I was saved when I was ten years old. And when I was in high school, we attended a church called Berachah that met almost every night, because even as we need to eat physical food every day to nourish our body, we need to eat spiritual food every day to grow as Christians. I can read verses all day, but when I read that verse where Jesus said: go and make disciples...I heard, share the gospel whenever God gives you opportunity. That is not what it says. Go. Make. Disciples.
Go: from here. get off your you-know-what.
Make: invest in the relationships. time. lots and lots of time. And leave the results to God.
Disciples: not just baby believers. mature folks who can go forth in the next generation.
I did not dig this out for myself. A pastor missionary nephew was used by God to point it out to me.
And that walk on water story in the Bible----great story, fun story, but I have not been near a lake in a long, long time. And I have no desire to go near a lake. Lakes are dirty. The lake near us eats people. Every time you turn on the radio, they are talking about another idiot that got too close to that lake and drowned. or is it just plain old, drown. Is drown the past tense for done drowned? I digress.
A pastor dug into that story for me recently, too. Our church takes a break on Wednesday nights right as school starts, so we were fending for ourselves, visiting other website-church-Bible Studies, and Pastor Mark Driscoll is off on a tour of the Holy Land with his cute family. So, I clicked on the Denton Bible Church website---our other place for a Bible fix, and lo and behold Pastor Tom Nelson has had a bad heart attack! And that guy was in shape! Worked out every day. One doctor said all of Denton was checking in for their physicals with the news that Pastor Tom Nelson had an artery clogged one hundred percent. They got to it in time. But, wow--listen to his last sermon before the big heart attack---knowing what we now know. Whoa. Makes that story come alive in more ways than one. What? Jesus says to go across the lake and talk to those evil gentiles?? And here they obey, and probably muttered to themselves, just what are we gonna do when we get there...and Jesus waits until it is storming real good before walking out to them scaring them to death. They thought He was a ghost! Then Peter gets all bold and wants to try it. And the story applies to us? Now? I never saw it just reading it for myself. God provides pastors to dig out the nuggets in the story for us. God does not want us to sit home and be islands unto ourselves. God does not want us to hunker down in our little compounds and homeschool our darlings. God wants us to enteract like a family, and all the messiness that that entails. (with entrails) Does God have a sense of humor or what?!
Sometimes God even sends special preachers across the pond to give me a special word. To slap me upside the head and remove all doubt. That has happened twice in the last eleven months! And the second time...whoa...I thought, this is getting to be embarrassing. I definitly do not give enough to cover that guy's plane ticket! Isn't God good? When the pastor covered my favorite Bible story of all time, the woman with the alabaster jar, I thought I was going to become a holy roller. And my family thought so, too as I would not shut up about it.
But, back to Pastor Tommy Nelson's message: Jesus is going to send you places, and then a big old storm will come up and you will think you are dying, and then Jesus will draw closer, and help you walk on water, and He won't even turn off the storm test until He has joined you in the boat and enjoyed the storm WITH you. I could have read that story all day and never seen that one. Whoa. I gotta share that one with Suzanne. She has had some big old storms hit her little boat recently. And try cleaning a graft, check blood sugar, and blood pressure in a rocking boat! Jesus, please get in the boat with my dear friend and show her how to walk on water. And after a little stroll in your arms, please guide her back to the boat, and get back in with her, and ride out this storm of family members having surgery---her daughter-in-law, and grandson, and husband. She is bolder than Peter in sharing the gospel. Help her make disciples.
And next Sunday will be the tribute to The Colonel. God kept that man faithful, persevering to the end. Please comfort his family, his dear wife, and son, and I pray that the memorial service honor You.
Thank you for all the pastors in my life. Shepherds. Guides. And I pray you use my husband to teach our Sunday School. Infuse him with what You'd have us know.