Bear with me, but I AM going to get caught up!
Selwyn Hughes has finally finished his series on the Pillars of Wisdom from Proverbs. (Did you guess the one we missed? Trust, Integrity, Generosity, Diligence, Kind Words, Friendship, and Personal Purity.) He sums up by reminding us that this is only his perspective, the main purpose being to inspire us to study Proverbs for ourselves. He also encourages us not to seek wisdom for its own sake, but so that we more effectively represent Christ. And in light of all the things he’s been sharing, you can appreciate his final caution, to “beware of legalism, that soul-destroying attitude that takes pleasure in principles more than in the Person who is behind them – our Lord Jesus Christ Himself.” (*click “Like” here*!)
I don’t mean to make note on these daily devotionals all the time, but there’s so often such “good stuff” in them! (Go to Crosswalk.com to sign up for your own emailed devotionals.) The next series is about being strong at the broken places. “Life breaks us all … but many are made strong at the broken places.” (Ernest Hemingway) Like the dike where the sea once broke through, so it was built up stronger than ever. “God specializes in matching His ability to your disability.” The latest reading included some really neat scripture–you’ll have to read 2 Corinthians 4:1-15 for yourself, there’s just so much in it (especially The Message!) Like, “Since God has so generously let us in on what he is doing, we’re not about to throw up our hands and walk off the job just because we run into occasional hard times.” (2 Cor. 4:1) And, “…We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives….” (2 Cor. 4:7)
Now, believe it or not, I’m going to do some very brief sermon notes! We had a special guest yesterday who was not bad at all. She was continuing our series on the basics, and taught from Hebrews 10:19-39 (which my son did a great job of reading, btw) about not neglecting “gathering together”. The three reasons she elaborated on were:
- to learn more of who Jesus is, what he did, and what it means for us;
- to spur each other on to good deeds;
- to encourage those who are weary (this includes various things, but even those who are simply tired of not fitting in with the world–coming to church/small group reminds us that “we are not crazy”).
I saw a fourth reason in something she noted, when she was talking about how we all need the reminder, after being in the world all week, that “Ceasar” is not Lord, but Jesus is–declaring it together weakens the enemy! Praise is a weapon, and I’m always reminded of the novel by Frank Perretti (that I mentioned before!) about the rulers of “this present darkness” (a scripture quote, as well the title of one of his books).
One other thing I appreciated being reminded of, is that the Church community includes people who are at various points in their Faith-Walk. Some totally believe, some believe a little, some are not sure what they believe, others are not really believers–but at least they have not “abandoned” the community, and are still part of it!