Saturday, June 02, 2007

A step of faith

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: Ezra 7, 8; Psalm 91, 92

Psalm 91:1-2 (NIV)

1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

Good morning!

Are you good at following a hunch? I have a friend who celebrates the gift of “following a hunch” every time a new baby is born into her family. She had seven children, which led to a whole bunch of grandchildren! Now her grandchildren are having kids! Every single time a new baby is born into her family, this woman can accurately guess the gender long before the ultrasound results are tallied. This has to be a true gift. Not so with me. According to my dysfunctional sixth sense, I was sure my Rachel was going to be a boy, and Benjamin and David were supposed to be girls. Don’t ask me to tell you what I think may happen tomorrow, because my ability to see the nose in front of my own face is not very good.

There are holy moments in life when the Lord calls each of us to take a step out in faith. We may not be sure of what the future holds; yet, we know who holds the future, so we begin to step toward the One who calls us. Sometimes, our vision may be limited. We have lots of faith, and yet, we’re not sure of where we are going. Two years ago, I began to sense the Lord’s presence in my life in a new way. I was compelled by the Holy Spirit to return to college and study God’s Word at the collegiate level. My children thought I was absolutely crazy. They asked me why I would spend all this time and money after working so hard to help pay for their education. The only answer I could give them was, “God told me to go, and I need to do what He asks.” What is He asking me to do? The only thing I know for sure is that He is calling me to study His Word so that I can tell other people about Him. I have faith in the One who is able to see what I cannot see with my own eyes. Do I know what I will do when I receive my diploma? I will do whatever He asks, when He asks. Beyond that, your hunch is as good as mine.

I have a granddaughter and two great nieces who will soon be walking. When I call their name and reach my hands toward them, they begin to take steps toward me. They love Granny Deb! The very best part of seeing a child take their first steps is the hug you get at the end of the walk! We squeeze the stuffing out of them, clapping our hands together and laughing hysterically! We tell our babies just how proud we are! They did it! They let go and took a step. We catch them because we know what it feels like to be held after we take our first steps in faith.

Have you ever been held by the Lord after you’ve said “yes” to Him? This evening, we have a number of United Methodists who have promised to serve the Lord with their lives. They have gone to school, studied hard, passed class after class, and received ministry degrees from seminaries all over the country. Tonight, hey will stand before the Lord and the community of faith. Those pastors and teachers who have helped them take their first steps in ministry will hold them at the altar of commitment. Each one will make their covenant with the Lord, and receive the laying on of hands and passing of the mantle. We pray for every heart who has stepped forward in faith. We are not always sure of where we will go, but following Jesus Christ is the best decision we will ever make. He promises to catch us as we take our very first steps toward Him. He will pick us up and dust us off when we fall down. He dries our tears, calms our fears, and leads us into life everlasting. He is our sure refuge, our strength and fortress. Are you ready to take a step of faith today? Jesus is waiting for you to come to Him. In Christ, you can be sure of everything you hope for, and be certain, even when the future is hard to see.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Pray for: Courage to follow your gut and give your life to Jesus today! You know you want to. When will you follow that hunch and give it up for Him? You can be certain that following Christ is the best choice you will ever make!

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