The Gospel

Posted by Tori on Jul 26, 2011 in a good word., family.

In our bulletin at ECBC, there is normally a prayer listed to use in preparation for worship. A few weeks back, it said the following:

“Almighty God, we are thankful that your mercy is higher than the heavens, wider than our wanderings, deeper than all our sin. Forgive our frivolous attitude toward the Gospel, toward life itself, our callousness toward suffering, our envy of those who have more than we have, our obsession with creating a life of constant pleasure, our indifference to the treasures of heaven, our neglect of your wise and gracious law. Help us to live in the joy of repentance, to change our way of life, so that we may desire what is good, love what is good, love what you love and do what you command, through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (emphasis mine)

As I was reading over this it struck me, as it has been for the last few months, but this time in a much more in your face sorta way.  I started having questions run through my mind like Why do we envy? What is my obsession? Why a life a pleasure in worldly things? Do I have a frivolous attitude toward the Gospel?

A few weeks ago, Tori and I decided to share the responsibilities of posting. This is my first attempt. Tori said recently that God has been changing our hearts and igniting passions (or re-igniting them as the case may be). This prayer really made me examine myself. I did have a frivolous attitude toward the glorious Gospel. I had no passion to share my faith with any one. How could I really say that I loved people and not care about their life in relation to eternity? The short answer was I didn’t. Why was this? Well, it comes from the next two statements. I envied those who had more and I was obsessed with having a life of pleasure.

We moved to Charleston a little over two and a half years ago. Why did we move?  Answer: Money. I took a job that was paying a considerable amount more than I was making in Columbia. The raise I received for coming down here secured me to make more than double what I was making working at CIU after graduation. Tori and I were just married and it seemed like a good thing to do. It also meant that we would not want for anything. Since then, nearly every decision that we made was through the lens of security for our family and keeping up with the Jones’s.

Recently, we  have felt God calling us in a different direction. I took a job in March that we thought would lead us in that direction (overseas missions). We wanted to go with the IMB for what we thought were valid reasons. Herein lies the problem the reasons we wanted to go with them were the same that we had been chasing for the last few years; security in finances (we didn’t have to raise support), and obsession with a life of pleasure (we didn’t have the stress of putting full faith in His promise). This led us to a church (that we love by the way) and the story from there is all God’s providence. We started working with the youth ministry and a small campus close to our house. We were there for a few months and then felt God calling us to something different.

The road that was started with that calling is where we are now and our lives will never be the same. We started working with the college ministry and are now able to say that if raising support is what God has for us then we are ready. I have been able to meet with the college pastor and our time is such a blessing. He is very wise and has many years of experience. I feel like every time I am around him I grow a little (or a lot) in my faith. I am looking forward to the experience that we will have as we partner with him in ministry.

Last weekend, I went on a trip with the college ministry to check out a ministry called Campus Outreach. I had an amazing time and God really showed up. Not only did I develop some great relationships, but I was also able to go out with college students to share our faith. This is where the change is beginning for us.

Proverbs 23:4-5 Do not weary yourself to gain wealth, Cease from your consideration of it. When you set your eyes on it, it is gone. For wealth certainly makes itself wings like an eagle that flies toward the heavens.

I read this while on the CO trip. Along with the prayer at the top, my life cannot be the same. I am determined to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. No longer will I chase after money. I pray that I will no longer envy what others have, be obsessed with a life of pleasure, and most of all may I never again have a frivolous attitude toward the Gospel. I don’t know where our family will be in the days to come. But, what I do know is that we are chasing after the Lord hard and we are willing to go wherever, whenever, and however He asks us to even if it means sharing our faith in a place that is not pleasurable or the envy of the world.

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