Saturday, March 27, 2010

How God Works

Today was one of those days where I was just tired - mentally and physically. This year has been challenging thus far. No real breaks in the work schedule - certainly no vacation days. Results of all of that work have been modest at best which doesn't do wonders for increased motivation and desire. Throw in an overcast day and nothing pressing on my schedule and it was an opportunity for some much needed time to get reacquainted with my recliner.

At some point during the day I visited YouTube. Can't even remember what I was looking for. But on my home page, YouTube is kind enough to recommend some videos based on my past viewing habits. There were a number of Matt Chandler videos there. Now I wasn't really planning on going spiritually deep today. Like I said, the brain was tired. But I clicked on one that was 3 minutes long. One you will probably see posted here on Easter Sunday. Then along the side it offers other related videos and I see an 8 minute Chandler video that involves CS Lewis and the myth of truth.

That catches my attention because I know CS Lewis was an atheist at one point and was converted but I don't really know the story of his conversion. I care more now than usual because I have had recent opportunities to witness to a couple of atheists with another one waiting in the wings. So, I want to know. So, I click on it and it won't come up. Over and over again...with no luck.

So, I track down the title of the sermon and go hunting on the Village Church site and find it from April '09. 54 minute sermon but I don't mind that. God is urging me now to watch this so I do this evening. The CS Lewis part is in the middle and a cool story. How he and Tolkien, a Christian, would have intense discussions over drinks while smoking pipes at various English pubs - each passionately debating their belief that there is or isn't a god. CS Lewis believing it was all a myth but yet bothered that all the Medievel authors he studied at Oxford were Christians. Finally, early one morning after an all night walk, Tolkien turned to him and said, "It might be a myth but in this case it's true." And for whatever reason that line was the turning point for Lewis. God used that to open his eyes and transform his heart.

So the reason for bringing Lewis up in this sermon, which interestingly started in Ephesians 2, was because Chandler went to Romans 8. Ephesians 2:8 talks about faith being a gift from God. You didn't do it. He did. So how does God do that? In comes Romans 8:28-34 where Paul talks about God foreknowing and predestining and calling and glorifying.

Why is that timely for me? 2 weeks ago I am having a post-dedication conversation with the father of my friend and co-worker who tells me he has been struggling with the idea of predestination. Geez...what seeking Christian hasn't had that struggle? So, I point him toward Piper's book on Romans 8. But now I have this resource to share as well. Not a coincidence. Chandler breaks it down well for about 20+ minutes. Good teaching for me of course but I know this was meant for my friend's dad as well.

And just like that...God shows up and does some cool things and I am much better off for it. By the way, if you are interested in listening to this sermon (which is awesome) here is the link:

It's the 4/26/09 sermon. Chandler at his best. His ability to mix amazing passion for Biblical truth with moments of levity is so cool.