Living in the Moment

Matthew 8:13
13 And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; let it be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed at that very moment.
For the Jewish people living at the time of Jesus’ birth there was a longing for the way things were. They did not like the current political system, Rome was an occupying force, the land was overrun with foreigners, taxes were too high, their leaders were corrupt and they were all in danger of living in a secular society because their religion was in the hands of the Sadducees who didn’t believe in the resurrection and they were progressive and power hungry.
Sound familiar? I wonder if they had yard signs: “Make Israel Great Again”
Into that societal mess comes Jesus.
He does not seek to change the political system. He does not bring them back in time. He doesn’t challenge Roman authority and he doesn’t seek to revamp the religious institutions or positions.
He came to seek and to save that which was lost. People.
His attention was on people. People in need, people who were cast down and helpless. People who had given up on religion. Hurting people, desperate people, enslaved people, crippled people, blind, diseased, demon possessed people. He came to them where they were and touched them. And in that moment they were healed.
But not to Israel only, but to the whole world Jesus came. When Simeon the priest welcomed Joseph and Mary into the temple with their newborn son Jesus to make the sacrifice required by the law he said this:
Luke 2:30-32
30 for my eyes have seen your salvation 31 that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32
a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.”
Jesus was salvation for all people. He was brought into the world in a moment of time, prepared for a moment of death so that we might have a moment of faith.
When was the centurion’s servant healed? At the very moment of faith.
Prayer: Thank you for Jesus and for the free gift of salvation made available to all who believe.

The Silence of God

Psalms 27:7-14
7 Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me!
8 You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, LORD, do I seek.”
9 Hide not your face from me. Turn not your servant away in anger, O you who have been my help. Cast me not off; forsake me not, O God of my salvation!
There are times in our Christian walk where we feel distant from God. Sometimes it is because we have fallen into sin but sometimes it is for no apparent reason. King David certainly knew what it meant to fall into sin, but he also experienced times when God seemed to withdraw from him… for no apparent reason. The Psalms are full of his emotional pleas longing for God. “Like a deer pants for the water, so my soul longs for you.”
So when the Prophet Malachi wrote the last words of his prophesy and 400 years of silence began, the Jewish people had something in common with David. They had a longing to have their fellowship restored and for God to speak with them. But the silence continued.
God was up to something but they had no idea what it was.
The miracle of Christmas is God showing up at just the right time. Sometimes we mistake God’s silence with God’s absence. But just because God was silent doesn’t mean he was inattentive to the needs of his people. In his silence he was preparing the world for the gift of his only begotten son.
Sometimes in God’s silence he is preparing our hearts to welcome him in greater ways. He is testing our commitment, causing our yearning for God to increase. How can we who have known the presence of God live without him? And like a deer who pants for the water we understand the deep longing for the presence of God.
In the midst of trials and in tribulation we sometimes forget that God is still at work. But just like the miracle of Christmas God shows up at just the right time.
10 For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the LORD will take me in. 11 Teach me your way, O LORD, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies. 12 Give me not up to the will of my adversaries; for false witnesses have risen against me, and they breathe out violence. 13 I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! 14 Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!
Prayer: Give me the strength to wait on you Lord and never doubt that you are at work. Because you always show up at just the right time.

His timing is always Perfect

Psalms 145:14-19
14 The LORD upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down. 15 The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season. 16 You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing. 17 The LORD is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works. 18 The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. 19 He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them.
God knows exactly what you are going through. He knows exactly what you need. At just the right time He will come to you and provide what you need for the moment. His timing is always perfect.
God not only came at just the right time, He continues to come to us at just the right time. He orchestrated the circumstances and events for hundreds of years in preparation of the birth of Christ and in some similar way God orchestrates the events of our lives as well. The miracle of the incarnation brought Jesus to us and the miracle of a moment can bring us to Jesus.
What events in your life are directing you to your moment? Maybe you are a child of God but you are far from him right now. How is God drawing you to himself? Is he allowing you to fall so he can pick you up? Are you hungry and in need of replenishment? His hands are open to the needy. Look around, be honest about your own circumstances. See how God is directing your ways.
Call on him for he is near them who call in truth. Fear him in his power for he hears our cries and saves us in his strength and not our own.
Give me the insight to see my needs and my desires satisfied in you. Only you can give me satisfaction and peace. You alone can save.

Daily Devotions 2020