Friday, September 5, 2014

Enduring the predictable

Tolkien, in his epic story about Bilbo, talks about the challenge of sticking to the path no matter what. It is that "no matter what" that we get really nervous about.  He explains that along this path, we sometimes have to encounter the unpredictable and endure the predictable. 

In either case, we need much grace to endure.
In either case, we are tempted sometimes to quit.
In either case, we never know completely what God is up to or what will happen just around the bend. 

In Luke 1: 8-10, we are introduced to Zechariah, the priest, future father of John the Baptist. The Bible says, Once when Zechariah's division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of The Lord and burn incense.  And when the time for the burning of the incense came, all the assembled worshippers were praying outside.  THEN.... an angel of The Lord....

There are several hints in this passage that Zechariah was simply sticking to the path, probably not expecting too much to happen. 

His division was on duty.
He was simply serving.
He was chosen by lot.
It was customary to do this.
When the time came....  Predictable!

Zechariah had come to work, and was going to do his duty and go home as usual.  But he did not know what God was about to do. 

We never know what God will do today or tomorrow.  There is never a good time to quit! 
We never know what all God is up to.
We never know what all God is saying or about to say.
We never know where we are in God's story.
We never know how significant our next step of obedience may be for the glory of God. 

God, give me grace to endure the predictable, knowing that I serve an unpredictable God. 


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Are you an adulterer?

Jesus rebuked the people of his day for being an adulterous generation.  He not only meant that they were immoral, but that they would not commit to anything.  An adulterous generation is led and controlled by emotions.  "I have the right to feel good, be comfortable, have my way." 

And when things get tough, this generation moves on to something easier or "more exciting."

Our generation is no different. We must deny ourselves, take up the cross of discipleship and do this daily… for a long time... for a life time.  This must be done in our marriages, families, workplace and especially in regard to finishing the Great Commission.   

Let us not be a generation of adulterers.