Devotions, Politics and Government, Workforce

The Moving Party

Read: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

“This is a revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him concerning the events that will happen soon… God blesses the one who reads this prophecy to the church, and he blesses all who listen to it and obey what it says.  For the time is near when these things will happen.”

Revelation 1:1a, 3 NLT

 

It was exciting.  The tiny page cage was being redecorated and we were the ones tasked with performing the renovations.

The first thing to go was the two ton, solid wood, desk which blocked the doorway.  Built sometime during the eighteenth century, we speculated that it had been used by George Washington, himself, and carted across the country by wagon train.  An arduous journey, perhaps, but not too much for a piece of furniture built to survive an atomic blast.

The catch to moving the desk was that it was on the third floor of the capitol building.  We needed to get it down two flights of semi-circular stairs and onto the first floor where it would later be placed in storage.  Like pallbearers, eight pages and our Sergeant at Arms lined up to lift the enormous hulk, directing it cautiously through doors of the House chambers.

Finding it somewhat heavier than anticipated, we stopped to rest at the top of spiral staircase and began to debate what we ought to do next.  After some discussion, it was determined that we would maintain our formation with the strongest pages at the bottom and the rest of us relieving the weight from the top.  Then, lining ourselves up, we slowly began to make our way down the flight.

There wasn’t really enough room on the staircase for both the desk and the cadre of pages and we soon found ourselves in a very dangerous position sandwiched between the heavy piece of furniture and the cool marble wall.  With only about six inches between the desk and the railing/wall, we were all inhaling as deeply as we could and praying that we’d make the rest of the journey intact.

It was at the moment when we realized our danger that it happened: the top fell off.  The large piece of dark wood went flying down the stairs as if it had been aerodynamically gifted and landed in the entryway with the smack of a gunshot. Within seconds, the entire Capitol security compliment jumped into action, guns drawn and ready for a showdown. What they found instead were eight flustered pages and an apologetic Sergeant at Arms.

After His resurrection, Christ gave His followers a little insight into what would happen during the end times.  While the picture He painted was one of war and danger (not unlike the one envisioned by the Capitol guards when they heard the effects of our mismanaged adventure), it came with promise of redemption.  In the end, those who love Him will be part of a far more successful moving party as we relocate from earth to our eternal home in Heaven!  What a blessing to know that some renovations are guaranteed to end in success!

Challenge:  Are you worried about the future?  Take your concerns to God.  You may be surprised to discover just how many of your worries are truly unfounded… and just how much control our loving God really has over both our eternal destiny as well as our lives today!

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Devotions, Politics and Government

Conspiracy Theorists

Read: Matthew 28:16-20

“And then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ’; or, ‘Behold, He is there’; do not believe him;  for false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order to lead astray, if possible, the elect.”

Mark 13:21-22 NASB

 

Working in government exposed me to more than my fair share of conspiracy theorists.  I suppose that these people just had nothing better to do with their time than imagine the top-secret testing of WMD’s, UN shadow governments, and plots to kill off large portions of the population.

I have to admit that some of the best laughs I got out of my job were due to the far flung ideas presented by a very small portion of our local populace.  Once or twice a month I got to hear about the UN’s black helicopters operating from their secret base beneath Yellowstone National Park (more often than not, the Vice President had just gone fishing again) or the subversive tactics of extremists either to the left or to the right. Sadly, these conspiracy theorists could easily have uncovered the truth had they just been willing to do a little research.  Instead, their wild ideas had distracted them, drawing them ever farther from the truth.

Truth be told, UFOlogists and those seeking to find the mythical second shooter from the Kennedy assassination aren’t the only ones who enjoy a bit of intrigue.  Christians, too, can find themselves lured into vain attempts to “fit the pieces together” – especially when it comes to the topic of the End Times.  From studies to novels, the shelves of many believers are flooded with fanciful and speculative materials on the topic… and many are waiting for the end to unfold as portrayed by popular authors rather than as portrayed by Christ, Himself.

While it would be exciting to think that the world’s final days are going to unravel just as they do in popular novels, it is the words of God that ought to have our attention.  When we focus on these, we are less likely to be drawn away into a world of fantasy and become distracted from our true mission: that of sharing the Gospel.  And that is what Christianity is all about.

Challenge: The end of the world as a whole may or may not be coming soon, but this doesn’t mean that we aren’t surrounded by many people whose worlds will end today.  Regardless of the cause or the timing, those around us need to be prepared to meet their Maker.  The next time you’re given an opportunity to help prepare them for this meeting, do!  Tomorrow will be too late for someone who needs Jesus today!

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