Home From The Holidays
There's tons to share, but I need to be brief tonight since I need to play catch-up on some website work for my brothers church - http://www.gracebiblecs.com/.
I learned so much on my "vacation." Life has really changed now that my earthly family has gone in such different directions. I never realized how much till this last Christmas. That was difficult for me as I'm not a creature who enjoys change - though change seems to be the one constant in life. It's a good thing, really - a sign of growth. Since God's character is really the only existing constant, change keeps us reliant on Him in so many ways.
Here's a taste of what God's been showing/teaching me since my last post:
Luke 15:11-32 (a.k.a. "The Prodigal Son") isn't really about the Prodigal son at all. Yeah, he's ONE of the key supporting characters, but the key figure is the FATHER. Read it through again and look for what the Father does. Dr. MacArthur recently did a few sermons on this parable that have really opened my eyes to what this parable reveals about the character of our Heavenly Father. Putting the story into it's historical context has given it whole new life and meaning for me. Everything the Father does demonstrates amazing humility, mercy, grace, kindness, and an indescribable, unashamed (or "shameful" according to the religious folk of that day) lavish love. I'll definitely be putting together a nice long post on this one - it's astounding!
I Thess. 5:8-11. It doesn't come out directly in the passage, but while discussing this in Bible Study I was struck with the correlation of spiritual warfare and physical warfare. Warriors through out history fight for many reasons, but generally it came down to loyalty to one's sovereign, protection of their honor, and - here's the clincher - protection of the warrior's own family. Why do we pray? Why do we arm ourselves with memorization of Scripture? Why do we obey the Word and confront sin & encourage one another? Why do we fight the good fight? Why are we not to be weary in well doing? Because we are protecting our family! Not our physical brothers & sisters - our Spiritual family. The church! When we fail to do all that the Lord has commanded, we weaken the defenses that protect our family against the enemy. Definite food for thought!
I Cor. 13:5 "Love. . . is not provoked. . . "
Pastor Tom Patton takes this little phrase apart in 3 astounding sermons - EVERYONE should listen to these! They are life-changing and relationship-changing. I'm considering writing out his sermons as posts they are SO convicting and challenging. Love is a VERB - and it's one that calls for total sacrifice of SELF! All of his sermons on this chapter are well worth listening to, but the one's on not being provoked and on forgiveness have struck me hardest.
Well, that's all I have time for right now. More in the days to come :-)