Today's sermon in Church was amazing.
We have been going through the book of Jonah all summer. We finally got to Chapter 3 today. Focusing on Jonah 3:1-4, my preacher taught us all how God is patient, merciful, and generous.
I loved hearing all of the ways that people in the Bible have screwed up. I know, I know, that sounds crazy, but it makes them all seem more real to me. Yes, I know they are real people and they had real experiences...but to hear that they screwed up in one way or another really makes me feel better.
--Jonah ignored God and went to Tarshis instead of going to Nineveh to preach.
--Abraham lied to everyone and said that Sarah was his sister instead of being honest and saying she is his wife.
--Elijah ran away from God and ended up having to deal with Jezebel.
--David saw Bathsheba, Uriah's wife, bathing and ended up committing adultery with her (even though he knew it was a sin). She ended up getting pregnant.
And on and on and on.
The Bible is very honest in showing the good times and the bad times that the people were faced with. It just makes me feel better to know that these men really screwed up big time and were still forgiven. As long as we are repentant, we will be forgiven as well. We just have to trust and surrender to the Lord and we will be saved, period.
Another good point that was made today is that God uses preaching as His main form of communication - using preachers like mine, Ronnie McLean, as his instruments to guide and teach his children. During this segment of the sermon, Pastor McLean said that any time you feel like the sermon was tailored to you and what you need at that point, don't thank the preacher. Thank God. He uses ministers to speak to his children and address their needs.
This spoke to me specifically. This is why I'm in Church again now. I went back to Church last February (2013). It was the first time I had been in about a year. Before that, I was going on and off. I was in a bad place in my personal relationship and I was searching for something to fill a void that had formed in my heart. When I was sitting there, Pastor McLean spoke about making decisions that reflect what God wants for you. He said that we have to make hard choices, choices that may hurt, but choices that make us happy - choices that make God happy. I'm sure those aren't the exact words (as a matter of fact, I have almost that whole sermon written down in my journal that I take to Church)...but they resonated in my soul. I ended my broken relationship about two weeks later and my life has been up and down since.
In this period, the biggest constant and the biggest joy I've had is Church. Freedom Baptist has been a place where I feel at home. The people who attend there are friendly and welcoming. It just feels like a family. This is the place where I belong. That's why today, 7/27/14, I finally joined the Church as a member. It feels wonderful to finally call Freedom my Church home. Now, I want to get plugged in and really become a good member of the Church! I can't wait for CWS to start and I get my 3-4 year olds (if they're still going to let me lead the group!!!!!) :)
If you can't tell, I was really inspired after Church this morning. This is the kind of post I want to write. This is what I feel called to do. Of course, not everything can be a reflection of a sermon I hear...but man, it feels so good to get it all down on paper (or online, haha). Hopefully, I'll keep up my momentum and continue to post regularly.