For middle school I attended a Christian school where we had to wear a uniform every Wednesday for chapel. 1st -12th grade probably had 100 students total. Chapel was basically church. We song a few songs, then listened to a sermon. One year, we had three different preachers all preach the same sermon outline: I. Sin will take you farther than you want to go. II. Sin will cost you more than you want to pay. and I've never been able to remember point III. Each pastor had their own references and illustrations for the points, but all three had the exact same outline. Needless to say, there were numerous jokes about preachers selling sermons to other preachers so they didn't have to write their own. I made the mistake of repeating one of the jokes at home. My mother did not find this funny in the least, but instead informed me that if I had heard the same sermon outline three times then God was trying to get something through to me and I had better start listening.
Last week Jr. Church's lesson was on Sanctification, and its key verse was II Thessalonians 2:13b: "...God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth." Last week the emphasis was on the Holy Spirit and the truth (Scriptures), and yesterday followed up with a lesson on prayer, how to pray (using the Lord's prayer), and its importance to sanctification. Then last night our small group study was on how the way we battle to live holy lives, and the main points were: knowing the Scriptures and prayer. Today I'm reading through Facebook and a dear friend of mine posted this: All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." God knows best how this life should work. Want to experience true "freedom and happiness"? Learn to say, "not my will; but thy will. If you don't recognize the last part of her quote, it's from the Lord's prayer, and was one of the main points of yesterday's lesson. I have no doubt that God is trying to get something through my thick skull.
If I had to choose one adjective to describe 2010, it would be convicting. I feel as if the Holy Spirit is sifting and sifting and yet I'm still so lumpy and rocky it's almost unreal. So today I'm putting my combat boots on. It's time for business.