My dear friend Marcia Quade lives in Lincoln, but she and I talk weekly and share thoughts by email. Marcia had prepared for her Sunday morning class but found she would be unable to attend it. So she wrote an email to the teacher of the class and she thought to share it with me. This overview of what she had studied was so interesting, and I found it to be so well written that I asked her if I could share it with you. The study was obviously written by Dr. Charles Swindoll.
Just a note to let you know that we have Felix overnight tonight, so I will not be in Sunday School. I did read the lesson, though, and really thought it was good this week. The idea that God is never pleased with an independent spirit really struck me, probably because I am a pretty independent person…..and because we have been taught from birth, it seems, to value independence. Nobody likes wimpy, needy people, right?
I love what Mr. Swindol says on page 63 at the bottom about God waiting to assist those who finally come to the point in their lives where they CANNOT help themselves. In fact, He works in each of our lives to bring us to the point where we realize that we cannot “do it myself”. We NEED God to take control to be truly happy. Only when we give ourselves to Him in complete surrender can we find true happiness and contentment. That has certainly been true in my life, even though I continue to be a pretty independent person. Nothing wrong with being a “take charge” person as long as GOD is IN CHARGE of YOU!
On page 70 Chuck says that we should look for those individuals who need a second chance – a large dose of grace to help them start over in the Christian life. Be a Barnabas in that person’s life. I love that, and it really spoke to me, because the tendency is to avoid those people who have led sinful lives, when we should be ready and willing to move in alongside them and encourage them in the faith.
On page 72 Chuck talks about the secret to a successful church not being in a gifted leader, but in Almighty God. Period. It is not you or me or anyone else we may think is indispensable to the cause. It is God alone.
Page 74 says “You and I are not indispensable. You and I are not irreplaceable. God is both. It’s His Church. He’s looking for broken vessels, wounded hearts, and humble servants, even those with bad track records who have some scars, who have learned not to hide them or deny them – people who understand and appreciate the value of others.
Also on page 74, Chuck says that what our family needs more than anything else is for you to be right with God, walking humbly with Him, acknowledging that He is the Lord of your life and your home, not you.
Page 75 – “You and I are neither the ‘masters of our fate’ nor are we the ‘captains of our souls’. We are to be wholly, continually, and completely dependent on the mercy of God if we want to do the Lord’s work the Lord’s way.”
This was such a powerful lesson, and I wish I could be there tomorrow while you discuss. But I wanted you to know what spoke to me. Thanks for the wonderful job you do with teaching Sunday School, Jerome. You are a blessing…..and I NEED you!