m excited to have a house and a place share my life with my wife. Our dogs love having a back yard too. Hopefully, one day we’ll have a family to share it all with too.
But there is a downside – we haven’t been there long, and already I’ve got a list of stuff I gotta do. Home is supposed to be a place to come home from work to rest – right?? I just finished building a kitchen table and now we gotta paint it, then I gotta build some end tables, and a shelving unit. I also gotta make sure the yard is kept up, figure out how to get our DSL line working at home, and_____, and _____. It just seems like the list goes on and on.
Anyway, I guess I’m pretty proud of the kitchen table I built and I’d say even after all the headaches, that it was worth it. As I imagine all the friends who will eventually sit at that table and the conversations which will surround it. We’ll probably play cards and laugh with friends there. Who knows maybe, we’ll even eat on it every once in a while? As I built the table, I probably should have prayed for some of those things, but I must admit I was too busy thinking about measurements and where did I put the screwdriver. (I’ll try to do that next time I build something.)
Maybe I just need to turn my thinking around a bit – instead of feeling the pressure to get it all done – it should be an excitement to have more opportunities to serve my Jesus. I can pray at any time – even when I’m doing what I hate the most.