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Topic: Expect (07/11/13)
TITLE: Forsee it
By Dawn Winston
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After years of Bible study my Bible teacher quoted me Romans 10:9 “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” It was time to make the most important decision in life. I was scared. I felt I knew what was coming. I expected to lose my “cool” in that I would have none of my old hip friends. I would be out of that world- no longer in the In crowd. Yet it was the offer not to be refused- the choice of life and love. Jesus was the truth of God. I confessed with my mouth and expected to be set right.
Prosperity gospel preachers like on TV say that God expects us to, well, prosper when we are believers. Another local pastor said something to the effect of tell that to Paul, look at his life. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 11:24-27 4 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.” Did Paul doubt God’s love in all these trials? Did he doubt though he did not materially prosper, nor live an even comfortable life? No, he wore them proudly.
Jesus tells what to expect when we follow him. Jesus says we will have trouble. It’s right there in John 16:33, so why are we so surprised? “What is happening to me?” Why is this happening?” Probably, it’s a good sign.
Ultimately I got what I did not expect. I got great boundless adventure, laughter and flowing joy. I can tell you what to expect from the life of faith: the unexpected.
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