Month: May 2017

What Should We Do?

John the Baptist was holding a revival in the wilderness. Crowds of people were coming to him to be baptized. John warned them, “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.” (Luke 3:8a NIV). The people who responded were sensitive to his message. They also wanted to make sure they didn’t fit into the category, “brood of vipers”. So they asked John this question, “What should we do then?” (Luke 3:10a NIV). Here is John’s answer.

 

“The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same. “ (Luke 3:11b NIV). If you have extra, share with those in need. He told the tax collectors, “Don’t collect anymore than you are required to.” (Luke 3:13a NIV). Tax collectors in the 1st century had a reputation for collecting too much money and pocketing the extra for themselves. John knew they had a job to do. Taxes are necessary, but don’t take advantage of people. He gives the same answer to soldiers, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely – be content with your pay.” (Luke 3:14b NIV). Roman soldiers could easily cross the line and earn extra money by extorting it from others. Notice what he doesn’t say. John doesn’t say, “Now, you are a believer. You must not be a soldier. Those two are incompatible.” Generally, there have been a segment of believers who say a Christian must be a pacifist. That is not the answer John gives.

 

So what does all that mean for us today? What should we do? First, notice that John is direct. He doesn’t beat around the bush. He isn’t long winded. He gives direct answers. He gets straight to the point. I like that in the preaching and teaching that I hear, don’t you? Let’s be like John. Be clear and get to the point. Second, he answers people’s questions. Give to the poor. Do your job. Don’t take advantage of others. Those answers are still applicable today. Share what you have. Whatever your job is, do it and do it well. Don’t take advantage of others. Treat them with respect. That is the Christian thing to do. Let’s give those right answers to others. But before that, let’s be people who live those right answers. Let’s be known as people who give freely to others. Let’s be known as people who do their job extremely well. Be people who treat others with respect. People should know we are Christians by our giving, by how well we do our job, and by how well we treat others. How about you? What are you doing?

 

written by: Jimmy Hodges

Thanks so much to Pressure Washing Companies in Winter Springs for sponsoring my blog!

The God Who Could

The God Who Could

 

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20,21 NIV) As a teenager, I began thinking more about the God who could. At youth devotionals, we often sang a song that was the above passage in lyrical form. The verse/song taught me that God is able to do more and in different ways than I thought.

 

In Numbers, the people rebelled based upon the doubt of ten out of twelve spies. The Lord is frustrated with Israel. He tells Moses, “I will strike them down with a plague and destroy them, but I will make you into a nation greater and stronger than they.” (Numbers 14:12 NIV) This is not the first time God says this. When Moses comes down from the mountain and sees the golden calf, God says the same thing. (Exodus 32:10) Therefore, I don’t think this is an idle threat. God could easily wipe out the Israelites and bring up a greater people for Moses to lead. Moses shows his loyalty to Israel by not saying, “Go right ahead!”

 

John the Baptist develops this thought further in his preaching. “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones, God can raise up children for Abraham.” (Matthew 3:8,9 NIV) God could do things differently than he has. He could start from scratch and make a better people. This aspect of God is amazing.

 

All this gets me thinking about the church as God’s people today. How great could God make the church if we would let him? If we could outgrow our selfishness, if we would let go of our pettiness, and truly let God be God. When I reflect on all the sin I have seen in church, I am impressed the Heavenly Father hasn’t told Jesus to step back and destroy us like he threatened with the Israelites years ago. God could make a people even stronger than us. Thankfully, Jesus is even more loyal than Moses. Otherwise, we would have been gone a long time ago. Considering the God who could, what kind of people should we be?

 

written by: Jimmy Hodges

Thanks so much to Montgomery Heating and Air Conditioning, the leading Heating and Air Conditioning Contractor in Bartlett, TN, for sponsoring my blog!