1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus,… 3 I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day…. 6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you… 13 Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
Long before I recognized Jesus as “Savior” I believed he was the Son of God. Those two things are very different but even in those early days I knew enough to ask: “how can you overcome that life teaches you to build a protective shell around yourself?” That reminded me of this short video. It’s a visual picture of what’s at the heart of evangelism; the desire to nurture the vulnerability of new life with “the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus.“ It’s also a lesson about what the heart of an evangelist looks like; prepared, persistent and present.
Do you remember when you were freed from your protective shell you were stuck in? Do you remember how helpless and exposed you felt? Was there an “evangelist” who maybe looked like a neighbor or friend who was prepared to nourish you with their “prayers night and day…by the will of God…according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus?” Maybe today, you’ll have the chance to be an evangelist for someone longing to break out of their shell. This is your reminder: “fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you… Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard…” Fly!
We ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord. —Colossians 1: 9–10 NRSV
Today has become one of many meaningful lessons for me since I created this site. I decided I should tackle The Revelation. I’d spent 4 or more hours to come up with what I thought would be my first post until I read the last few sentences of what I’d written:
…from my point of view the end times began the day Adam and Eve ate that fruit. End times are all I’ve ever known. I’ve spent more than half my life learning to live with, and from, Jesus. Personally it matters more to me that I know the end of the story than the details. Jesus wins…and I’ll be there with him.’
Then I had my own revelation and had to confess and pray ‘I can’t do this.’ It was humbling to admit that A. I didn’t have the theological expertise to understand all that symbolism and B. I didn’t really care about the details. I feel twinges of guilt about both “A” and “B” but truth is a reality of God’s will and that reality is a process not a program you can decide on. And…I do know the end of the story!
In the meantime I rediscovered the reality of this prayer from Colossians and by changing the pronouns to personal ones it could become my prayer. I also found this quote in Reading the Signs of Daily Life by Henry Nouwen; “theology is all about—looking at reality with the eyes of God.” I really did need a spiritual eye check-up to see God’s reality. I’m am not a theological scholar but I am learning to see the reality of God’s will at least some of the time. PTL for seeing reality.
Hebrews 9:28 BibleGateway Verse of the Day [VOD]
…so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
I said to myself “I’ll just take it easy and let BibleGateway tell me what to read and write about for a while using their daily verse as a starting point.” I’d worked through Hebrews. I’d found inspiration in some places but struggled for days in others to write down what I thought I was being taught; sometimes right up to the last minute before posting to this blog. Hebrews was a challenge to my “little gray cells.” I’d finished it up and couldn’t wait to get to something easier.
Surprise! Look what that very first VOD was! I couldn’t help but think irony must one of God’s tools. My hours of thinking and writing are important but not as important as this one verse from that book I’d declared “finished.” That Lesson of Irony was my reminder that God determines “finished,” not me. Got it!