Okay, so you can’t really surprise Jesus.
On the other hand, according to Matthew chapter 8, Jesus was once “astonished” by the faith of a gentile. This Roman centurion was concerned about his paralyzed servant and asked that Jesus might heal him. He went so far as to tell Jesus He didn’t even need to come to his house to do it – He only had to say the word and it would be done. The centurion understood how authority works and his confession of True Authority revealed his Faith.
On another occasion, the Bible records that Jesus “wondered” at the unbelief of His own people. So which is it going to be for us? When the circumstances of life scream something contrary to the Truth, let’s cling to Truth anyway and astonish others with our own Faith.
Have you ever wondered about the last chapter of Jonah in the Old Testament? Jonah is a short book and many never get beyond the Sunday School lesson on obeying God (or else!) which is neatly centered around the first three chapters. One of the beautiful truths in scripture is buried in chapter two: “Those who cling to worthless idols, forfeit the grace that could be theirs.” (Jonah 2:8). But these days, I find chapter four to be the lesson I truly need to heed.
“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” This was NFL quarterback Tim Tebow’s mantra as he was preparing himself as a young football player in Florida. He would often do 300 push ups a day knowing there were other more naturally strong and gifted athletes around that he might have to compete with in the future. His hard work paid off once he stepped onto the field and continues to pay off for him today as a professional football player. What about you, how do you feel about working hard?
If you want to be Courageous, you’ve got to be Scared. After all, it’s easy to be courageous when you’ve got nothing to be courageous about. Sixteen years ago when my wife told me she was expecting our son, I was Scared. Although saved much younger, by the age of 29 I had perfected the art of “nominal Christianity” and made life all about yours truly, bless my heart. Now I was faced with the reality that I might actually be responsible for another human soul. My immediate thought was, “time to get serious about my Faith.” Read what happened next.
This past week my wife met an elderly gentlemen in the drugstore. Kind as usual, and sympathetic because of caring for her own elderly father, she struck up a conversation with him. A few days later, a package arrived with a signed copy of LIFE magazine’s cover from June 12, 1964. Turns out, my wife’s “new friend”, 48 years younger, was leading a South Vietnamese unit on patrol when famed Vietnam War photographer Larry Burrows snapped a photo. She said of their brief talk, “it’s as if he didn’t want to be forgotten.” That’s largely what happened to God’s people in Judges: They forgot. Read why and how we must not forget in today’s blog.
These are the words used to describe Peter, James and John’s reaction to the mission Christ called them to. This is one way I want to be remembered because not only will it be literally true once this life is over, I want it to be figuratively true of my life now. Follow my blog, as I follow Him!