Grace miner and rockminer

Nowadays, forthe pastor’s conference we have several speakers. However, it used to be that I was the main speaker for the NewLife (2nd course of Life series) andPre-marital couple’s Life. Those classes were developed and taught by me in our church for many years. The New Life class is a 13 week course, but during the conference it is presented in two days as an intensive course. This requires a lot of talking. After the session, my voice is hoarse and I am totally exhausted.

After the class, participants would fill out the evaluation form for the speaker. Later, these evaluations would be handed over to me. They were mostly full of praises. ‘It was wonderful.’, ‘the lecture was succinct and concise’, ‘so grateful for such a well-developed course.’ Etc. However, there are always a couple of negative comments. Once, after I lead a class in Korea, a comment said, ‘It was not pleasing to see the speaker keeping his hand in his pocket. I hope he will remember that he is not in the US.’

When I read this comment, I was not upset, but felt sorry. It took several years to develop the course. Through hands on experience in an actual ministry setting, the course was refined and revised. All the information including lecture notes, reference material for students and other data were presented free of charge and in a format which could be used immediately. He did not feel gratitude for any of this but only focused on the speaker’s hand in his pocket. The place was filled with grace and gratitude. However, for this particular person, his eyes were blinded from experiencing grace.

This year, the layman’s seminar was full of God’s grace. Some said that they cried a lot. Many returned with new resolution. There were many encouraging comments on the evaluation. Some wrote that they understood why house church was so important. Some wrote they saw beauty in the lives of shepherds and their spouses. Some confessed that they witnessed the power of service. Some even wrote that they found an answer to their life long quest. Of course, there were some negative comments. Some did not feel comfortable to hear that house church was the only New Testament church model. Also, some remarked that the church which would not welcome believers could not be a true Christian church.

Throughout two days of lectures and testimonies, they must have seen the honest effort to establish the church which was pleasing to God and there must have been lots of material to write positive comments. However, they didnot see that. It is pity that for them the seminar must have been dull and long. In the middle of so many people being blessed, some did not share the grace. Their eyes were covered with veils…

Just like this, being negative blinds one to theblessings he/she already has. When one’s mind turns negative, it pushes one to look for more things to criticize and to be unhappy about. This way, it prevents the person from enjoying the blessings God grants upon him/her. Gold miners look for a vein of gold in the mountain full of rocks and dirt. Just like them, Christians are called to dig for the blessings of God in this harsh and cruel world. If one cultivates a negative heart, he/she ends up mining rocks even when the place is filled with grace and blessings.

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