Tag Archives: Luke 12

Twenty Minutes Late for God

Bible Journaling Art by The Jesus Chick – Shari Johnson

It’s not my nature to be late for anything. I struggle with it. It’s as if to say if I arrive on time for everything in my life, all is obviously right in my world. Right? Wrong. Very wrong. But I can at least pretend for that day of punctuality that I’m okay.

So for this entire week, I’ve awoken at 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. multiple days. I hear the Holy Spirit speak, “Get up, I have something to say to you.” And rather than get up, I would lie in bed awake, in frustration with my body that loved the feeling of the covers against my skin and drift in and out of sleep; only to wake up a few hours later feeling as if I’d been beaten, with every joint in my body aching. So this morning at 3 a.m. when I heard to Holy Spirit speak again, I snuggled back beneath the covers, had a nutty dream and heard Him speak again at 5. Just like the past week every day. So at 5 a.m. I determined to get up and listen. But by the time I rallied myself up and made it to the kitchen it was 5:20.

Twenty minutes late for God…

That too is my nature. I’m not late for the world, but I’m late for divine appointments on a consistent basis and for multiple reasons and excuses.

Twice this week, two different very close friends ask me how I “really was.” They ask me hard questions that examined me like a spiritual physician and I knew they were warnings from God that I once again needed to slow myself down and take some pressure off. Doggone those people who love you.

Did I listen? I tried. But life has a way of getting you to the point that you’re 20 minutes late for an appointment with God. And that’s not good. Nobody makes God wait without consequences.

My mind went to Jonah, and his very own book. A look into the life of a man who tried to make God wait. But God didn’t lead me to that scripture, He lead me to Luke, chapter 12.

12:35-36

Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning. And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding where they will even use a Wedding Limo Company in Ottawa for travel: that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.”

IN HIS PRESENCE

The scripture refers to the return of Jesus Christ, when He comes to call His church home. But it could just as easily refer to any time the Lord knocks and requests us in His presence. Like 3 a.m. wake up calls.

BY HIS PETITION    

12:37

Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: very I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.

My mind is humbled at the very thought that the Lord would serve me. And yet He does when He speaks to my soul and ministers to my broken spirit. He’d had sent angels of mercy in the form of friends who gently warned… “Rest.”

He Himself had not tried to wake me to steal my rest, but rather give me rest through His word. And yet I refused to listen but rather drift back into a restless sleep. Until today. And though I was twenty minutes late, He was still right on time to give me the message that I needed to hear to calm my troubled heart.

FOR MY PORTION

12:42-43

And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.

I weep in the wisdom that the Lord provides my portion in due season. Which often time comes later because I didn’t answer the door when He was prepared to make the delivery.

It came late this week because I kept failing to answer the door. I studied this week out of necessity of teaching opportunities. Not for personal portions. It’s like savoring the goodness of someone else’s plate as you deliver it to their table. Never experiencing the food for yourself. I wonder how many Pastor’s experience that.

This morning the Lord and I dined over frosted mini wheats and coffee and the word of God. It tasted so good! And the mini wheats were pretty tasty too.

A lesson in life from the Jesus Chick… when God knocks, open yourself to opportunity.

A Lesson in Survival From Ollie the Owl

On a recent cold winter evening my husband David was delivered a wounded screech owl from our area of West Virginia. It had been hit by a car, and a 6.5 oz. owl verses a 4000 pound car survival story certainly speaks of the tenacity of this little creature. But when David brought it to the house I really thought he brought it home to bury. It was not in a good way. The first day it sat lifeless with an occasional opening of one eye. I guess to see if the humans taking care of it were still there. The second day he was more alert and obviously in pain, but by the third day it was apparent it was going to survive! But the quality of survival was still iffy. Probably the only one more shocked than we were about the survival was the owl. I named it Ollie, it just seemed like a good fit. We attempted a release but Ollie could only glide to the ground and then couldn’t take flight from there. We then called the WV Raptor Center to ask what we should do, because keeping an owl is a federal offence and wild creatures shouldn’t be caged anyway. That’s a no brainer. The center was very helpful and got in touch with raptor transporter who came in a few days to retrieve Ollie for assessment and owl therapy. Who knew! that owls could have therapy?

Our last few days with Ollie at our house were spent letting it perch on our hand, scratching its head and rubbing our fingers down its feathers. It made no attempt to bite us, it was gentle as a pet, but the better it felt, the less it encouraged us to touch it. I fed it raw hamburger (not the best diet) but I couldn’t do the frozen mice thing. According to the Raptor center raw liver would have been better. But Ollie loved the hamburger that I would spoon feed it. Needless to say, I grew quite fond of this little creature of God’s.

Historical Job’s Temple in Route 5, Gilmer County, WV

Karen, the raptor transporter assessed Ollie for a few days and then called to say it seemed apparent that it could fly and she invited us to take part in the release. The release had to be in the same area for which it was hit by the car, and that happened to be at a historical site in our neighboring county of Gilmer called “Job’s Temple.” A  Methodist Church building built between 1860 and 1866 and is constructed of poplar logs. It’s a beautiful location.  And too ironic not use for a correlation between Ollie’s rescue and faith.

Because of the condition of Ollie’s eyes it was apparent that it had a concussion. I feared that it couldn’t see at all. When our hand would pass by its eyes there was no reaction.

I Once was Blind but now I see…

A few days following his collision with the car.

