Taking Turns

I grew up in a rural area that wasn’t close to the school I attended. Monday through Friday, my dad would drive us 30 minutes to school. It was a long ride and the front seat was the place to be. Both my brother and my sister felt the same way. We wanted the front seat. So in all fairness, we had to take turns. I believe we had a rotation each day of the week so that everything was fair.

I don’t remember the same eagerness to have our turn when it came to chores. I think my parents tried to split them up fairly. Although, I’m certain I got the most, especially when it came to weed pulling. Just sayin’. To this day, it remains one of my least favorite things to do in life. I digress. The point is, we all want our turn when it comes to the benefits, but don’t necessarily want our turn when it comes to the work. But sharing the work is as important (if not more so) than sharing the benefits.

1 Chronicles 27:1 This is the list of the Israelites—heads of families, commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, and their officers, who served the king in all that concerned the army divisions that were on duty month by month throughout the year. Each division consisted of 24,000 men. 

What I find cool about this is that the army wasn’t just a select group of men. Instead, there were 12 divisions and they took turns, each serving for one month out of the year. They shared the burden of the work of protecting their nation. In fact, the wording in the verse is that they “served” the king. We, too should be looking for opportunities to serve the king. 

The work of the church of Jesus Christ is not a one-man or one-woman task. It requires the Body of Christ to actively “be” the church. We can be the church through our lifestyle, through our example, through our counsel, and even through our service. Like the armies of Israel, we ought to be taking a turn at serving the community of believers. Jesus didn’t design the church around the idea that some people would do the work and others would sit back and reap the benefits. Instead, he called us to be a family. 

Ask yourself today, how can I serve? How can I take a turn?

 

Jesus hits walk off home run

Micah 5:9 Your hand will be lifted up in triumph over your enemies, and all your foes will be destroyed.

There’s nothing sweeter than a last second victory.  It’s the hail mary and the buzzer beating 3-pointer.  It’s the walk off home run in the 12th inning.  The crowd erupts with jubilation.  The players rush to the field in celebration.  The hero is placed upon shoulders and paraded around.  He did it!  He won!  Imagine the celebration in heaven at the resurrection.  He did it!  He won!  And it is His victory that makes a way for mine.  Yes, I too, can be a victor because of his home run.

I don’t always feel like a victor.  Not everyday seems triumphant.  My foes don’t seem to be destroyed.  Why not?

I think it’s because we forget to stand with the real victor.  After all, I’m not a victor by nature.  But Jesus is – and Christ in me brings the victory.  When I stand with Him, I remember that my battle is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against strongholds, against the dark forces in the spiritual places.  When I stand with Him, I get a new look at who my foe really is.  I remember that Jesus has triumphed over the evil one!

As a victor, Jesus brought me into his victory.  He called me to be His Body – the Body of Christ.  He poured out the Holy Spirit to give me the power to overcome.  So I become His hands and His feet.  My hand will be lifted up in triumph over my enemies because my hand is HIS hand!  That’s when victory happens.  So I focus today not on winning the boxing match or hitting the home run, but on being His body.  I focus on bringing my life “into Christ.”  It’s then and only then that I can rush the field and celebrate with my hero.

Dumb Criminals

I Samuel 11:1-3   1 Nahash the Ammonite went up and besieged Jabesh Gilead. And all the men of Jabesh said to him, “Make a treaty with us, and we will be subject to you.” 2 But Nahash the Ammonite replied, “I will make a treaty with you only on the condition that I gouge out the right eye of every one of you and so bring disgrace on all Israel.” 3 The elders of Jabesh said to him, “Give us seven days so we can send messengers throughout Israel; if no one comes to rescue us, we will surrender to you.”

Dumb Criminal Report: A teenager was arrested by the Pennsylvania police and charged with felony daytime burglary. How did they find out? Well, the victim noticed that someone had broken into her house through a bedroom window. She also happened to check her computer…which had the burglar’s Facebook account still open. Apparently, after snatching two expensive diamond rings, he had felt the irresistible need to check his status. Can you say…”un-friend”?

I really enjoy dumb criminal stories and I actually found one in the Bible today.  You have this Ammonite guy named Nahash who comes to an Israeli town and says he is going to destroy it.  The people there ask him to make a treaty with them, but he says that he will only spare them if they agree to have their right eyeball plucked out.  What happens next is perplexing – the Israelites ask him for 7 days to rally enough people to fight him.  I would expect him to say, “how ’bout I just kill you now?”  Instead, he gives them the seven days.  How dumb can you be!?  You are going to give the Israelites a week to get an army together to fight you.  Do you not know how many of them there are?

It was the ultimate dumb criminal move on his part, because God’s people rallied.  It says that the Spirit of the Lord came upon Saul in power and he rallied the people to go out and completely destroy the Ammonites. I love the part where the men of Jabesh go to the Ammonites and say, “okay we will surrender tomorrow.” I think the Bible left out the part where they did everything possible to keep from snickering.  Seriously, it is the ultimate set up.

What I love about this story is the fact that God’s people rallied. When one of the peeps was getting picked on, the brothers came in to rescue.  They banded together and took on the bully.  We should be doing the same thing for each other.  We are called as the Body of Christ to rally around each other.  We are called to build each other up.  Unfortunately, it is often the Body that is doing the tearing down.  Let’s commit today to come to each other’s rescue, to pick up a friend who has been beat down.  Let’s take on these dumb criminals together and be the church Jesus has called us to be!