The Longest Plan of Salvation, Like Ever.

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I’m a details kind of gal. I can’t help it. I blame it on my ADD. Mom used to say that when she would ask me to clean a room, she’d come back 45-minutes later to see the room looking like a disaster. But let me tell you, the window panels were cleaner than the day we got them. I’ve always been like that. I tend to be very focused on the details that make up the big picture.

When I sit down to study scripture, I am the same way. I spent about nine months in the book of Colossians, daily dissecting every single word in the book. I have to remind myself before studying to read the book fully first. I have to see the big picture, so I won’t miss the forest for the trees.

Today I sat down to study Romans. Lord bless it. I was in 1:1-4 for two and a half hours. I love connecting with the Lord that deeply, but I know (time wise) that’s not sustainable for everyday life. I wanted to share some thoughts on how cool these verses are:

1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh 4 and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our lord,

Why are these verses important?

It’s important because it sets up verses 5-6. Well, and all of Romans concerning God’s plan of salvation.

I tried to sum up what these verses were saying. Here’s what I got, “The gospel of God was promised by God through His prophets in the OT. The gospel was always about Jesus-who was a descendant of David in the flesh and the Son of God in power, proven by his resurrection.”

Why are the Prophecies important?ย 

I thought to myself, “Why is it so crucial that Paul is confirming Christ’s fulfillment of prophecy to the church in Rome?”

One reason, I think, was to reaffirm that YHWH, the Lord our God, is the one true God and is sovereign over all creation. Looking back at the early Roman church, most of the people there were gentiles having come from a long line of polytheism. It’s essential to point out that there is only one God and He has made a way for redemption.

One cool thing is that these verses show is that Jesus Christ dying for the sins of man and conquering death through resurrection was God’s plan of redemption from the beginning of time. It wasn’t a “Whoops! Let’s see how this turns out and if I like this generation I’ll choose to save them, and if not oh well!” kind of thing. This was His plan because of who God is. The Lord’s character is consistent and has been since the beginning of time. His plan attests to that.

From cover to cover, we see that this was God’s plan and He has been faithful to complete it for His glory.We can see in Genesis that it is God’s plan for Jesus to crush the head of the serpent. In Revelation, we see Christ’s second coming and conquering sin, death and Satan for all eternity. It’s the same promises in all of scripture for all time that are all fulfilled by Christ. We know this to be true because of 2 Corinthians 1:20.ย There is not one promise that He has made that is not fulfilled in Christ.

These verses in Romans help show God’s goodness and His steadfastness to creation for thousands of years. And y’all, something I struggle with and fight to believe in? The fulfillment of His promises (that have already been fulfilled and will be fulfilled in Christ) are in no way dependent on me or my works. His plan for salvation was never “If you’re good enough, I’ll send a savior.” It was His plan to send a savior, and He is accomplishing it for His glory through which we benefit from that grace. It’s not about me. That’s a humbling position to be in.

Where in the OT is Jesus prophesied about?

Firstly, who even claimed (besides Paul) that the prophets were talking about Jesus? Well, in Luke 24, Jesus claims that!

In regards to the prophetic books, I don’t know about you, but I only ever really think about Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and Isaiah. I think of all those verses that we look at around Christmas about the birth of Jesus. I looked it up in my ESV Study Bible (Thanks Steph Norris!) and found that there are former prophets, minor prophets and the main four everyone typically thinks of. And you know what’s cool, if you add up all the prophetic books in the OT, there are 22 in the OT. We all know, thanks to the help of the Jesus Storybook Bible, that all the stories in the Bible are about Jesus. It doesn’t matter if they are a “prophetic book” or not. But what is so cool is that the promises of the prophets in the OT are concerning His son, Jesus. That’s really cool! 22/36 books in the OT testify to Christ’s coming. Awesome.

Just to encourage you today that the gospel is God’s plan for salvation from the beginning of time, here’s a few verses I found in the OT that encouraged my heart that this whole Christianity thing isn’t made up. It’s too consistently true over mass amounts of time to be a lie.

Micah 5, Isaiah 53, Isaiah 42:1-9, Daniel 7:13-14 (cf. Mark 14:61-62 and Rev. 19:11-16).

Respond

One thing I think we can do as we reflect on these verses is ask God to make this truth deep to us. Worship Him that it is true and seek to dig deeper into His gospel of Grace, Mercy and Redemption.

He’s so good, y’all.

 

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STINT-North Africa Region

Well, I got an e-mail last night from the lady who is reviewing my application. She said it’ll be about two more weeks until she can finish processing it. So, I am afraid to tell you I won’t know if I got accepted until about February 25th. If you could, please be praying for wisdom, discernment, confirmation, and whatever else you can think of for me! ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m in a weird place with this whole STINT thing. To be honest, I can’t see myself anywhere else in August. I don’t want to move to Nashville, at least not right now. I’m not dating anyone, so there’s no future in that! ๐Ÿ˜‰ And I don’t necessarily want to stay in Chattanooga. So, I’ve been really excited about STINT. But, at the same time I’ve been trying to not get too excited because it’s not guaranteed that I’m going. I haven’t been accepted yet. So, all this to say I’m having a hard time discerning if it is the Lord’s will and timing for me to go.

I am constantly praying that He will close this door for me if it isn’t His will. I’m having such a hard time surrendering this. I just want to trust that when He speaks, I will listen. And I’m so my will minded, that I often don’t listen when He does speak. Anyways, I’m wrestling with this right now, when I need to just give it to God and let Him open and close doors.

Here’s some interesting things that’s been happening. I was talking to my friend Bekah on Monday about how I have been so nervous and anxious to hear back from the STINT lady. And I was just asking for her to pray for me. The very next day I get an e-mail from the lady saying she hasn’t forgotten about me, and she’ll finish reviewing my application within two weeks. How awesome!

And then, I had to miss Bible study last night because I was NOT prepared for my french test at all. So I stayed home to study. I went to my test this morning (feeling not so confident) and sat down. I looked over the test, “blah blah blah adverbs, comparatives, SENEGAL?!” Yes ladies and gents, Senegal was on my test. In our comparative section it said (in french) “Senegal has the most beautiful beaches in the world.” or something like that. ๐Ÿ™‚

So, I’m not wanting to see this as a Duh-God-is-obviously-confirming-this-just-open-your-eyes! type of a thing just yet. I’m being attempting to be patient and trusting that whatever His will is, He’ll make it happen. So, we’ll see.

Anyways, my last awesome thing for today is this a snippet from my devotional by Chris Tiegreen. Here it goes…

“He reveals deep hidden things.” Daniel 2:22

“Sometimes we think God has given us a bare minimum of information. We want to know all the answers to all of our deep questions, but because wise philosophers struggle with the meaning of life as much as we do, we assume that we are confined in ignorance for the length of our lives…. God does not leave us in darkness; He makes that very clear. He spoke light into our world on page one of the Old Testament, and He sent the Light of the World to us on page one of the New. The mysteries of life-and today’s guidance-are revealed in Him…. The mind of Christ takes a while to grow in us, and it has radical implications. We just want a little direction today. God usually doesn’t work that way. He offers us deep and hidden things, but to find them we must have a deep and hidden relationship with Him-deep in faith and hidden in Christ (Colossians 3:3)…. Visions of truth come to those who will follow it.”