Jesus: “First understand this: I believe in you…”

For God in all his fullness
    was pleased to live in Christ,
and through him God reconciled
    everything to himself.
He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth… Colossians 1:19-20

Happy Sunday, everyone! Today is pretty much my favorite day of the week.

I love going to church, I love teaching my class, I love connecting with so many amazing people, I love the profound sense of affirmation and inspiration I engage every time I am privileged to enter a sanctuary full with good people praising God with authentic joy and listening intently for words of life, and hope, and promise.

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Rebekah writing her message Saturday evening

And, to make it even better, Rebekah will be preaching (for the first time since July – around six weeks). And you just know she’s going to throw herself in 100%, because that is who she is, with everything she’s been dying to share since the moment we worshipped with our sisters and brothers in Dresden… climbed to the top of the dome on the Frauenkirche… listened to the Bach organ at St. Thomas’ in Leipzig… held that two-hour old baby in our arms… stood in Prague’s Old Town Square in front of the statues of martyred reformers….

And now we have hit mid-September and everything anyone is passionate about is suddenly “right-now” and “help!” and “more important than anything else,” and we are over-the-top busy. Fact is life has been on overload since the moment we stepped off the plane from Europe. This church is kicking into high gear; it is blessing, and it is power, and it is poetry, and it is overwhelming, and it is a thing of beauty – but it is a lot and it can be heavy and there is no power steering.

The cliche may be “Jesus take the wheel!” but Jesus doesn’t do that. Instead Jesus encourages, and listens, and he puts a hand on your shoulder, and he walks alongside, and he says, “Lo I am with you…” and he says, “You believe in me because, first, I believed in you.”

You should come. You should absolutely be there. Not just because Rebekah is going to preach but because it is so obvious who is standing there too, hand resting on her shoulder, looking out over this beautiful congregation he has called to himself, reassuring, saying “I believe. I believe in you. I believe in you all.”

– DEREK

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faith message The Church

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Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.

Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.

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