It's Saturday morning. You faithful bloggers know that my son and I are up watching cartoons. Todays menu: A Bug's Life - In Spanish. Again, Disney does a great dub.
I am very excited and nervous and hopeful and anxious (in a good sort of way) because Tuesday I get the opportunity to preach for the first time at a pastor's prayer meeting. I'm nervous for several reasons: 1. It's my first time to preach in Spanish. 2. Expectations are high for me. This second one is an assumption caused by conversations with people. I think some of these pastors think I am smarter and more knowledgeable than I am. There are many better teachers, more talented preachers, more educated, more experienced. But...I'm here. So, I'll do. And this is why I was nervous.
Until I started studying the passage.
But before I did that, man, I tell you, I could not figure out what to teach. I talked to the Lord and asked Jenny and went over a half dozen passages trying to find the right thing to teach. Something to encourage these pastors. And I got nothin' Drew a blank. For days on end. Ever had that happen? It's really frustrating.
And then some friends of ours dropped by for a surprise visit. They live 5 hours from here and are wonderful saints. Wow. Just a 30 minute visit. And so we were talking and I shared my struggle and one of the passages and they were so excited. Excited! They poured encouragement into my heart. It's incredibly powerful and I had no idea how thirsty I was for it. I mean, it was amazing. Have you ever needed encouragement but didn't think to ask for it and then get some when you needed it most? There's a reason the Bible tells us to encourage one another.
So yesterday I spent the day in Colossians 1:15-29. Wow. W O W. I invite you to read it.
There's this method of outlining a passage grammatically where you break it down into main and subordinate clauses to figure out the correct interpretation based on the grammatical structure of the passage. Sounds fun, right? IT IS! If you want, I'll teach you. It's addicting. Anyway, I hadn't done it in quite some time because, well, I haven't taught in awhile.
Anyway, v.15-18 are about Christ being 1st in all things. You have got to read it.
v. 21-22 say this:
1And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, 22yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach--
Paul goes on to explain how he has suffered on behalf of the church and then to talk about the mystery of the gospel is Christ in us. I'm really skimming over things here to get to my point, but then he says,
v. 28-29 We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. 29For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.
All this took 4-5 hours of digging etc, but late yesterday afternoon it hit me. Christ reconciled us to Him in order to present us before Himself holy and blameless and beyond reproach. We proclaim Christ (not some philosophy or method or doctrine but the Person of Jesus Christ) so that we may present everyone complete in Him. Jesus wants us to share in His very work! Can you believe that? Oh, the responsibility of it hit me like the roof had cave in and caused me to shove away from my desk put my head in my hands and say, "Oh no!"
But then, as Dave Semmelbeck taught me, I kept reading. The very power of the same Jesus magnified and glorified above all else in verses 15-19..His power mightily works within us.
Can you believe that? AMAZING! Just amazing.
Whew. So. I'm not nervous anymore. Will I make mistakes? Yes. Will I not have the right word in Spanish? Yes. But that's ok. Because the power of Christ, Who is in me, Who is my hope of glory, mightily works within me.
And in you.
Let's get to work.