Yesterday, I went to my New Testament class. I am so very blessed that I get to attend a Bible College and I get to learn more about God each and every time I go to my classes, but it's not always easy. My beliefs get challenged. People, even christians, believe different things when it comes to what the Bible preaches. Sometimes the Bible is not always black and white on issues; sometimes God allows the grey areas to make us trust in Him and in His divine power. So when it comes to the grey areas (or areas I thought were grey), that's when it becomes controversial. By that, I just mean that no one likes to have their beliefs challenged. No one likes to be told they're wrong. And, when someone challenges what I believe, I take it as a personal attack (I'm a girl, what do you expect?). But I walked away from class feeling really good because my professor didn't just say I was wrong and then leave it at that, he pointed me to scripture and showed me what Jesus said regarding what I believe. It was so awesome! I don't feel like I have learned that much about my sAvior in a long time. It wasn't easy to hear, but afterwards, it was worth being challenged because I am now that much stronger in what I believe. I feel like it grew me closer to God.
Now, I bet you're all wondering, "What was it that he challenged you on?" This is a New Testament class so we were going through Acts and writting down all the times that a follower of Jesus gave a speech whether it be to the government or regular people or those opposing them. (There are a tremendous amount of sermons in Acts!) So, we would read a sermon and then write down all the was being said in the sermon and what the speaker was calling the listeners to do. What struck me the most was that not once did anyone call the crowd to "make a decision" or "choose to follow", but instead the sermons mostly included the fulfillment of the old testament and the resurrection of Christ. We, as a class, dug into this deeper. All around America, you hear of choices. Either WalMart or Meijer, Pizza Hut or Dominos, Macy's or Von Maur, Speedway or Shell, Nike or Adidas. You get the point. So now we have just thrown Jesus in as an option to other religions. But Jesus isn't on the same level as the other religions. If you truly believe God is the one and only God, then He doesn't belong on the same level as all the other religions. He is a whole other level that is way above all the other so called "gods". For Christians who believe God is the one and only God, to us it is like believing the sky is blue on a clear sunny day. It's not whether it is or isn't, the sky is blue whether you like it or not, it's just a matter of whether you rebel against that truth or you realize it and live as if you know that truth. Growing up in America, this was not something easy to grasp--the fact that I don't really choose Jesus. He's there. I just either rebel or accept the truth. Personally, it doesn't matter since I already believe in God and have accepted this truth, but sharing the Gospel is now going to have a totally different approach. It changes the way I think and live. I know this sounds simple, but it's the simple things that we forget to look into. This was a whole new way of looking at God for me.
If we were to evangelize the way the disciples and early christians did in their days, would it be better? I know God can work through anything. I'm not saying he can't, but what I am saying is that maybe if we started preaching like they did (search through Acts to find examples), then perhaps it would stop turning in to us "selling the gospel" and actually just turn into us preaching the truth--the Good News. Something to think about.
Okay last update. I'm not trying to be selfish with this, but I would like some prayer if you are willing. I have been having some side pains and back pains for about four weeks now. I though I could just let it go and the pain would subside eventually. Well it isn't subsiding. It's getting worse. My side and back are constantly hurting and I have no idea what to do. Nothing helps. Not medicines, not icing it, not heating it. I went to the doctor and they ran some blood tests (since Rhea had leukemia they wanted to just double check for me) and did some xrays, but everything came back fine so we still have no idea why I am in so much pain. I wish it would just go away and I continue to pray that God would take away the pain or at least help us figure out what's wrong. Anyways, prayers would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to read this update. You all are the reason I keep writing. Thanks!