Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Why Homeschool Dawn?

Wisdom Wednesday

My pastor preached from 1 Cor 12:1-3 last week. It says, "Now, brothers, I want you to understand about spiritual gifts. You remember the lives you lived before you were believers. You were influenced and led away to worship idols- things that have no life. So I tell you that no one who is speaking with the help of God's Spirit says, 'Jesus be cursed.' And no one can say, 'Jesus is Lord,' without the help of the Spirit." This sermon took me back in time and caused me to reflect on my first year of college when I first studied this chapter of scripture and the spiritual gifts.

I had entered college with a head full of dreams, all fueled by feminist ideals. I was sure that I was smart, strong, and capable… able to do whatever I set my mind to do.

I was close to giving up on the church. I had tired of what I perceived to be hypocrisy among my fellow church-goers. Truthfully, I was a good kid, even a good teen. While others were partying, I was studying. My life was built upon my merit, and I was doing a pretty good job. Or, so I thought.

After only a few days on campus, I attended a party at the Baptist Student Union. I made some good, life-long friends that night (one of them is my husband!) and soon found myself doing things I was on the verge of disavowing. I attended everything the BSU offered, especially Bible studies.

Soon, I decided I should have a daily quiet time. I wasn't sure where to start but I had always heard "Romans this and that" in church and so I decided to begin my personal study there. I opened to chapter one and read, "People did not think it was important to have a true knowledge of God, so He left them…. They are filled with every kind of sin…." As I read those words, I thought, "That's right! People are so wrong. How dare they!"

Then I began chapter two. "If you think that you can judge others, then you are wrong. You too are guilty of sin. You judge people, but you do the same bad things they do. So when you judge them, you are really judging yourself guilty." At that moment, it was as if a "spiritual mirror" were held up to my face. I had to take a long, hard look at the real me and I did not like what I saw. I was covered in sin. I was guilty. I had a hard, prideful, judgmental heart and thought of myself as the master of my destiny. I was guilty of self-serving idolatry.

I continued reading. I could not stop. Through teary eyes, I read chapter after chapter, realizing that I was wretched and yet Christ died for me. The weight of conviction brought me to my knees and I could do nothing else but call out to God, knowing that Jesus had paid the price for my sins on the cross. By the work of the Spirit and the Word, that was the first time I was able to confess that I am a sinner and that Jesus is Lord and truly mean it. It was that night that I felt the relief of true forgiveness. I knew I was redeemed and I knew that I was forever changed.
I truly was changed. The more I studied the Bible, the more I fell in love my Savior. My feminist heart began to melt. I longed to please the Lord with every aspect of my life, including my studies. It was through the study on the spiritual gifts that I mentioned earlier in this post that I recognized I had been gifted as a teacher and changed my major to education. The girl who had wanted a career now wanted to work in inner-city missions and schools and hoped one day to homeschool her children.

I couldn't help but reflect on these events as my pastor preached Sunday. He asked the question (this is my paraphrase), "Why did Paul under the inspiration of the Spirit begin the chapter on spiritual gifts with talk of former lives and being idolaters?" As he asked that question, the testimony I have just shared played in my mind. The answer was obvious to me. It is because that is who we are. In and of ourselves, we are idolaters and are incapable of saying, "Jesus is Lord." Similarly, as the name implies, spiritual gifts are just that… gifts. We did not make, merit, or choose them. They are freely given to Christians by the Spirit to accomplish God's work and not our own.

So, as you read my blog and see my particular gifts in action, join with me in giving glory to God. If He had chosen to leave me to my vices, there would be no Home School Dawn. I would be off chasing after the wind, completely unaware of how doomed I would be. Instead, by His grace and for His glory, I am His "workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for (me) to do." Eph 2:10
To God be the glory.


Amy W said...

I am awed by your humility, and challenged by your words! I remember that first year, and I remember how determined you were to make your mark. How God has used you! You have made your mark, and are continuing to do so, in His way, not solely Dawn's! :) Thanks for the encouraging words today! LY! ~AW

Christy@MercyEveryMorning said...

God is so good! I definitely see Him in you. Thanks for sharing. :)

Molly said...

This was an encouraging post, Dawn!