Set Apart (Mon, 25 Oct 2021)
The three-wheeled taxis of Sri Lanka, known as “tuk tuks,” are a convenient and delightful mode of transport for many. Lorraine, a resident of the capital of Colombo, also realized that they’re a
mission field: hopping onto a tuk tuk one day, she found the friendly driver more than happy to engage in conversation about religion. The next time, she told herself, she would talk to the
driver about the good news.
The book of Romans starts with Paul declaring himself as “set apart for the gospel of God” (Romans 1:1). The Greek word for “gospel” is evangelion, which means “good news.” Paul was
essentially saying that his main purpose was to tell God’s good news.
What is this good news? Romans 1:3 says that the gospel of God is “regarding his Son.” The good news is Jesus! It’s God who wants to tell the world that Jesus came to save us from sin and
death, and He’s chosen us to be His mode of communication. What a humbling fact!
Sharing the good news is a privilege all believers in Jesus have been given. We’ve “received grace” to call others to this faith (vv. 5–6). God has set us apart to carry the exciting news of the
gospel to those around us, whether on tuk tuks or wherever we are. May we, like Lorraine, look for opportunities in our daily life to tell others the good news that is Jesus. Asiri Fernando
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The Testing (Sun, 24 Oct 2021)
The first time I took my sons to hike a Colorado Fourteener—a mountain with an elevation of a least 14,000 feet—they were nervous. Could they make it? Were they up to the challenge? My
youngest stopped on the trail for extended breaks. “Dad, I can’t go any more,” he said repeatedly. But I believed this test would be good for them, and I wanted them to trust me. A mile from the
peak, my son who’d insisted he could go no further caught his second wind and beat us to the summit. He was so glad he trusted me, even amid his fears.
I marvel at the trust Isaac had in his father as they climbed their mountain. Far more, I’m undone by the trust Abraham had in God, raising his knife over his son (Genesis 22:10). Even with his
confused and wrenching heart, Abraham obeyed. Mercifully, an angel stopped him. “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” God’s messenger declared (22:12). God never intended for Isaac to die.
As we draw parallels from this unique story to our own with caution, it’s crucial to note the opening line: “God tested Abraham” (v. 1). Through his test, Abraham learned how much he trusted God.
He discovered His loving heart and profound provision.
In our confusion, darkness, and testing, we learn truths about ourselves and about God. And we may even find that our testing leads to a deeper trust in Him.
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Talk, Trust, Feel (Sat, 23 Oct 2021)
“Don’t talk, don’t trust, don’t feel was the law we lived by,” says Frederick Buechner in his powerful memoir Telling Secrets, “and woe to the one who broke it.” Buechner is describing
his experience of what he calls the “unwritten law of families who for one reason or another have gone out of whack.” In his own family, that “law” meant Buechner was not allowed to talk about or
grieve his father’s suicide, leaving him with no one he could trust with his pain.
Can you relate? Many of us in one way or another have learned to live with a warped version of love, one that demands dishonesty or silence about what’s harmed us. That kind of “love” relies on
fear for control—and is a kind of slavery.
We can’t afford to forget just how different Jesus’ invitation to love is from the kind of conditional love we often experience—a kind of love we’re always afraid we could lose. As Paul explains,
through Christ’s love, we can finally understand what it means to not live in fear (Romans 8:5) and start to understand the kind of glorious freedom (v. 21) that’s possible when we know we’re deeply,
truly, and unconditionally loved. We’re free to talk, to trust, and to feel once more—to learn what it means to live unafraid.
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