The sun had just set, and darkness was spreading itself across the horizon as I approached the southern part of Dallas on highway 35. Suddenly, as if scattered by some truck weaving from lane to lane, large concrete blocks appeared on the highway. They looked like they were 2 ½ feet high and 2 feet wide. Although I swerved to avoid those in my immediate lane I knew impact had been made but was not aware to what extent.
As I moved down the highway I witnessed numerous disabled vehicles on the side of the road with their drivers standing outside their cars examining them. Finally, after driving approximately fifteen miles, I pulled into a service station where I examined my own vehicle. It was then that I noticed that a large plastic piece under the front bumper had been torn loose. Since it was a Sunday evening with no repair shops open all I could do was shove the detached piece back into place and continue on my journey throughout the night. Once I made it back to Missouri that piece was dragging to the point I had to remove it.
What I had encountered defied all human logic. My little car sits only six to eight inches off the ground. It was like the Hand of God, or a dozen angels, had literally lifted my car and myself up and over this obstacle with just the front belly of the car scraping the concrete block.
During the past week as I have encountered unexpected obstacles scattered across the highway of life, I have often thought about this experience on highway 35. When it looked like a crash was certain it was so easy just to panic or radically turn to miss the obstacle or problem to the extent I crashed into someone by saying or doing something I shouldn’t have.
It is for that reason I couldn’t afford to just read II Timothy 1:7…
A few days ago I woke up feeling weak, worn, and weary. If that wasn’t enough, I discovered that while I was sleeping, a spider had bitten me on my right wrist.
It was one of those days where I had felt beaten even before I had climbed out of bed. I knew I couldn’t just lay there allowing a dark cloud of depression to settle over me, so I got up and grabbed my Bible and turned to the book of Ephesians.
This was actually one of two letters written to the church of Ephesus. One, the Book of Ephesians was written by Paul and the other by Jesus, is recorded in Rev. 2:1-7.
I didn’t have to read any further than verse 3 of Ephesians 1 to start getting my deflated, depressed spirit pumped back up again…
As we get older, if we are going to get better and not bitter, we need to daily be aware of the presence and promises of God. Determine now that next time you encounter a crisis instead of panicking, you will pray and remember Is. 43: 2-3. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your God.”
We are promised throughout the scriptures that if we pass through the hot flames or the hot waters of life’s trials and tribulations, like the tea bag that is not destroyed by the hot water, we will come to see that our purpose for being in such hot water is to change the water through the power of God.
If we are going to not only survive, but actually change the hot waters and flames of life, we must see ourselves not as free floating spiritual tea leaves, but as members of God’s community tea bag of love. With His loving presence flowing through His community of compassion, the homeless are given homes, the hopeless are given hope, and the helpless provided help. Those immersed in the hot water of trials and tribulation are able to confidently declare, “God’s divine power has given us everything we need for life and Godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness” (2 Peter 1:3).
Living victorious lives involves guarding the spirit or the heart…
When Jesus Christ invaded planet earth with the dual natures of divinity and humanity, He turned the status quo upside down. His revolutionary message, presented in word and deed, declared that if it is going to last, you have got to be last. It was Jesus who, being fully God, became man and revealed to us the art of downward mobility resulting in the Theology of Equality.
When the rich man asked, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”, Jesus cuts to the core of extreme capitalism, where net worth equals net value. Listen to these words of revolution that Jesus spoke in Mark 10:17-22, “A man ran up and knelt before Him and asked Him, ‘Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’…Jesus looking at him, loved him and said, ‘You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ When he heard this (the rich man) was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.”
This man’s reaction looks like that of many today when it comes to the Theology of Equality. They claim they are followers of Jesus Christ and even believe it is alright to have equality in the spiritual realm but when it gets quite practical like raising the minimum wage to ten dollars an hour or addressing the great inequalities between the rich and the poor, they then like the rich man go away grieving because they do not want to give up the many possessions they have.
The unwillingness to accept the Biblical Theology of Equality is obvious by the spiritual depravity in America…