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Green Pastures and Still Waters

As we prepare to study a new chapter in Acts it may be helpful to remember that we are part of a “counter-cultural” movement.  There are more Christians today than ever before and many of the good things we see around the world, that some would call humanitarian triumphs, are the result of Christian work motivated by love.  However, this world is still not friendly to grace.  I heard this week (source not cited) that someone accused V.P. Mike Pence of being mentally ill because he talks to Jesus and hears from Him.  Really?  To put Mike Pence in the same category with a teenage mass murderer not only seems mean-spirited but just plain foolish.  But are we surprised?  For almost 2,000 years there has been opposition to the message that the Logos is Lord.  We have faced opposition from false religion, from spiritism, from animism, from secularism and from atheism.  The world, the flesh and the devil all hate the message of life in our Lord and resist it because we live in darkness and our deeds are evil.  The good news is, Jesus promised to build His church.  The culture is never going to “get on board.”  Our goal is not to transform culture; our goal is to be in tune with the Holy Spirit and be obedient to Him.  He will lead, He will provide, He will protect when necessary and He will bring glory to the Father through His work in this mess.  What we need is HIM.  Remember, “Greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world.”  Press on brothers and sisters and the Lord be with you!

If you saw those words and in your head you said, “Who’s there?” you probably have kids or grandkids.  My grandkids don’t fully comprehend the whole “knock, knock” thing yet.  They just make stuff up when I say, “Who’s there?” and think it is hilarious whether it works as a joke or not.  I’m sure they’ll grow into the wonderful and intellectual world of “knock, knock” in a few years.  We’ll be studying a humorous “knock, knock” story on Sunday (Lord willing).  The context of the story is not humorous; the church was being persecuted and James the brother of John was beheaded!  Peter was arrested and imprisoned because King Herod Agrippa had the same intentions for Peter.  However, the story that starts bleak and gloomy ends happy and giddy.  The difference is the combination of a sleeping apostle, a praying church, our Awesome God and a ditsy servant girl.  Put all that together and you have the ingredients for quite a story, a story with a point…a point you probably need.  See ya’ Sunday smiley.