For the past week, I have fought feeling bogged down from the ever-growing list of "to-dos" for my trip! Thank the Lord that the list is diminishing and I am being further taught how to appropriately handle high stress situations - something I am not good at. The amazing thing I have learned in the past few years about this is that it actually can be learned.
Being reminded of this struggle of mine lately, I have been convicted of my own lack of understanding in how to truly live and walk in the Spirit of God. This has led me to pray differently as well as helped me to decide what Bible study I will use during my time in Nepal - Beth Moore's "Living Beyond Yourself: Exploring the Fruit of the Spirit." I actually have not done any of Beth's studies since I've been in seminary and I am excited to be encouraged by the gift of teaching God has given her through this study. I highly recommend any of her books, Bible studies or any other resource of her's out there!
I also wanted to share a Scripture passage with all of you, especially those choosing to pray for me. I have chosen to memorize Acts 17:24-31 before my trip, as well as during. This passage has always been important to me when thinking about mission because of the contextualization Paul includes - he spoke to the Greeks and shared the Gospel with them in a way that they could understand! This is something SO important when evangelizing and doing mission in order to allow the receiver to truly understand the message of Christ. I was reminded of these beautiful verses the other day and upon reading these words of Paul again, it is highly appropriate for use in a Hindu context (as well as many other contexts I'm sure). Please pray that I am diligent to completely memorize this passage and please pray that I am able to use it in some capacity during my interactions with some Nepali people.
"The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man of the earth, having determined allotted periods and boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each of us, for 'In him we live and move and have our being;' as even some of your own poets have said, 'For we are indeed his offspring.' Being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead." Acts 17:24-31
The task of sharing this story with others is a gift that Christians are meant to find delight in doing, in response to the love God has given and the love we have for Him in return! In this love is also how we are called to share - although some might view the pending judgment as a lack of compassion, it is actually the complete opposite. There is grace in the opportunity to receive righteousness and the justice of God is proven in his role as judge. I encourage those who are followers of Christ to not take lightly sharing the Gospel - be respectful and sensitive. Share the story in a way that will allow your hearer to fully understand. Be aware of the opportunities to share and seek them out, especially in the context of daily life and through relationship building. Pray for the grace to share in a way that is pleasing to our Savior and pray for His moving through you.
I do believe that we need the Spirit of God in every circumstance, but I also believe that when attempting to share the Gospel we especially need His moving. "If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit." Galatians 5:25