Our Gospel Meeting with Rennie Frazier is now over. He spent a week explaining unto us how to live in this world finding joy not in the things of this world but to find joy in what we have in God. It seems like every night he mentioned or referenced our blessed example Jesus Christ. Our world seems void of joy and happiness.
People are being shot because things are not ďfairĒ in their own eyes. People are being shot because those holding the gun fear for their very lives. This election season has clearly shown that people are not happy. The massive amount of toxicity between the two candidates and their supporting parties really is disparaging. It really is sad listening to people talk about how Clinton or Trump is going to save our country. And it is equally sad that I can be told that I am a bad person or a bad Christian because I might or might not vote one way or another. Perhaps void of happiness is the wrong wording. Maybe I should say that world is angry. It revels in its anger and thinks that it has the right to be angry, enjoy anger and support anger in every place. This kind of hatred, anger and malice is going to have an impact upon us. We will be either hurt by it or be encouraged to join in this celebration of anger. This is why I entitled our article, Donít Forget Our Lessons.
Brother Frazier never once implied that life isnít hard. He never once implied that life should be viewed through rose tinted glasses. What he asked us to do is fix our eyes on Jesus. ďTherefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood (Heb. 12:1-4).Ē Jesus is THE example we are to follow when times get tough. When lifeís storms are blowing, when you feel like you have been walking through the fog you have to set your eyes on Jesus. He is the lighthouse that will guide you safely through the rocks of life threatening to make a shipwreck of your faith. But, he is not some lonely lighthouse watchman that has never navigated the straits of life. This is the god-man that came in the flesh and was tempted in all ways as we are (Heb. 4:15). We are being asked to trust in a God that completely gets it. We are asked to trust that his way will get us safely through because he has done it all before. And most importantly he did it with joy. He didnít hate those that maligned him. He didnít ask God for 10,000 angels. He didnít call down hellfire from the heavens. He died lovingly, peacefully on a cross while the worldís hatred grew. This is our example.
Then, on the last night of the meeting he encouraged us to remember that we are called to glory. Rennie shared several passages that spoke of Godís glory. As he read passage over passage concerning Godís glory I was left with one powerful impression. These passages arenít getting the job done. I think that was Rennieís point. It is impossible to comprehend the glory of God (II Cor. 4:17). It is impossible because it is impossible to fully grasp and comprehend the infinite with finite terms, in a finite world, with a finite mind. As such, we are left with depictions of who priests were driven form the temple because of Godís presence. We are left with stories of how Godís glory affected the very face of Moses. But none of these things really help us to really understand the glory of God let alone see it clearly in our minds. But, they do make us long to see some semblance of if. And for Paul in II Cor. 4:17 and Peter in I Pet. 5:10 both to tell us that we are going to be able to partake in that glory, that God is not only calling us with his glory but to make us glorious as he is glorious should drive us to live a life that is more holy.
As the world gets angrier, as the world seems more and more hopeless, let us rest upon these two unchangeable truthsÖ the perfecter of our faith has provided a better way and that if we live that better way we will one day be glorified. If that doesnít help you through these angry days, I am not certain what will.
Grinnell church of Christ
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Don't Forget Our Lessons
Volume 7 Issue 40