pastorjohnb

Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!


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We Want a King

Reading: 1 Samuel 8: 19-20

Verse Nineteen: “But the people refused to listen to Samuel. ‘No!’ they said. ‘We want a king over us'”.

Can you remember times as a kid or young adult when you were really concerned with fitting in? Maybe you had to have the right brand of sneakers – those cheap store-brand shoes would just not do. Or maybe it was a brand of jeans or a certain hoodie or… Today, for many kids, it is having that cell phone or about using it to keep streaks going. As we grow older we continue to practice this comparing skill. We watch our friends to see when we should think about marrying and when we should start having a child. The Israelites look around and see kings ruling over the other nations and think, ‘where is our king’?

God must’ve thought, I’m right here. Remember how I just broke Pharaoh’s hard heart to spring you from Egypt? Remember how I parted the sea to provide you an escape route and then used it to wipe out the pursuing army? Remember how I brought you food and water in the desert? Remember, remember, remember…

As adults, we do this too. We mentally check to see if we fit in and to see if we are keeping up. We see the new car or boat in our neighbor’s driveway, envisioning one in our driveway. We hear a co-worker got a raise and we begin thinking about how we can drop hints when around the boss. And sometimes we even look around for good things. We notice how nicely our neighbor’s children play together and we ask for secret. Or we find a great mentor to help us grow in our faith or in our vocation.

Ultimately, as Christians, we should look at Christ and ask how we can be more like Him. How do I live my life in ways that best align with what I know of Jesus? That question leads us to delve deeper in our faith to really get to know Jesus more. When we focus in on Jesus and on following Him closely, we are saying to God, “I want a king over me. Please, Lord God, help me to make Jesus my King”. May it be so today and each day, Jesus my King.


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Excellent and Consistent

Reading: Galatians 2: 15-21

Whenever we as Christians allow ourselves to be identified with something or someone other than Christ, we have gone astray.  When we are not living fully for Christ, then we are less than God intends us to be.  When we compartmentalize our faith to Sunday mornings and maybe even to a quiet time each day, then we are denying our faith in Christ most of the time.  Our faith must permeate all of our life all of the time.

Think of a famous and successful company.  They are not excellent some of the time.  Not just some of the products or services they offer are high quality.  They do not meet the needs of their customers just some of the time.  Those companies that are successful are always striving to do their very best, to build brand loyalty, and to always improve.  At times they may indeed fail, but then they work doubly hard to correct whatever went wrong to insure that it is not repeated.

As Christians we too must seek to be excellent and consistent.  When we declare that we are a follower of Jesus Christ, then we have set the bar really high.  We are not aligning ourselves with a mediocre product, but with someone who was excellent and consistent with everything he did.  We cannot say we love all people and then turn our backs on some because they are different or simply because they are hard to love.  We cannot say ‘use me God’ and then decide we would just rather watch TV or go to the lake today.  We cannot declare Jesus Lord and Master and then go off and do our own thing, living as if Christ did not exist.

We must love so unconditionally that others are amazed and stop to wonder.  We must say and do things for God that are uncommon and cause others to halt in their tracks and ponder why we are so giving.  We must begin each day in prayer, seeking to discern His guidance and direction for our day and then respond by going where He leads.  May it be so.