With only three years to accomplish the work of the Father for His life, surely Jesus would take advantage of every resource at His disposal. Yet Jesus needed to borrow a colt for His famous ride into Jerusalem.
He had the resources to buy one (after all, some wealthy women supported His ministry). How many more towns could He visit, how many more teaching gigs could He have given, how many more could He have healed and delivered had He owned and rode a colt throughout His ministry?
Considering all He had to go through, this would have eased some of the physical strain. Besides, efficiency could have skyrocketed. But…
Not owning a colt made him more accessible. Not owning a colt made him more relatable. Not owning a colt gave him more time to teach his disciples along the way. It served the Kingdom purposes better for HIm to NOT own a colt than to own one.
In an age of abundant resources and helpful tools (none of which I’m against), keep focused on what matters most.
Ease isn’t the goal. Efficiency isn’t the goal. Eternity is.
Amazingly, witnessing the transfiguration didn’t stop Peter from denying Jesus. It’s not simply the external encounter with Jesus but the internal filling and working of the Holy Spirit in our lives that transforms us.
We can witness God do some amazing things in our lives and the lives of those we know. Yet how quick we are to fall away (think of the Israelites in the OT and all God did).
Father, thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit, for dwelling and working in me. May I never forget nor neglect Your empowering presence in my life.
Have you ever felt like God spit in your face? You ask Him to do something. You need Him to come through. You cry out to Him, you believe Him, you trust Him completely. He’s done it for others, but…
Maybe it was for healing of a loved one. Perhaps it was a dire financial need. Or someone you cared for deeply who lost their way. But whatever the case, when it mattered most, nothing happened. Or the situation got worse. God spits in your face.
And so we feel like the blind man coming to Jesus, expecting a miracle, and feeling spittle instead.
But could it be, when God spits in your face, He’s in the process of changing your perspective? It’s so easy to get locked into a human way of seeing our situation. And like it was for the blind man (and the disciples), the path to seeing rightly is a process.
When Jesus spits in our face, it’s not to insult us, not to hurt us, but to heal us. He helps us to see everything from His Kingdom’s perspective. He brings to light what’s hidden in darkness. And He accomplishes His purpose in us and through us.
Don’t turn away. Let Him touch you and finish the work.
In the midst of the crowd, in the midst of the noise, in the midst of the busyness of everyday life it’s so hard to hear Jesus. Then He pulls me away from it all to be alone.
And there, alone with Him, He touches my ears. Deep inside. Confusion and despair gives way as I clearly hear His voice.
And there, alone with Him, He loosens my tongue. Pent up words, once garbled inside, come pouring out, releasing frustration, pain, anguish and…praise.
Let Him pull you aside today.
In an honest moment, I would love to reach thousands with my writing (okay, maybe tens of thousands…well, let’s just say millions). Who wouldn’t want their words to impact and helps the masses (all from a purely motivated heart of course)?
Then I look at the life of Jesus, the most influential person in history, and find He’s constantly making an effort to get away from the crowd…for the sake of His disciples, to invest in those closest to him.
Father, help me to see, and truly perceive, the importance and value of ministering and investing in those closest to me. Help me to break through the barriers (including the desire for fame and fortune) that keep me from doing this.
Those from His hometown thought they knew Him. They saw Him grow up after all. A carpenter. A nice young man, but nothing special really. So when He blew their minds by what He did and the words He spoke, they took offense. Because He didn’t behave in the way they had come to expect.
Our own filters can blind us to who Jesus is and what He is doing, though perhaps in a different way. We explain away His words that don’t match up with what we believe (or our own experiences) instead of letting them reveal more of who He is. We get upset and offended because He doesn’t heal, doesn’t provide, doesn’t work in the way we think He should. And so we take offense, pushing Him away.
We can’t figure God out, but we can get to know Him. More. Each day. If we let Him break our filters.
We won’t always understand God. As He reveals more of Himself to us, terror may very well be an appropriate response.
Ironically, when the Lord terrifies us, He also draws us closer to Himself, for we come to realize He’s even greater than we imagine!
Father, even if it means bringing about a healthy fear in my life, please reveal more of yourself to me today. Like the disciples, I want to know you more.
Gilead blew it…big time. Having a son by a prostitute doesn’t get you nominated for too many father of the year awards.
But for all his imperfections, Gilead seemed to have done one thing right: He told Jephthah what he knew of God. For, when push came to shove, Jephthah could recite, with great insight,how God established His people in the land He promised them.
And so it is for me, I am far from a perfect father (just ask my daughter). I’ve blown it many times. With my track record, I feel unqualified to tell my daughter much of anything.
But this I can and will purpose to do. I will tell her of the goodness of God, of all He has done, in my life, and throughout the Bible.
Amazing as it was that Gideon initially defeated such a large army with only 300 men, Gideon did something greater by finishing off the final 15,000 men with the same 300 (now battle weary) men.
I want to rest, after a hard days work, after a major (heck, even after a minor) victory. I deserve a break today after putting so much time, energy, and effort into a project. Into overcoming an obstacle. I’ve served the Lord well for all this time, it’s time to kick back.
But Gideon pressed on. With no support. With short-sighted friends complaining to him and about him. He finished the task. And so must we.
There are victories to be won in our lives. Don’t stop short of the finish. God will strengthen and sustain you through the end even when no one else will.
Amazing, 20 years of ruthless oppression before the people of Israel cried out to the Lord for help. 20 long years of fear, loss, financial instability, and even death. How could it possibly take 20 years for the Israelites to cry out for help?
Then I realize I do the same. It’s not that I don’t cry out to God in the midst of trouble, in the midst of frustration, in the midst of fear and anguish. I do. Rather, it’s how I cry out to Him.
Too often I find myself demanding God do something. “God, don’t you see I’m hurting? I need help! Please do something. Deliver me!” I cry out to God but I want Him to deliver me, on my terms, according to my plans.
But when the Israelites finally cried out, they cried out in surrender. The words may have been similar, but the heart was surrendered. They were willing to let God lead (through a judge), use whom He wanted, and work in the way He chose.
Father, I so often want to keep control, even when everything is falling around me. Today I surrender to you in every area and every way.