Friday, June 28, 2013

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Apostle’s Focal Point

We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you. – vs. 12b

If we were to list adjectives used to describe an Apostle it might go something like this: brave, bold, confident, faithful, determined, disciplined, diligent, sincere… Words like afraid or dependant would rarely be listed. If we turn to the previous chapter we can see that Jehoshaphat had put into place many reforms. After this one would expect peace and tranquility. Instead he was faced with the prospects of war. In this passage Jehoshaphat is faced with a dilemma that he does not know how to handle. Verse 4 says that he was afraid. In the midst of his fear he knew where to turn to but his questions to God are neither poised nor assuring. He was grappling to comprehend the situation in which his sovereign God would allow a possible calamity to befall them. The questions all presuppose a positive answer. “O Lord, God of our ancestors, are you not God in heaven?” Yes. “Do you not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations?” He does. “Did you not, O our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel, and give it forever to the descendants of your friend Abraham?” Of course he did.

There were certain truths that Jehoshaphat knew. He was convinced that God would not abandon his people especially after all He had done in the past. Jehoshaphat’s Sunday School classes paid off because he had all the right information. But even though he had faith, he didn’t have answers. After trusting in God and serving him diligently, Jehoshaphat still didn’t know how to address the impending battle. But this is the sovereign remedy, “our eyes are on you”; an eye of acknowledgment and humble submission, an eye of faith and entire dependence, an eye of desire and hearty prayer, an eye of hope and patient expectation.

Apostles sometimes have the right answers (Mt 16:16) and sometimes they don’t (Mt 16:22-23). Being an Apostolic Church doesn’t mean we are perfect or that we know exactly what to do at all times. Being an apostle means we go to Him every time! Yes, we the church are “called out” and set apart. It is true to say that apostles are “sent out”. But we must always “fix our eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith.” (Heb 12:2) In doing so, we, like Jehoshaphat, exemplify the basic characteristic of an apostle: reliance on Jesus.

 Prayer: Father, help us to be more concerned about fixing our eyes on you than on anything else. Keep us humble before you and dependant on you. Amen

Thought for the Day:  Apostles who have their focus on Christ soon realize He is the answer.

Rev. Larry Varghese, Horeb MTC - Los Angeles