"Everything" Tim Hughes
Just got back from a Spirit-filled weekend :) Retreats are such a refreshing experience. The weather was pretty cold and brisk, but that didn't keep us from having fun together. It is hard to believe that the first time I went to the fall retreat was three years ago. It makes me feel a little old, but all the while blessed to be given the opportunity to year after year. Most of the sessions dealt with how God isn't looking to improve our lives, but instead he wants to transform them completely. Jesus is our substitution atonement. A payment had to be made for our sin and Jesus made the payment for us. There is no "sin calculator" that will tally up our sins when we reach the end of our lives. There is no score you must pass to get to heaven. All because Jesus Christ died for every sin we will ever commit. The gift of salvation is ours if we ask for it. Basically we have two options. First, we can self atone which will ultimately mean n life separated from God. The second option however, is to Jesus-atone. He has already taken the hit for us. Each one of us has the choice to accept him or reject him. We also talked about idols, and how each one of us, we are our own biggest idol. Moment by moment we will take care of ourselves and worship ourselves. There will be times we will follow the Lord, and times that we fall away from him. The amazing thing is though, God will breathe life into us.
The Valley of Dry Bones
1 The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, "Son of man, can these bones live?"
I said, "O Sovereign LORD, you alone know."
(we can be spiritually dry just like the bones. Alone they will remain dry, but with the breath of God they can be restored)
4 Then he said to me, "Prophesy to these bones and say to them, 'Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! 5 This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.' "
(We can be "bone-tired", weary, and dead spiritually...But Jesus can change all of that. We were given the Holy Spirit so that God was always with us. We were never supposed to always have Jesus here with us physically. You cannot be a Christian without the Holy Spirit. We were never meant to do it alone!)
This was only a small picture of things we learned this weekend. As much as it was spiritually filling, the sleep side of it was less fufilling :) It's always too hard to make yourself go to bed when everyone else is up having fun. Thankfully I have only a half day of work tomorrow and then no school tuesday. Rest is good.