Monday, August 13, 2007

Luke #26 - In the Meantime

Luke #26 – In the Meantime

“And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth. And the Child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon Him” (Luke 2:39-40 – King James Version).

The moment I was saved I knew that God had something in store for me. I’d been through too many harrowing episodes and been delivered too many times to think otherwise. I ought to have been killed several times and probably should have been locked under a jail somewhere. Sure enough, about three years after I accepted Christ I felt a clear call into Gospel ministry. It was not a frustrating three years, nor was it confusing. Sure, I wanted to know what God’s plan for me was but I was smart enough to know I had to grow into a stronger Christian and had to grow into God’s purposes. I also knew that until God gave me specific instruction that He had left a pile of instructions for every Christian in His word; enough to keep me plenty busy in the meantime. Even after I accepted God’s call I didn’t know exactly where or what He’d have me do; I only knew to do whatever He put right in front of me until He revealed to me otherwise.

There are probably a lot of Christian’s that wonder about Jesus’ childhood. I know I have. Careful study of the Scripture will explain a lot of His early years on earth. By reading all the Gospels we can find out much about what Jesus did and where He went. By common sense alone we can determine that if John was to be the herald of the Messiah, then John would have to grow up and into the role God would have him perform. If Christ’s ministry on earth was to be preceded by a herald, then He had to wait until that herald was ready to do the heralding.

Today’s passage is one of those that clear up some of Jesus’ childhood life. He grew up! His body got bigger and stronger. His mind developed. He lived in Nazareth. He experienced God.

Now that may not mean much at first glance, but upon closer inspection I see a big lesson for us and an easy one too. It is a lesson both in waiting and doing.

When Elizabeth Elliot heard that her missionary husband, Jim, had been killed by Auca Indians, she washed the dishes. When someone asked her why she did that, Mrs. Elliot replied, “It was the next thing that needed to be done.” Friend, that’s what we must do; the next thing. Jesus’ family did what the law required and went home. That was their next thing. Jesus grew up. His body got bigger and His mind grew stronger. He had the hand of the Father upon Him and experience God’s grace. That was His next thing.

God has a purpose for all that He draws into the Kingdom. Until He lets each of know what that may be, we can give heed to His word; do the things found within. We can perform ministry, grow in knowledge, spend time with God…all a list of “next things” that should keep us busy for quite a while.

Did Jesus do those things in some distant land? No; He did them right there in His parent’s hometown. There’s another great lesson. We can do the next thing right where we are. As a matter of fact, I believe it’s harder to do and more important to do right where we are than in some far away place where we are not known and cannot be held accountable by our peers.

Little of our story will be recorded. In comparison with what we know of Jesus, there is much we do not know. Our peers will know little of what we do, but if we are faithful in doing the next thing that God puts in front of us He will certainly know it. In the big scheme of things, who else really matters?

Does God have some special mission, ministry, or calling for you? I’d be willing to say He does. Until you know; until He reveals it; until His timing is right; what will you do in the meantime?

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