Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms...Eph. 3 8-10
He is truly amazing. Even in my cynicism, in my sinful attitude, God is faithful to me.
My family and I attended the weekend service at our church home last night. We sat with friends of ours (funny...both of the relationships were formed through the recovery program...but they are also "church" friends nonetheless.) And once again, God's word was loud and gentle and true and exactly what He wanted me to hear.
Matt's message was on the church. God's message was on the church. My hope is renewed, my heart is swollen with the amount of love God shows me in my life...and including the church where He has currently placed me. I love the honesty and integrity that comes from the heart of the pastor...and the other leaders who I have had the privilege to meet. So much of what I have learned, I am having to unlearn...and not from the "old style traditional" churches, but unlearning some of the negatives that I learned from a church that seems to avoids sin, confrontation, and honesty. Too many secrets. Too many faces turned. Even with me, no confrontation which should have been had, but only "Poor, Liz." "Don't talk to Liz" "Look at Liz" "Don't talk about Liz" Did anyone pray for me? Did anyone talk openly with me? No. Just gave up as they watched me walk down the path of destruction.
God starts over. He is so remarkably merciful. He provides. I have confessed my bitterness, the profanity, the hatred, the computer hacking, and the envy. My real friends know these things. They see the pain that I have allowed in my life. They have hope for me. God does too and He does not allow me to stay there.
I am free. The relief that I feel is wonderful. I am grateful that I walked through the season that He took me through. I will be a better person, more like Him. I will be a better wife, a better mother, and a better friend. I will pay more attention to the friends I select. No more liars. No more abusers. Next time the Holy Spirit warns my husband or myself that certain people are dangerous for us, I will pay attention.
My heart is open to what God has for me. I know that not all churches are bad. Not all Christian's are mean. And my experience is for my growth in Him. I have no regrets. I have loved with all I had. I made mistakes, but have been willing to walk through them into reconciliation.
Through His church, of which I am a part, I pray for the manifold wisdom of God to be revealed. I see it in the church that I am a part of today. It is not about what I have done. It is not about what they have done. It is all about what HE has done. And He did it all. He paid it all. Through Him, I have all I need.
The Village Church.
Check it out!