There is probably no question a pastor is asked more than, “What is the will of God for my life?” It’s an obvious question for anyone, but particularly in a young congregation like ours. We have so many young singles, students, people early in their careers. And then added to everything is the bewildering social context where people hear the words of traditional culture (to honor family and society), modern culture (which tells you to follow your own heart). As someone said Taipei is a modern city affected by modern values, but underneath there is always a deep sense of traditional Chinese culture. In any case, it leaves people confused and wondering, “Who am I?” and “What do I do with my life?”
The story of Elisha can actually help us a lot. Elijah places his mantle on Elisha which is a call to succeed him as a prophet living in a time when the king and his queen were out to destroy prophets. For Elisha it means leaving a life of wealth and comfort to become Elijah’s servant for around eighteen years! Please note that he is called to “being” before he is called to “doing.”
If you read the New Testament, there is no question what the basic will of God is. It is to become like Christ in the ordinary circumstances of life. 1 Corinthians 7:23 and 24 say, “You were bought with a price and do not become slaves of men. So brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God.” There are special calls for people to go into professional ministry. But for most people, the call of God will be seeking in ordinary life to follow Christ with sacrifice, service to others and growing Christlikeness. Answer the call to “being” and in time you will discover the call to “doing.”
Here is a quotation from Elisabeth Elliot that I find helpful:
The consciousness of His origin and destiny enabled Jesus to do very humdrum things. We get things completely backward when we feel that because of who we are or where we came from or what an important job we have to do we can’t stoop to do the humdrum; or we are engaged in the high and holy will of God and can’t be bothered with the ordinary. A look at how humdrum it must have been for the Son of God to become the Son of man will help us regain a proper perspective. His whole human life was a humiliation. At the Last Supper, we read, Jesus, “well aware… that He had come from God and was going back to God…taking a towel…began to wash the disciple’s feet”.
Taking Advantage of the Poythress Visit
We have a special opportunity from June 17 to July 10 to have in our midst some truly amazing people. I am speaking of Dr. Vern Poythress and his wife, Dr. Diane Poythress. Dr. Poythress has degrees in mathematics from Harvard, the University of Cambridge, and the University of Stellenbosh in South Africa. More than that, he is a brilliant man who has used his considerable gifts to apply the Bible to the deep questions of our age. He and his colleague John Frame have posted many of their books online to read at http://frame-poythress.org. His wife, Diane, is equally formidable and I will share later some of her credentials.
On June 12, 19 and July 3 and 10, he will preaching on Sunday morning from the first chapters of Genesis which tell us where the world, and the universe came from. They also tell us why we are here, the meaning of marriage, sexualiity, gender--in short all the big questions people have. In addition, we have provided informal opportunities for you and your skeptical friends to meet up with them and bring any question. Please note that there are skeptics welcome opportunities at a local pub, an informal gathering at the Warren home regarding questions of science and faith, and several table talk discussions being hosted by our small groups. They will also be making available Dr. Poythress’ book “Redeeming Science”--the best work of its kind in my opinion.
Dr. Poythress will be preaching from Genesis on Sunday, June 12, 19 and July 3 and 10
Friday June 17 & July, 1 8:00 – 10:00
Skeptics Welcome by Dr. Poythress
Café Odeon, 8 to 10 pm
Saturday June 18
Quantum Theory & The Bible
Sunday June 19, June 26, July 3 & July 10, 1:00 – 3:00
Table Talks with Dr. Poythress
Sunday afternoon 1:00 - 3:00
June 26, July 3 & July 10
FFF Women’s group / Lectures led by Diane Poythress
Wednesday June 15, June 22 & July 6, 7:30 – 9:30
Back Elevator room at church
Dr. Diane Poythress is also available for personal counselling at the church office on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 10 to 12. Please contact the church at firstname.lastname@example.org to make appointments.
You are invited to join the Martin and Red group for dinner and a bowling night on Saturday, May 28. Dinner from 5:30 to 6:30 and bowling to follow (near Shirlin station). Contact Sam Huang at email@example.com.