Looking Forward With Resolve

Looking Forward With Resolve

Dec 10, 2012

by Executive Director Rob Appel

Looking forward with resolve

Last month, I wrote about the community known as Seventh Day Baptists getting along with each other. This is in spite of differences we might have. I believe we can show the world that we can get along and “Together We Can!” Together we can have the determination to serve and look forward with resolve!

In September I took a spiritual retreat up at Camp Paul Hummel in Boulder, Colorado. On the first day, I wondered how God was going to speak to me this time. God speaks to us in many different ways! It is sometimes through His Word, a gentle whisper, pictures in your mind, a roadblock, a sermon, a Bible study, or simply another person telling you something that clarifies a situation.
Well, God chose to speak to me through Oswald Chambers’ daily devotional, My Utmost for His Highest. An old copy was in the lodge and I picked it up on the morning of day two. (I have a copy of this at my home in Wisconsin; my good friend Pastor Rod Henry gave it to me at least 15 years ago. But I hadn’t used it in years as a devotional.)
So how could God speak to me through this book, in the mountains in Colorado, with devotions I had done before? Good question! The answer is in the “dog ears.”
There were only 12 pages that were dog-eared in this copy. That is 12 out of over 190 pages. Now, I don’t know the odds of this happening, but that was exactly the sign I was looking for! I had gone into this retreat asking God the question, “What next?” What was next for Seventh Day Baptists, and what did God want for us? Plus, how was God going to use me and what was the message that He wanted me to share with you? But wait… there’s more!
I have the privilege to talk to each of you through this page 11 times a year. I have covered topics from church updates, to challenges, to meddling, and even challenged you to tithe. But I was looking for something different for the year 2013, and that was one of the things that I had also been praying about. Two things: the SR writings, and what was next for Seventh Day Baptists? God answered them both in one fell swoop as I stumbled upon an old book that I could have easily ignored, especially since I had studied with it before!
So here I was on September 27, 2012, in the Rocky Mountains, in the lodge at Camp Paul Hummel, led to a meager bookshelf filled mostly with Bibles in all shapes, covers, and versions. And instead of them, I pick up an old copy of My Utmost For His Highest! I opened it to one of the 12 dog-eared pages, dated September 27, and I read the title, The “Go” of Renunciation. It said:

    As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Our Lord’s attitude toward this man was one of severe discouragement, “for He knew what was in man” (John 2:25). We would have said, “I can’t imagine why He lost the opportunity of winning that man! Imagine being so cold to him and turning him away so discouraged!” Never apologize for your Lord. The words of the Lord hurt and offend until there is nothing left to be hurt or offended. Jesus Christ had no tenderness whatsoever toward anything that was ultimately going to ruin a person in his service to God. Our Lord’s answers were not based on some whim or impulsive thought, but on the knowledge of “what was in man.” If the Spirit of God brings to your mind a word of the Lord that hurts you, you can be sure that there is something in you that He wants to hurt to the point of its death.

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