Holy Interruptions

“Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.”  Exodus 3:1-5

Moses was minding his business, keeping up with the flock of his father-in-law.  In the middle of doing his job he was interrupted by the angel of the Lord that appeared to him in a flame of fire.  I would have to say that would certainly be a distraction to say the least.  The fire was in the bush, and was burning and yet the bush was not consumed.  Now this is moving from distraction to curiosity.

There is a fire in the bush and the bush appears to be on fire and yet the bush is not actually burning.  Now Moses really wants to know what is going on.  He might be wondering if he was seeing something imaginary, perhaps too many warm days in the hot sun.  Moses goes to investigate, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.”

Moses was going about his business and doing his job when something interrupted him he could not explain and in his curiosity, goes to investigate and has an encounter with God.  God called out to Moses by name and Moses responds, Here I Am.  God tells Moses to take of his shoes for the place he is standing it holy ground.

God goes on to tell Moses about the cries of His people in Egypt and how he is going to deliver them.  Moses was curious about how that was going to take place.  God tells Moses that He will send Moses to Pharaoh.  Moses tried to make an excuse about not being a good talker, and then asking who should I tell them is sending me?

God interrupts Moses’ life with a burning bush message and a calling.  Reluctantly, Moses accepts what God wanted him to do.  Moses went through a process of discovery and then had a decision to make.  He was first distracted, second curious, and third serious.  God got his attention, Moses was curious and turned aside to see, and finally was serious and accepted God’s direction for his life.

How will you respond to holy interruptions?  Mildly distracted, a little curious, or serious and follow God.  Are you distracted from your life by God, just curious about what God is doing, or serious about living for God in the world today?

John Hancock

When we think of the Fourth of July we often think of family, food, fireworks, and freedom.  Some of us perhaps also reflect on the great price that was paid for that freedom.  We call this day, Independence Day, but do we really take time to think of that day in 1776.

It is almost startling to think of the risks taken by those first patriots.  The signers of the Declaration of Independence had everything to lose.  They were well-known men in the colonies, but they were just that colonists, and still subjects of King George III.  Over the years leading up to this “declaration” was a growing rift between the colonists and the mother land.  Being a small island there was not an abundance of raw material resources like the colonies had and so much of the raw material was sent back to the mother land.

There was much talk of war (rebellion) from the mother country and during this war a “Declaration of Independence” was being drafted.  Although two others helped Jefferson in the initial stages it was primarily his work, and it still had to be approved and signed by the representatives of the colonies.

This was a defining moment, because there could be no doubt as to what the intentions were of the colonies, to be free, independent, and self-governing.  Signing the document would be the nail that holds the billboard of freedom for all to see, or if the colonists lost it was the final nail in the coffin of those who committed treason against the royal crown of King George III.

When stepping up to sign this document John Hancock remarked.  “There, I guess King George will be able to read that.”  John Hancock’s signature is one of the most noticeable on the document because of its sheer size.  Either this war and declaration would result in birth of a nation, or these brave souls would be hanged for treason.

Paul in Romans 1:16, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes…” Would we, knowing that all could be on the line for us, step out and step up saying that we are not ashamed of the gospel?  Do we know and believe it is the power of God even if others can’t see it or it may cost us dearly?  John Hancock was not afraid to boldly sign the Declaration of Independence, even if it meant his death, knowing in life he had lived for such a noble cause as freedom.

Will we be willing to put our “John Hancock” on our faith?  Will we be those that are not ashamed of the gospel, no matter the cost, because it is good, right, pure, and it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes?  Many have died for this very belief, because they know it to be true.  Will the living of our faith be as bold as the signature of Hancock?  I pray so.

 

Example

It used to be for me that Father’s Day was about honoring my father and the sacrifices and example that he has been in my life.  I still believe that to be a great thing to do to honor our fathers and father figures in our lives by letting them know specifically what you appreciate.  If I were to try to take an inventory of the things I could say my list would be large, but I think it can be summed up in a word, example.  Although my father was good to us and did many wonderful things for us what I understand as the greater gift now wasn’t what he was or wasn’t able to give but who he was.  It was who he is in Christ that my father tried to live out and model in front of me and my sister.  He was not perfect at this, anymore than any other father, but his faith was real, his intentions were good, and my sister and I are better for it.  There were times when we didn’t have a lot but we had what we had always ever needed a mother and father who modeled Christ in front of us.

I see my role as a Father as a gift God has given me.  I too think that there are days when I wish I could do some things better for my children.  I may not be the cool dad that some kids say they want, but I hope that in time that my children will understand the love I have for them as their dad.  I believe all children are really God’s children that we have the privilege of being their earthly parents.  What a great gift and responsibility!  On tough days, I look to the example of my earthly father as he would look to our Heavenly Father for guidance and direction.  It is my prayer that my son and daughter will come to see and know Jesus.  I think this is too great a work to leave to chance or to give up our blessing and responsibility as fathers by waiting to see if someone else will show them Jesus.

It has long since been widely known that a child will learn these examples in the earliest years and most likely in their homes.  What type of example are we setting?  Does our example help our children to see that Christ is alive and can be trusted?  Ideally, following Christ’s example should begin in the home with a father, grandfather, or supportive father-figure, and it should be reinforced in the body of faith.  We in the body of Christ should help to support and pray for fathers and grandfathers but also look to the lives of the precious ones God has entrusted us with and ask are we setting the best example for them?

There were great men of faith who lived out that example in my life when I was younger.  Seeing these men live out their faith gave me confidence in Christ at an early age.  I also saw some men behaving in such a way that impacted me negatively, even now 30 years later.  I am a dad and I ask that you pray for me as I want to model Christ to my son and daughter.  Please pray that in doing so I will also honor my father who modeled Christ for me, and as much as possible allow the light of Christ to shine in your lives as well that my children and other children may also see Christ in you.

These words I share are a prayer for myself that I can be a Christian father to my son, and a prayer for all Christian men that we will be men of God.  Allowing our children to see Christ in us.  There are many fathers and grandfathers who are struggling and so Lord may you guide them and encourage them to live for you.  Lord, I pray that we would be an example for their lives as the grow in knowledge and faith.  Happy Father’s Day!