After nearly six months of preparation and anticipation, our mission team departs this afternoon for eighteen days in Kenya. In Acts 4:29-30, we are given a prayer for boldness that many of us have worn as a wristband since they were distributed last June. If you still have yours, you might wear it these next eighteen days as a prayerful reminder of our mission team. The words from the prayer that I hold today are these from verse 30: “stretch out your hand to heal and to perform signs and wonders through the name of your servant Jesus.” (Tomorrow’s posting will find us in the air over Africa.)
Today’s Bible readings: Genesis 6-8 and Luke 3.
From bad to worse: have you ever been there – watching someone, even yourself move from bad behavior to even worse when you thought it could never get any worse? That’s what God was seeing. Why doesn’t God do something? Well, this is the story of what happens when God, who created humans with the ability to choose, does something. And God finds one man…
(Note in Genesis 8:1 – “wind” – once again, this is the Hebrew word for Spirit. The “breath” of God renews creation.)
In Luke 3, we see God working to redeem humanity through John who is “preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” Then John meets a force of evil (Herod) greater than himself, but not before God calls forth God’s own flesh and blood. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, Jesus’ ministry begins. (boldness)
What really struck me today was how Noah and John the Baptist were both obedient. It seems to me that only through the power of the Holy Spirit could they have been obedient to what God called each of them to do. My prayer for all of us today is that the Holy Spirit will empower each of us to boldly obey.
I like to imagine what the world could be like if all of the people who believe could be led to obey God’s plans. Think about all of the changes that would happen as God’s love and caring spread throughout the world. However, I understand that obedience is at odds with human nature’s tendency toward independence and concern for self. I struggle with that myself, as much as I want to obey God’s plans for me. It’s not always easy. That is why my spiritual journey continues…