I have a ton of pictures to share from our time in Whitefish, but I also wanted to write a bit too. So, I'm going to post a few pics at the end of this post and then I'll post more in the next few days. :)
A couple weeks ago, Josh and I were discussing our need to be more diligent about listening to our pastor’s sermons online and even finding other sermons to listen to/read. We are in church several times every week, but we are almost always doing the speaking. Although, this is an incredible privilege and we are very grateful for the opportunity, it does leave us without an important piece of spiritual nourishment. We need it and we miss it!
God is so gracious in the way that he meets our needs so perfectly. Before Josh and I even made any extra effort to download sermons, etc… we found ourselves blessed with a few different opportunities to be “fed” this past week! I have been so encouraged and challenged by these messages, I am anxious to share about them. I pray you are blessed by these few short notes from a couple of the teachings that so blessed me.
First, last Sunday we were in a Sunday School class (we don’t usually get to attend S.S., but last Sunday it worked out) where the teacher was speaking on Matt. 6:25-34. The lesson was primarily about how we tend to prioritize money and put our trust in it. However, the verse that most impacted me was the second half of verse 32 which says “…and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them.”The question the teacher challenged us with was “What if we lived like God knows?” As a follower of Christ, I would always tell you that I believe God knows. He is omniscient – all knowing. And yet, how often do I live as if I truly believe that God knows…
He KNOWS what I need!
He KNOWS my fears, my worries, my weaknesses, my regrets!
He KNOWS my past!
He KNOWS my future!
He KNOWS my husband, my children, my friends!
What if I behaved, thought, spoke in appropriate reaction to the TRUTH that GOD KNOWS?!
Second, Tuesday night we attended chapel at the PFM headquarters and heard a powerful message/testimony on Acts 20:24 which says,
“But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.”
Before I share briefly what so touched me about this message, I have to point out that I quoted this in the King James Version because this is the version the pastor used. I do not usually use the KJV, mostly because I grew up on the NIV and I often have trouble understanding the KJV J. When I went to find Acts 20:24 in my Bible it doesn’t include the first part about not being moved. That bothered me because that is the portion of the verse that most impacted me. So I went searching and could only find that phrase also in the NKJV and the Amplified versions, not in any other version. I will admit that the understanding about different versions of the Bible, where they came from, why they have differences, etc… is not something I know much about. However, what I do know, is that whether that phrase “should” or “shouldn’t” be in that particular verse, the same concept comes up over and over again in Scripture and I found a very similar phrase just this morning in my personal time alone with Jesus in Colossians 1:22-23a NIV which says,
“But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation – if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel.” (emphasis mine)
Okay now that that's out of the way, back to the message. That pastor pointed out that before Paul made that statement in Acts 20:24, he had gone through an insane amount of suffering and persecution AND he knew that he was nearing the end of his life and would almost certainly be killed for his faith in the very near future. So, at the end of his life, with all of the suffering in his past and the suffering he was about to endure, he said “none of these things move me”!!! Can you imagine?!
He stood firm! He was confident in who God was, in God’s faithfulness, in the far greater glory of eternity in Heaven - and so impending torture and death did not “move” him! That is the kind of follower of Jesus I want to be. Someone who, when my world is falling apart around me can look to my Savior and say, “I will not be moved!”
Now I find myself repeating these two questions over and over in my mind:
"Do I live as if God knows!?!"
"Will I be moved?!"
I pray these thoughts encourage and challenge you as they did me. Thanks for letting me share! :)
Here are a couple pictures from the past week. I'll post more soon. :)
snow just barely above us in the mountains
My two guys doing what they love to do most!
(these pictures was taken just moments apart)
Glacier National Park