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January 22, 2013 – Acts 22

Click here to read Acts 22 on BibleGateway.com

s9048-03When I was a kid, my brothers and I had a bit of a climbing problem. No bridge, building, or tree was safe from our vertical determination. However, you may be startled to learn that some people don’t appreciate children climbing on their places of business. So, we moved on to climbing up billboards, particularly those of well known national hamburger chains. Of course, boys being boys, eventually you have to raise the stakes, and we decided that to really show our superiority, we must not only ascend the heights of commercial advertising, we must also get our dance groove on.

So, one day, I was climbing up the Wendy’s sign with my older brother egging me on as usual (don’t deny it, you know you did.) In any case, after my ascent, I decided to forgo my usual MC Hammer impression and opted for the classic German dance instead. Unfortunately, we were unaware that this was a fairly new sign that had not been completely assembled, and as I got to the dramatic conclusion of my interpretative dance, coinciding with the end of the sign, the “Y” shook loose from the sign. Being the manly man that I am, I screamed like a girl and slid down the pole as fast as I could, joining my brother in time to watch the rather sizable letter drop 30 feet onto the roof of a parked BMW. Which just goes to show: it’s all fun and games until someone polka’s the Y out.

FUN AND GAMES

During our trip though the Bible, I’ve noticed that many times there is an “until.” For instance, one of the great stories of Jesus is when he feeds the five thousand, wherein Jesus uses 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish to feed the crowd at Bethsaida Square Gardens. However, immediately after that Jesus says “I am the bread of life,” and many of these same people leave him. They are excited to be around Jesus during the miracles, but when he reveals the cost of following him they are no longer interested .

Similarly, in our reading today Paul tells his story to a crowd of Jewish people. They love the first part of his tale, as God reveals himself to Paul and changes his life. That is, “until” Paul mentions that God has sent him to the Gentiles, which enrages them to the point that they call for his death, rip their clothes off, and throw dust in the air (tantrum, anyone?).

ALL IN

It seems that most of us have an “until” in our life. We are more than willing to follow God during the good times, but when things get tough we find ourselves drifting away. We attend church faithfully, until hunting season starts. We tithe always, until the money gets tight. We get up early to have devotions every day, until the ball game goes late the night before. We trust God with our future, until it means leaving our hometown/job/house/income, etc. If you look at your life, I don’t think you would have to look far to find your own “until.”

What is it in your life that is holding you back from following Christ completely? Are you holding back your finances? Your hobbies? Your time? Are you willing to give it up? Do you want to get to heaven and hear God say “well done” or “that’s pretty good, you followed me until…” Our walk with Christ is a constant challenge of moving past our “untils”, until we are transformed into His image.

Oh, and by the way, the whole sign story isn’t “true” in the strictest sense, at least as far as my parents know. Let’s keep it that way.

 

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