Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!

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Who Knows?

Reading: Acts 9: 36-43

Verse 40: “Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed”.

A dearly loved member of the community of faith gets sick and dies. Tabitha has been a wonderful example of loving others. The widows who gather around her body weeping give evidence to her ministry. She was “always doing good” and was one who often helped the poor. Sadness surrounds the community as they mourn her death.

When Tabitha’s fellow believers hear that Peter is in a nearby town they send for him, saying, “Please come at once”! Peter and the other disciples are already becoming known for the signs and wonders. Peter and John have blessed people with the gift of the Holy Spirit. Peter’s shadow passing over people has brought healing. In nearby Lydda he has healed a paralytic. Who knows? Maybe Peter can do something in Joppa too. Besides, didn’t Jesus raise people from the dead? Who knows?

Peter arrives in Joppa to a scene of deep sadness. But there is also hope. This is what led them to call him. Peter enters the room and sees Tabitha. We read, “Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed”. He had witnessed the love they had for her. He must have sensed the hope they had in faith. But why was he here? Peter goes to God in prayer. God knows. We find ourselves in Peter’s place at times. We sense a need for God to move or to act. Do we kneel before God, praying for God to reveal His will? Do we open ourselves to imagine the impossible, trusting it to be within God’s possibilities?

Peter is led to call out, saying, “Tabitha, get up”. And she opens her eyes and sits up. Peter helps her up and calls in the widows and other believers. He “presented her to them alive”. Imagine. Just imagine. What would have been going through their hearts and minds? It is hard for us to imagine this happening. Imagine being there.

Jesus had told the disciples that nothing is impossible for God. He has told them that faith can move a mountain. It is with trust in the words of Jesus that Peter kneels and prays. Yes, he has some recent experiences to fuel his prayers and his faith. But we all do. We all have had experiences in our lives when God has done the unexpected or even the unimaginable. What seems impossible in life right now? Kneel and pray as Peter prayed. Who knows?

Prayer: God, I know that you are the God of all creation. You hold everything in your hands. You love us – you love me. May I live today with these truths guiding all I do and say and think. May it be so. Amen.

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Reading: Luke 12: 54-56

Jesus opens today’s passage with some praise of the crowd’s ability to read the weather correctly.  It is praise to draw them in, to pique their interest and attention.  Then in a sudden twist He calls them hypocrites.  Many a mind gathered there must have wondered at what could be hypocritical about predicting the weather.  If only that was where Jesus was going.  Instead Jesus shifts to interpreting who He is and to reading the signs of God’s presence in their midst.  But the masses miss these signs.  They seem oblivious to the coming judgment.

Unfortunately believers and non-believers alike live in the mindset.  Death or the day of judgment is far away, not right here at hand.  Many are aware of God but have not dedicated their lives to following Christ.  After school, after marriage, after kids, after … then I’ll go to church.  Some day.  For others life is good and they have no need for God.  Perhaps in the back of their minds they know that in a big crisis they can seek God, but God is not needed now.  Life is good.

Many Christians live with a similar mindset.  They rationalize a sin they continue to practice and vow in their minds to give it up one day.  Others vow to start reading their Bible and to pray every day, starting tomorrow.  Or it may be joining that small group or helping out with VBA or…  Yet too often tomorrow always remains a day away.  Making a total commitment to Jesus is hard.

In the last few verses of chapter twelve Jesus uses another illustration to show that judgment will come.  His point of emphasis is that one cannot wait until they are standing before the judge to start making things right.  The kingdom of God is at hand.  It is for us as well.  Are we aware of it?  Are we choosing to live now for the King?  Is there an urgency to be ready for the kingdom because tomorrow may be at hand?