John Newton was a wicked man, a slave trader. But a severe storm off the coast of Ireland brought him to his knees and conversion. Years later, the wretch showed his gift. He penned the words to the most-loved Christian hymn, Amazing Grace. Behind the evil, there was a calling, a destiny and talent.
Paul persecuted the church. Aside from Satan, he was probably the early church’s #1 enemy. Then he met Jesus on the road to Damascas. He became the gospel chief propagandist and most avid evangelizer. He wrote the greatest defense and explication of the doctrine of salvation by grace alone in the book of Romans.
Are you rotten today? Salvation is a circuit breaker. We are broken by sin, but with the simplest of prayers, the light comes on in our lives. Then all the good we were destined to bring to this world begins to flow out.
Posted in Jesus, salvation, sin
Tagged Amazaing Grace, apostle paul, Faith, gifted, gifts, God, Jesus, John Newton, Paul, Romans, salvation by grace, slave trader, talents
Gideon seriously doubted that God could use him:
- He questioned why the angel addressed him as “mighty man of God.”
- He questioned his pedigree and his capability.
- He asked for a sign twice, in opposite ways from one day to the next.
- He needed to hear the enemy prophecy his victory.
Despite his doubts, God moved through him greatly. With 300 men, he defeated the Midianites.
As I venture out for a second time in my life to start a church, I have more confidence that God will move. He is blessing each step.
Today, he gave me a free dinner. Some Egyptians in the apartment complex I manage gave me food. Since my wife and kids are still in Santa Monica (until the end of the school year), this is tremendous blessing because I can pretty much cook only scrambled eggs for myself.
If you look for problems on every side, you will find them. If you look for God’s blessing at every point, you will find them. If you expect God to move, He will be happy with your faith. If you doubt His backing, He may move anyhow.
Posted in Christian Fellowship Ministries, faith, pioneering
Tagged church, church planting, expecting God, God, Jesus, leadership, ministry, pastoring, pastors, starting over