Ever been through days, weeks, months or longer where you are asking or feeling what’s the point? Ever had times where you are wondering what’s the use? Or feeling hopeless? Or feeling like you are failing? Or feeling hollow? Or feeling ineffective?
What do you do? Where do you turn? How do you turn it around?
Today’s reading starts in Job 7 titled Futility of Days. He was feeling that way too. He was questioning life. Consider purpose. Wallowing in his situation. Feeling powerless to be able to change his situation. Feeling the agony of his aches and pains. Speaking to the hopeless it brings, the shortness of life. Asking why? What is it about mankind that God even cares? Asking what did I do? Why have I been targeted? Have I become a burden to You God? Why won’t He forgive him and take away his iniquity? And concludes talking to the point that once he is dead and gone, he wouldn’t be around to see.
Today’s reading continues into Job 8, where another friend jumps into the conversation, Bildad who speaks to the point of God restores the Righteous. Bildad starts with reprimanding Job and then speaking to how hypocrites will be destroyed and then concludes by applying God’s just dealing to Job. The thing is that we all need to realize is that a big affliction (disorder, disease, complaint, ailment, trouble, illness, handicap) doesn’t mean there was extraordinary sin(s), sometime they are trials of extra ordinary grace and so we need to look to take the favorable side when we see people facing trials and afflictions. We need to be pointing people back to Jesus! To His grace, His mercy, and His perfect plan that we read and know from Jeremiah 29:11 – which is good and is to give them a hope and a future.
We can’t lose hope! We need to keep and put our hope in God, Jesus came that we could have life and life to the full! He told us we would have troubles, but He told us that so we would know and to also be able to take hold of the fact that He has overcome the world. So don’t lose hope! Run to God! Turn to God! And hear Him and walk in that! Don’t resist Him. We can resist the devil because then he will flee, but we shouldn’t resist the prompting of the Holy Spirit speaking with His still quiet voice to guide us, lead us, prompt us, direct us, correct us, instruct us, comfort us and more.
Today’s reading brings us into Luke 9 to conclude today’s message. And do see where it begins, it’s Jesus’ first effort of sending out the disciples giving them power and authority to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. He prepares them to know what they should and should take as well as what they should expect. (take nothing) He prepares them in what to do and where to go and where to stay and how to respond. We see that they went out with the power and the authority given to them by Jesus.
Do you do that? Do you start your day going to Jesus to get filled up and then go out into the world to complete the work He has called to you accomplish?
And we see the imaginable feats they accomplish proclaiming the Good News and healing everywhere. It created quite the stir even to the point of getting Herod’s attention.
Next we read about the miracle of feeding a large group with 5 loves and 2 fish. The crowd was following after Jesus and they ended up in a place far from any city and it was concerning to the 12 and so they asked Him if He could send them away for they didn’t have enough food or lodging for all those people. But Jesus responded … “You give them something to eat!” …
Imagine that “you give them something to eat!” If it was you and helping the homeless person on the side of the road or you and a friend and spotted a family or … you might feel ok helping right? What if it was you and 11 of your friends, pretty much in the middle of nowhere, and not only did you have to feed 5000 men, but also their families who were with them. Would you be considering the financial implication? Would you be considering how and where would you be able to get the resources necessary to make that a reality? Would you check within the group to see if anyone had anything? What if you realized you only had 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish? Imagine the situation. Imagine the concerns and the questions. What could be done? Would you remember that with God all things are possible? Would you remember everything that Jesus had done before and how when He gave you power and authority the miracles that were possible? Or would you just think there is no way? Let’s take a look and see what happens here. He tells His disciples to get them to sit in groups of 50 and then…
16And He took the five loaves and the two fish; and looking up to heaven, He offered the bracha and broke them. And He kept giving them to the disciples to set before the crowd. 17Then they all ate and were satisfied. And what was left over was picked up, twelve baskets of the fragments.–from Luke 9
Can you imagine that? Can you imagine what would be the surprise to give up your 5 loaves and 2 fish and to get back twelve baskets of leftovers?
