Monday, June 11, 2007

Sermon Notes - Perseverance

Good morning blog readers! I come to you today with some notes from the message that I heard in church yesterday morning. Normally, I attempt to regale you with stories mainly concerning my kidneys (or adventures surrounding said kidneys). Today, I thought I'd provide you with a little insight that I gained at church yesterday and how it relates to my kidney journey.

We have been studying 2 Peter 1:5-8 in church for the past several weeks. Here are the verses, as taken from
5) For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;
and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;
7) and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.
8) For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

As you may have guessed from today's blog title, Sunday's sermon was on the phrase "and to self-control, perseverance." The pastor spoke about how perseverance, in this passage, is not referring to just "hanging in there" but more "to remain under," like a pack mule under a load. He spoke about how persevering is not just staying under a burden, but looking forward to the results that will come about because of the burden being borne. His focus was on the Christian life, and how the trials and tribulations that we face are all worth it because, as Christians, we have the prize of an eternity in Heaven with Jesus waiting for us.

In my mind, I thought about my kidney disease. I have always looked at it as being a part of my life. It is not something that was caused by something I did, and it was not something that I necessarily deserved. I was born with a genetic condition that would cause my kidneys to fail, and they did indeed fail. But, life was not over. I knew that I could look forward to a life with a transplant. All during dialysis, I knew there were lots of people all over the world praying that God would provide a way for me to no longer be on dialysis. Back in January, God provided a kidney for me. All that I had gone through led me to this transplant.

What is my application for this? Do I just go back to life as normal? No! I keep in mind the way that life was on dialysis. I also am reminded of the family that lost a loved one and chose to donate his organs. This gives me a couple of great reasons to care for my kidney like never before. I try to drink water all day long, to keep myself hydrated and to keep the kidney happy. I take all of my medications on time every time (except that once) in order to help prevent rejection. I am trying to stay healthy with my diet and a little exercise to keep my body in good shape so I don't lose the kidney through another problem.

So, all in all, I am thankful that God allows us to learn perseverance. It lets you learn to direct your focus on the good things that are to come. And, if you achieve the positive results at the end, then you are able to look back and thank God for all He has done. At least, in this case, that's how it worked out for me.

Praise the Lord!
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