Have you ever heard the phrase "do not forsake the fellowship" or "do not give up the habit of meeting together"? I know that I have heard it - like a lot! What does it even mean and what should it mean to us as believers in the 21st century with all of the busyness, pain, and sadness that we are surrounded with?
This Sunday our chapter is titled Biblical Community and we will try to tackle this phrase that is so baffling (it is found in Hebrews 10:25 if you want to look it up). My desire is to paint a picture of what life was like for the early believers and for us to discover the reason that God has this phrase in the Bible and how it pertains to us in this present age.
I hope to see you there, not because it is necessary for salvation, nor is it required to be a good Christian. I hope to see you there because as we join together we can encourage one another in love, build each other in the Hope of Christ, and strengthen our faith that God is in control and Christ is coming soon.
You will NEVER know how important it was, and how much it meant to Carol and I that everyone at DBC got on their knees and prayed for us regularly and often since I was diagnosed with cancer. Talk about Biblical Community! And the neatest thing was how that community spread nation wide as friends enrolled their friends and as family enrolled their friends to pray for us. There were 'dark' times when it seemed we were alone. But that was what Satan wanted us to believe. It never took long before the power of all of your prayers broke through and brought us the comfort we needed. I will NEVER underestimate the power of God's people working together to achieve God's work. All of Denali has been so wonderful. God is so good and with His power much can be accomplished.
So...I'd like to encourage you to read chapter 16 to your children. Help them understand that God's people can do so much more together than they ever could alone. If God is in the center and we all come together around Him, nothing, NOTHING, can stop us from doing HIS will.
Bless you all!
For those of us who trust God for our salvation I think each of us desires to totally surrender to God's will. We want to live as Jesus did. We want a strong relationship with God. We want to serve Him. We want to praise Him. We want to please Him. Until He asks us to experience cancer or loss of a loved one. Until He asks us to step out of our shell and talk to someone about Jesus. Until that big bill comes in for an unexpected repair. But total surrender is a sacrifice. It's living for Him in spite of the circumstances. It is totally fine to desire to be healthy and financially sound, but when God has a different plan, we need to say, "Thank you, please help me bring you glory in this." THAT IS SO HARD TO DO. But that is what Jesus did. He died on that cross so our sins could be forgiven. He obeyed the Father when it cost Him dearly. Our life on earth is not for our benefit, it is for His.
I struggle with this. Not the concept but the doing. I don't want to think about my mortality...I want to live a happy, long life serving God and taking care of my wife. I don't want to worry about cancer and how it is changing my life. But I want to totally surrender to God. So I need to thank Him and ask Him to help me take one step at a time. I need to ask Him for a good and grateful attitude so I can bring Him glory. I need to thank Him for walking with me.
I have always admired Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. I have always wanted to be just like them, willing to give my life for Him. But I'm not sure I'd be so willing, no, I guess I need to say I wouldn't be so willing. I'd look for a way out. I love how they answered the king..."If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and He will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if He does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." Daniel 3:16-18 They knew God had the ability to save them but they also knew God's plan was for them to be committed to Him even if He didn't save them. That's what I face with this cancer. I know God can save me from it, but maybe I can serve Him better with it. I want to walk His path, not mine.
So how can you help your children understand this total surrender stuff? Talk to them about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednago. Talk to them about Moses and Joshua. Talk to them about Peter and Paul. The Bible is full of men and women who were totally committed to God. And they were all like us...sinners...imperfect. But they were also forgiven and given the power from God (not their own power) to serve Him as He needed.
God bless you as you help your children become more like Jesus this week!
We take turns writing when God gives us an idea. The author will be noted.