Thursday, February 4, 2010

The FAM club

The FAM club stands for "Fast-a-Meal" and it's a 28 day challenge for the Month of February that was started by the Girl Talk blog of three Christian sisters and their mom. The challenge is to fast one meal a week for the salvation of family members. In my case, my parents.

Several times in the past year my heart has been broken for my father, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's and even though his symptoms are very mild so far, he has completely withdrawn from the outside world and except for rare moments, from me as well. When I try to share my faith and hope with him, he cuts me off. My mother on the other hand is full of life and adventure, and has the most non-judgmental heart I have ever known. She says she believes in Jesus, yet I see no evidence of any sort of relationship or sense of closeness with Jesus. She is quick to change the subject when I bring it up.

It's February 4th and I have yet to fast a meal. But I have 3 days left. Here is an encouraging excerpt from yesterday's blog post at Girl Talk, which is actually quoted from John Piper's comments on 2 Thess 1:11-12:

“To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Paul prays for us—and I pray for you even as I write this—that God will “fulfill every resolve for good” that we have. This means that it is good to have resolves. God approves of it. It also means that our resolving is important, but that God’s enabling us to “fulfill” the resolves is crucial. Paul wouldn’t pray if God’s help weren’t needed. “The heart of man plans [resolves!] his way, but the Lord establishes [fulfills!] his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).

But it matters how we resolve. When Paul says, “every resolve for good and every work of faith,” he is not describing two different acts. He is describing one act in two ways. It is a “resolve for good” because we will it. It is a “work of faith” because we depend on Jesus to give us power to fulfill it. That’s how we resolve—by faith in Jesus.

So Paul says that the fulfilling of the resolve is “by his power.” That’s what we are depending on. That’s what we are looking for when we resolve. We are looking to Jesus who promised to be with us and help us. “I know that through . . . the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance” (Philippians 1:19)

I found these comments especially encouraging as I have made myself so many goals for this year, and in the past week I have failed almost completely with all of them. But that was because I had temporarily forgotten the "by His power" part of it. (One of the 3 deadly D's got me: distraction). By your mighty power, my Lord and Savior!

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