Thursday, November 21, 2013

send him running

I’m sure I will return to forgiveness, but I wanted to take a week to talk about this book I’m reading. It’s called “Face to Face with God” by Bill Johnson. I just started the book, and it’s pretty radical. He talks about what it means to serve God truly and completely. He said when Moses was trying to get Pharoah to release his people to worship God, Pharoah tried to compromise by saying, Go, but leave your flocks and herds behind (Exodus 10:24). Flocks and herds were financial resources.  So Pharoah was saying, sure, you can worship God as long as it doesn’t cost anything. Johnson said (I’d provide the page number but it’s on my phone. So, for those of you with a smartphone, 26%.) “Satan knows that if he can keep us attached to his fear-oriented economy, he can still influence our emotions and will and poison our thinking… Such a last-ditch effort on the part of Pharaoh reveals what Satan fears most- families who worship together with reckless abandon, using all their assets for the glory of God. This absolutely terrifies the devil, because nothing will be withheld from this kind of people.”

What could we accomplish if we were not bound by fear? I’m not talking about recklessly emptying bank accounts, but really being willing to serve God in a way that costs us. How much would Satan be quaking in his boots if our church was able to finance a building and become a cornerstone in the community? If we are willing to be completely sold out to God and earnestly seek Him, He will withhold nothing. I don’t want to miss any blessings from God because I was too selfish or too scared. Let’s send Satan running.

Elizabeth Kropf


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

what I learned from Jim and Pam

Am I the only one who feels too tired to deal with conflict? It is so much easier to stay tight-lipped and act like everything is okay.  It can appear more godly to do that.  But it isn’t honest. In Lysa Turkhurst’s book Unglued, she talked about how stuffing feelings is not any healthier than coming “unglued.” (The book is written to women, but I challenge any man to read it and not find some universal truths)
It is not a good idea to bring injuries into the light in every relationship. But we know the difference between the hurts we need to hide and those we should not.  No one spoil the ending to “The Office,” because I’m still watching it. In the last episode I watched Jim and Pam have a huge conflict to deal with.  Jim wants to leave town for his business trip early to avoid fighting. Pam says, “Don’t go.” He says, “you want to fight on Valentine’s day?” She says, “Yes.” She knew the distance would only become greater if they didn't deal with it. We have to have those fights with our spouses, with those closest to us.  
Let’s have some good, clean fights and get the sin that so easily entangles us off of our chest.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

our debts- Forgiveness Pt 2

Forgiveness is so hard when justice is not delivered. We like movies where the bad guys go to jail and the one framed is vindicated.  We want to see mean guys lose the girl. We want everyone who has wronged us and our loved ones to have a very public humiliation. Or maybe it’s just me.
            Once my dad and I were speaking of a sad story of wrongdoing, and I said something about how the person will have to be accountable before God someday. Yes, he said, but so will we. Are we so quick to condemn others and ask for mercy for ourselves? I remember the story in the Bible of the man who begged the king to forgive his debts and then turned around and could not forgive someone who owed him much less money.
            That story always seemed far-fetched to me, and maybe it was meant to be. However, the message is clear: debt is debt. We hope we would never be so hard-hearted as the man in the story.  But if we substitute debt for some other injury- being short-tempered or impatient, for example, the analogy may hit too close to home for our comfort.
If we take a moment to think over everything God has forgiven us for, at such a precious price, it may help us reach beyond our capacity and forgive what we think is unforgivable. What we cannot yet forgive, let us at least bring it to God and be honest about what we are holding onto, since He knows anyway. Let’s strive to be ready to give account for our actions, and let us be defined as ones who forgive. What an awesome way to point to God.