Friday, June 6, 2014

Bring Down the House!

It's true. After encouraging you (and myself) to read the Bible every day, this week it hasn't happened. Sure, there were upsets in my schedule--and trips out of town--and children home from school--and it's easy to give in to change while letting important things slip.

As I read Joshua 5-6 this morning I was reminded that acts of regular obedience precede a work of God's power and direction. If I want God to use me and show me and reveal Himself, I need to do what I know to do--in the little every day things.

God brought Israel out of Egypt. He wanted good things for them: freedom from their enemies, generous amounts of food, resources, peace, prosperity. It was their lack of faith and failure to obey that kept them from outstanding blessings. What kind of God abundantly blesses people who fail to acknowledge Him? Would a good God promote laziness and doubt?

"But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." Hebrews 11:6

After forty years in the wilderness, God was ready to do big things--to make good on His promises. He gave this new generation an opportunity to step out in faith and do what He had asked forty years before: be circumcised and observe the Passover. Apparently their parents didn't take God seriously enough or love Him enough to declare Him through the care of their children.

There's some tough application here. Do I love and serve God in the way(s) I care for my family? Do my lifestyle and choices declare me a different person than the rest of the world--even if peculiar? Do I make time to remember and celebrate the faithfulness of God with my community (church body) weekly, regularly?

If I'm unwilling to love and serve God in my family, daily life, and regular worship there's a good chance I'm missing out on some pretty amazing blessings. God won't lead me to walk around Jericho in quiet, steadfast faith--with outstanding reward and testimony--if I'm unwilling to sit down and spend time with Him regularly. It's only when I learn to obey in the little things that He'll bring the house down--or the city, or established sinful strongholds and entrenched sin. God is able. Do what you know to do. Trust Him with the rest.

“So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’  His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

“Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed.  And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’

“But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest.  Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.

‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.  And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (Matthew 25:20-30)

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