Here is the audio file from a talk I gave in St Louis in October at the Shine Ministries conference.
I pray that your faith would be strengthened as you hear God show Himself mighty and awesome in one simple woman’s life.
“I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” – 1 Timothy 1:12-17 ESV
Our family is enjoying watching the Winter Olympic Games. In fact, since we are studying the ancient cultures during our homeschool history time and since Noelle is really enjoying figure skating (even taking weekly lessons), we are doing a “unit study” on the Olympics this week and next. During our unit study, we are doing all kinds of reading, writing, art, geography and math related things in addition to learning about the sports themselves.
I wanted to share here, though, some verses from the scriptures that have been coming to my mind as we’ve been watching the athletes compete. Keep in mind that the Olympics are believed to have begun in Greece approximately 776 years before the New Testament was written. Think about that as you read things about “perishable wreaths” and races.
I am specifically praying for the gospel to go forth at this gathering of nations. Join me in praying for the Christian athletes and spectators to be bold to share the good news of the gospel with those of other tribes and tongues.
I am also praying for each one of us to fight the good fight, to keep the faith, to run the race not for a perishable wreath but an imperishable one. I pray that we would press on and endure, looking to Jesus. I pray that we would discipline ourselves for the purpose of godliness which is profitable for all things since it holds promise both for our present life and for our eternal one. I pray that we would work heartily for the Lord Jesus and not for men, as He is truly the giver of our eternal reward. He is our perfectly just and righteous judge in whom we place our hope and trust. He never makes a mistake. He knows my name and He knows my heart. Praise God.
SELF-DISCIPLINE & PRIZES
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-25
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:7-8
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2
“Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:7b-8
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16
“And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”” Matthew 28:18-20a
“”Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”” Psalms 46:10
“Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!” Psalms 96:3
For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.
For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”
1 Corinthians 1:20-24
I have always been quite the debater. Since before I could speak, I debated with my parents. By middle school, I excelled in mock trial. In high school, I regularly went to state and won top speaker awards for team policy debate. Before coming to faith in Jesus Christ, I got a rush out of debating Christians about the foolishness of their faith. Belief in an unseen God, belief in creation as a worldview seemed beyond any sense of reason to me.
So, last night I was thrilled to be able to watch live the battle of the world views as Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis took on Bill Nye (“The Science Guy”) on the topic of the origin of the universe.
I encourage everyone, mature believing creationists and evolutionists alike, to check it out.