Where will you put your trust? Will you take that trust and step out to do what God is calling you to do today? Will you just trust in Him and allow Him to do things in and through you that you would have considered impossible? If He calls you to it, He will get you through it!
The reading continues and we have the benefit of getting to read it. It was a secret time between Jesus and His disciples. It allows us a view into who Jesus is, who others thought Jesus was, and what the disciples who were with Him thought He was.
We hear that others thought that John the Baptist and other Elijah and others some prophet.
We hear that his disciples thought He was the Messiah of God!
Jesus told them to keep it to themselves until after He had suffered. We know that means the cross and resurrection, but back then they wouldn’t have realized what He meant.
So we need to give up our selfish ways and follow after Jesus! We need to take up our cross daily and follow after Him! By giving up our lives to Jesus, we save it!
Is there any purpose or benefit to all the money all the toys all the glamour if you give up your soul in the end? Don’t we want to end up in Heaven at the end of this life? Don’t we want to live in the promise from God? So let’s receive Him! Let’s accept Him! Let’s follow Him! Let’s answer the call!
We don’t want to reject or be ashamed of Him! We don’t want to act like we don’t know Him!
Would we want Him to do that to us when we get to the door heaven and then hear Him say, “I never new you“? We don’t want him to be ashamed of us before the Father and holy angels, right?
Today’s reading in Luke 9 continues and we see Jesus taking 3 disciples up the mountain to pray. To their amazement while He was praying His face changed, His clothing flashed like white lightning and it didn’t end there, Moses and Elijah both appeared and were talking with Him.
Wow! What would you do? How would you respond? I am sure shock would set in but consider how you would respond. 🙂
When the 3 woke up, because they fell asleep while He was praying, look what they found.
Peter was happy they had gotten to witness this. He wondered if they should make 3 memorials of this? But before an answer came a cloud came over them and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. Then a voice came out of the cloud saying “This is My Son, the One I have chosen. Listen to Him!” And then it was just the 3 of them and Jesus and kept quiet about what they had seen.
Wow, what an event, what a time.
The next day they came down from the mountain and were met by a large crowd.
From the crowd, a man whose son had been taken by a spirit cried out to Jesus begging for His help since His disciples hadn’t been able to help. So Jesus told the man to bring Him his son and as he did the demon knocked him down and threw the boy into convulsions, but Jesus rebuked the demon and healed the boy and restored him to his father.
All were amazed at the mighty power of God! While the crowd was in amazement, Jesus to His disciples to put these words into their ears “The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men” and they didn’t get it and all were afraid to ask Him about it.
Ever been at a place or in a situation where people start to bicker about whose the best, who will be the best, who will be first, who will be the greatest? It’s human nature and it even got to the disciples. In today’s reading we see how Jesus responds when it breaks out…He takes a child and sets him by His side and starts…
“Whoever welcomes this child in My name, welcomes Me. And whoever welcomes Me, welcomes the One who sent Me. The one who is the least among all of you is the one who is great.”
–from Luke 9:48
And John jumped in questioning others who were trying do things in Jesus’ name who weren’t in the “group” and how they tried to stop him. But Jesus said
Do not stop him, for he who is not against you is for you.
–from Luke 9:50
Our human nature and God’s nature aren’t always in sync. We may get angry and want to retaliate. But we need to remember the battle belongs to the Lord! We need to be able to let it go and move on! We need to keep our eyes on the goal on the prize. We need to keep our eyes looking forward not back! We can leave the past where it belongs behind us. We need to be living as the new creations God has made us rather than allowing the devil to keep bringing up our past in order to try and snare us or trip us up.
As I tell my son when he wants to race to keep looking in front of him, not back to see where I am at or I will pass him on the other side. Similarly when we are doing hard work (imagine a heavy equipment operator looking back while the vehicle is moving forward…bad idea). We need to keep our eyes on the calling God has given us!