We have finished our last full week of classes - wow has it flown by!! Our personal discipleship time has been spent in Romans this week...here's a few of the highlights.
1."Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised." Romans 4:20-21 Please pray that over the next few weeks (actually for the rest of our lives) that we will not waver through unbelief. We desire to live our lives being fully persuaded that He will fulfill every promise!
2. "Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him." Romans 6:8 - How often have I used the phrase "to die to self"? It's pretty common to reference that phrase in the Christian life - after all it's what we have been called to do. Die to self - Live in Christ The question on my heart this week has been how often do I truly do that? I'm quick to think I deserve or have a right to certain things/ideas/etc. However, does a dead person have rights? How about expectations? I'm pretty sure that a dead person can do nothing - he/she can not think or act for themselves. Prayer? That we would indeed be dead to self and allow Christ to live, to reign, and to glorify Himself through us.
3. "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ," Romans 5:1 Where does our peace come from? It flows from God himself, because of our justification through faith. Only through our faith can we know peace. You know the bumper sticker/tshirt that says "Know God, Know Peace. No God, No Peace"?? It's the truth. Not. A. Single. Person. can experience peace without God. No other religion has peace - all other religions are practically based on the pursuit of peace. Praise Him for his peace and pray that the Mahafaly may know it personally.
4. You know what goes along with peace? Hope. How can we be people of hope? The answer lies in Romans 5:3-5 "Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us." Pray that we will be people of hope - which means that we are also people who rejoice in our sufferings.
5. Hebrews 4:12 "For the word of God is alive and active..." I wonder how often I read the Bible as if it is past tense. I wonder how often I skim stories because I've known them since childhood? I've been challenged so much in the past 7 weeks to dig deep. The Lord has shown me truths that I've never seen before...applications that I'm still processing. I've been asked if I want the Bible to be alive and active where we're going...what does that even mean? What would life look like if we let the Bible be our "norm" for life - for ministry? What's the "norm" in the Bible? Persecution. Multiplying Churches. Intense Discipleship. Sacrifical Living. Joyous Giving. Prayer. Fasting. Obeying. Pray that our live would be a reflection of the "norm".