Worthwhile October 25, 2019

Last week I was out-of-pocket and I liked it. So to make up for it this week we have some goodies.

It is an exciting weekend in the Shradar household as our Nebraska Nana and Papa are in town, tonight is our school trunk-or-treat, tomorrow Stacy hosts the Reservoir women’s retreat, and Sunday is well Sunday!

Enjoy your weekend and read, or watch, something worthwhile.

First up from Adam Powers a great reminder about the God’s presence and our pleasure in worship. Powers looks at 2 Samuel 6 and gives us some clues for life now.

“Emotional maturity then means, not avoiding feeling in worship, but feeling what we ought to feel in worship. The grandeur of the glory of God, the gravity of our sin, and the gladness of redemption. God wants all of you. Mind and heart.”

And this on the presence of God. “God’s people are not sustained first and foremost by great victories against their enemies. God’s people are not sustained first and foremost by expanding their borders, no. Victory is good, expanding and growth is good but God’s people are sustained first and foremost by seeking God’s very face, His presence.”

Read the whole thing here.

Thinking through reach Muslims with the hope of Christ? Justin Taylor shared last week a new cartoon series called Journey to Truth that has eight episodes in a number of languages that could be a great help.

The series tackles common barriers to belief and seems to be very accessible. Check it out.

Scott Sauls also had a great piece on loneliness – that it is actually a signs of something good, that we were meant for community.

God “has made us for community, not for isolation; for interdependence, not independence; for relational warmth and receptivity, not for relational coldness and distance.” Even so we feel it. And the recognition of it shouldn’t discourage but fuel us to find relationship with others for the glory of God and our good.

“So then, shall we go there? Shall we take a risk, show some transparency, introduce ourselves to somebody…go first in saying, “Hi, I’m ________. Here’s my story. What is yours? Would you be interested in getting to know each other? Because I am interested in that.” Shall we join a church, and show up every Sunday and look for the same four or five people, initiate conversation, and also reach out to a few that we’ve yet to meet? Shall we begin acting like the family God says that we are in Christ?”

Hang out with Scott through his writing here.

Finally, the videos from the recent Convergence Conference are now available online. This conference invites those in Word and Spirit churches to gather and study moves of God. This year’s topic was healing.

I have already watched Matt Chandler’s session and it was very encouraging. Let’s have faith.

Check out all the sessions here.

Have a great weekend. Get together with people to enjoy life and pursue Jesus together!

A little road

I have been thinking about the road to Emmaus story and how Jesus opened scripture to a couple of discouraged believers and I have been trying to imagine what it would feel like…

“But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened.” (24:12). Jesus has finished his ministry; a whirlwind three years of teaching and healing had seemingly ended with his death on a disgraceful cross. Sure he foretold the necessity of his death but how could his followers fully grasp the idea in his midst, breaking bread with him and seeing lives changed. Without regard to their disbelief though, zealous Jews and a Roman court sent Jesus to be crucified and his followers watched as the one they thought to be the Messiah was beaten, stripped and tortured to death on a wooden plank near the refuse pile of Jerusalem.

Rumblings of hope were growing however and by the third day the most explosive event of history would be upon an empire and the world. Jesus was no longer dead and his grave was empty. We can only imagine the elation of Peter as he returned home to “marvel” at what had happened. But the absent tomb was only the beginning. It is with this hope and anticipation that we meet two believers, somewhat discouraged, on a road to Emmaus.

As they discuss all that happened in Jerusalem a stranger joins them and challenges them to change their views of what the Messiah’s true role was, rather than a conquering ruler he was a resurrected savior. The promised return has now happened and without this story, the believers would still be waiting and anticipating their Messiah’s appearance.

While Jesus would later appear to the disciples in Jerusalem the experience on the road to Emmaus gives us an important lesson on the revelation of Christ throughout all of scripture and our need to recognize how he was the fulfillment of prophesy and the savior we first heard of in Genesis 3. Without it we might be prone to shape the image of Christ on something other than scripture and the truth that only comes from godly revelation.