After a consuming week, I feel I am confused and drained. Today God has spoken to me again! I am so renewed:)
Pastor Randy started the series of the Acts. I longed for having a systematic teaching about this book, coz this is the basis of modern churches after Christ has departed to the Heaven. He raised several points that again impressed in my head.
I had no idea the bugs use the Sun as a guidance of direction. Pastor Randy said, when the bugs are flying recklessly around an artificial light, they are actually confused and messed up because they lost the sense of direction when the light is too close to them. They are supposed to follow the Sun, a source with a distinct direction, so they are guided to food grew under the Sun. He said this is just like us when we suddenly became confused after losing sight of God's light.
That's exactly me in these 2 weeks. I am confused. That actually echoes with my Philippians class today. I served more than 1 master. I forgot God is the only One I needed to please. So I got confused. I got so consumed by the conflicts at the workplace, coz I was too busy dealing with them on my own. I lost the joy I thought I knew so well. In no time, God gave me a practical to apply what I learned from the Philippians class.
The second thing in the sermon, Pastor Randy pointed out that in Acts 1:5 we are to be baptized in Holy Spirit, is actually saying we will be submerged in the Holy Spirit like when we are fully covered by water in our Baptism. That's such a stunning visual impact. This is how we should be longing for, such a beautiful picture of Heaven on Earth. Then in verse 1:8 Holy Spirit enables us to become Witnesses of God and His Gospel! Pastor Randy said this is actually THE Great Commission statement of the Bible, not Matt 28:18-20. It is so delightful to hear this! He also pointed out the Acts, is actually the second half of continuation of Gospel of Luke. So, it is a part of the Gospel and it brings us to another climax relating to God's sanctification and His power in us – how the Holy Spirit leads the Apostle and early church to spread the Gospel to the Gentiles. We can't miss this out after the first half – God's Justification and salvation by Christ's death on the Cross. So striking! I am so overwhelmed by this. I can feel the Glory, that Bright light God described Himself in the Old testament. So in awe. So majestic.
This is a part of the reason why lots of churches are powerless these days. I feel so excited to see what happens next in our church.
The third thing, Pastor Randy said about Mexican jumping beans (lol). He said, a Christian who doesn't realize the power of the Holy Spirit is like the lava trapped inside the jumping bean. Christ sets us free by reconciling us with God and His Holy Spirit sets us free by enpowering us to walk in His will. It is supposed to be so powerful that gives us the kind of freedom the world cannot imagine. But lots of times, we as Christians are afraid to receive the help from the Holy Spirit coz we know that Great Things (that we might no way take on ourselves) will happen.
That's also me in this week. I signed up for the Cleansing stream. I was at least moved by God to sign that up. but I back off with doubts. On one hand yes I was afraid to repeat my mistake in past church – being too busy and losing the purpose. However on the other hand, I am afraid what will happen after that. I am afraid of that GREAT THING Pastor Randy said today.
God encourages me to go for it. WIth another echo from the Philippians class. Brent said we have to let go of our control of our own joy. Coz we as servants of God, we have nothing. We have NOTHING and NO ABILITY to plan for our own joy. We have to let it go, give it to God. Surrender to His plan for us. I was moved to sign up, so that's God worked in me. I should surrender to that. So Amazing. So relieving.
I am so encouraged and I know where to draw out Hope from Him again. In the class, Brent puts it so clearly that thanksgiving and praise is the source of our Hope. Because when we give thanks and praise God, we affirm His character and faithfulness. This is our Hope. SO GREAT!
I love it. I love today.
I also felt so overwhelmed when we sang the old hymn ' I surrender All'. Such a beautiful and powerful song. Love it!
Thank you God for today!! I am so renewed!