If you have been with us for our current worship series you may be catching on that the words we are using are not just catchy ideas, but key descriptions of the Christian faith. We started with AND representing redemption and the hope of new life. WITH represents the importance of community and fellowship. This Sunday we focus on BUT. We should be very honored that Bishop Mike would choose on his final Sunday as an active bishop to preach at St. Luke's. I can't say enough good things about Bishop Mike and Marcia. Obviously I'm not buttering him up, he retires next week! But I feel privileged to have served under his leadership these past five years. He ranks among the finest in the Council of Bishops.
He will continue our series, Grammar School, considering what happens when we say, "But God..." This is about transformation. In truth I asked Bishop Mike to preach this sermon. I heard him deliver it a few years ago. Now, I know for a fact he's not preaching the exact same message, but I hoped he would share the same general idea. It is such a fresh, creative and powerful message. You are going to be glad you were here for a most memorable Sunday.
The missionary Hudson Taylor once said, "All God's giants were weak people." Moses' weakness was his temper, but God transformed him into "the humblest man on earth." Gideon had a weak self-image but God changed him into a mighty man of valor. Abraham could sometimes be weak when it came to trusting God's power, but God transformed him into "the father of those who have faith." Peter was impulsive but God turned him into The Rock. John was known as a Son of Thunder because of his rage, but God made him the Apostle of Love.
Obviously the common denominator is "but, God..." Whatever you are right now is not all you can be, but the key is saying, "but God." Admitting that you need to grow and then seeking God's help is the start. Not just the change you think you are capable of making. Not just the change you would like to see. But, the change God wants to make happen. The key is recognizing that our lives are not our own. They belong to God. Our job is to let the Creator have his way in us. At the end of each day we should ask God to help us reflect on this question, "Did everything I do and say today please you?" If not, then say, "God, help me to change that tomorrow."
So are you wondering what the title of this devotion means? Please Be Patient, God Is Not Finished With Me Yet.
See you Sunday