01 June 2008

A Day of Rest

Today was a much needed day of rest. We split up the groups between local churches. My team along with several others attended Kernan Blvd. Baptist Church. I really liked it; we'll be going there every Sunday while we're here.

The sermon was an address to the graduating seniors of the church, a focus on the Urgency of Our Day, in context of James chapter 5.

James 5:7-12
7Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. 8You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near. 9Don't grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!

10Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job's perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.

12Above all, my brothers, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your "Yes" be yes, and your "No," no, or you will be condemned.

Looking at these verses, the pastor gave some instruction:
Three mistakes to avoid
1. Critical Speech (4:11-12) (2:8 - love your neighbor as yourself)
2. Delayed Obedience (4:13) - don't assume you have tomorrow; it's not guaranteed
3. Pursuit of Self (5:1-6)

Three commands to obey
1. Be patient. (v. 7)
2. Strengthen your heart. (v. 8)
3. Do not complain against one another (v. 11-12)

Three examples to imitate
1. Farmer - he nows there is something planted and works diligently to care for it even though there is no guaranteed result. (v. 7)
2. Prophet (v. 10) - endure oppression and hardship and steak and stand boldly for Christ.
3. Job (v. 11) - Job was faithful and trusted God until the end. He never saw God's purpose for the pain, but in the end he saw God.

Three truths to remember
1. Live a life with expectation that He will come back.
2. Trust God through circumstances.
3. Trust God's heart when we can't see His hand.

After lunch, I headed with a group to the beach. We spent a couple of hours there jumping in the waves and laying out; I got body surfing down pretty well -- I figured out if I jump onto the wave at just the right time and make myself as flat as possible and hold my arms straight down at my sides, palms out, and cup my hands toward the shore, I can ride a wave using my body like a surfboard. It was pretty sweet. A big storm rolled in and we went back to the dorms as the sky opened up with rain, lightning, and hail.

Tomorrow we start our jobs. The carpool thing should work out -- I found out all the Hyatt workers are meeting tonight to figure out who is riding with whom. So thanks if you were praying about that; I am constantly seeing ways in which the Lord is providing for my needs. This week, pray for everyone starting their jobs that they will work joyfully as if working for the Lord and not for man and just find strength in the Lord to still spend time with him daily as we continue to grow in this spiritual greenhouse here.


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