Larry and I came home tonight for a quiet evening and never went out to walk or anything because we had a storm here. It was kind of nice just hearing the rain outside and peace and quiet in the house. I love that sound.
Reading in I Timothy 2: 1-7 MSG tonight (I love reading I and II Timothy and Titus a few times a year because there are so many zingers in there for me as a leader and I receive so much out of it every time. So tonight's passage is this:
"The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live. He wants not only us but everyone saved, you know, everyone to get to know the truth we've learned: that there's one God and only one, and one Priest-Mediator between God and us—Jesus, who offered himself in exchange for everyone held captive by sin, to set them all free. Eventually the news is going to get out. This and this only has been my appointed work: getting this news to those who have never heard of God, and explaining how it works by simple faith and plain truth.
As a church (not just my church but every church) we have so often gotten away from the simple truths of prayer and the fact that... "He wants not only us but everyone saved..."
More than ever I realize that getting Jesus out of the Bible and into someone's head and heart so they are walking in it is like.............really hard. And it's one thing to get people saved, but to really get them flourishing in their journey? Maybe that's why I've always had such empathy for my weight watcher leader. People at WW have discovered the truth: they need to be healthy, get in shape, lose weight. However even after coming to that discovery and signing up for WW and going to the building...they now have to put the principles learned there in practice in order to flourish. Many flourish but just as many if not more don't and the WW leader gets exasperated sometimes at the people who stop and start, keep gaining and losing the same 10 lbs (me sometimes!), and stuff like that. Although I've just used WW as an illustration it's really not comparable to SALVATION but just gives a mere glimpse of the challenge of discipleship.
I've had an idea to do for our church for the month of July and Larry liked it and I think we're going to go with it. I'll blog about it here after we've announced it. :-) I don't want you Northsiders who read my blog to run out and spoil the announcement! You know, all a pastor really wants is to lead people into the fullness of God...to bring them into a true intimacy with Jesus. If we could only get people to fall more in love with Jesus, all our problems would be solved. It sounds simple but only after doing it for a while do you realize how challenging spiritual formation is.
Just think, if everybody fell totally head over heels in love with Jesus and stayed there, we'd have a church who treats everyone right all the time, gobs of money to go around (no lack of tithers), kids who were on a solid track spiritually because their parents would be so in love with Jesus they wouldn't let them stay home from youth or church...and the list goes on. I like the sound of all that.
Well, excuse me but gotta run...my husband wants us to take advantage of the quiet together, and perhaps...not be so quiet. :-)