Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Current Study: A to Z
Today’s Topic: Nachos
Today’s Scripture: 2 Chronicles 20:15 “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.
This is going to sound very weird, but it is the truth. When I woke up this morning and began to contemplate my devotional, I knew I was looking for a word that started with the letter “n”. The very first word that instantaneously popped into my head was “nachos”. I chuckled under my breath so I wouldn’t wake Denise. Why in the world would the Lord put that word into my head. I got an immediate answer. Without offending anyone’s culture or how they speak, God seemed to be saying to me, “Just think about all the things that are not yo’s.” I warned you this would sound weird.
So I started thinking about the things that are no longer mine because I am in Christ. I know my list is going to fall far short of being complete, but it will be a starting point of a day of praise and further contemplation. Here’s my list:
§ Punishment for sin is not yo’s anymore – Romans 5:9 says, Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! Then again in 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 we read, For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.
§ Your body is not yo’s anymore – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
§ Your life is not yo’s anymore – Galatians 2:20 says, I have been crucified with Christ. I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. So I live my life in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
§ The hardships of life are not yo’s anymore – 2 Chronicles 20:15 “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.’”
I want to stop there and spend a moment on that last point. Yesterday, as I was driving to Marshfield to spend the day at the hospital with the parents of a 3 year old boy who was having major surgery, I was thinking about how to help this couple understand the sufferings of this life. Once again Jesus was right there to give me direction. I started thinking about the passages in Scripture that talk about suffering, and the Holy Spirit directed my thoughts to Philippians 3:10, which says, I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death… Immediately two words jumped out at me as I quoted the verse in my mind. Those words are His sufferings. WOW! None of the hardships and sufferings of this life are exclusively or uniquely mine. They are His sufferings. They are not mine. As I am going through any tough time, He is experiencing it with me.
But not only is He experiencing it, His unending love for me causes Him to comfort me during the hardship, and to give me peace that He is conquering it. There is no battle that we fight that is ours. Come on, say it with me – It’s nachos. What a relief it is to know that any trial that comes our way is nachos. And what do we do with nachos? Well, if you like them, you eat them up and grow fat. That’s what God wants us to do with our trials – eat them up and use them to grow fat in our faith. That’s why God permits the trial in the first place according to James – Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
If you don’t like nachos, you discard them as insignificant and meaningless to you. Some of our trials are self-imposed. We have made mountains out of molehills. This is what the author of Hebrews meant when he said, Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles,(they’re nachos) and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Your trials are nachos. They are God’s, and He’s using them to grow you and complete you. Don’t be afraid or discouraged. The battle is not yours, but God’s. Surrender to the work He is doing in your life.