Expect It! – November 15th, 2018

Expect It!

I woke up slowly this morning.  Wait! Let me correct that. I woke up slower than normal this morning. I sat on the edge of the bed putting on socks to keep my feet warm in the cool morning air. Then it hit me, it was 6 am and it was much brighter outside than I would expect at this hour in the morning.

I wasn’t expecting this!

Read on…

A light blanket of snow had fallen sometime in the early morning hours prior to me waking this morning. This was not announced on the news as far as I can recall, I had visited the local Walmart on the way back from church last night and I had not seen panic-stricken faces grabing  arms full of milk and bread.

Note: This is central Alabama, whenever there is inclement weather in the forecast it calls for extensive consumption of ‘Bread Soup’.  This soup apparently consists of bread broken up in a bowl with milk poured on top of it. A bit of a soggy cereal stew.

I have never observed the preparation, nor the consumption of ‘Bread Soup’ but it is part of the folklore here in the south and the most obvious solution to bad weather.

Therefore my assumption is academic and based on consistent evidence, combined with the mystery of local lore.

Bread Soup

It’s too late for me to run to the grocery store and pick up extra milk and bread to make bread soup. Time is up, the snow has fallen and so we will shelter in place until the sun comes out a few hours from now and evaporates the white covering.

Till then the road surface in front of the house, given its steep incline to the corner at the top of the hill, maybe iced. Rather than risk sliding into a neighbor’s yard or my own, I’ll stay put for a while.

But in your hearts set Christ apart as holy—acknowledging Him, giving Him first place in your lives as Lord. Always be ready to give a logical defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope and confident assurance elicited by faith that is within you, yet do it with gentleness and respect.

1 Peter 3:15  (AMP)

In other words, as Disciples of Jesus, we really should be prepared in advance to make bread soup when the occasion arises.  Yeah, I slipped our metaphor in here for a moment.

We should be prepared at all times to give an account of the things that we believe. If it has come from the Word of God, then we should have both a heart and a head knowledge of the truth and be ready to present this to those who would question our faith or the principles on which we practice our discipleship to Christ Jesus.

If we don’t have the core provisions, stored away in our reserves, then when it comes time to call upon that resource we will find ourselves scrambling to the grocery store to stock up for the incoming adversity, which ultimately will come at some point in time.

Stock Up

Brothers and Sisters, most of us are not Bible scholars. We haven’t had the pleasure of sitting in a classroom setting and being fed ample stores of theology and Christ-like principles from which to draw upon.

But we none the less, have a responsibility to our faith to immerse ourselves in the Word of God.

All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (CSB)

The storehouse is there, God has provided it, and we are to utilize it so that we may be ‘complete‘ and ‘equipped for every good work.

Our very first priority in utilizing this resource should be to respond to the call given to us in 1 Peter 3:15, prepare for that time when we ultimately will be challenged as to why we believe what we believe, not simply vaguely recall when the preacher said something about stewardship and since you don’t even own a boat why should you be concerned about that?

Just as we should know that we know that we know, that our salvation is securely covered by the Grace of Jesus, we should know that know, why we are doing those things that we attribute to our faith in Christ!

Now, admittedly, there are some mysteries that are in the scripture that we can’t know now, and may not know until we are united with our Lord and Savior.  However, that doesn’t give us a reason to neglect fortification of our reserves with the knowledge of our convictions.

In doing so, be prepared to give an answer.

It Is There

Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.
Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God — who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly — and it will be given to him.

James 1:2-5 (CSB)

The entire passage is profound and important for us to wrap our minds around. There will be trials and testing of our faith by the world. This is different from the testing that God does to teach us through adversity and allow us to grow closer in our relationship to him.

The world will test you in an attempt to tear away at your faith and to shield themselves from the guilt upon them for the sin that they bear.  This will happen, if we are being that light, Jesus calls us to be.

But we can and should be prepared for that, we should expect it.

We do so by prayer and the Word of God.

Verse 5:
Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God — who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly — and it will be given to him.

If we lack the answers for what we believe, then it is critical to our testimony to ask God for the answers to the question of why we believe what we believe. Maybe, what we’ve come to believe is unsubstantiated in God’s Word. If that is the case then we need to understand that and remove it from our lives.

Perhaps we have not fully implemented that which we know, which is equally distracting for the none believer when they observe our behavior.

And they are watching you. Without a doubt, if the Light of Jesus is shining in you and you are actively seeking to disperse that Good News to those around you, then you have become the object of scrutiny to all of those outside of grace and many who are your brothers and sisters in Christ.

If you know that you know that you know that your salvation is secure, then know that you know the reason for your faith in Jesus. You will be challenged. Expect it!

Blessings,
Kip…


 

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