Monday, November 19, 2012

Preach on...

SO many times I've heard someone say, "Preach the Gospel to yourself."
And so many times I have thought, "What a great idea!"  
And it is.

Then I get caught up with myself about "how" to do that and "what" to preach to myself.

{I'm a terrible danger to myself, friends.  Please consider finding me help at some point.}

But lately, God has been opening my eyes in such beautiful ways and revealing Himself in a daring way.  Oh, I'm so grateful that He would do such a thing to someone as undeserving as me. 

I'm still a mess, but at least it's turning into something beautiful.

A few weeks ago in a class I'm taking {through our church, check it out!} we were talking about just this thing -- preaching, not being a mess -- and it was so enlightening!  I would even say it was refreshing and so simple. 

I often struggle with not being able to do "simple" things.  Simply because I'm over-the-top.  I'll "Master the Art of French Cooking", but when it comes to frying an egg successfully I'm toast {ha. hahahahhaha. get it?!}. I can tackle a handful of kids playing at my house and have them all successfully paint something fantastic, but entertaining and keeping up with a single child -- don't test me.  So the "simple" in preaching to myself was exactly what I was missing.

We read through Ephesians 1:15-23 in the class and discussed, verse by verse, how these words were the Gospel. So easy, right?! And from there the teacher said "Look at scripture and recognize what God is revealing through His Word -- the Gospel!"  Yes.

And now all we have to do is remind ourselves of these things!

So {with all of that said} this small statement has caused a lot of chaos in my heart over the last week: "Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer." {Romans 12:12} Even now, I shake my head and consider how powerful this is. 

Rejoice in hope.  THE hope.  Jesus.  Eternal life.  Grace upon grace. Jesus lived and died and rose again.  He's alive.  He alone is our hope.

Be patient in tribulation.  Of any kind -- disciplining children over and over. Disagreeing with your husband.  Struggling with infertility.  Carrying burdens that are not your own.  Handling your money.  Car trouble. Stepping on a lego!  Be patient.  Rest in the arms of the Almighty.  Learn the goodness and the beauty of patient endurance from the One who patiently endured life on earth and death on a cross out of deep love and a incredible obedience.

Be constant in prayer.  Don't stop.  Pray about everything -- little and big.  Pray out loud, so your children will see that it's so important.  Pray with your husband.  Pray with a friend who needs encouragement or guidance or love.  Pray for people you don't know.  Pray that you will manage your time better.  Pray, pray, pray.  And know that God hears.  And we are not forsaken. Jesus shows us how important prayer is through His example!

So there.  The Gospel. Toward the end of Romans.  In a section talking about the "marks of the true christian". But It's everywhere.  The entire Bible shouts out the gospel and reminds us of the hope we have, the freedom we have, our need for a Saviour. 

Don't miss it. Read it and look for the gospel and then...preach on.

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