Good evening from Tihan, Hungary! I’m sitting at my computer on some all together too slow internet in my “bungalow”, but I guess I should be stoked that I have net at all, SO PRAISE GOD! I’m here for the Area Staff Conf. that takes place every three years. It includes “Eastern Europe” and Russia. It has been a blessing so far. Our main speaker thus far is an acquaintance and friend from when I was in Xenia, OH at AIA headquarters – Erik Thoennes (click here to see a previous post about Erik.). One word to sum Erik up – STUD! Last night he introduced his talks for the next 3 days and brought it and brought it strong, in a simple introduction! I was pretty exited for his talk this morning and it floored me. Over the last year, or so, I’ve been getting bombarded by the need to have the Gospel permeate through my being more holistically than it has ever before.
See I, like so many other Christians, regulates the Gospel to the nonbeliever, the person who hasn’t entered a personal relationship with Christ. Well folks, I’ll be honest – WE ARE WRONG! Christians need the Gospel each day. This morning Erik brought this theme and it hit home for me! One of the thoughts he talked about what how foolish it is, as believers, to live as if we have to earn something that has already been paid for and given to us! That being, life anew from Christ’s life, death and resurrection. I thought of this illustration afterwards as I reflected:
Imagine me buying a great gift for my 12-year-old sister, Mikaela, for her birthday coming up. I take the time to shop, and then pay for it with money from my salary that has come from God, but also from many amazing ministry partners that are behind me that God connected me with after lots of hours on the phone and meetings as I raised support. So I take the time to buy it, send it to her, and upon receiving it she loves it. She calls me from Wisconsin and thanks me. Then imagine a week later me getting $40 in one-dollar bills in the mail from her. Let me remind you, she’s 12 and gets a minimal allowance. Then imagine that in the envelope there being a note that says, “Zach I love the gift, but I must pay for it. So here is two months of my allowance.”
Ridiculous, right? What an insult would that be? I did the work. In love I bought it and gave it to her and then she is trying to earn the gift! Well, take that times infinity and that is what I do to God every day when I try to impress or prove myself to this world in an effort to receive acceptance that God has already giving me in a insane-gracious-God-manner. May the Gospel sink into our hearts and minds deeper and deeper and may we never tire of our need for the Gospel! Okay, I have to go to dinner and then another session. Be A Revolution!
p.s. Thanks for the prayers about my final on Thursday. I, by the grace of God, rocked the verbal, but then got rocked by the written! Praise God my identity and worth doesn’t come from that test! blessings…