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Sunday, May 22, 2011

I'd Rather Be in Uganda

God’s Word tells us this: Faith without works is dead and useless.

But don’t take my word for it… check out James 2:17, Titus 1:16, James 2:26 and countless other verses and see for yourself.

Most of us spend way too much time debating grace vs. works and faith vs. legalism. Scripture is very clear on the matter. If you’re not producing works consistent with the commands of Christ, then it’s likely that you don’t really know Him. It’s really as simple as that.

Our works are evidence of our salvation. They’re an outflow of the transforming work of the gospel in our lives. The life of an authentic Christian should consistently become more and more conformed to the likeness of Jesus and less and less conformed to the likeness of the world.

And speaking of conforming to the likeness of Christ…

Today in Uganda, Dan spent the entire day with Ernest and Catherine. If you’re not familiar with The Most Awesome People I Know, you can read about them here.

When I think about E & C, it almost makes me laugh out loud to think that Dan and I call ourselves “crazy.” Because these people literally put my faith to shame.

If God calls them to do something, they do it. If He puts a need in front of them, they meet it. If His work requires them to give something up or to go without, they sacrifice.

They don’t do any of this because they’re trapped in legalism. Or because they’re counting their rewards in Heaven. Or because they get to go home at the end of the day and write about their adventures on a popular and widely read blog. They do it all, without earthly reward or recognition, because that’s just what God’s people do.

Thanks so much to all of you who gave so generously in support of Catherine and Ernest last month. All told, we took in nearly $10,000 in support of the work these amazing people are doing in Jesus' name.

The new Sunday school building is completed and E & C are set to move into the new home on June 1. Dan met with the landlord today and the painting and pre-move-in renovations are well under way. YOU made this happen. Well, actually Jesus made it happen. But He worked through you.

At the moment, my pastor here in Atlanta, Curt Benham, is in Uganda with Dan. Today he actually preached at Ernest and Catherine's church. What a day. As us SixtyFeet-ers like to say... "I'd rather be in Uganda."

Recently, Curt reminded me of this truth: A healthy orange tree doesn’t have to try and strain to produce oranges. It just happens.

May the same be so with us. May we produce fruit in keeping with repentance and may we love, give and work for the kingdom without ceasing. Not because our salvation depends on our works. Not because it will make God love us more. But because that's just what God's people do.


Julie said...

Very well said!

Tracy said...

Awesome!! I'd rather be in Uganda too!! :)

Joshua and Hilary said...

LOVE! Well said!

Lara said...

Love the orange tree analogy. Miss Uganda like crazy.

The Fruitful Family said...

Oh, I would SSOOO rather be in Uganda with my Mama Catherine!

the_blissful_mommy said...

Me, too, sister. Let's GO. I'm ready.

Sophie said...

Beautiful! What an amazing couple those two are. I've never been to Uganda but this makes me want to go.