2003-09-18 - Say So
Luke 21:12-15 "But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you to the synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for My name's sake. 13 "It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony. 14 "So make up your minds not to prepare beforehand to defend yourselves; 15 for I will give you utterance and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute. (NAS)
I am a preparation maniac. It is part of my job to prepare for maintenance windows to make use of every second and minimize the opportunity for difficulties failure that would make it hard to return a computer to production service. I have to think about the possibility that something that I know will work fails and how to recover from that possibility. This makes it very difficult for me to consider not preparing for something especially where kings and governors might be involved.
Jesus is warning his disciples about things they will soon encounter. Paul was brought before Cesar. The idea that I would meet the President of the United States and not be prepared is unimaginable. But this is what Jesus is saying. "Relax! I will give you the words and the wisdom to baffle your opponents." It boils down to a severe matter of trust - "Put yourself entirely in My hands and let me use you to speak to whoever I put before you."
The best way to become familiar with a subject is to defend it. In order to defend a topic well you must be intimately familiar with the material in all facets. Christianity is often an unpopular subject matter in its purest form. There are moral absolutes with which our culture today is very uncomfortable. But just like a suit of armor a middle ages knight would wear, all of the pieces have to be strong. The attack will come at a weak point and attempt to exploit it. If doubt can be driven into one aspect of a system, the whole system is called into question. Is the Gospel of Jesus Christ consistent? Does it hold together under serious scrutiny?
Are there things that are beyond our understanding? Yes. Light was created before the stars. Some will point to that and exclaim that to be foolishness. My God is big enough to create light first, or to be the source of that original light Himself. Sarah giving birth to Isaac at the age of 99? God created time and controls our aging and death can heal the lamb, give sight to the blind and open the mouth of the mute. After all of that, restoring the youth of two people so they can be parents of a child to fulfill God's promise seems not so difficult.
Challenge yourself and your friends. Make it a game. See which who comes up with the obvious idea. Bounce ideas back and forth. You might be amazed as the pieces you have read come together with the pieces your friends have read with a little faith to explain what had been impossible. Have fun in the process.
Lord Jesus - show is that following you may have difficulties, but it is also filled with fun even in learning. Amen.
Grace & Peace,