Monday, August 28, 2017

God's conundrums

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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Matthew 11:2-15

TO CHEW ON: “And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples and said to Him, ‘Are you the Coming One, or do we look for another?’ 
‘... blessed is he who is not offended because of Me’” Matthew 11:2,3,6

Why do you suppose John sent disciples to Jesus asking if He were the “Coming One” in the context of all the “works” he was hearing about? Do you suppose it was a subtle way of reminding Jesus—Hey, I’m here in prison. I could use one of those works right about now?

Jesus didn’t come through with a prison escape, though. Instead He made this curious statement: 'Blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.'"

Why would John be offended (skandalizo from which we get scandalized: "to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey")?

Perhaps because what happened here (or didn’t happen) didn’t make sense to him?  The ways of God often don’t make sense to us either. The couple on the mission field have to return when their children are diagnosed with autism. At the peak of his career, a gifted musician gets cancer and dies. A young wife and mother suffers a stroke, becomes brain damaged, and needs 24-hour care in an institution.I’m sure you could name more. It’s quite possible you’ve experienced one of these God conundrums.

I love how Oswald Chambers riffs on this theme:

“We are not taken up into conscious agreement with God’s purpose, we are taken up into God’s purpose without any consciousness at all” - Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, August 3 reading).

“As long as you think there is something in you He cannot choose you because you have ends of your own to serve; but if you have let Him bring you to the end of your self-sufficiency, then He can choose you to go with Him to Jerusalem, and that will mean the fulfillment of purposes which He does not discuss with you” - Chambers, Op. Cit, August 4 reading.

His call is to be in comradeship with Himself for His own purposes… If we have a purpose of our own, it destroys the simplicity and the leisureliness which ought to characterize the children of God” - Chambers, Op. Cit, August 5 reading (emphases added).

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, help me to avoid becoming offended when Your ways don’t make sense to me. Teach me to trust You in every circumstance. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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