Hope in the middle of a wash and wear kind of day...
2 Corinthians 1:9-11 (NIV)
9 Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11 as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.
Lord Jesus--Paul was such a hero of the faith...someone whose life experience really is much different than mine. He repeatedly went from frying pan into fire. All the time knowing that he was yet again putting himself in the middle of the fray. He life reads like a travel log. Mine is much different.
His church planting work was in the middle of a foreign culture and in a pagan environment. I can say all that I want to about living in a post-modern world, a world in so many ways that is "anti-christ." But the reality is my world still remembers you for the most part at Christmas and Easter. You maybe a cartoon character to many, but they know your name. For others you may be a picture cut out of life size proportions to have a picture taken with as a souvenir.
Today Lord Jesus, my description of life is not so dramatic. I am not risking death for the faith. My call is to move people from that cartoon cutout section to a place where faith is real. That transition is made only one way, and Paul assumes it in this passage.
It is a mixture of grace, that is experienced by faith, within a context of love. That is a transforming combination. That is the task that you have called me to...to creating opportunities where grace mixed with faith and love can come into contact with people's lives. For Paul that was what he was willing to risk everything to experience.
Lord Jesus--Thank for the entrance into people's lives that you have given me...I am thinking of the people of Living Springs who are on this journey with me. Lord, give me a creative heart and mind that is able to find places to engage people in relationships where grace mixed with faith and love can come in contact with their lives. That is what is worth dramatic risks. Paul and I as so different, and yet my hope is found from the same source as his...it is found in you, Lord Jesus.
Thank you for everyday Thursday mornings and the chance to see you work in this day.