Monday, February 4, 2008

Sunday Lessons. . .RL4?

I had a WONDERFUL birthday weekend! There will be pictures to come. It turns out we were not going away to a hotel like my husband had told me. . .instead, our amazing friends who had moved to Arkansas 2 years ago suprised me and flew in! We actually switched houses with my in-laws b/c their's is bigger! We had so much fun getting to know their new little man (they have a 5 month old who I had never met before!) and enjoying each other's company! I'll tell you lots more when I have pics to use too!

Instead, I thought I'd blog a bit about what we learned this Sunday in church. I teasingly added the RL4? to my title here b/c our sermon yesterday was so in line with what I've been reading! This month's series is on "Tough Questions". Pastor Jon encouraged us to ask the tough questions of God. Why? so glad you asked. . he gave us 3 key reasons.
1. Asking questions acknowledges the limitlessness of God and the limits of man. If we could or have figured it out, then God's not all that big. It's a great thing to struggle through questions or situations with God b/c it causes us to go back to the truth that He is bigger than us.

2. It acknowledges the complexity of this world. This world if full or real issues and real people. Many times, we avoid asking the tough questions b/c we want simplicity. Simple Answers, no struggles. . easy! It's much more difficult to really ask these questions. . .the one our pastor posed is "How do I stand for marriage with one man and one woman and at the same time show my unconditional love for a homosexual friend?"

3. It creates appropriate tensions in life: asking these questions keeps us seeking and growing.

His point is that the Bible isn't super clear on everything. At one point Jesus overturned tables in the face of sin and called the Pharisees a brood of vipers while on the other hand taking a woman caught in the act of adultery and telling her he did not condemn her. To know what our reaction should be to anything, we have to walk in the tension. Living in this world brings up sticky situations that don't have clear answers. For instance, I got an email from a pastor in Liberia this week. His question? When a man comes to faith in the Lord Jesus, what do we do when he has multiple wives? That's a tough question.

This all ties so much into my last post on Red Letters. I had not struggled with the questions on AIDS for so long b/c of the work in it. . b/c I wanted simple answers. . .and sometimes b/c I just didn't want to hurt for others. But, the fact is: This is the REAL world. There are complex issues and the great thing is we serve a complex God! Walking that struggle and asking those tough questions as I read and prayed was an amazing experience, and not one I'm done with yet. The sermon ended with this challenge. "There is danger in NOT asking tough questions. The danger lies in wasting energy, making bad decisions, living life out of our fear, not growing where we should be. If we are unwilling to ask, we live in danger of keeping truth at a distance and the God of that truth at the same time. What tough questions do you need to ask God? What area of your life or issue do you need to wrestle through with Him and live "in the tension"?


steffany said...

What a great sermon.
If you find the answers to those "tough" questions, Please let me know!

Scott and Katy said...

I concur... what a great sermon.
So jealous of your friends from Arkansas!

Hope to SEE you soon, or someday!

Love ya,

Christine said...

Happy Birthday!

Cassie - Homeschooling Four said...

just curious... how did you tag steffany without writing a post about yourself?

Missy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Missy said...

what a wonderful thought provoking sermon.

Anonymous said...

You are the coolest! Pretty hot too? Is that an oxy moron? Who you callin a moron? Most Likely...

Anonymous said...

Happy Belated Birthday, Brandi!
That does sound like a good sermon-we had a good one too -it was a stateside missionary our church supports in Muncie, Indiana-Urban Light.
They live in the inner city showing the love of Christ to their neighbors through very tangible ways.
Julie L

Lisa said...

Happy belated birthday!! So glad you had a wonderful one. Your posts are always so thought provoking for me. Thank you for that!! I always leave with something to "chew" on. :)