Speeding ahead, finding confidence, being protected.

Last week Kari and I finished writing a letter to send to friends and family, including a little bit of an update on church planting with RENEW. Re-reading it yesterday caused me to pause and thank God, while considering the rapid change in our lives. This is a season of dynamic change, while other seasons are more like plodding or trudging through the mud. (Which season are you in? Are things moving fast, or really slow?)

I sat there and thought: “Who is up for this challenge? How can we not lose heart? We’re clearly not doing everything ‘right.’ No wonder most church plants ‘fail’ (on a human level). How can we gain the wisdom, generosity, courage we need for this journey?”

That’s a moment of searching for confidence.

Then this morning this Scripture leapt of the page:

“Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord [the Gospel] may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one. And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things that we command. May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.”
—2 Thessalonians 3:1-5 (ESV)

All those verbs Paul uses jump off the page (or screen): pray … speed ahead … delivered … establish you … guard you …

It’s remarkable how a passage meant to encourage it’s first readers can also encourage us, while not really being about them or us. It’s centered on Jesus, the Hero. We gain our significance from being minor characters in His big Story.

Will you pray that for us, as we pray the same for you?

20121129-061852.jpg If you are curious about RENEW, there are three main ways to support this pioneering church plant, described briefly here. One way is to give financially at the close of this year. We’ve simplified the process, adding online giving to snail mail to the PO Box. You can also sign up to receive not-more-than-monthly updates.

Most of all we ask for your prayers personally, that the Gospel would race ahead of us, and this would clearly be God’s work and not merely ours.