Saturday, October 30, 2010

Six Hours One Friday

Max Lucado is one of the best devotional writers. His book Six Hours One Friday is no disappointment. As you read the quotes below I'm sure you will agree.

Then she asked the question that revealed the gaping hole in her soul. “Where is God? My people say he is on the mountain. Your people say he is in Jerusalem. I don’t know where he is.” I’d give a thousand sunsets to see the expression on Jesus’ face as he heard those words. Did his eyes water? Did he smile? Did he look up into the clouds and wink at his father? Of all the places to find a hungry heart – Samaria? Of all the Samaritans to be searching for God – a woman? Of all the women to have an insatiable appetite for God – a five-time divorcee? And of all the people to be chose to personally receive the secret of the ages, an outcast among outcasts? The most “insignificant” person in the region? Remarkable. Jesus didn’t reveal the secret to King Herod. He didn’t request an audience of the Sanhedrin and tell them the news. It wasn’t within the colonnades of a Roman court that he announced his identity. No, it was in the shade of a well in a rejected land to an ostracized woman. His eyes must have danced as he whispered the secret. “I am the Messiah.” pp. 24-25
And though God’s people often forgot their God, God didn’t forget them. He kept His Word. The land became theirs. God didn’t give up. He never gives up. When Joseph was dropped into a pit by his own brothers, God didn’t give up. When Moses said, “Here I am, send Aaron.” God didn’t give up. When the delivered Israelites wanted Egyptian slavery instead of milk and honey, God didn’t give up. When Aaron was making a false god at the very moment Moses was with the true God, God didn’t give up. When only two of the ten spies though the Creator was powerful enough to deliver the created, God didn’t give up. When Samson whispered to Delilah, when Saul roared after David, when David schemed against Uriah, God didn’t give up. When God’s word lay forgotten and man’s idols stood glistening, God didn’t give up. When the children of Israel were taken into captivity, God didn’t give up. He could have given up. He could have turned His back. He could have walked away from the wretched mess, but He didn’t. He didn’t give up. When He became flesh and was the victim of an assassination attempt before He was two years old, He didn’t give up. When the people from His own hometown tried to push Him over a cliff, He didn’t give up. When His brothers ridiculed Him, He didn’t give up. When He was accused of blaspheming God by people who didn’t fear God, He didn’t give up. When Peter worshiped Him at the supper and cursed Him at the fire, He didn’t give up. When people spat in His face, He didn’t spit back. When the bystanders slapped Him, He didn’t slap them. When a whip ripped His sides, He didn’t turn and command the awaiting angels to stuff that whip down that soldiers’ throat. And when human hands fastened the divine hands to a cross with spikes, it wasn’t the soldiers who held the hands of Jesus steady. It was God who held them steady. For those wounded hands were the same invisible hands that had carried the firepot and the torch two thousand years earlier. They were the same hands that had brought light into Abram’s thick and dreadful darkness. They had come to do it again. So, the next time that obnoxious neighbor walks in, escort him out. Out to the hill. Out to Calvary. Out to the cross where, with holy blood, the hand that carried the flame wrote the promise, “God would give up His only Son before He’d give up on you.” pp. 37-39
Your complaints are not over the lack of necessities but the abundance of benefits. You bellyache over the frills, not the basics; over benefits, not essentials. The source of your problems is your blessings.” p. 43
Gratitude. More aware of what you have than what you don’t. Recognizing the treasure in the simple – a child’s hug, fertile soil, a golden sunset. Relishing in the comfort of the common – a warm bed, a hot meal, a clean shirt. pp. 43-44
And though I’d never read 2 Corinthians 4:13, I knew what it meant. “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” p. 52

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