Monday, September 14, 2009

Jesus Paid It All

This is an account of my efforts to put into action what I learn while reading the Bible, an account of my journey to become closer to God.

I’m about halfway through reading Isaiah and am finding it an interesting book. I don’t always get the significance of the historical chapters (the prophecies about Egypt and other tribes/lands) but I do get the references to the coming of Jesus. It’s very impressive to read those prophecies and realize they were written 700 years before Christ was born!

Cameron and I finished our first model car this weekend! Now on to the next one. It’s a great exercise; a setting for teaching him patience, planning and pride in his work. We’ve only been together a little over six months now as mentor/mentee but I’d call it a tight relationship. I’ve been delighted with how my neighbors have come out to meet him and have been so kind when getting to know him. I hope our relationship is breaking the cycle he was caught up in. I still find it hard to believe at times that I’m being used to guide someone onto a straight path, but in spite of my disbelief I’m glad to be doing it. Actually, God is doing it; I’m just the tool through which His work is getting done.

Speaking of His work, Jill and I, along with another couple in our neighborhood who attend the same church as we do, hosted our first neighborhood congregation meeting last night. Eleven people came together for nearly 2.5 hours to have fellowship and talk about how we can support each other in our faith journey as well as reach out to our neighbors who may be seekers. Ten more people want to participate but couldn’t make it last night. Wow, over 20 people coming together to share worship in each other’s homes!

A funny thing, an Elder from the church asked to meet with us before we held our first meeting to make sure we were going to launch the neighborhood congregation in the spirit in which the church intends. As we sat around the table talking, we all discovered we were “rebel” Christians, people thinking outside the box in the name of reaching the unchurched. We agreed that you’ve got to go to the people to reach them wherever they are, you can’t sit back and wait for them to walk into the church. So don’t be surprised if one day I’m posting about our Beer and Bible party!

I know a few people are rolling their eyes at me right now but let me explain myself by repeating what a very popular Christian author and retired seminary faculty member once said: “I lead my life in such a way that Christians may doubt my salvation but the unsaved will want to know what I’m so happy about.” That sums it up nicely, I think.

On a final note today, I once wrote that I answered “because I have a lot of sin to cover” in response to a question about why I do so much missional work. As I look back now nearly nine months after I began my daily Bible reading, I see what a misinformed answer I gave. I can’t repay my sins, nor does God want me to do good deeds because of my overwhelming guilt. Jesus paid the debt of my sins past and those to come. Only He can redeem me; I cannot redeem myself. Today I’d answer the same question differently: I do good deeds to spread the good news. I do good deeds to share the joy of my salvation. I do good deeds to bring glory to God. As the old hymn says, “Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe.”

Well, I guess that’s enough for today. Thanks so much for visiting my blog, and please pray for me and my family. Now go out and hug somebody!

1 comment:

Ginny said...

I'm sitting here reading and smiling! It's a joy to follow your journey, Greg!