Posts tagged ‘Holy Spirit’

The Time of Your Life

“The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”  Acts 1:7-8

From my third year of medical school in 1980 until I retired from medicine in 2004, there were only two years that I had control of the call schedule. This occurred when I was the department chair at the US Naval Hospital in Subic Bay, Republic of the Philippines. And those were the two toughest years of my professional life, largely because of my authority over the time my colleagues would be required to work in the hospital. When we were “on call,” we took care of every obstetrical and gynecological patient who would come to the hospital for evaluation and treatment. With 52 weeks in a year and 3 physicians to cover those weeks, one physician always had to take one more week of call than the other two. So there was constant tension. Time is the most precious commodity on earth. 

So when Jesus tells us that God has authority to set dates and times, I find it very reassuring. I want God, who knows the end from the beginning and is full of mercy and grace, to be in charge of how much more time sin will be allowed to exist on this earth. As a follower of Jesus, the Father sets my call schedule.  Just like a physician on call has been given power to provide the necessary treatment for people who come to the hospital, we see from our text today that Christ-followers are given power by the Holy Spirit to be witnesses for Jesus. To be a witness for Jesus simply means that we are His hands and feet to care for the hungry, the homeless, the thirsty, the sick, and the imprisoned.

Jesus gave this response in answer to the following question asked by the apostles, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and store our kingdom.” In other words, they were asking if they could get off the call schedule. They didn’t want to take care of any more sick people. They wanted to be in charge of their time. They wanted to do their own thing. And the truth is, we do too!

But Jesus says that the Father alone is in charge of our time.  It’s a simple message really. But it calls me into account. I don’t make the call schedule. I do not have control over how much time I have. But I am in control over how I use the time I have. And for that, God has given me all the power of the universe at my disposal. So I ask myself as I ask you, What are you doing with each second of each day? Do you even think about it? Have you been a witness to others of the love of Jesus in your life? When you truly think about it, the only way to have the time of your life is to give your life to Jesus.

By a Different Road

In the little city of Frostproof, Florida they noticed a plastic baby Jesus, accompanied by a plywood donkey, hadPOSTER3 vanished from the manger sometime after the annual Christmas parade on December 1 of this year. But they’re not alone. In fact, did you realize we have a crime epidemic every year during the Christmas season in America? It’s true. The Los Angeles Times reported that the baby Jesus is being stolen from nativity scenes across America. And it’s been going on for years now. In fact, the Times article reported that a New York City company, BrickHouse Security, developed a GPS tracking system to be able to find the baby Jesus. BrickHouse Security Chief Executive Todd Morris heard about figurines being stolen from mangers across the country and decided to offer GPS trackers free as a holiday goodwill gesture, mostly to churches and other nonprofits. With the GPS tracker, it’s easy to find the baby Jesus. When baby Jesus was kidnapped in one community in 2008, he was found in someone’s living room within hours. In 2009 the baby Jesus was followed on the GPS map strolling around the community center, pool, and tennis courts. With the GPS in place, the baby Jesus can easily be found.

Consider the original Christmas story. The “Wise Men” had a GPS tracking system. They were probably from Persia, present day Iran. As they studied the prophecies of Daniel 9:20-27, they were able to know the approximate time the Messiah would appear. However, they didn’t know the exact time and location. But God made it easy for them when he sent them a band of angels shining as a star in the sky to lead them right to Jesus. Of course, the most amazing part of their story is that they were wise enough to follow that star! This first GPS system took the Wise Men on a different road than they would have taken on their own. It was a road worth taking. It was the road to Jesus.

Where is the baby Jesus in your Christmas holiday this year? For many of us, including Christians, we lose the baby Jesus at the very time of year we celebrate His birth. We don’t need BrickHouse Security to find the real Jesus. That’s because Jesus promises us our own personalized GPS tracker system that is as good or even better than the one given to the Wise Men. We read in John 16:7… “I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.” In other words, I’m giving you a GPS tracker system so you can ALWAYS find Me! This “Helper” is the Holy Spirit. And we can have Him in our lives if we will only accept Him.

The Holy Spirit is our GPS tracker system that will lead us to Jesus as certainly as the angels led the Wise Men to Jesus over 2000 years ago. Wise men and women still find Jesus today. The promise of Christmas is that we can find the baby Jesus. He can be your baby Jesus and He can be mine. But you have to use His personalized GPS tracker system. Are you ready to use the most sophisticated and technical, and yet the most user friendly and personal GPS tracker system in the universe? Jesus has told us the truth. He can be found. He wants to be found. He desires to have a home in you heart and mine. May you find Jesus on Christmas day and throughout the coming year!

 

 

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