Monday, June 12, 2017

Acts 16:16-24

Acts 16:16-24
New International Version (NIV)

  In the midst of transition, you always wonder how things are going to settle in.  You're often curious how much change there is going to be, and what that means.  You wonder if life will be the same, and if it changes, will it be better, or could it be worse?  For many of us, myself included, we tend to orient ourselves around fear -- when we see change, we immediately become afraid.  We wonder what we might lose.  There is a general sense of anxiety, where it feels as if we're tenuously holding onto what we have and afraid that our hands might slip and we might slide into some unknown and uncomfortable new way of life.
  As Christians, God calls us to give the entirety of our allegiance to Christ.  When we do, nothing is the same -- the landscape of our lives are inexorably changed, and we see everything through a lens of grace and selflessness.  It's a hard adjustment -- being willing to die to ourselves daily isn't a natural sensation, and there is much that could cause us to be afraid.
  Fortunately, Christ assures us through the promises of Scripture that the unknown to us is better than what we know.  He promises us abundant life, defined by peace through the gift of the Holy Spirit.  When we let go of what we have been holding onto, we will slide into the arms of Christ, and he will not lose those who have been entrusted to him.
  Here in Acts, the owners of the slave react in fear and anger, for they have lost what was profitable.  They do not recognize the freedom and wonder that has been granted, and they don't want to be amazed at the power of God.  They focus their eyes on what has been lost.
  May we have the wisdom to focus on what we gain in Christ -- eternal life, peace with God, unbounded joy.

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