Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Class in Session

October 31, 2010 Sunday Class-

Alpha led the lesson in “Doing.” The main texts were James 1: 19- 27 and Luke 6: 46-49.

We talked about the Bible saying that we need to do God’s word and why. One said that it can save us. Save us from what? Mostly from ourselves and also from ungodly spirits. It’s about making the better choice, though it may be difficult, though others might take offense.

Another passage says that we show our love of God by doing what he says. [I would emphasize how it is loving God first that makes the doing necessary and worthwhile.]

C gave an illustration of when someone gets mad at me, if I fire back at them, what’s gonna happen? They’ll fire back and we’ll go some more rounds. [Again I remind, I often hear someone say “you” in the general sense but will write down “I” or “me” to personalize the words, making it more likely that I’ll understand and retain the thought. So for you, insert the personal “I/me” and not just read this as if I’m talking about myself only, get it? Try it.]

But if, instead of firing back at them, I just take it? If I come back at them with love? If I say nothing back at them in anger?

Eventually they’re gonna wonder what’s with this person? How come she’s not getting angry back? How come she’s laughing instead?

And if I say nothing, they have nothing to stoke the fire with and eventually have nothing more to say. [Then we’ll have a better opportunity for a conversation.]
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[Now I’m elaborating.]

It’s about choices. Am I going to choose what God would want me to do in a given situation? Or am I going to try by my own ideas and my own might?

It’s a shame that things can become so cliché, like the idea behind “WWJD?” It seems people have a difficult time with that these days because they’ll say, “How would I know what Jesus would do? And even if I could know what he would do, wasn’t he perfect? No way I can be perfect!”

Yet that’s such a lie, or at least a lie wrapping up a truth. The truth is that yes and no, we can be perfect. Yes, we are not going to be perfect in this life, in this world; that is true. And no, we will not be perfect yet we are being made perfect, here and now, for the next life, for the life with God where he lives; this is also true. If you are a Christian in obedience to God, you are being perfected as much as possible in this life in preparation for the next life. Perfection is still the God’s goal for us that we ought to strive towards.

What would be the alternative?

I won’t tell you this one ‘cuz you can figure it out.

I can tell you that I have moved to the other side. I have chosen to allow God to perfect me in this life, until my death when he will complete the process, whatever that entails, so that I may be with God where he lives, where the Bible has said he has prepared a place for me. I can tell you that this choice is worth making. And I can tell you that you can be perfected also, you can make the same choice. Where God is, there is room for you to join him.

We can get to know what Jesus would do, by drawing near to God, reading about his plan in the Bible, the same Bible that talks about his son Jesus, and by listening for the Holy Spirit in us, the helper that Jesus sent to us, for us.

But you have to make the choice yourself.
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Okay, back to the Sunday discussion.

Up until this point, I’ve mostly been observing and participating. Other than that, I haven’t said much during class; I haven’t had to. I don’t mean to imply that I am some great vault of knowledge and wisdom, or that I’m around to correct them; it’s that they’ve been doing a good job with things and that I haven’t felt a strong HS urge to say something, so I’ve just spoken from my experiences and my thoughts, which still I haven’t said much yet.

This day, as they were talking about the illustrations and the choices of doing God’s word or not, I got that itch. I heard the HS moving around in my mind, whispering, whispering. I came to a new insight myself that I am most certain was from the HS and got a strong urge to share it.

I get nervous about stuff like that, I really do. On the one hand, it’s such an honor when God says he’s gonna use me to speak to others, saying that I’m usable! Then also, it’s so daunting… because he’s GOD! And I am so not! So the HS reminded me this time, say it, don’t bother with who hears it and who doesn’t, because God will take care of the hearing, I need to simply say it.

*Huge deep breath.* I shared. I hope I did it justice in the relaying that day and here now.
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James 1: 23-24 says, “Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.”

I pointed it back to the things that they were already saying, what C said, what Alpha said, and the rest, all of them, so that they could know that I wasn’t speaking out of some authority that they couldn’t know. I also pointed back to the scripture they were reading, so that they could know that I wasn’t speaking out of my own ideas.

The passage of James is making the connection between “doing the word [the Bible]” and “looking into a mirror.” The Bible ought to be a mirror for us, but what are we looking at? We are looking at Christ [C had mentioned earlier John 1: 1,2; I would add verse 14- The word was with God and became flesh, pointing to Jesus Christ].

When we look into the mirror of the Bible, we ought to be able to see Christ himself. If we walk away and forget Christ, others won’t see Christ himself.

However, if we walk away and remember, that is, we do what the word says, then others ought to be able to see Christ in us. We ought to reflect Christ.

This is what we were made for. This is what the Bible means when it says that we were made in the image of God [Genesis 1: 26, 27].
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C confirmed what I said along with what we were all saying. Alpha reacted like he got something from it. The others reacted like they were in thought over it. C said it was like Alpha started it, then we all contributed, and what I shared brought it all together, full circle. That’s pretty cool to be a part of.

I am definitely in thought over it. I was talking to myself as much as I was sharing it with them. And I sense that’s what God has for me, it hasn’t changed. It’s just a different group and a different reaction but same deal.

I won’t share their personal prayer requests; just please be in prayer over this group of guys, that they continue to draw closer to God. It’s an exciting thing to watch it happen and I hope to see more for them.

The prayer I shared with them was that praise God for what he is doing and the good opportunities coming up to share in his work.

The request was for that morning; in the previous entry, I told you that I was excited and nervous, so then had a difficult time sleeping. The excitement was that I was to make an announcement in service about Operation Christmas Child and I’m excited to be a part of that and I know that the HS can move greatly through this opportunity.

The nervousness was that I hadn’t been on stage in years, and then it was with the choir where I can hide more. Public speaking, especially when it is for someone else, not like my own studio project, especially in front of more than like 5 people, is not a natural strength of mine. If it’s my studio project, I’m not nervous at all to present.

So Ki closed us in prayer. He remembered to pray over my speaking. It was a blessing. I could tell that these guys genuinely care.
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This is the conclusion of that day’s class. I have tons more to say so tune in next time.

Mahalo for reading.