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
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When the Voices are Silenced
Theater in Ephesus where Paul was admonished to keep quiet.
Amos 5:13 Therefore the prudent will keep silent in such a time; for it is an evil time.
In the middle of these prophetic words we find a sentence that sounds much like a proverb. There is a point and time where the evil of the society becomes so great that there is nothing for the wise person to do, but to keep silent. The only way that justice can be obtained is through bribes and this person has no money (or leverage), therefore, in the face of such evil, it is best to keep silent.
It’s also believed that the hatred and heavy mob referred to are creating an environment in which such terror reigns that people no longer have the freedom to speak out. They are actually forced to a place of silence. And so the wise, saving their energy for the right time, are silent.
The laws of the land are entirely upset, there is no place in which to speak. In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians he puts it this way, “Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16) The caution from Christ is not to throw your pearls before swine (Matthew 7:6), but to leave in the admonition from the Psalmist, “I am silent; I do not open my mouth, for it is you who have done it. “ (Psalms 39:9) There is a time of silence, waiting for the Lord’s deliverance.
The silence of sound doctrine will lead people to stumble in the darkness because there will no longer be any wholesome counsel.
Sometimes trying to be a voice of reason in the middle of a battle means that you get shot at from both sides. Maybe that’s where the prophet found himself; in a world that simply would not listen. Clinging to the proverb, he discovered that there was a time when the voices were silenced because they had no power. No one wanted to listen.
In that space, where no one wants to listen, the follower of Christ is challenged to consider what it means to be faithful. Wisdom does tell us that there are times when speaking will not win the day. Often times, it’s living out the love of Christ, day in and day out, over the long-haul of life that becomes witness to the power and presence of God in this world. The ones who are roughed-up by life, and yet, continue to imitate Christ, are the ones who, with ever-increasing intensity, reflect Jesus.
Jesus knew when to speak, and when to be silent. There were also times when he was silenced by the crowd and he simply walked away, but his nature, or character, never changed. When the voice of Christ is silenced by the cheering words of the mob, the world will suffer the consequences. “Therefore the prudent will keep silent in such a time; for it is an evil time.” (Amos 5:13)
Lord, there are days when words fail me. In those times when I feel my voice is silenced, may I never stop reflecting 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…