Monday, January 27, 2014
Today’s Topic: React with Reverence
Today’s Text: Revelation 3:19-20 (ESV) 19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
I purposely did not watch the Grammy’s last night. After reading what made headlines this morning I’m glad I didn’t. Now I am trying to respond to what happened with a heart that totally trusts the Divine purpose of God in all things.
I will not respond to those who are opposed to Christian thought and theology except with a heart of compassion as for a blind man stumbling towards a precipice of certain death. He does not need a reminder of his blindness, or shouts of impending doom. He needs someone to come along side of him and gently redirect his steps.
Last night was a reminder to me that there is a spiritual darkness that blankets our culture in sins of self-fulfillment. My response is not directed at the culture, but rather at the one who may be caught up in the swarm who wishes to escape. My activity will be to enter the culture and rub shoulders with the culture as Jesus did, so that when any one wishes to reach out and touch even the hem of His garment, they will be able to do it by touching me.
In order to do that, I need to be in a place of intimacy with Jesus that provides grace, strength, and wisdom. I want to be alert to the presence of Jesus and His purpose in all things. I will not respond with the heart of Jesus if I have not first captured His heart through intimate friendship and fellowship with Him.
Ours is not the first culture to be caught up in the horrors of self-honoring sin. One such culture was in the days of Abraham around 3500 years ago. If you watched last night you will understand the significance of that number. In a verifiable historical event, the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were about to be destroyed by a righteous, loving, and just God. As a culture they had chosen to pursue the sins of self-gratification to such an extent that they stood publicly opposed to God and His truth. God’s judgment was pending.
On His way to announce the verdict and impose the sentence, Jesus and two angels stopped off at the tent of Abraham. He knocked, and Abraham invited Him in for a meal and for intimate fellowship. Here’s how author F.B. Meyer describes the event:
Christ knocks at the door when His Judgments are in the earth. That God has arisen to shake mightily the earth is hardly doubtful. This is a day of the Lord of Hosts, when judgments are abroad upon all that is proud and haughty, upon the cedars and the oaks, upon the high mountains and the uplifted hills. But it is at such a time that He draws near to reassure us.
On the eve of the overthrow of the Cities of the Plain, He came to the door of Abraham’s tent, partook of his fare, and gave promises of assurance to himself and Sarah which unfolded the Divine Purpose. Standing before the Lord, Abraham was prepared for the tragedy of the morrow, and was permitted an intimacy in which he seemed possessed by a passion for God’s rectitude and righteous dealing.
Do not fear the things that are coming, but open to Him who knocks for admission. He has come to spend the dark hours in your fellowship, as a mother runs to her child’s cot, when a sudden thunderstorm sweeps the sky.
May my response be not one of fear but of faith that comes from fellowship with the Father. May I not respond with judgment that is not mine to impose. May I respond with compassion to seek out the few who desire deliverance from the swarm as Abraham did for Lot and his family. May I respond with courage to ask the Lord of Judgment to show grace in the midst of it as Abraham did. May I be the one who extends His arm of rescue to those who desire deliverance. May my focus always be on the one that is prepared to listen rather than the throng that is moving as a mob.
May I react with reverence and respond with reason. May my response always be one that expresses the hope that lies within me – the hope of glory, and the certainty of God’s perfect purpose.