We have a visiting preacher to our congregation this week for a gospel meeting.
I love these because a new (to me) preacher or one that only visits once or twice a year comes to town and stays with a family from our congregation while preaching nightly for several days in a row. Usually lots of folks from nearby congregations come on the weeknights to join us in worship. It is so encouraging to sing hymns together with a larger number than we usually have and hear gospel lessons from a style and perspective that I don't regularly get. I always come away from the week of the meetings feeling uplifted and refreshed with a renewed zeal for living out the faith in my own life and for sharing it with others.
This week we're blessed to have a family visiting that has four children who are homeschooled. I've enjoyed discussing the subject with the preacher's wife and hearing how much they like it. The preacher is doing a series of lessons called "Amazing Moments with Jesus." Yesterday we listened while the accounts of Jesus calming the storm on the sea, healing a paralytic who was lowered through the roof, and cleansing a man of demons or "unclean spirits" were relayed to us in inspiring fashion.
One of my favorite statements made was regarding the calming of the storm on the sea. The lesson itself was on faith trumps preparation. We know Jesus never suggests that we should not be prepared, but that when it comes to a decision between faith and preparation, we should put faith before preparation. The way the speaker phrased it was this: "Jesus told his followers that they can put faith over preparation because He can overcome a lack of preparation easier than a lack of faith." That statement really resounded with me. We don't normally think of Jesus or God as having trouble overcoming anything. The truth is- a lack of faith is something Jesus rebuked His disciples of because it isn't something that works like a lightswitch. If God could flip a switch and give us faith, how does that teach us? "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ" Romans 10:17 We also know that a lack of any physical preparation is easily overcome by Christ, at least in terms of the many miracles He performed to provide food, money, etc.
I'm sure there are a lot of deep theological discussions that could be drawn from this, but for now I'm encouraged by the simplicity of the statement above and the lessons I've heard so far.
Tomorrow I am meeting the visiting family along with some other members of my congregation at the Creation Museum. I have never been, so I am excited to visit and bring my littles. Hopefully I can write up a post about it too.
On top of all THAT, our congregation is getting ready to start a bible study on Proverbs, which I have never studied in depth. So much wonderful, edifying things happening! I am so thankful for my family in Christ and the fellowship and support from them. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!