“The thwarting of strategy is an invitation for God to do a deeper work of character.”
The folks at Waffle House have a whole system for keeping restaurants open in a storm. They know how to do natural disasters. We need to be a “Waffle House church,” first offering people the body and blood of Jesus Christ, then offering a full menu of the faith even in the midst the storm.
The question of whether testimony of following Jesus Christ is genuine isn’t a new question birthed solely from a time on the planet when mass communications highlight celebrity lifestyles. The early church dealt with this question, and leaders often counseled prudence, care, pastoral sensitivity, and community accountability.
“When Christ is squeezed from the Body of Christ by our own priorities and agenda as a congregation or through our busyness as leaders or disciples, what is left is little more than a corpse masquerading as a church.”
“We are all being formed by something.”
“You are not yet who you will be.
You are still on a journey. Your trip is not complete. There is work left to do in your life. There is work that God still has to do with you and through you. As long as you are still breathing and living, God is still at work on you.”
God fulfills his promises. We know this. But we often struggle to see how. Because the promises God makes and the promises we would like aren’t always the same. His wisdom is not ours.
“God’s strength becomes available to us when we are rooted and established in his love. In what other things are you tempted to root yourself? What in your life makes you feel secure and established?”
Today we encounter two men, Timothy and Epaphroditus, who have chosen to believe what Paul has taught them about joy. They don’t just believe it, they are putting into action the things they’ve learned. Their stories serve as perfect examples of how serving well leads to joy.
“What do you mean, that’s not my father? Those are the hands that cared for me. Those are the arms that took me up and hugged me. Those are the lips that spoke to me; the eyes that searched for me; the chest on which I fell asleep, knowing I was safe in his care. Everything I have ever known of my father was through this body. Don’t tell me that’s not him.”