Thursday, September 18, 2014

Jesus Calling

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.    Ephesians 1:3

Sarah Young is one gifted woman. Chances are you have heard about or read the devotional entitled Jesus Calling. That book is a staple in the Gaddini home.

Since its 2004 release, Ms. Young’s Jesus Calling, a collection of 365 short daily devotionals interlaced with Bible passages, has sold nine million copies in 26 languages.

Most impressive is that Ms. Young has become a lucrative brand while granting almost no interviews and making no author appearances. Hobbled by Lyme disease and other health problems, she mostly sticks close to home. There are almost no public photographs of her, and she will not talk by telephone.

She not only exemplifies a life lived “In Christ,” on Tuesday of this week, her devotional gave voice and helped clarify for me what an “In Christ” life looks like. She writes from the vantage point of Jesus talking to his children, (a discipline she developed on the mission field called “listening prayer,” grown from the conviction that prayer is a dialogue with the Lord), ending each day’s reading with Scripture. I found Tuesday’s devotional so relevant to our current focus as a church; I wanted the PCC community to be exposed to it.  Here it is:

I DESIGNED YOU to live in union with Me. This union does not negate who you are; it actually makes you more fully yourself. When you try to live independently of Me, you experience emptiness and dissatisfaction. You may gain the whole world and yet lose everything that really counts.

Find fulfillment through living close to Me, yielding to My purposes for you. Though I may lead you along paths that feel alien to you, trust that I know what I am doing. If you follow Me wholeheartedly, you will discover facets of yourself that were previously hidden. I know you intimately—far better than you know yourself. In union with Me, you are complete. In closeness to Me, you are transformed more and more into the one I designed you to be.

“What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” —MARK 8:36

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
—PSALM 139:13–16

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. —2 CORINTHIANS 3:17–18

This weekend we continue our journey through Ephesians 1, looking at Ephesians 1:15-23.  I look forward to gathering together!

I love being your pastor!