Thought for the week – when to move on

“Whether the cloud stayed above the Tabernacle for two days, a month, or a year, the people of Israel stayed in camp and did not move on. But as soon as it lifted, they broke camp and moved on. So they camped or travelled at the Lord’s command, and they did whatever the Lord told them through Moses.” (Numbers 9:22-23 NLT).

It does not seem as if the people of Israel concerned themselves at all about when or whether they should move on and it is not clear from these passages what factors led to God’s decision for the people of Israel to move on or to stay and for how long. But when the cloud moved they moved. In other words, it was not a decision they had to make, it was God’s. Simple!

We seem to worry an awful lot about matters like these. We want to know what tomorrow brings. We look at our careers and if after a period of time we don’t seem to get promoted or recognized we get upset. As sincere Christ-followers, we often worry about our areas of serving God. Should I be serving in a new ministry because I have been doing what I am doing for many years?

If we look at Joseph’s situation when he was in jail and tried to get out – it failed! (Gen 40:14-23). However when God moved two years later Joseph moved from prison to second-in-command of the whole of Egypt!

So what lesson is there for you and me? For me it is that I must trust God completely! The decision to move on is not mine, but God’s. When, where and for how long is not my concern. I must trust God completely that when He wants me to move He will move me! “Only I can tell you what is going to happen even before it happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish.” (Isaiah 46:10 NLT). It is also important that we do not compare ourselves with others. This will always lead to dismay or pride! God has a plan for each one of us (Psalm 139:16) and your road is not my road!

I know that this sounds somewhat irresponsible, if not a lot, especially if we listen to the latest worldly wisdom, but you and I have got to apply God’s wisdom to our daily lives. God has to become real to us in every situation. If not, then I can’t understand how we can trust God for the forgiveness of our sins and that Jesus will come again! Then we are practising some powerless religion!

“The Lord says, ‘I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.” (Psalm 32:8-9 NLT).

Have a splendid week!



Thought for the week – the Gospel of Jesus Christ is for intellectuals too!

“He also had a debate with some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers. When he told them about Jesus and his resurrection, they said, ‘This babbler has picked up some strange ideas.’ Others said, ‘He’s pushing some foreign religion.” (Acts 17:18 NLT).

The Apostle Paul debated Jesus with intellectuals. (Jesus also brought His message of salvation to intellectuals (Matt 22:41-46)) but the response to Paul’s message was not exactly encouraging! Many people in our day and age are “intellectuals” as they hold degrees from universities and fulfil important roles in our society (scientists, physicists, doctors, lawyers, judges, accountants, lecturers and teachers, geologists, engineers, etc). Does this mean that these intellectuals can not receive the Good News?

Fortunately, this is not the truth! In Acts 17:34 we read: “but some joined him and became believers. Among them were Dionysius, a member of the Council, a woman named Damaris, and others.” We also know that Nicodemus, an intellectual, was puzzled by the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His teaching (John 3:9) but later he openly went with Joseph of Arimathea to ask Pilate for Jesus’ body! (John 19:39). Remember that the Apostle Paul himself was an intellectual (Phil 3:4-6); Luke was a doctor (Col 4:14) and Zenas was a lawyer (Titus 3:13). Solomon was an intellectual (1 Kings 4:29-34) and Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah were intellectuals as well. (Dan 1:17 and 20). Some wise men from eastern lands came to worship Jesus, the newborn King! (Matt 2:1-2).

When intellect (and power too!) elevates people to their own god-like status in this world it will be very difficult for them to accept the message of Jesus Christ (as the sacrifice for sins and the only basis of being reconciled to God – John 14:6) as it “robs” them of their status. To accept that the source of their intelligence is not of their own making but was actually given to them by a Creating God, is too difficult to accept as it will leave them exposed! This is exactly the problem the Pharisees had! “No wonder you can’t believe! For you gladly honor each other, but you don’t care about the honor that comes from God alone.” (John 5:44 NLT).

However intelligence that marvels at the magnificence and complexity of creation, which in turn leads to a search for the Power behind it all, will find God! (Isaiah 65:1). It is when “intelligence” is humble! “Then Jesus prayed this prayer: ‘O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding the truth from those who think themselves so wise and clever, and for revealing it to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way!” (Matt 11:25-26 NLT).

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is for everyone! “We are made right in God’s sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, no matter who we are or what we have done.” (Rom 3:22 NLT).

Have a wonderful week!




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