John the baptizer was a man accustomed to “wide open spaces” to say the least (Luke 1:80). And I believe several personal characteristics came from his experience of living outside the “city limits” of Jerusalem…or any other area of Jewish pop-culture of the day for that matter. Of these characteristics was the obvious lack of concern for the wants of society.
With organic locusts and honey on his plate, and a camel-hair coat and leather belt for a wardrobe, I think it’s safe to say John wasn’t worried about keeping up with the Herod’s when it came to cuisine or clothing. John was more interested in God’s desire for his life than he was in trying to get God interested in some worldly desire.
Am I saying it’s wrong to have a closet with several changes of camel-hair-free clothing or a refrigerator with a steak in it? Nope. I’m not saying that at all.
What I am saying is that John was more interested in having an effect on his culture for God’s sake than he was in allowing his culture to influence his pursuits in life. And I’m saying that we could all learn the lesson that the wilderness no doubt helped to teach John – we will not take anything with us that our pop-culture considers to be so important when our body feeds the grass and the flowers that the locusts and bees enjoy.
“And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”” (Luke 12:15 NKJV)
A particular city on America’s west coast has reportedly lost the “holy grail” for earthquake scientists due to…city maintenance.
The “holy grail” was actually a monitored section of an unaligned sidewalk created by a shifting fault-line.
In the eyes of the local scientific community this section of concrete was priceless. In the eyes of the local streets department this section of concrete was a public safety hazard. Neither party was aware of the other’s point-of-view. Hence, thanks to a little construction, the concrete “holy grail” was turned into a common sidewalk.
The scientific community is “mourning” its loss while the city is saying its workers did what its workers were supposed to do.
So whose fault was it? Besides the one underground I mean.
Maybe this quote from the city’s assistant manager will help shed some light. She said, ““We probably would have looked at it differently, or we would have tried to help them document it,” … if scientists want to share information with the city about sites used to monitor seismic activity, “we’d be happy to talk with them” to see whether there’s a way to alert city crews about their geologic significance.”
I have no doubt that the site under consideration was valued by the scientific community, but they failed to speak of its importance to right people. I mean, what’s a maintenance crew to do – read minds?
Here’s the spiritual application: When it comes to evangelism, or going to our brother or sister in Christ due to an offense, or speaking to a loved-one before it’s too late, or giving a good word of encouragement, or whatever else may only be known to our own mind, if we want others to be aware of how important the issue is to us, then we need to speak up. It really is as simple as that.
“I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever; with my mouth will I make known Your faithfulness to all generations.” (Psalm 89:1)
HUGH’S NEWS & VIEWS
KEEPING OUR SPIRITUAL FOCUS
Cleon Lyles was one of the great pulpiteers in churches of Christ in the mid-twentieth century. Frequently, brother Lyles would begin a sermon by saying, “Now let’s think about some things before we think about some other things.” This was his way of saying that before we can understand some things there are some other things on which we need to gain some clarity.
As Christians, we know what we need to think about most in life: 1) God, His greatness, goodness, power, love, mercy, grace, care and protection; 2) Christ, His life, teaching, death for our sins, burial, resurrection, ascension, coronation, reign, intercession, and second coming; 3) the church, the privilege of membership in it and our involvement, service, spiritual growth, and worship experienced therein. These are the things that we want to think about and give priority to in our lives. I believe that the vast majority of Christians are sincere in their faith and really do want to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). Continue reading