I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
Allow me to brag about my wife for a moment.
Shiloh has passed the point of being pregnant and moved into the realm of very pregnant. She is a little over 37 weeks pregnant and we are both so excited to meet our new daughter. Now, the part to brag about.
My wife has had lots of questions from people lately about how bad she must want to be done with being pregnant and get the baby out, and how much she must be suffering. Today she told me that she felt like women were encouraging her to be frustrated and discontent with the idea of being pregnant for 3 more weeks. And then she said, “Why should I be discontent? I am completely content with being pregnant and having a baby in me for three more weeks”
We tend to see verse in Philippians as referring to really hard situations, like having no house, or barely having enough food. But my wife reminded me today that to complain about the mundane or everyday is stealing the glory away from God and making life all about me.
Thank you Shiloh for showing me things about following God. I love you. And I’ll work on being content…
I’m super-excited to be starting to teach through Ephesians tonight at youth group. My prayer is that students will catch on to the idea that their identity as students, children, friends, workers or whatever else, must be found in Christ. And, that being found in Christ changes everything…
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.
I have been working hard lately to help students understand and experience true worship of God. Through singing, prayer, service and interactive nights of worship, I have tried a ton of different things. But this morning I was struck that for all the time I put into planning worship, I might be missing worship on the approach. I am reading Jesus Creed by Scot McKnight and he had this to say about worship:
Worship happens when I comprehend (1) who I really am before God- a love-violating sinner, (2) how faithful and gracious God is to his sacred commitment of love for me, and (3) how incredibly good God is to open the floodgates of that love to me. (pg 50)
I think a lot of times, in youth group and our main church gatherings, our worship starts at number 3, or at best, number 2. The goodness and love of God is amazing, but it won’t change how we (or students) respond to God unless we realize how undeserving of it we really are. Songs and times of repentance and mourning over sin must be a part of youth ministry!
(and no promises that my blog drought is over!)