Over the weekend I was thrilled to go on a Women's Retreat with our soon-to-be church home (as long as we're voted in... there's a bit of a process involved here). I was so thankful for the opportunity it gave me to meet other women who are in the same season of life. The teaching was the most Biblically solid teaching I've ever been around at a "women's retreat". It was not full of silly stories, or old e-mails which have circulated the web for years, instead it was full of the Bible. The biggest insight that I took away from our time in the Word was the speaker's challenge to consider these three aspects of God's character as a way to filter the "crisis times", sins, and daily circumstances through light of the Gospel. When our minds seem full of an issue (big or small... she shared about coveting a kitchen island) or as we consider our own sin we must recognize in the midst of it all God's sovereignty, God's grace, and God's glory. Some of her ideas were adapted from a Sam Storms book with devotional readings on Colossians... I'm not sure what was and what wasn't originally his. Anyway... its not just saying to yourself, "Oh ya, I shouldn't sin... God is sovereign, gracious, and glorious." Although that is true, and would be good there is more to be gained in these things... for example:
the sin of covetousness
~God's sovereignty: "Do I remember that God is in control?" "Do I think that He knows what I need?" "Do I trust this desire to Him, knowing that He knows my ultimate good?"
~God's grace: "Do I know that all I ultimately need He's given me in Christ's atoning death on the cross?" "Do I praise Him for such a good gift?" "Do I know that He has given me everything I have out of His goodness, and He is no less good for withholding something from me?"
~God's glory: "Do I know that its not all about me and what I desire?" "Do I know that even if I think my house would be more beautiful with an island in my kitchen, its God's glory that is more important than mine in having a beautiful home?"
So, such a perspective has come into my mind many times over these last few days... it is humbling, grounding, and full of focus upon the Lord for me. It reminds me again and again of His Gospel for which I should live above all else. It reminds me of my position and who I am... apart from Him and because of Him. It also helps me as I consider the sin and struggles of others around me. I must consider that to non-Christians and Christians alike I reveal and display God's character in lots of ways. I pray that it would be accurate to the reality of who He is. On a closing note, we also used these three topics as points of referece in studying Scripture in our quiet times. I also found it a helpful focus for prayer.
I hope this is an encouragement to you... ask questions if it doesn't make sense... sometimes its hard to type everything you've discussed in "real life".