Adam Hince

The musings of Syndal Baptist Church's Gen Y and Beyond Pastor

Am I missing something?

Posted on | May 17, 2010 | 2 Comments

Last night at Syndal Baptist Church, I shared some thoughts from a part of the bible that I love – the Book of Acts. It tells the story of how the Christian church started, and what it was like to be a follower of Jesus in that time. There are a few reasons I love it… here are some!

– I love that it shows how the story of God unfolds in a world that is far from ideal and perfect. For many, once life starts to get hard (inevitably) and things don’t quite go the ways we expect… our doubts in even the existence of God, let alone the goodness of God start to rise. The level of motivation and inspiration to live a life in response to Jesus invitation becomes harder to, and compromises start to creep in. My experience has been that Jesus Christ works well in chaos, and invites me to do the same in partnership with him. I love this kind of challenge – to be brave, counter cultural and tenacious.

– I love it that the story has details. I’ve grown up with a good knowledge of the basics in many areas of life, but as I grow older and get more grey hair… I’m learning there is power in the details. This story details the kind of people who did great things, it details the kind of expectations that I ought to have, it details the kind of beliefs that could be mine and it details through story the kind of life I am meant to be living. Its easy to measure success or failure with a few “Key Performance Indicators” … but I’m increasingly conscious of Jesus invitation to devote every detail of my life to Him.

– I love that its a passionate story… one with feeling, emotion and vigour. I’m much more of a “thinker” than I am a “feeler” – so I often find the “feeling” side of my faith in Jesus Christ to be something I’m not sure how far to take. The Book of Acts reminds me that my heart matters a lot to Jesus Christ – and the most crucial part of my response to Him. Jesus doesn’t just want my discipline, nor does He want reluctant obedience… He wants my heart to be broken by and for Him … and for my life to tell the story of that.

My three year old boy is starting to want me to read longer stories to him now. The other night I was doing so, when he said to me (word for word!) “Dad, I’ve realised that you don’t read me every page when you read me this book!” And he was right… I’d skipped at least half the pages in the interests of making sure I didn’t miss the start of The Pacific! My boy has a keen eye for what is missing – and I think that is a great thing! The Book of Acts is a story that causes me to ask myself … “Am I missing something??” Is there something about my beliefs, my experiences, my character or even my hopes and dreams that is lacking? I’m reminded often that I am not all that I could, should or would be … and growth and change don’t happen naturally. I need to be intentional, and inspired to make sure that I do something about the gaps in my own life – if I’m to play a meaningful role in the lives of others.

Tomorrow – I’ll write about “passion” … the Book of Acts challenges me to ask myself  if I’m missing that!

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2 Responses to “Am I missing something?”

  1. Andie Redford
    May 17th, 2010 @ 11:35 am

    Great post, Adam. Sorry we missed the sermon last night.

    Just on the theme of asking ‘what am I missing?’… That question reminds me of something I heard once from US writer Wayne Jacobsen. He was talking about these exact kinds of questions we ask ourselves when we feel either disconnected from God or like life’s not playing out like we think it ought.

    He said he always finds it really helpful (and I think I have since, too) to ask God what’s missing in the sense of: ‘What am I forgetting about who God says I am?’ (and therefore my place in this story that’s being played out), or maybe ‘What am I forgetting or what don’t I yet understand about God’s love/character/nature that will cause me to run to him, and not away?’

    I have a feeling I’m off topic now (sorry!) but I’ve found bringing this kind of train of thought to God usually ends up in me realising I lack him: I lack truly trusting life and all it’s details to him, as you said.

    And it’s always an enormous relief. I find it really hard to muster up any so-called Christian virtues on my own, or at least sustain them for any time. I’ve found, say, genuine passion or maybe being moved to act comes after another piece of the puzzle in my understanding of God falls into place. Something changes, something becomes clear, belief and conviction grow…and, essentially, it’s all out of my hands.

    I’m not enough, and never will be. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound…

  2. ahince
    May 17th, 2010 @ 12:28 pm

    Totally agree with this! I think Acts as a story gives me lots of hope because I see lots of people who are like me – never quite doing enough of the “right” things – finding that God is the one who makes me who I am. Another thing I shared in the message last night was that early in Acts (Acts 2 especially) there is this amazing sermon which sees 3000 people become Christians… despite the enourmous risk and cost of doing so. They aren’t persuaded that they have been wrong, that they are missing something in life or that there is something more that they need to do – They are persuaded deep down that Jesus is “Lord and Christ” … simply that He is everything He said He was. Makes it all quite simply really!

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