Connecting Points

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Today’s Topic: Surprises

Today’s Text:  Genesis 48:11 (ESV)  “I never expected to see your face;”

It will be hard for me to ever forget this past weekend. It started on Friday morning, when I got one of the best surprises of my life. It was such a surprise because the basic requirement of surprise was met – it was totally unexpected.

I had just left my office to go to another part of the church on an errand. When I emerged from the room I was in, I noticed a couple of people lounging around in the atrium of our new building. They had not been there two minutes earlier. I said hello to one of them and proceeded to move towards the next room I needed to search as I looked for the item I needed.

As I moved towards that room, one of the other pastors on staff here approached me and told me that there was someone in the church office that needed to talk to me. He made it sound very serious – so serious in fact that he said there was no way that he was going to attempt to talk to this person.  A chill of fear ran through me as I moved towards the church office.

When I entered I saw only the office administrator and a member of our church whom I knew was not the person waiting to see me because I had already spoken to him in the hallway. As I began to move towards my office, thinking it was strange that this person might already be allowed in there, the door opened, and out came Pastor Jerry Moser from our sister church on Bayou DuLarge in Louisiana.

I literally ran the last two steps to him and hugged him and fought back the spontaneous emission of tears from my eyes – tears of incredible joy. He was here to celebrate the dedication of our new building, even though he had told me two months earlier that he was not going to be able to come. The people who had arranged for him to come had worked hard to convince him, and they had all kept it a perfect secret. I was exceedingly surprised because it was totally unexpected.

There are a lot of applications I could make from this story. They range from having the right expectations to having no expectations at all. But here are a few that are running through my mind as I write, mainly dealing with the topic of surprises, and how some things should come as a surprise to us because we fully expect them to happen.

  • We should not be surprised – in other words we should expect – that the people who do not know Christ and are still under the influence of their father the Devil will seek to disguise their identity by pretending to be followers of Jesus.  2 Corinthians 11:14-15 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness.
  • We should not be surprised when the world hates us, but rather we should surprise the people of the world by not participating in the same sinful lifestyles that they live. 1 John 3:13
    Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. 1 Peter 4:4 (NLT) Of course, your former friends are surprised when you no longer plunge into the flood of wild and destructive things they do. So they slander you.
  • We should not be surprised that we have to go through tough times as a test of our faith so that God can refine us into the image of His Son Jesus. 1 Peter 4:12  Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.
  • We should not be surprised when Jesus returns. 1 Thessalonians 5:4  But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief.

Your expectations determine your surprises. As you go into your day today, what are your expectations? Your answer to that will determine the level of surprise you experience if Jesus returned today. Look up and listen for the trumpet. It could happen any moment. And as you wait for it, live completely for the One who is coming again, so no one is surprised when He takes you with Him.

Pastor John

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