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read this 100 times but never paid attention

I am working for my church part time and was putting together the Power Point presentation yesterday for Sunday's sermon. I'm so glad I had to type this out, because it made me slow down and really think about it...and it's awesome! The Heidelberg Catechism question #1 and #2. I've recited this a thousand times on Sunday mornings, but it happens so fast that it's hard to sink your teeth into. Reading it and taking it in is just an amazing way to start the day.

What is your only comfort in life and in death? 
That I am not my own, but belong body and soul, in life and in death to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ. Christ has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from all the power of the devil. He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven; in fact, all things must work together for my salvation. Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.

What must you know to live and die in the joy of this comfort?
Three things: first, how great my sin and misery are; second, how I am set free from all my sins and misery; third, how I am to thank God for such redemption.

The fact that not a hair can fall from our heads unless it is the will of the Father and that in every act there is a focused purpose of those events working together for our salvation sounds amazing...until I'm honest. This truthfully makes me nervous since really I just want it to say that he will make everything turn out the way I want and be comfortable and easy in this life. Why is my heart and mind so fascinated with ease, self and comfort?!  The Bible states that my true comfort is knowing these truths about myself and God. Firstly, how great my sin is, and secondly, how much I have been set free in Christ from it. This is the only way to experience true joy and comfort whether I am very much alive, or feeling like death.


do i trust in the one who has adopted me?

I saw the movie, "The Kite Runner", for the first time tonight. A heartbreaking but redemptive story about a man who goes back to his home country of Afghanistan to rescue his young nephew from slavery and horrific abuse. The little boy is brought back to California with him to a new family, a new life and and instant love and acceptance. As the movie ends he is still very apprehensive about trusting or believing that he will never have to go back to his old life. You can see it so clearly in his eyes. I just kept thinking about how for most of my life as a Christian I have been that boy. Distrusting of my Heavenly Father's love and care for me. Watching the movie I just wanted to somehow let the boy know that he was going to be okay, that he would heal from his abuse and that he would experience such an amazing new life, with so much freedom and joy--if he would just take hold of it.

For we are no longer slaves again to fear, but we are now sons who cry Abba Father. I want to recognize my place as an adopted daughter into the family of God with no fear that God will ever change his mind about me and with no lack of trust in God's perfect love and specific care. Why can I not? Lord I believe, help my unbelief. I need to be reminded of this truth constantly.

Another picture of this came yesterday evening at the airport where I was able to witness the homecoming of a family in my church who just brought back their first adopted child from Uganda. They have two other children and now little Charles Tucker makes three. Watching him enveloped in a sea of white adult faces and kids of all ages with their sticky, sweaty hands patting and rubbing him was overwhelming I'm sure. But to see the joy of his new family was the sweetest part. The delight of being together and making themselves more complete with him there was so moving. There is no hesitation in their eyes, no reconsidering, it is pure delight and love. Adoption is such a profound act of sheer mercy and grace. I'm thankful for this family and the sharing of God's work in and through their lives so that I have another tangible reminder of God's adopting love. Their blog is Love That Passes Knowledge.