Friday, November 16, 2007

Warning: Amazing God at Work

This morning has been a morning of seeing God at work in a variety of ways. And I am still amazed at how and what He does. Allow me to explain.

I went to the Rescue Mission this morning for my usual sessions with the disciples. We are still going through the "Who Am I?" study, and the first group of disciples is nearing the end of the study. The lesson today was on the basis for our identity in Christ - that being that we have been chosen by God. Now, as I have said before, the disciples at the Mission usually have no problem accepting and understanding this truth. They have been through the dung-heap of life lived for sin and self and recognize clearly that if it wasn't for the sovereign grace of a loving God they would never have come to Him. And this group of disciples was no exception. As we read together the word of Christ Himself in places like John 6:44 where He says "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him...", or the words of the Spirit through Paul in Ephesians 1:4 where he states that God "chose us in Him before the foundation of the world...", the Word spoke for itself. And in the midst of reading and discussing these truths, one of the ladies in the group, Donna, with a look of indescribable joy on her face, burst into tears. Not tears of grief or sorrow or repentance or anything of the sort, but rather tears of deep joy and love. She came to an understanding of the depth and meaning of the sovereign grace of God. She saw that He, in His great and grand eternal redemptive plan, had chosen her before the beginning of time and creation to be in an eternal relationship with Him. And not because of anything worthy or special in her, but because of His purposes and His love and His mercy and His gracious pleasure alone. And as Donna came to understand these truths, she responded with the only right reaction any of us must have - humble and infinite joy. A fuller appreciation of the love He Lord and Savior has for her. You could see it on her face and in her tears and hear it in her words as she tried to express it. God's amazing grace. I was blown away as I saw Him at work in this woman's life and heart. Don't ever try to tell me that the Calvinist view of election is a cold, judicial and harsh doctrine with no heart. I know better, and so does Donna.

Then I had a session with another disciple, Brian, who I thoroughly enjoy meeting with and teaching. A guy who has been radically changed by the gospel of Christ and has a sharp mind and a love for Christ and His word. Unfortunately, though, the courts have ordered Brian to spend the next 30 days in a secular alcohol abuse program, so this was the last time we had together for a month or so. So we made the most of it, spending an extended time in prayer for Brian to hold fast to the truth he knows and not be deceived by the man-centered "therapy" he will be receiving. Brian looks at this time as a short-term missions trip, where he can hopefully help point the lost and floundering folks at the treatment center to the One who has saved and redeemed and transformed him, by His grace.

So as I drove to work from the Mission I was thanking Jesus for such opportunities to see Him at work, and to be a part of His work. I was so full of His Spirit, I thought I would burst. What could be better than to be used by the Sovereign Lord in feeding and encouraging His sheep? Well, He wasn't finished yet. Middle of the morning, a co-worker whom I have known for years and am neighbors with stopped by my office, and I could tell she wanted to talk about something. And she did, as she told me that her teenage daughter is pregnant and they are trying to decide what the next steps are - adoption, keeping the child, etc. It was obvious that she was looking for someone to talk with, and was looking for God's plan in the situation. So I listened and encouraged and then prayed with her (yes, right there in my office), for wisdom and guidance and God's purposes to be clear. What a privilege, again, to be a tool in the hand of the Master. I don't think my friend is a believer in Christ, although she and her family are church-goers. So be praying for her, her husband, her daughter and boyfriend, and the child that is coming soon. Pray that God is architecting this situation for their good and His glory.

Now, I wonder what else He's going to do today. It's only 2:30 in the afternoon...

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