Categories
Life

Day 7: At Just the Right Time

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. (Galatians 4:4-5)

It’s obvious that we live in a culture averse to waiting. Self-check out lines. Two-day shipping. Fast food. Microwave dinners. Netflix. The Christmas season is no different, at least for most of us. We easily get caught up in the hustle and bustle. Before we know it, December 25 has come and gone and we never took a moment to enjoy it.

When we pay attention to Advent, it affords us the opportunity to more intentionally meditate on God’s deliberate and meticulous plan. It’s during Advent we are reminded that “when the fullness of time had come” God sent Jesus. The Apostle Paul told his readers that before Messiah came, we were imprisoned under the law. That is, the law showed how sinful we were. We needed a deliverer and God couldn’t come soon enough! The people of Israel probably thought, Where is Messiah? We’re tired of waiting already!  If only God had rush-delivery!

But God wouldn’t be rushed. At the right time in human history, when peoples and nations, shepherds and kings, paupers and priests, had been prepared for Messiah, his words, and his actions, Jesus came. Not a minute too soon or too late.

When was the last time you slowed down? When was the last time you, with unhurried delight, met with the Lord, your spouse, a friend? Perhaps you are dealing with a “delay” right now and you wish God would hurry it up. Take heart. He sees you and cares. But he also sees the bigger picture. If he can be trusted with the right moment to send Jesus, he can be trusted in the smaller delays in your life. This Advent, let God’s deliberateness in sending his Son in the fullness of time give you pause, calm your rushed soul, and turn your eyes to worship him.

Scripture and Reflection Questions
Read Galatians 4:1-7

  1. Do you feel rushed this Christmas season? Is there something you need to stop or say “no” to?
  2. Read v. 25. How does the freedom you have in Jesus free you from the hustle and bustle of the season?
  3. Is God currently making you wait for something? How does Jesus’ arrival at the right time in history give you reason to pause and trust God in the meantime?
  4. What practices can you integrate into your life this Advent that might help you better reflect on God’s deliberate and meticulous plan of redemption?

From We Look for Light: Readings and Reflections for Advent

Categories
Theology

Twenty-three years, then hard hearts

I’ve been reading through Jeremiah lately and in chapter 25, something Jeremiah said to the people of Judah convicted me.  Here’s what he wrote:

For twenty-three years, from the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, to this day, the word of the LORD has come to me, and I have spoken persistently to you, but you have not listened. You have neither listened nor inclined your ears to hear, although the LORD persistently sent to you all his servants the prophets, saying, ‘Turn now, every one of you, from his evil way and evil deeds, and dwell upon the land that the LORD has given to you and your fathers from of old and forever. Dot not go after other gods to serve and worship them” (25:3-6a).

So often I am disappointed if someone does “get” the gospel immediately.  Yesterday, I had lunch with a friend and we discussed what it means for a church to be “successful.”  For Jeremiah, it meant faithfully preaching God’s word, even if people didn’t listen.  It mean being patient because transformation is a process, and sometimes God takes his time with grace. And even after 23 years, Jeremiah didn’t give up his warnings and pleadings to turn back to God.  He faithfully kept speaking as God called him to.

O Lord, keep me faithful to your word, and help me teach it lovingly and truthfully.  Keep me from complaining when someone doesn’t listen, and help me remember where I was before you saved me.

Categories
Life Theology

Weekly Spurgeon

From Morning and Evening:

“To him be glory both now and for ever.”
– 2 Peter 3:18

Heaven will be full of the ceaseless praises of Jesus. Eternity! thine unnumbered years shall speed their everlasting course, but for ever and for ever, “to him be glory.” Is he not a “Priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek?” “To him be glory.” Is he not king for ever? –King of kings and Lord of lords, the everlasting Father? “To him be glory for ever.” Never shall his praises cease. That which was bought with blood deserves to last while immortality endures. The glory of the cross must never be eclipsed; the lustre of the grave and of the resurrection must never be dimmed. O Jesus! thou shalt be praised for ever. Long as immortal spirits live–long as the Father’s throne endures–for ever, for ever, unto thee shall be glory. Believer, you are anticipating the time when you shall join the saints above in ascribing all glory to Jesus; but are you glorifying him now? The apostle’s words are, “To him be glory both now and for ever.” Will you not this day make it your prayer? “Lord, help me to glorify thee; I am poor, help me to glorify thee by contentment; I am sick, help me to give thee honour by patience; I have talents, help me to extol thee by spending them for thee; I have time, Lord, help me to redeem it, that I may serve thee; I have a heart to feel, Lord, let that heart feel no love but thine, and glow with no flame but affection for thee; I have a head to think, Lord, help me to think of thee and for thee; thou hast put me in this world for something, Lord, show me what that is, and help me to work out my life purpose: I cannot do much, but as the widow put in her two mites, which were all her living, so, Lord, I cast my time and eternity too into thy treasury; I am all thine; take me, and enable me to glorify thee now, in all that I say, in all that I do, and with all that I have.”