The Austin Stone Church – God With Us
April 3, 2011
Yesterday’s sermon was really touching. It focused on 2 facts that, as Matt says, our hearts are underwhelmed by:
- God loves you
- God is with you
You hear these statements all the time, so they may not mean anything to you anymore. Ideally, one should feel complete security knowing that God is with them and that God loves them no matter what they do or don’t do. God’s approval is not moved at all by your wrongdoings and failures, and nothing will ever change that. Matt related this to his relationship with his 6-year-old son; his love for his son is unwavering, no matter what. This made me think of my Dad and how my Dad loves me so much. My Dad loves me so much that he’s always thinking about me when he goes grocery shopping, he’s always wondering about me and how I’m doing, he’s supportive of everything I do, he forgives me for all my wrongs, and he (to his own detriment) can never say no to what I want. I feel so secure knowing that my Dad will love me forever, and it hit me in that moment that that’s the security I ought to be feeling about God, the father. Matt said that God has promised unending aid to his children, and he will fulfill.
Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you. –Genesis 28:15
I’m starting to think that God’s promise is a pretty sweet deal.
Coffee house performances, free speech boards, and prayer tents galore!
Prayer tent and crowd in worship with UT tower background. Photo credits: Alex Wang
This year is the 16th Annual Rez Week, held for Christians of different backgrounds, denominations, and traditions to get to know one another. I walked by the displays this morning on my way to and from the gym, and I was pretty impressed with all of the set-up. Somehow, they’ve managed to create a warm, cozy feel to the Gregory Gym plaza by setting up a prayer tent and tables/chairs for a “coffee shop” and hanging artwork donated from various individuals. I walked into the prayer tent for a minute to sit and think, and the reason I felt comfortable doing so was because it was such a welcoming environment.
Most notable are the huge free speech boards that are standing in place with colored chalk. Members of the campus community walk by and write responses on the boards to a set of prompts (e.g. How do you feel about absolute truth?). These are meant to create dialogue and help people understand what students think and feel about their faith.
Free Speech Boards; Photo Credits: Alex Wang
Today’s the last day for all festivities, which makes me realize that I’ve missed out on a pretty sweet set of activities that I would have really enjoyed. Maybe next year!
With a little nudge from Chris from Spiritual Insight, I’m back! I never realized how difficult it is to not just blog, but also think up content for the blog.
I’ve been reading Bible Doctrine: Essential Teachings of the Christian Faith by Wayne Grudem recently, suggested by Matt Carter from the Austin Stone. You can find it on Google books (amazing, huh?). It also helps that my boyfriend owns a copy! It’s been a great read so far, helping to answer a lot of questions I’ve had along the way. It’s also bringing up a lot of interesting things I didn’t realize I believe.
For example, chapter four asks and answers the question, “How do we know that God exists?” It claims that humanity has an inner sense of God; we all have a deep, inner sense that God exists and that we are his creatures. I believe this one pretty wholeheartedly. I think human beings feel and know of an existence of a supreme being who is watching over everything and has control over things which we don’t. I like the idea because it’s comforting to think that what you have no control of is in the hands of someone who is all powerful and very good.
Most people know God exists because of a feeling they have. It can be an innate awareness, an unexplainable feeling or event(s), or a miracle. My friend recently commented that she has been going through an eye-opening spiritual experience after her faith was shaken recently.
So, how do you know God exists?