Devotion: Monday, July 9, 2018

A Biblical, Christ-filled word to bless your lives. 

Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, reflections from His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s verse is from Mark chapter 6, where the Bible says,

And they took offense at him. And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.” And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief.

Don’t Miss Your Chance to Be Yourself IN CHRIST!

The people that day disappointed Jesus. Actually, they should have disappointed themselves. Jesus merely marveled at their unbelief and arrogance. Here was God “in the flesh,” the creator of the universe, there to bless not to judge, to heal, not to destroy, to forgive, not to punish. Yet, they were offended by Him. In their minds, God would surely not subject Himself to the mundane things of this chaotic world. No carpenter-saviors for them! No God for them who is so familiar that He can truly understand them, their predicament, their sin, and still save. Sadly, their dismissal of Jesus, like so many today, was the ultimate disregard of themselves. This event is a reminder that often, even the best of our philosophies, economies, and politics can disconnect us from what is most essential in our lives as human beings, our relationship to the God who created and redeemed us.

For a modern illustration of such things, think of the haunting story of aging, German philosopher Friedrich Schleiermacher, who did much to shape the progress of modern thought. The story is told that one day as an old man he was sitting alone on a bench in a city park. A policeman, thinking that he was a vagrant, came over and shook him and asked, “Who are you?” Schleiermacher replied sadly, “I wish I knew.”

Or think of the past state of affairs of one of my favorite comedic actors, Peter Sellers, whose biographer Peter Evans says in the book, Behind the Mask,that Sellers played so many roles he sometimes was not sure of his own identity. He recounts that Sellers was approached one day by a fan who asked him, “Are you Peter Sellers?” Sellers answered briskly, “Not today,” and walked on.

So, “Who are you?” Jesus then, and Jesus today, is in our midst asking, “Who are you?” The ultimate answer is a faith response to Him, that you and are children of God, not by our “own reason or strength,” but by Jesus Christ’s life, death, and resurrection on our behalf. Faith in Him restores our sense of ourselves and we can begin living “eternally gracious lives IN HIM” for others, today and forever. Don’t be fooled by a sense of yourself in any thing other than your relationship to the God who loves you, who created you, and redeems you to be His own. Then, get about the joyful task of living boldly in that reality and see how life changes each and every day.

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, grant me wisdom to look to you and your Word for an enduring sense of who I am and what I’m to do in this world in and for you. AMEN.