Thought of the day: impossible things
Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?”
“Lord, I want to see,” he replied. (Luke 18:40-41 NIV)
This man’s request was impossible to fulfill – impossible for anyone but God. But he believed, asked, and received the miracle. How often do we ask God for impossible things? The request must be coupled with belief. But we should ask God to fix impossible things because He is the only one who can. Why limit God in our requests?
Thought of the day: acting on belief
Jesus, speaking to His disciples:
“No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”
Then Jesus’ disciples said, “Now you are speaking clearly and without figures of speech. Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.”
“Do you now believe?” Jesus replied. “A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me. I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:27-33 NIV)
“Do you now believe?”
Do we believe in the resurrected Jesus and His power? Are we following His commands out of a sense of duty and obligation, or because we have a relationship with Him? We should be still and listen, and bring our fears and questions to God first, rather than making what we think of as a common sense decision and asking God to bless it afterwards. Listen and wait and trust. There will be trouble in this world, but with Jesus we can overcome it.
Thought of the day: human limits
Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?”
The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans. )
Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
“Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? (John 4:4-7, 9-11 NIV)
This is the phrase for today: “you have nothing to draw with.” Jesus offers the woman a tremendous gift, one that she doesn’t even comprehend, and she frames the gift and the giver in her human terms. How can you give me this living water when you don’t have a bucket? She asks this because she would need a bucket to draw water. She limits Jesus by putting Him into her human-sized box. But that’s not how he works.
I think we often do the same, where we ask God for help but then doubt that He can deliver because we look at our resources and our limitations and we think it can’t be done. We believe in our own abilities and not the infinitely greater resources and abilities of God. We have to learn to look beyond ourselves and truly trust God to take care of us and fulfill our needs.
Thought of the day: compelled by Christ
For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:14-15, 17 NIV)
Have you been compelled by Christ’s love for you to act? Or by Christ’s love for another, to act with His love through you? We will find this happening, as we are new creatures in Christ and respond to the call of our Lord to act.
Thought of the day: focus on the relationship
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?”
(Matthew 6:25 NIV)
How can I live without thinking about food or clothes or where to sleep tonight? Is that a concern? Of course it is! How does Jesus say not to think about it? He must not know my circumstances.
But He does. He knows my circumstances better than I do. And his guidance is – focus on Him. Let your primary thought be about your relationship with Him. Don’t get distracted or caught up with clothes or money or house or job or worldly pursuits. Focus on the relationship.
Thought of the day: grow where you are planted
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? (Matthew 6:28-30 NIV)
“See how the flowers of the field grow.” The flowers grow. That’s their nature. That’s their task given to them. They grow wherever they are planted. And God takes care of them.
Our task is to grow where we are planted, to live fully in our environment, to rely on God to take care of us.
Thought of the day: God’s timing
But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being. (Galatians 1:15-16 NIV)
Paul is writing to defend himself against his detractors. But the phrase to focus on today is “when God was pleased to reveal”. KJV says “when it pleased God”. The message here, delivered by Paul, is that God works in His schedule. Paul’s life was interrupted, thrown into disarray, turned upside-down when it pleased God to do so.
Our problem is that we want God to work in our lives on our schedule. We ask for his help and intervention and expect an answer or solution in minutes. We should expect to be surprised by God, and we must learn to be patient and ready at all times to give Him space to work in our lives.