Archive for September, 2010


I recently read a book that opened my eyes to the depth of trusting God, and what exactly that meant. The name of it was, Crazy Love by Francis Chan (I know, I feel like I was a little late in reading it, so please bare with me).

Chan proclaims about half way through the book that, “God wants us to trust Him with abandon. He wants to show us how He works and cares for us. He wants to be our refuge (124).” And then Chan gives a quick story about how one of his Bible college professors asked his class, “What are you doing right now that requires faith (124)?”

And this is when I felt like time stood still for a bit. I started thinking, God wants me to trust Him fully and I have the opportunity to show my trust in Him alone by not having a back-up plan. If someone came up and asked me this same question I felt like I didn’t have a super strong answer. I felt like a lot of the areas where I am trusting God really don’t have me holding onto Him while suspended 300 feet in the air over traffic, but more like holding onto him 5 feet over water.

The reality is that our culture has a lot to do with it. We live in a resource rich environment where we have a lot available at the end of our fingertips. So, knowing that, we have a decision to make. Are we so captivated by God’s grace and mercy that we will expend the energy to run up the mountain and then jump into His arms to exhibit our full trust in Him and receive His overwhelming love? Or, are we good to sit back on the couch and read about the guy who ran up the mountain and took the leap or watch tv about the girl who made the leap into His arms and watch how God provided for them and smothered them with His unfailing love?

We are faced with the opportunity to prove our trust in God through situations that have risks and we have a culture that tries to lessen the risk percentage, in turn lessening our full trust in God. So, what are we going to do? Will we fight the culture to follow Christ to bare all, and fully rely on God’s sovereignty in a situation or will we latch on to the culture and put training wheels on what is meant to be a souped-up mountain bike?

What if we all started asking ourselves the same question Chan’s Bible college professor asked him, “What are you doing right now that requires faith?” What if we meditated on it, wrestled with it, and moved on it? Let’s all make a point to take more risks to show that our trust is fully in Christ alone and then praise Him for the love He overflows onto us through those times.

“God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn’t come through (124).”

Hebrews 11:6-“And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.”

Luke 6:32-36-“If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much! And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return. Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.”

~ Meredith Mielke

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Fusion: “Creation, Fall, Redemption” (Week 3)

Key Passages:

  • Deuteronomy 6:4 and 4:35, 1 Timothy 2:5, John 17:3, Genesis 1:26-27

Main Point:

  • God is one.  God is Trinitarian.  1+1+1=1

Key Takeaways:

  • God is one essence made up of 3 persons.  He is relational with Himself.
  • God is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are God.  God is one.
  • We are created in God’s image.  We are created to be relational with God and with others.
  • The trinity, God, is love.  We were created because God loves us.

Application:

  • Why is it important to understand that God is Trinitarian?  What does that tell us about God?
  • What does this tell us about ourselves?  How are we created in God’s image?
  • How does this change the way you think about your relationship with God?
  • How does this change the way you think about your relationships with parents, siblings and friends?
  • Does your relationship with God and your relationships with others reflect the love that we see in the Trinity?

24Seven: Philippians: “Live Worthy

Key Passage:

  • Philippians 1:27-30

Key Takeaways:

  • Live as a citizen of heaven by living in a manner worthy of the gospel.  Because of what God has done for you, live out the gospel by fixing your eyes on Him and allowing Him to live through you.
  • Living out the gospel means showing others the same love and forgiveness that Jesus has shown you.  You must love well, serve well, and forgive well.
  • Living as a citizen of heaven will require you to have an eternal perspective rather than a self-focused perspective.
  • The Christian life is much more like a battleship rather than a cruiseship.  Cruiseships are centered around you and your happiness, but battleships are focused on the mission and the purpose.
  • In just the same way that we are given the privilege to trust Christ, we are also given the privilege to suffer for Christ.  Suffering should be viewed as a normal part of the Christian life.

Application:

  • Even as a Christian, is your life focused on you or on God?
  • How are you living out the gospel?
    a) Who do you need to love well?
    b) Who do you need to serve well?
    c) Who do you need to forgive or seek forgiveness from?
    d) In what way have you had to suffer for Christ?

Challenge:

  • Connect with God at least 3 times this week.  The only way to live out the gospel is to actively seek God and pursue Him, so spend at least 20 minutes with God 3 different times this week.

Dioko: “Rock Solid Faith

Key Passage:

  • 1 John 2:18-27

Key Takeaways:

  • People will try to deceive us when it comes to believing the truth about God.
  • God has given us the Holy Spirit to teach us the truth and guard us against deception.
  • We need to remain faithful to the Gospel.

Application:

  • Who or what is threatening to deceive you?
  • Here are some practical ways to remain faithful to the Gospel:
    a) Commit to spending at least 15 minutes reading the Bible each day for the next 3 weeks.
    b) Read through Ephesians 1-3 and write down what these chapters say about God and what they say about you.
    c) Regularly place yourself under teaching of God’s word.
    d) Preach the Gospel to yourself daily. Partner up with someone else and have them preach the Gospel to you and you preach the Gospel to them.

Important Reminders:

  • The Middle School Retreat is coming up October 8th-10th.  All forms and money should be turned in by now.  If you missed this deadline, contact Joseph Dion at jdion@gracechurchsc.org ASAP.
  • The deadline to turn in forms and money for the High School Fall Retreat is Sunday, October 2nd.