This week, Pastor John hands over the TAGD keyboard to Marti Wiegman, Northpoint’s Director of Women’s Ministries.
Hello Church Family,
Last month my husband and I, along with 20 some other members of our church family, went on an amazing adventure. Touring through Greece, cruising to beautiful islands, and traveling into Turkey, we traced the steps of Paul as he was used by God to bring the gospel to the Gentiles . . . to the Western world . . . and to you and me.
The first day we traveled by bus along rolling hills looking out over dazzling blue seas rimmed in turquoise. We traveled to the archeological site of Philippi, the first Gentile city where Paul preached. Before entering the city, we walked along the rolling brook where Paul encountered Lydia, a businesswoman and the first convert on Gentile soil. It was in this river that Paul baptized Lydia and her household.
We entered into the ruins of the city of Philippi, walking down the marble courtyard of the marketplace lined by ornate columns. We saw the ruins of temples to various gods. And we sat in the court of the magistrates. There we read Acts 16:16-40, the account of how Paul and Silas in that very place were sentenced to be beaten with many stripes for their faith. Afterwards in prison, they sang praises to God. Amid the fallen stones of the city ruins, we visualized the earthquake that shook open their prison doors and opened even greater doors for the gospel.
And that was just the first day!
It was powerful to see these Biblical places. Yet as I sit here reminiscing, my Bible is on the table beside me. In these precious pages I can hear the very words of Paul as he spoke on Mars Hill. Or of Moses as he gave the commands of God to Israel. I can meet Joseph or Mary and Martha—and know their hearts. And I can listen in to Jesus the night before He died as He prayed for all believers, and for me. No archeological site or ancient carved stone can compare to that!
During our trip we got up crazy early, toured all day, and fell into bed late in the evening exhausted, yet excited to start it all again the next day. We didn’t want to miss a thing! There was no one saying, “Not right now” or “Tomorrow, I promise.”
I’m finding myself convicted lately. If the Word of God offers the truest and dearest encounter with God I will ever know, why don’t I have the same enthusiasm to get up to be in the Word every day? Why don’t I make the time to linger over its precious truths, even when I’m exhausted, because I don’t want to miss a thing? With the Spirit’s help, I want to remind myself that time in the Word is the closest I can ever be to the footsteps of Paul, or more importantly to the heart and mind of Christ—no 20-hour plane ride required!
Serving Him together,