November 30

Text: Acts 3:17-20

"And now, brethren, I know that you acted in ignorance, just as your rulers did also.  But the things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ should suffer, He has thus fulfilled.  Repent therefore and return, that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you . . .”  (NASB)

Most of us have spent little time thinking about the massive impact our expectations have on us.  Some people go to the Grand Canyon and see massive views of wonder that never stop awing them.  The wonders of what they see are filled with astonishment at every turn.  Other people go and see nothing but a big hole in the ground.  In their disappointment they experience no sense of wonder, no curiosity.

I heard about a person who for years longed to see the Grand Canyon.  This desire was a frequent topic of conversation.  After repeatedly hearing the desire, a close relative declared, “I am taking you to the Grand Canyon on this date.  Get ready to go!”  When the party arrived, they immediately went to a scenic view.  In thirty minutes, the person went to the driver and said, “Take me home.  I have seen all this hole I want to see.”  Quite possibly expectations met disappointment.

If a person seeks wealth in any form, he or she should not go to Jesus.  If the person aspires to what the irreligious call “the good life,” or to an easy lifestyle, or to an escape from responsibility, or to fame and acclamation, or to a decision-free or choice-free life, or to self-indulgence, or to similar things, Jesus is not the man they seek.  Jesus’ view of life involves compassion, serving, forgiveness, sacrifice, unselfishness, and enduring injustice.

To Jesus, life is an investment.  The rewards primarily come after physical death.  While the rewards are so enormous they must be classified as gifts, Jesus’ view of life is demanding, not convenient.  If a person looks at life as Jesus does, Jesus’ identity is all important.

Suggestion for reflection: How do you look at your life?  (Read Matthew 6:19-25.)

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 Copyright 2011 David Chadwell