It was an odd return to life in Townsville. We arrived late morning, March 3, and ended up just sitting on the couch for several hours, adjusting to not being on the road in ‘mission mode’. That afternoon, we participated in a memorial service for one of the dear older women at church, with Elspeth delivering the eulogy.
Our pastor spoke from Psalm 23, on the comfort that comes from knowing the Good Shepherd in the face of troubling times, and even in death. It was good to dwell on the relationship God has with His people, His ability to provide for every need and in every situation, and His desire to sustain us to the end.
It seemed easier to keep our focus on God while travelling and either speaking about PNG, or training to get there. Back home, we have so many other things vying for attention – work, bills, housework, home maintenance, and organising a wedding – that it is a trap to see these things happening outside of God’s purposes for us.
While in Toowoomba, we picked up a study on Matthew by Phil Moore, planning to use it for regular reading together. On returning to Willows church, we found the current preaching series working through Matthew chapters 3 to 7. God is less than subtle at times!
From Phil Moore’s introduction;
“(Matthew) uses the Greek word basileia, or kingdom, fifty-six times in his twenty-eight chapters, stressing the revolutionary call of Jesus the King and of his Kingdom. He divides (the book) into Jesus’ words and Jesus’ deeds, so that we will not mistake Jesus for a mere lecturer in religious philosophy, but grasp that he is the-King-on-a-Mission and that he wants to enlist us as his willing followers.”
Christians aren’t just biding their time till heaven, but are part of Jesus’ Kingdom now. During our time of ‘waiting’ for PNG, perhaps we need to see all that our lives entail at the moment as part of God preparing us for Kingdom service. Certainly in our work, our finances, and the wedding preparations, there is the clear choice to do things in a way which honours Him.
Pray that we make the best choices!
Praise God that His word is sufficient to teach, rebuke, correct and train us for His work. (2 Tim 3:16-17)
Uphold Shawn and Elisabeth as the wedding day approaches (April 12). Pray that the event itself and their life together, will honour God.
Thank God for our church family (Willows Presbyterian), for their continued encouragement and support of us, and that the preaching continues to hold us accountable!