Sunday, August 4, 2013

challenged.

inspiration: reading "Kisses from Katie" and studying Colossians

today, i went back to Seacoast (Dream Center) for the first time since before i went to Africa. we started a new series called "Deeper", a study through the book of Colossians (or as Holden likes to joke: "Col-OCEANS", because the roll-in video was filmed at the beach and it's called "Deeper"...he's silly).

but it was a good sermon for me.
i'm NOT a history buff, by any means, but i always love hearing the context of the books of the Bible.

but what i learned today was it was a letter written by Paul to the church of Colossae (which i already knew), but Paul had never been there (didn't know this). The church of Colossae was started by Epaphras, who was saved during his travels to Ephesus.

but Paul was so very encouraged by the Colossians because of the way they loved one another.
We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel that has come to you...
-Colossians 1:3-6a 



Greg gave a very profound quote...
"Our [spiritual] maturity is not based on how much we know, but how much we love"

if i really think about it, how well do i really love others?
if i'm honest, i love others when it is comfortable.
i love others when it's convenient.
but i'm not sure i can assess how well i love when it becomes uncomfortable and inconvenient...(maybe you'll be willing to tell me...)

also, i started reading "Kisses from Katie", a book authored by Katie Davis, who is from Franklin, Tennessee (a city i love!) and who left the comfortable life she had her entire life to move to Uganda, where she passionately loves the country and loves the people and, above all, loves Jesus!

i'm inspired and amazed. not only because i just came back from an incredible life-changing trip from Africa, but just at her desire and passion to serve the Lord with all she has. she knew she was called to that place, despite the challenges and push-back she encountered from family and friends.

i am inspired.
but i can't help but feel jealous.

i love the people that i met in Kenya.
i was challenged in so many ways, especially physically.
and i don't doubt for a moment that God needed me there for a reason.
...but i don't think i'm called there.
i feel like God has called me to Charleston.

there's a part in the book where Katie recognizes that she had been called there:
Despite the obstacles, I felt a surprising level of comfort living in Uganda most of the time. I felt I was born to be there, and in many ways, living there seemed more natural than living in my native country. I had the unexplainable feeling, a settled knowing that I was where I was made to be. I knew deep in my soul that I was home.

i am jealous of that calling to a level. but God wants to do the same thing through me here.
God can and will and has used me in great ways here.
even though i'm still here in the States, i know that this is where my purpose lies.
i had the same feeling about Charleston, after moving here from Tennessee, knowing no one, moving by myself, into a new season of life.

i've been challenged.
how do i love like Jesus?
how do i bring Christ to my sphere of influence here?

i guess i just have to trust in Him to provide all that i need and to allow God to use the little things of everyday life to let His purpose be known.

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