- Phone: (714) 528-1174
603 S. Valencia Ave. Brea, CA 92823
- Sunday: 8:15 & 10:45am
Biblical Faith: More Than a Cerebral Exercise
On a Sunday morning in church, we nod in agreement when we hear, “Nothing is impossible for God.” We may even be able to quote a Bible verse to that effect, such as Luke 1:37. But in our workaday, weekday world, don’t we sometimes doubt that it is true? Don’t we, like Abraham, scoff at the idea that God could cause a 90-year-old woman to conceive or (fill in the blank)? We don’t articulate it, but the thought lurks in our minds. In the Lord’s presence, consider the impossible situations that trouble you. Maybe it is a chronic health condition, a prodigal child, an unbelieving spouse, even the oppressive presence of evil all over the world. Lord, I acknowledge that this situation is not impossible for You, and I also humbly realize that Your plan to deal with it is not necessarily what I would choose. I trust You to do Your powerful work, in Your way and in Your time.
Pastor Dave noted that sometimes people play the “Nothing is impossible for God” card when they have made foolish decisions. They want to go their own way, do their own thing, and then call on God to pick up the pieces and turn disaster into blessing. Pray for yourself, your dearly loved ones, and all of us to grow in humility and dependence on God, to seek Him and His way from the beginning of a decision process. Ask the Lord to purify us from presumption toward Him.
When God told Abraham that his 90-year-old wife would bear him a son, Abraham brought up Ishmael, his son by the servant Hagar. Pastor Dave speculated that perhaps Abraham lobbied for Ishmael to spare himself the discomfort of going back and undoing what he had already started. It seems possible that Abraham had spent thirteen years grooming Ishmael to be the heir of the covenant; if so, it would be difficult for Abraham to go to Ishmael and say, “Everything I told you about receiving Yahweh’s promise of a special relationship with Him, a land, of blessing the whole world through you … never mind. It’s not for you.” Ask the Lord what error He is calling you to go back and make right. Ask for the strength of character to do so.
Verse 22 of Genesis 17 makes it clear that God’s discussion with Abraham is over. How will Abraham, in light of his doubts about God’s ability to do the impossible and his own eminently sensible Ishmael plan, respond? That very day, Abraham obeyed God by accepting the sign of the covenant in his own body. He obeyed God immediately and fully by circumcising Ishmael and every male in his household. A great way to start every day might be to pray, Lord, give me a faith that is not just head knowledge, not just a cerebral exercise, but a faith that is demonstrated by immediate and complete obedience to Your commands.
A.J. Gilbert, 22 months old, was hospitalized for two days after experiencing a seizure last Thursday. Doctors believe the seizure was caused by brain injury he suffered during cardiac arrest in September 2016, one day after his first heart surgery. A.J. is home and bouncing back well from this scary experience. He is on an anti-seizure medication and will be indefinitely. Pray that it will be effective in preventing more seizures and that A.J. will adjust well to it. Please continue to pray for protection and strength for A.J. and his parents, Jamie and Keith, as they prepare for his next open-heart surgery sometime this summer.
Bill and Carol Thomas ask for continued prayer for their great-grandson Max, born prematurely a month ago weighing less than two pounds. Pray that his lungs will function normally and that he will gain strength, day by day.
The first day of Vacation Bible School is just three weeks from today. Lift up the VBS leaders and their army of helpers as the pace of preparations accelerates. Ask the Lord to be working ahead of time in the hearts of the children who will participate. Commit to pray during VBS week, June 25-29 – that our building would be not only a busy, fun, loud place but also a holy place where God is at work.
This is the last blog post till fall. Let’s pray for one another to experience R&R&R this summer: rest, refreshment, and renewal. Those things are found in close proximity to the Lord. Ask Him to help you (and all of us) stay in His word this summer and make time to linger in His presence in prayer.
Calvary Community Church of Brea