The last family just left our home after another great Saturday evening. For the last few months, several families have been meeting in our home to eat and fellowship and encourage one another in the Lord. Tonight, besides the normal times of sharing and laughter and tears and kids, two brothers taught us from what God has been teaching them.
First, one brother shared from Galatians 1. I talked with him after most people had left, and he told me that he started reading Galatians because he wanted to learn more about walking in the Spirit. He started reading from the beginning, all the while looking forward to the “good stuff” about walking in the Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit that comes in the later chapters. Instead, God had another lesson to teach him, and for him to share with others. He talked about God’s grace and gospel and living life from the gospel. He talked about the gospel as the “good news” that God has done everything necessary for us to know him and to live life in him. Anything that says that we have to do something to please God, or we have to do something to earn God’s love, or we have to do something to earn salvation, is not really the gospel – it’s not really good news at all. It was very encouraging hearing people talk about living in God’s grace.
Another brother taught from Matthew 16. Specifically he talked about the end of the chapter where Jesus rebuked Peter when Peter denied Jesus’ statement about his upcoming death. Then, Jesus said that those who want to follow him should deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow him. Jesus then spoke about giving up your life. Death should not discourage a believer. One who follows Christ knows that death is not the end, and the threat of death is not a deterrent. (I wonder if this is what Jesus meant when he said that the gates of Hades will not prevail against – or overcome – the church.) This brother has been thinking about death lately, and we all talked about death. Perhaps this sounds like a strange subject, but it was quite encouraging. My brother asked, “Do you wake up every morning prepared for that day to be your last day?” This reminded us again of walking in God’s grace.
On one other note, I’ve been greatly encouraged and challenged over the last two days by two families. Each of them feel that God may be calling them to do something that, on their own, they don’t want to do. But, both families told me that if they believe it is God’s will, then they will do it. This is how I want to live my life. I want to trust God and live in his grace in such a way that I do whatever he wants of me – whether I want to or not.