“I have planned this in order to display my glory through Pharaoh and his whole army. After this the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD!” Exodus 14:4
I saved the pictures and story of Saturday night’s derby for today so that we could really sink our teeth into the message. This was our last derby of this season. We had hoped to possibly run in the State Fair Derby in August, but three derbies in three weeks wore us out and we’re done. After we had pulled in
and set everything up,
Sean went up for inspection and came back with nothing to do! Since we had two hours to fill we ended up playing some cards until my parents showed up and surprised the kids. They were thrilled. At one point in the evening my parents took the kids to watch the power wheels heat (where little kids go out and drive their little power wheels into each other until the time’s up), Sean and I hung back by the car. With our arms folded on the side of the truck bed we looked toward the stands and talked about the last three weeks. It had been hard. Like blood, sweat and tears – hard. Sean looked at me and told me how he’d been looking around the house and the yard, at the car and the truck and thinking about all the things around home that have gone neglected because he’s been working on the derby car. (This is very much how I’ve been feeling about the house now that I’ve been working away from it; so I can totally relate to how he feels.) I looked at those crowded stands and said, “Yeah. God has called us to be good stewards of the things He has blessed us with. But He’s also called us to go out into the world and make disciples. And I’m pretty sure He cares more about us making disciples than if the dryer needs fixed or if the lawn isn’t mowed for a week.” Putting those things aside is much harder than you would think. We’ve been brought up in a society, and live in a community, where a tidy lawn is a sign of a good Christian. We’ve heard the axiom for as long as we’ve been alive, “Cleanliness is next to godliness”. A phrase, I might add, that is NOT in the Bible anywhere. When forced to decide between doing another load of laundry and sitting down to write a post, I have to admit I waver in the decision. This life is filled with a lot of gray areas and I praise God for the GIFT of the Holy Spirit and His guidance in which way to go. Without that we all would be so lost!
Then yesterday as we sleepily staggered into church at 11 o’clock, for the first time all month, wouldn’t you know what the sermon was on. Discipleship!!! I about fell out of my seat. It’s a good thing I didn’t too because we were in the balcony and it would have ended badly. There was something in his message that really hit home for me yesterday. He leaned heavily on the passage in Luke where Jesus says: “If you want to be My disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison – your father, and mother, wife and children, brother and sisters – yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. And if you do not carry your own cross and follow Me, you can not be My disciple. But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’ Or what king would go to war against another king without first sending down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him? And if he can’t he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away. So you cannot become My disciple without giving up everything you own. Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again? Flavorless salt is good neither for the soil nor for the manure pile. It is thrown away. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!” (14:26-35)
Executive Pastor Mark Crull said, “Being saved has to MEAN something”, we have to be willing to commit to the cause of Christ or we become flavorless salt that’s worth nothing. In Romans 12:1-2 Paul says, “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice – the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” The New Testament is filled with stories of the Disciples literally putting their bodies on the line for the message of the gospel.
On Saturday night my husband got into a car
and drove around.
He drove around like a maniac on a mission from God to spread the good news of the gospel in that arena filled with spectators staring at the gospel boiled down into four characters, 7×70. We have been forgiven infinitely and all he really asks of us is to forgive infinitely as well. To forgive each other, and to forgive ourselves. He has performed the ultimate sacrifice of His body and His life on the cross for us. And Sean went out there this month, over and over and over again, and literally put his body on the line for Christ.
(and these are just the tip of the iceberg!)
Watching him move around the house Sunday was painful for me, so I can only imagine what it was like for HIM! It’s been a hard month for this Knochel family. But every second of it will have been worth it if even just ONE person was saved from our efforts out there.
Satan HATES the gospel. He HATES those who love it. But he especially HATES those who share it with others. There is a cost for following Christ – we have to put up with Satan’s shenanigans. But here’s the thing, while we will have trouble in this world, we can take heart, because Christ has overcome this world. And because we are in Him, we too can overcome this world and everything in it; including Satan’s shenanigans! Praise God!!!!