Friday, January 14, 2011

the "john the baptist" life.

the "John the Baptist" life.

tonight, regina and michael led our last devotional.
michael started off by referencing "The Barbarian Way" by Erwin McManus and how it talks about giving up the conventional life in order to live like a barbarian, meaning in faith. he referenced scriptures in John 3 to describe how, for example, John the Baptist lived. michael's words "living in the desert, wearing camel hair, and eating locusts and honey is NOT normal".

we're called to live in faith. jason and kerby had complete faith in their calling to move from their families, their lives in the US, to sell their possessions and move to Costa Rica, not knowing where money will come from or what to expect. but after talking to jason and kerby a couple nights ago, jason expressed that out of all the places he has lived since college, he has been most at peace in Costa Rica.

part of Hebrews 11 was read, known as the "Faith Hall of Fame".

who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.

These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

we're called to live a set apart life.
we're called to live by faith.
we may face hardships (in fact, we're guaranteed to face hardships when we pick

up our cross to follow Christ).
we may face taunting, persecution, prison, chains, sickness, and even death.
but it's all because God has something BETTER planned for us: perfection in Heaven.

it's not easy to live a life of faith. regina shared stories of wondering about their new job positions and how to manage money and such. but they have been able to pray about a sense of peace with God's providence.

regina then posed the question: "What can we give up that will require us to live by faith?"
i shared my "new years resolution" to donate part of my income to jason and kerby. i feel like with this new job opportunity, this is the true test of how good of a steward of my money i can be. it's easy to earn a big paycheck and then say "this is MY money" but it truly isn't my money at all.

pat also shared stories of providence and how God has always provided. i also shared a story that i read, where a newlywed couple pledged to give 10% of their income; and the next year, they increased to 11% and continued to increase 1% each year. someone asked them "how long have you been married?" and they said "over 50 years" and when the math was done, the couple was giving over 60% of their income.

stories of God's providence are always encouraging because i know that it is the reward of complete faith in God! i have a huuuuuge personality trait of independence. so it will probably take a lot of time to break down my walls of self-sufficiency.

but God will provide everything.
including the strength and willingness to depend solely on Him.

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