I was in that same state of condition prior to my salvation in 1996. The walking dead. I was a part of the problem with religion. I professed but didn’t possess the Spirit of God. And that sad part is, I wasn’t even aware; I just knew something was missing. That missing piece was the Spirit of God! It caused me to soar in life… wait… I’m getting a head of Ollie’s story. Ollie didn’t know or care who David and I were, only that we were caring for it. Feeding it, nursing it back to health. Oh how very grateful I am for the church people that took me under their wings and discipled me when I finally was rescued through salvation. Please don’t ever underestimate the importance of helping a new convert find their way through Christian faith. Just like Ollie, if people hadn’t protected and spoon fed me for a while on the ways of Christianity I would have been devoured by the beast of Satan. I wouldn’t have been lost… but I could have very easily been discouraged from flying.

Your Grace Still Amazes me!

Salvation is amazing! But much like Ollie I fear the captivity. If we’d have gone against the law and kept Ollie caged, it would have continued to heal and had the ability to fly but its flight would have been constrained to the area for which it was kept. Sad. So many Christians are constrained to the walls of the church when it comes to experiencing the full power of God’s amazing grace!

Everyone is at risk if they don’t take risks.

Ollie trusted David and I for a few days as it was healing. I was under the direction of several people in our church for a time, until they were certain I could take flight on my own. It was then that I was encouraged to branch out into the ministry and take my spot on the branch. I began devouring the word of God until I felt I understood it enough to share it and then I began to teach. I began on the very elementary level, junior high and high school classes for which I needed. Slowly I progressed into the adult ministry. I came up through the ranks of every age class in our church. And with each one I learned more and more.

Ollie was a mature adult bird. It should have known better than to fly in front of a car. I was brought up in a Christian home, I should have known better than to be lost. But I did not. It doesn’t matter our age, it matters how we react to Rescuer. And it matters if you’re in the right place of rescuing.

I won’t say that anyone else couldn’t have done what we did for Ollie. But they couldn’t have possibly cared more. And that’s how I felt when I found my church family. I’d never been cared for in such a way. If you’re not in that church… find it. Find the one that will encourage and strengthen your soul until you fly!!!!

I’ll Fly Away

Ollie’s release was bitter sweet. It was the right thing to do, but I had so enjoyed the company of God’s precious critter.

I met Karen at Job’s temple and we trekked up the hill behind the church. She allowed Ollie to familiarize with the area again. It posed on her hand like it was waiting for us to get one final picture, and then within a few minutes, Ollie took flight! Oh my stars what a wonderful sight! I rejoiced to have been a part of the process.

If you’re a child of God, you too should rejoice in being a part of the process of seeing another child of God take flight.

Just like Ollie and the car, the world can hit us when we’re off guard or on guard. We need to encourage one another to stay strong in the faith. We all have times when we feel faith waning and that we’re not sure if the journey is going to end well. If you’re a child of God, it ends so much better than “well!” But the journey also can be amazing. Study and learn the word of God, learn to listen to the Holy Spirit, and when it’s time to take flight, soar like you’ve never flown before. God’s got a plan for you. Nothing just happens.

God sent Ollie to David and I because He knew the end of the story. He knew that He would be glorified. Will He not do the same for His children.

Luke 12:4-9

And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows. Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.

What Jesus might say in this political arena

If Jesus had the platform

LUKE 12:1 In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

“In the mean time” a crowd gathered because Jesus had created quite the ruckus in chapter eleven. He’d just highly offended two very powerful groups of people, the Religious leaders of the day and lawyers. Their blood was boiling and they were attempting to provoke Jesus into saying something to incriminate Himself and give them reason to take action against Him. But the thing about Jesus is… He’s God. He already knows what they’re thinking. Did it ever occur to you that nothing ever occurred to God? Obviously it didn’t occur to the Pharisees and Attorneys.

Jesus goes on to tell the crowd in verses 2-7:   For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops. And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.

I wonder if Jesus was in the crowd of the recent electioneering tribes if His conversation to those of us listening wouldn’t be the same. I think He’d calls us friends too, wanting us to know that He’s not electioneering, It’s not for a season, it’s forever and He truly cares. He’d remind us that the truth matters because He is truth. “They” (meaning the bulk of the candidates) are the epitome of hypocrisy. I have to wonder if the truth is anywhere in there or in them, and yet Jesus will tell us, – He knows the truth.” Nothing is said or done that He doesn’t know. Or emailed as the case may be. And then He’d say to us… Don’t worry about these “pea-brains.” Okay maybe that’s my words… but He’d forewarn the American public not to fear the threatening words of the candidates, media and political hierarchy.  They hold no power over He Who is King of kings and Lord of lords. To the follically-challenged (bald) He’d say I know how many hairs use to be in your head; to the weave wearer He’d say I know how many counterfeit curls you adorn; to folks like me that choose to use their hair as a piece of canvas He’d tell me the number of gray hairs concealed in the auburn, blond, brownish flavor of the month. And then He’d tell me how much “I” matter to Him. Me specifically. My opinion, my passions… they matter to God.

In a world where we are often nothing more than a number, and in the political realm, a vote that in truth doesn’t really matter (at least in the national primary election) – It’s nice to know how much God cares.

10 scriptures to encourage your soul:

Before I was born, He knew me, Isn’t that amazing!

Jeremiah 1:5 – Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

He’ll never leave me

Isaiah 41:10 – Fear thou not; for I [am] with thee: be not dismayed; for I [am] thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

I did nothing, He did everything:

Romans 5:8 – But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Ephesians 2:8 – For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:

He’s on my side

Psalms 118:6 – The LORD [is] on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?

He’s so patient…

Psalms 103:8 – The LORD [is] merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

He draws me to Him… He wants to spend time with me.

Jeremiah 31:3– The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, [saying], Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.

No man… (or candidate) 

John 15:13– Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

He calms the storm, He doesn’t create it…

Isaiah 41:10– Fear thou not; for I [am] with thee: be not dismayed; for I [am] thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

The future is not uncertain, at least from God’s perspective. He’s  got this!

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