31 Days of Questions: Day 24

24

“When the Son of Man comes will he find faith on the earth?” Mark 18:8

I can’t speak for the whole earth.

I can only speak for myself.

So when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith in me?

How will He know it’s there?

By observing my faithfulness.

And how will my faithfulness be clearly seen?

By the promises I keep.

By my consistent devotion.

By my regular presence at worship.

By a steady walk of obedience.

By resisting temptation to make much of myself.

By standing firm in the face of a changing culture.

I pray He won’t have to look too hard to find faith on the earth.

Or in me.

“My faith is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.          I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.”

31 Questions

Amazing

rosesAmazed.

That’s what I was last Sunday night when my big, grown-up boy came in the house carrying a card and a dozen roses.  Now that he’s married and has a sweet baby girl of his own, there are plenty of women in his life to remind him of important things like Mother’s Day.  (God bless daughters-in-law.)

It doesn’t take much to make my jaw drop.  I can be blown away by a song, overwhelmed by an unselfish act of kindness, and astounded by a home-run-robbing catch at the center field fence.  I am easily awed by people who write stimulating words, understand quantum physics or run a marathon.  This world should inspire some serious marveling, what with sunsets, ocean waves, redwood trees…..need I go on?

But this word keeps popping up in the Bible.  The gospel writers used the word “amazed” thirty-five times to describe people’s response to Jesus.

Curious crowds — “The people were amazed at His teaching…”  Mark 1:22

His followers — “The disciples were amazed at His words…”  Mark 10:24

Even Pontius Pilate — “But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed.”  Mark 15:5

There’s no doubt Jesus was completely amazing in every way.

But what amazed Jesus?

Only two things.

“And He was amazed at their lack of faith.”  Mark 6:6

I don’t want to amaze Jesus.  Not like that.

“When Jesus heard this He was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following Him, He said, ‘I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.'”  Luke 7:9

I want to amaze Jesus.  Like that.

What astonished Jesus?  Zero faith and great faith.

What astounds me?  Grace.

Amazing grace.

Long Time, No Hear

listeningSome of my friendly blog buddies have been wondering if I am just now “coming to” after the twin news.  I admit, the announcement did leave me speechless for a while.  But actually, the silence here at Small Drop has been a bit of an experiment.  What happens when I stop writing…or posting….or speaking?  Do people stop reading….or logging on….or listening?  How long are we willing to wait to hear from someone?

How about 400 years?  Malachi wrote the last word of the Old Testament sometime around 430 B.C.   Then came four centuries of silence.  No prophets spoke, no predictions were proclaimed, no judgements were called down on the wicked, no blessings were promised to the faithful.  Nothing.  Silence.

Four hundred years ago it was 1512.  Martin Luther was in seminary and Michelangelo was painting the Sistine Chapel.  What if we had not heard from God since 1512?  It’s remarkable that the story even survived.  It’s astounding that God’s people continued to wait and hope and pray.  Somehow, each generation kept handing down the directive: Wait.  God will speak again.

Then He did.  His first word after all those long years was, “Waaaahhhhh.”  He cried.  The priests weren’t expecting a baby’s wail.  They were sure it would sound more like a thundering voice coming out of smoke and fire, “Thus saith the Lord.”  So they missed it.

That’s what I love about God — He keeps me on my toes.  Just when I think I figure Him out, He does something wild and unexpected.

My experiment with silence on the blog confirmed my suspicions, as each day fewer and fewer people stopped by.  And then something wild and unexpected happened.  Yesterday, after all those days of no posts, hundreds visited Small Drop for my biggest day ever.  Figuring things out is highly overrated.  Being surprised is much more fun.

Lord, I welcome Your surprises.  Go ahead and say or do what I’m not expecting.  Just don’t let me miss it.

In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son.  Hebrews 1:1