Well, it’s 2012. The end of the world as we know it. Though I am optimistic the feralcats in our neighborhood will survive anything the Mayans can throw at them.It’s funny how at the
of 2012, we’re thinking about the
of civilization.Or maybe it’s just me.Do you ever get fatalistic this time of year? Where has the time gone, what haveI done with my time, who have I been becoming in the meantime, and why didn’tI lose that last 10 pounds in time? The temptation for disgruntlement and mel-ancholy can be hard to resist. If it’s not dicult for you, let me ask: what did youaccomplish in 2011? Did you live the kind of life you are proud of? Was it one for therecord books?Ah, but don’t let me lead you there. Those questions are all based on a false premise,one we believe so easily it slips by us like moments and years: that we have eitheraccumulated or lost out, either accomplished or failed, either made a mark or fadedinto the background. It’s a premise that suggests we don’t already have all we couldever want or need already (Phil. 4:12). That we haven’t been equipped for every goodwork (2 Cor. 9:8), that we don’t have a God capable of doing unimaginable things(Eph. 3:20), or that it’s up to us to validate our existence in the rst place (Titus 3:5).Here’s a little exercise you might try. Write down your dreams and goals for 2012,the ones you didn’t do in 2011 or the new ones knocking around your soul, and just…
. Imagine what it would be like to t into those jeans, to hold that trophy, tostand at that podium. Feel the warmth of that. Picture it. Then ask, “I wonder whythis hasn’t happened for me yet?” Then ask, “Have I been faithful in these pursuits,relying on God’s strength and seeking his kingdom rst?”If the answer is yes, then you will have your dreams in a heartbeat. If it is God’s bestfor you. And for the world.There’s always a catch, isn’t there?He owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10); he sets up kings and deposesthem (Daniel 2:21). He owns it all and he delegates all responsibility everywhere, forall times. It’s all his. And in a sense, it’s all yours too, right now, this very moment,because you’re his child, living on his estate. Let that sink in: everything in yourwildest dreams is yours, in the other room, down the hall, around the corner.Well, it’s all yours and it all
yours. It’s not
yours, at least for now. If you aremeant to take care of those heads of cattle for a time — be prodder, brander, rancher— you won’t have to strive and struggle and worry your way to achieving that dream.It’s all yours, but it’s all his to assign.I know it’s tough. It really is. It’s hard to relax in a Good Father who gives gifts to hischildren even as he woos a dying world. But just think, your disappointment andsetbacks and struggles and unmet expectations might just be what’s required forsomeone else to nd God — to nd wholeness. Restoration. To enter the estate.It’s a squirrelly jigsaw puzzle, this business of God’ sovereignty, and sometimes youdon’t get to be the corner piece. Sometimes you’re the beige piece in the meanderingmiddle and you can’t see how you matter.But there is great joy when we take time to linger, looking at the face of our redeem-er, who works in us — little us! — to do his work of world restoring.So forget the gifts, for 2012 at least. We have the Giver.
a letter rom
Why are we here?
IBC is on a journey committed to growing in Christ,connecting in community and joining the mission.This commitment comes from Jesus’ words in the Great Commandment(Matthew 22:36-39) and Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).
Thanks for picking up
is a publication of Irving Bible Church in Irving, Texas.
Art Direction, Design & Goodness
Josh Wiese, Dennis Cheatham, Lindsey Sobolik
The Final Say
David Farris (
)*Amanda Guevara (
From Falling to Found
)*Trey Hill (
Inside the Steeple
)*Patty Thompson (
Women’s Christmas Dinner
Jeff Jarrell*Barry Jones*Jason Fox*Peggy Norton*
Thoughts, comments, ideas?
Most beloved and indispensable
Irving Bible Church: a community on a journey.
Irving Bible Church | 2435 Kinwest Pkwy, Irving, TX 75063 | (972) 560-4600
Sign up or the IBC eLetter,
a weekly e-mail update for key ministryevent information and announcements, along with a short devotional byPastor Andy to encourage you on your journey week-to-week. Subscribetoday at connect.irvingbible.org.
New to IBC?
Turn to page 18.
How do we do this?
Growing in Christ
At the heart of the journey is the gospel of Jesus Christ, the story of the Son of God coming into our dark world to bring light, life, hope and transformation.The journey begins when we trust Christ, but it doesn’t end there. God’s desirefor each of us is for our hearts and lives to become more like the one who hassaved us. (Ephesians 4:11-13)
Connecting in Community
The gospel story draws us into a community of people whose lives have beentransformed by Jesus. This journey is not one that we undertake alone. We aredesigned to do life together as a community of Christ-followers. It is essentialthat we walk with one another on the journey. (John 13:34-35)
Joining the Mission
The gospel tells us that one day God will take all that is broken in this world andmake it whole. Those of us who are on the journey together are called to bepeople who do what we can to make glimpses of that day show up in our day.We do this by telling the gospel story and demonstrating gospel-shaped love toa needy world. (Matthew 28:18-20)