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Pastor Cath Mode
Be not afraid of weakness part 2
2016.07.14 22:34:59

Be not Afraid of Weakness #2 (be not afraid; facing fear with faith by Samuel Wells)

 

The Lost Sheep, the lost coin, and the hound of heaven.


Years ago, our congregation read Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Driven Life. I have always thought that his most profound insight was stated in the first sentence of the book: “It’s not about you.” Warren’s point is that we are born by and for God’s purpose. Wells writes, “But the truth is the Bible is not fundamentally about us. The Bible is fundamentally about God.” (p. 43)   When we try to make the Bible into a guide for living, we usually miss the point.

 

In the parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin, the shepherd and the widow go to extremes seeking out what is lost. I lose things all of the time: my keys, my sweater, my hat, my purse, my sermon. Well, actually I don’t lose them, I misplace them but like the good shepherd and the widow I search diligently (often with the help of husband and staff!) until I find them. I internalized early the persistence and good stewardship of keeping track of all possessions.

That is how many of us think about these two parables.

Wells says, “We are not the shepherd; we are the lost sheep. We are not the woman; we are the lost coin.” of course wants to remind us that this is ultimately about how we are to live but how God is the persistent one who will make every effort to not let one of his children’s lives be lost. It is about God who searches for us. “…and the way to become part of the story is “to stop running away, to stop hiding from the one who yearns and searches for you.” (p. 45)

Over a hundred years ago, Francis Thompson wrote a poem describing God’s relentless pursuit of him and named it “The Hound of Heaven.” “God is the love that will not let go.” (p. 46) In my life there have been a number of times that I have been distracted or have slipped away from God, only to discover that God had been nipping at my heals all along.

Share a quote from this section on weakness and tell why it speaks to you.

Why is it dangerous to think about the Bible as an instruction guide for your life?

In what ways have you pushed God to the edges of your life, so that you can be “in the center?”

When have you felt God’s love nipping at your heals?

 

 

 

 

 




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