Sunday, March 11, 2012

Life Journal Reading for Monday, March 12, 2012

Wow, it's Monday... the retreat and chapel are behind them, but the fruit is already beginning to manifest itself. Today is the Hawaiian dinner, where the team gets their hands dirty in the kitchen and try (usually without success) to keep the boys from helping out...

Today's journal entry is shared by Joshua Doherty, a member of the 2010 Haiti travel team. He is training for Air Force combat rescue but was in Honolulu during the holidays and wanted to share his insights.

Deuteronomy 19-21; Galatians 3
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.” --Galatians 3:28-29

The LORD’s promises are everything we, as followers of Christ, ascribe value to. They are worth more than our possessions, our relationships and even our own lives. Without His promises, we have no assurance of what is to come when we pass from this world into eternity.

In the Old Testament we see God's promises fulfilled in lives contingent upon being one of Abraham's descendants. The eligibility for God's promises were dynamically changed with the coming of His Son Jesus, making grace available to anyone willing to put their faith in Christ, resulting in zero contrast amongst His followers.

When Paul wrote this letter, owning other people was as normal as owning a car today. And in contrast, the idea of women's rights or equality towards women was as rare as seeing a flock of pterodactyls flying above Kaimuki today. Not to mention there were major differences between Jews and Greeks; so there was a tremendous amount of counter-culture and earth-shattering lingo behind the point Paul is making in his letter to the Galatians.

Discovering this truth holds the same capacity to change our perspective today just as it did in the first century. Everyone is entitled to grace (regardless of the language you speak, religion you were born into/currently practice or how you wear your clothes etc.); everyone needs grace (regardless of how rich you are, how good you think you have it or how perfect your situation may seem etc.) and no one is beyond grace (regardless of the past sins you've committed, the accusations you've acquired or what has happened to you beyond your control etc.). When faith is applied and grace is accepted, we are all one in Christ Jesus and therefore heirs according to the promise.

To feel the gravity of this concept, it is not required to travel to the other side of the planet, but as some can attest, it does help. As you conclude your trip to India, seeing God’s hand working through you to minister to His elect from opposite walks of life, I hope this truth has been solidified in you: that there is no difference in those that are called according to His purpose. We are all one in Christ Jesus.

LORD, seal in our hearts a passion to see people as you do and not as the world tells us they are to be seen. Give us Your vision, not only for those that don't know You but also for those that do know you, so we are better able to minister free of condemnation. I thank you for the work You've done in the lives of this team over the previous weeks. Thank you for the lessons they've learned and taken. Thank You for the provision of safety over their travels and over their health, for the means You have provided for them to be able to go on such an adventure. I ask they would not take the lessons You've taught them lightly; let them take these lessons to their neighborhoods, schools and workplaces with fervor and excitement about the work You are doing in India and in their lives. Let Your truth abide in us. We are all one in Christ Jesus. AMEN.

Joshua Doherty

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