This year I am reading through the Bible again. I am using a chronological reading plan compiled by Back to the Bible that comes with my Olivetree Bible Reader. I am having to rush a bit, doubling up some days, as I started on 22 October last year and I want to finish before we start our Discipleship Training School in September. Time will be full there, daily readings, lectures, chores, and other activities will fill our days. Some days I read more than is prescribed to allow me to get ahead. That didn’t happen today, Luke 10:1 – 11:54 and John 10:22-42, that was 128 verses, all packed solid with awesome teachings…
In Luke: Jesus Sends Out the Seventy-Two; Woe to Unrepentant Cities; The Return of the Seventy-Two; Jesus Rejoices in His Father’s Will; The Parable of the Good Samaritan; Martha and Mary; The Lord’s Prayer; Jesus and Beelzebul; Return of an Unclean Spirit; True Blessedness; The Sign of Jonah; The Light in You; Woes to the Pharisees and Lawyers; then John: I and the Father are One.
I can’t say I did them much justice before breakfast and work. Each story is worthy of a days study and so there is little wonder that when I got to work after an easy 40 minute commute, (I love everyone else’s summer holidays!) I had a hard time recalling much of what I had read.
My commute is often filled with podcasts of sermons or praise music but today was quiet, no radio or other noise to interfere with quiet contemplation, reflection and meditative driving. I spent much of the time thinking about Jesus the Shepherd, the last part of my readings, which came from John’s gospel…
“How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
As I continue to reflect on “finishing well”, during these last days at the University of Calgary, I ask myself – “Have I done works in my Father’s name? Or my own? Have the sheep heard the Master’s voice? Or mine? Have I taken some of God’s glory for myself? I said in my last blog entry that as I have prayed about finishing well God has not revealed tasks and projects in the traditional sense of work but he has revealed people, people who are not “among his sheep” people who have witnessed a touch of God’s grace but do not “yet know and understand that the Father is in me [Jesus] and I [Jesus] am in the Father.” He is the Way, the only way to the Father. Have I shown Jesus? Have I revealed Him?
“If a man cannot be a Christian in the place where he is, he cannot be a Christian anywhere”. Henry Ward Beecher who was an American congregationalist, clergyman, social reformer, abolitionist and possibly adulterer.
Time is short, Jesus promises an abundant life, live it fully.
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