Christianity, Faith, life, lifestyle, Music, Personal Journey

Daily Devotional with Mr. Jeffrey A. Hale 11.28.18 ☻

🎶This is a call to all my
past resignations
this is a call to all
this is a call to all my
past resignatoins it’s been too long🎶

I’ve always liked Dave Grohl. One of my favorite songs of his is “This Is a Call”. This was one of the first songs Dave Grohl wrote after his Nirvana bandmate Kurt Cobain was found dead. I imagine the months following Cobain’s suicide were very difficult for Grohl, not just because he had lost a dear friend, but because he also stated he lost his musical direction and inspiration. I read once, thanks to a great deal of encouragement from his friends, he found his musical voice and set to work on his solo project that would become Foo Fighters. Grohl, who was the drummer in Nirvana, wrote this song on his own, played every instrument on it, and did the vocals. Released as the first Foo Fighters single, the song was an emphatic statement by Grohl and proof that he could carry a musical project on his own. Grohl says that while the verses mean nothing, the chorus means everything, as he is saying goodbye to his past with the line, “This is a call to all my past resignations.” Said Grohl, “It’s just sort of like a little wave goodbye to all the people I ever played music with, people I’ve been friends with, all my relationships, my family”. While reading this afternoon in Luke 5: 1-11, I found Yeshua/Jesus points to the call of following Him and waving goodbye to all of our past resignations as well. This is an unexpected day of change. When Yeshua/Jesus and His crowd turn up on the beach there may have been nothing to warn Simon that a paradigm shift was about to take place. Perhaps he saw the crowd as little more than a distraction….a festival of inconvenience dancing toward him while all he could think of was his aching back and bringing to completion the morning task. After a fruitless all nighter, Simon could be forgiven begrudging the need to wash these useless nets. He is tired and ready to sleep. He will need renewed strength to throw them all again tomorrow. So it must have seemed strange when Yeshua/Jesus climbed aboard. The request to anchor “a little way from the shore” may have seemed even stranger. But something in Simon is humble, inquisitive, and open enough to obey. A few moments later and he has prime seating before the most desired of teachers. Yeshua/Jesus is in his boat! While the crowd is held back by the water, Simon is so close he could reach out and touch the master. It is quite a turn of events, from a luckless night to a box seat. It is enough to make a tired man laugh. We are told nothing of the content of Yeshua/Jesus’ talk. But it would seem that Simon, perhaps feeling he had little choice, listened through to the end. But it was another thing altogether when Yeshua/Jesus asked to be taken fishing. By now the nets are clean and dry. They are ready for later when the fish will hopefully be out again. But that is not now. Yeshua/Jesus may know how to turn a phrase, but He does not know the timing of fish. Simon half protests but then gives up. Perhaps he is simply too tired to pursue the argument. Something tells Simon that this is worth the risk. The boat is mobilised and the nets lowered, filled, and all too soon there are two boats at risk of sinking under the catch of the day. It looks like a feast tonight! Every now and again a moment of clarity comes. For Simon it is now. But it is not immediately apparent that his will mean the leaving of a livelihood. Indeed Simon’s initial response is to send Yeshua/Jesus away. Simon is now only conscious of the gap between himself and Yeshua/Jesus. It looks like an insurmountable chasm. Simon has touched the holiness of YeHoVaH/God and it has made him aware of his unworthiness, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” I suspect Facebook friends, that Yeshua/Jesus understands. Fear can make a person reject another. And so, without denying Simon’s insight, He responds with an invitation to come even closer, “from now on you will be catching people.” He is speaking Simon’s language! And so Simon and his companions leave everything. Well, not quite. In a consumer society it is all to easy to hear this story as a turning away, highlighting empty boats and fish left for others to sell. Make no mistake, there is a radical abandonment here. But to leave it there would not do justice to the care taken by our storyteller. They did not simply leave everything. They “left everything and followed him.” It is a completely different concept. Simon, James and John found a better alternative. They have not turned from as much as they have turned to. It is not loss but gain. Yes, there is a rationality here. These friends have found a better path, and taken it. This indeed is a “Call to leave all my past resignations”. Come and Follow Him. Amen?

