Most of us long for miracles. And Jesus’ perfect life, death on sinners’ behalf as the fulfillment of Passover, and His physical resurrection prove that He is willing and able to meet our greatest needs: complete forgiveness and a new heart to trust and follow Him as our living King. But even in the Bible, most of the journey with Jesus is lived in the moments between miracles. In this 50-day series, we’ll consider some of those moments leading up to the next great miracle in the New Testament: the fulfillment of Pentecost and the incredible growth of the Church.
Let’s be honest. Most of us lean toward certain aspects of the Lord and neglect others. We might fixate on His power and overlook His gentleness; we might be intrigued with His wisdom and miss His practical care; we might focus on His blessings and avoid His disciplines; or we might rest in His rest and forget His work. The list could go on and on.
The more a person ages, however, the more they tend to see the need for balance in their lives. And the more a person works toward wholeness in their lives, the more they mature. That’s what the word “maturity” implies – someone or something has reached the potential for which it exists. For a piece of fruit, maturity can come within weeks. For people, especially as sinful people, it’s a lifelong process.
When Jesus tells His disciples to teach others to observe (keep and obey) “all the things I have commanded”, He wasn’t limiting Himself as a first century man and His teachings during those few years here. He was speaking as the Son of God with all authority in heaven and on earth. As the Apostle Paul implied in Acts 20:27, the whole counsel of God is the whole Word of God – not just the things we want to hear, or the things our denomination prefers to preach, or the things we seem to be doing fairly well already.
“All things that I commanded you” means all things in God’s Word.
The family who wants to avoid the contagion of sinfulness in their relationships will benefit from studying the mildews and leprosy of Leviticus and the message of that come by the commands and actions of the Priest.
The person struggling with depression, anxiety, and even rage needs to hear that God is not only willing to hear their prayers, He has inspires prayers of people in those same struggling praying their pain honestly and intensely to their Lord.
The leader who has failed or on the edge of failing their people and their God needs to know the specific temptations and consequences of similar leaders in 1 Samuel through 2 Chronicles and the graces of discipline and restoration of the faithful and repentant in those same books.
And the unbeliever who is left destitute from any hope in this world needs to know the true accounts of other lost souls rescued and adopted into God’s family throughout His Word.
If we skip to the end of God’s mystery (and Jesus, by the way is described as the mystery of God in Romans 14:24, 1 Corinthians 2:7, Ephesians 3:3-9, 5:32 and 6:19, Colossians 1:26-27, 2:2, 4:3, 1 Timothy 3:16, etc.), we will have many answers but miss many more of the very same questions and struggles of Old Testament accounts that we experience in our day-to-day lives. And we can’t fully appreciate the good news until we have a deeper understanding of our bad news. Yes, much of the Old Testament is bad news. But, just as we go to medical doctors to prescribe specific recommendations to heal us, we need to know ALL of God’s warnings and our forefathers’ failures in order to know ALL of God’s graces, promises, and good purpose for our lives.
I know. The unknowns can be scary. Delving into parts of God’s Word you’ve never studied, opening a deeper part of your heart to a trusted fellow believer, exploring fellowship with godly Christians who are significantly different than you can be challenging. But we only grow in times of challenge. Otherwise, we rest in the some things we think we know and do well. Our risen Lord doesn’t call us to maintain a status quo.
I hope today’s thought and others in this series will be helpful to you as you journey with Jesus in the moments between miracles. One down and forty-nine to go.