The “Quaker” State
If you live on the east coast, odds are you felt it yesterday. Yes, I’m talking about the earthquake ! The first I’ve ever felt and speaking to folks older than me who have lived here all their lives, their first also. As I sat studying and heard things shake & felt things shake, Maggie, our kids’ dog who was laying by my feet looked up at me and I gave her back the same quizzical look ! But speaking of crittters, an interesting report associated with the earthquake was by zookeepers in the area who noted that many animals began “alarm calling” fifteen minutes before we humans felt the tremors ! Intriguing and of course good fodder for devotional material !
Two places in Romans come to my mind. One is Rom.9:1-3 where Paul writes, “I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, that I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsman according to the flesh.” Also in the very next chapter he mentioned very sensitively, “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they, being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” (10:1-3).
In both these passages there is a common passion or sensitivity that Paul evidenced. The Jews thought things were fine between them and God. After all, they were the “chosen people”. But they’d missed the boat concerning their Messiah ! In their spiritual smugness and self-righteousness they’d failed to perceive and believe Who He was. Their pride was blinding them, making them insensitive to the very presence of God in their midst !
But what about us who have trusted Jesus Christ? Is it possible we could also become spiritually insensitive in some ways also? I sense someone reading this now could be nodding your head yes ! You’re right, we too can become a little puffed up or even distracted with the things of this life and fail to see the shock waves ahead.
Yesterday, after the quake, I was dealing with a very sticky situation with a new convert who is going through a real mess with family problems. In speaking to his wife about her situation I listened carefully and then as spiritually passionate as I could gave her the gospel telling her she so needed Christ as the road she’s headed down is fraught with disaster ahead ! Yet sadly, she is still blinded by her pride.
Every day God presents us with opportunities to REALLY help folks. You have the gospel, the indwelling Holy Spirit to help you, the privilege of prayer, etc and sometimes we go on oblivious to what could be accomplished for Christ even through our lives ! Paul quipped, “Redeeming the time because the days are evil” (Eph.5:16). The opportunity may never come our way again so take advantage of it while you can. So God intends today be an adventure in your life, an adventure of opportunities seen and seized upon. Ask Him to help you see them and seize them for Him, you will be “shocked” in a good way what can be done and you will make some good tremors for the Lord in the process !
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