March 2, 2011

This is what the LORD says:

Heaven is my throne,
and the earth is my footstool.
Where is the house you will build for me?
Where will my resting place be?
Has not my hand made all these things,
and so they came into being?
declares the LORD.
These are the ones I look on with favor:
those who are humble and contrite in spirit,
and who tremble at my word.  – Isaiah 66:1-2

What are you doing to impress God?  This week I found myself discouraged by my personal devotion to God.  I was looking at my efforts and my personal weaknesses that don’t ever seem to become strengths.  I was reminded that God is not impressed with outward, but the inward.  Like the Jews, who were overly interested in the beauty of the tabernacle and the intricate details of their services in it, we too get focused on the wrong things sometimes.

A contrite spirit.  A humble heart.  This pleases God?  Yes!  This is true beauty before Him.  We can try to construct a life on the outside that is impressive, or has all the bells and whistles of a life motivated by grace, but we can’t fool God.   God was never impressed or looked with favor on the Jews ability to build and maintain a physical building, it was and is about our response to God’s grace; contrition and a healthy fear.

I can do that!  I only need to look at my weaknesses in a new light, as examples of God’s overwhelming love toward me, to ‘bear with’ me on my journey, never giving up and working in me even when I want to throw in the towel.  As my heart re-focused on the inward condition of my heart, I felt a great release once again from the tired routine of measuring up.

Are you tired?  Do you feel like giving up?  Maybe you, like me, are focusing on your weakness when you should be gazing at the perfect Christ.  He lived the perfect moral life, He suffered in your place, and He reigns security at the side of the Father making intercession for us today.  It’s His life that matters, He’s forgiven your sins and wants you to come to Him today.  Come, like I did, and become re-assured that He’s impressed not with your ability, but your contrite response toward His grace.

We had a great cafe night at our new cafe this past Sunday.  25 students came, mixed in with our own people and we were able to share the gospel in a friendly and warm atmosphere.  Several of the students were first timers.  We are hoping that tonight some more students come to the college home group.

This week, one of the students that has been coming to a few events and is a friend of Kolya (new believer) prayed with Dan to follow Christ.  He has had a marked change in attitude and wants to be baptized!  Now, realize it’s sub zero and the river is frozen, we will have to cut a hole and literally dip him in the river next week.   We need a wet suit! 🙂  Praise God for continuing to work on hearts and for the Holy Spirit drawing more to the Kingdom.

My camera is broken, sorry no pictures.  We are taking a group of 16 to Chernigiv this weekend to a conference.   Chernigiv is 3hrs north of here, up by Belarus.  We appreciate prayer for the event, as well as safety traveling on these wintry roads…. the van is terrible on slippery roads.

Thanks for checking in-

Bruce & Deb

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