Friday, February 06, 2009

The Goodness of God

Thanks for your prayers for my uncle. Apparently, ex-Razorbacks don't go out without a fight. My uncle is still hanging on, despite the fact his eternal destiny is not in doubt! I do appreciate your continued prayer.

God is good, in times of grief.


Last night while I was in class, Joe immersed another couple into Christ. Wow, has God ever been good to us with 8 baptisms in the last 12 days! Rogelio and Maria are newborns in the family of God! They are friends of Vipul and Linda and have been studying and searching for nearly two years. Rogelio and Maria join Shawn as newborns this week.

God is good, in times of joy.


This morning, my friend and Gospel of Luke classmate, Steve Thurman, summarized well the highlight of class last night. Here's his take, accompanied by my hearty, "Amen!"

I learned a lot in my first Luke class last night. We discussed who Luke was, whether he actually wrote the book, who Theophilus was, and many other things.

We also spent time looking at the great themes of the gospel and focusing our attention on Luke 1: 5-25. In this passage we encounter most of Luke's major themes: The Holy Spirit...God at work...the salvation story set inside world, singing, and praise...attention given to the marginalized...and lots and lots of prayer.

The mathematician in me enjoys the symmetry of the text. At the beginning, we read about Zechariah's service, then about the temple, and then about the people outside. At the end, we read about Zechariah coming back to the people, then about the temple, then about his service. The passage points from both ends to the middle. It creates a focal point. And at the very center, we read this: "Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God." The focus of the text is God's desire to have His people back.

Nobody knows for sure what Zechariah was praying for when he was in the temple. A personal prayer would have been for a child. A dutiful prayer would have been for the Messiah. God answered both.

God is good, in response to prayer.