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Faith, freedom, Jesus, Life, self, transformation

Who Am I Like?

Wendy Pope By WENDY POPE

“Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children.” Ephesians 5:1 (NLT)

“Mommy, my friend needs new crayons,” bellowed my then 5-year-old as he climbed in the family van after school.

In a true mommy-has-all-the-answers kind of way I confidently responded, “Well, his mommy will buy him some new crayons.”

The next day Griffin and I had the same conversation. Only this time Griffin added, “His mommy can’t buy him more crayons.” To which I replied, “Well, your teacher will get him some crayons.”

Later, when I called Griffin to dinner I noticed he was quite delayed; usually he was the first one to the table. What happened next stirred my soul.

Me: “Griffin, what kept you from coming when I called your name?”

Griffin: “I was going through my crayons to take some to my friend.”

Me:

Yes, I was speechless. Griffin’s example of selflessness weighed heavy on my heart for several days. What an extraordinary act of generosity for such a young boy.

I knew God used ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things. And I began to wonder about some of my favorites from the Bible … and myself: Who am I like? Do I have the tenacity to accomplish a lengthy assignment like Noah? Am I courageous and daring like Esther? Can I patiently wait years for God’s plan to unfold like David? Would I have the character of the Good Samaritan or the thoughtfulness of my 5-year-old? Could I have that?

Though it’s good to be inspired by the actions and faith of others, our key verse instructs us to imitate one person, Jesus. Imitating Jesus is quite a tall order. Most times I try to be like Him, but I miss the mark. Can you relate?

If I’m honest, some days I’m more like the rogues in Scripture than Jesus. I don’t enjoy that comparison as much, but it’s worthwhile to ask tough questions.

Is my heart stubborn and spirit unwilling to obey God like Pharaoh? Am I prideful and audacious like Samson? How often do I deny Christ like Peter before the crucifixion? Am I pious like the Pharisees?

Unfortunately, I have to answer yes to some of these. At times, I submit to my sinful nature. I make decisions with pride and arrogance that are contrary to what God wills and wants.

God expects me to forgive her even though she deeply wounded me? Forget it. That woman doesn’t deserve my forgiveness.

I asked and asked him to help me, but he didn’t. Now God wants me to help him? I don’t think so.

If he needs help, why doesn’t he get a job instead of standing on the corner asking for handouts?

The more we rebel against God’s ways, the less tender our hearts become. Distance invades our intimacy with the Lord, which leads us on a dangerous path away from Him.

It’s then that we should pray and ask Him to reveal areas of rebellion. Our response to His revelation? Immediate repentance followed by immediate obedience. The result will be an agreeable spirit and a softened heart, like Jesus, with a desire to imitate Him in all we say and do.

We each have certain aspects of our personalities that are similar to Noah, Esther and David. If we are willing to admit it, we can be a little like Pharaoh, Samson and the Pharisees, too. However, our goal should be to liken ourselves to one hero in the Bible … Jesus: obedient, humble, compassionate, truthful and so much more.

Dear Lord, I ask You to help me walk upright, imitating You in everything I say and do. Quicken my spirit when I fail, so I might repent and be restored to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Ephesians 5:1-2, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (ESV)

Philippians 2:1-4, “Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” (NIV)

RELATED RESOURCES:
Spark your love for God’s Word with Wendy Pope’s Bible study Trusting God for A Better Tomorrow: A Psalms Bible Study.

Visit Wendy’s blog for more encouragement.

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What is one character trait Jesus bears that you would like to imitate?

Make a list of things that hinder you from being like Jesus. Pray and ask God to help you overcome these things. Be prepared! If you struggle with selfishness, for example, you may sense God asking you to donate some belongings, volunteer your time consistently, give up your efforts to always park in the spot closest to the store, or something else. Listen for His direction.

© 2015 by Wendy Pope. All rights reserved.

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