My posts come from my personal daily scripture readings and a part of my personal accountability. If we are going to grow as followers of Christ, we must be in the Word! If you miss these a few days, something has kept me from it; but if they're gone for too many days, call me on the carpet. We need to hold one another accountable. Join me on this journey as our lives are to Reflect the Image-and Jesus IS the image. Peace, Carla Sunberg
Subscribe to this blog
Follow by Email
Feeling Tossed About
Hurricane clean-up in Texas.
We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming.
(Eph. 4:14 NRSV)
Most of the time when we read this text we assume that Paul is speaking to the believers in and around Ephesus and exhorting them to hold firm. Interestingly, Jerome, in the early centuries of Christianity suggests that Paul may be, in humility, speaking of his own faith: admitting that from time to time, he may be feeling tossed to and fro. This is a confession of his own awareness that he could be tempted by those who try to scheme and pull him away from the faith.
Paul never seemed to expect anything from anyone else that he wouldn’t do himself. Therefore, this confession of his own weakness is then an example to others who are also being tossed about. He needed to remain firmly anchored, and if he did, so much more did his readers.
There are days when secular humanism comes crashing in on our doorstep. A culture that is adopting humanity as god, and co-opting the language of Christianity in an effort to create confusion can certainly make us feel tossed about. It’s easy to think that we are somehow weak in our faith because there are days that we are shaken. That’s when these words become such an encouragement. Paul, the one who had the Damascus road encounter with Christ, was dealing with false doctrines, scheming and craftiness on a regular basis. Even Paul, was having his struggles and he was willing to admit this to those whom he had led to Christ.
Paul’s letters would eventually become a part of the New Testament canon, but at the time that they were written, they were simply letters. He and the fledgling church of the first century were trying to figure out what it meant to be Christians in their world. The ways in which they lived their lives had to be a witnesses to what it meant to follow Christ. This is why Paul would tell them to “follow me as I follow Christ.” There was no arrogance in this, but rather, the honest journey of a Christ follower who wanted to help others find the way.
So when we feel tossed about, and we are wrestling with all that is thrown our way, we are not to fear. We are to be honest, just like Paul, but then, turn our faces toward our Savior, and ask for strength in the midst of the storm. The winds will blow — that is just reality. Every now and then we may need to regroup and make sure we still know where we are standing, but then, just like Paul, we will continue to stand, even when tossed to and fro.
Lord, as this journey continues, may I continue to grow up in you, strengthened by knowing you. Amen.
Scripture: Job 38:1-2 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind: “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Observation: Trying to give a reason for Job’s circumstances, his friends had provided every explanation imaginable to the human mind. Now, it was time for God’s response and reality is brought into focus. The friends were bringing counsel to Job, but they did not have knowledge. There was far too much that they did not understand. Following this question God reminds Job that God alone has power over creation, and this knowledge is far beyond Job’s understanding. Therefore, the words of Job’s friends are hollow with misunderstanding. They do not know God, and should not presume to speak for God, for their counsel becomes words without knowledge. Application: If our first instinct is not to run to the Lord in difficult circumstances, we may be allowing ourselves to be counseled by words without knowledge. There are plenty of people who are willing to give us ad…
Scripture: Acts 9:32 Now as Peter went here and there among all the believers, he came down also to the saints living in Lydda. 33 There he found a man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden for eight years, for he was paralyzed. 34 Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; get up and make your bed!” And immediately he got up. 35 And all the residents of Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord. Observation:
In this text by the physician Luke, Paul has just recently been converted. Suddenly the narrative shifts to the Apostle Peter who is, no doubt, the leader of the followers of the Way. This passage sets the stage for the expansion of the ministry to the Gentiles. It is in Joppa that Peter has his vision that eventually leads him to the house of Cornelius but at this moment, Peter has no idea where this is going. Peter is simply going about his business, visiting the believers who live outside of Jerusalem, making it to the town of Lydda.
It is in Lydda, not far from …
Scripture: Galatians 3:28 There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise. Observation:
This passage from Paul’s epistle to the Galatians is frequently quoted and used to remind us of the unity which is found when we belong to Christ. Any barriers that may have existed are to be brought down. The power of prejudice is to be destroyed and a new life is to be found when one belongs to Christ.
Jerome put it this way, “ When one has once put on Christ and, having been sent into the flame, glows with the ardor of the Holy Spirit, it is not apparent whether he is of gold or silver. As long as the heat takes over the mass in this way there is one fiery color, and all diversity of race, condition and body is taken away by such a garment.” (EPISTLE TO THE GALATIANS 2.3.27–28) What happens is that the former…