2/1: Stop Being Surprised
Often, we watch the news and shake our heads in disbelief over the atrocities that are reported. There’s a murder/suicide involving a bright, young family; the massacre of a dozen people in a hair salon because one man was angry with his ex-wife; the murder of a promising, young minister who wanted to reach out to the young man tagging his church with graffiti; the slaughter of elementary school children and teachers; a drive-by shooting; a robbery gone bad. Shocked comments are made. “Where’s the sense in it all?” “That doesn’t happen in this neighborhood.” “I’m so surprised by his/her actions.”
In times like these, we believers just need to stop being surprised. What do we expect of those who don’t honor the Lord? Nefarious actions emanate from the evil within people, and people who don’t know the Lord do not possess the checks and balances of the Holy Spirit that can restrain the evil within. This truth is not new. Way back when the children of Israel suffered under the iron hand of the Egyptian pharaoh, he made clear to Moses and Aaron why he was acting the way he was acting. “And Pharaoh said, ‘Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, nor will I let Israel go’” Exodus 5:2 (NKJ).
People who don’t know the Lord will act like people who don’t know the Lord. No surprise. Our job as believers is to live as if we do. The difference then between believers and unbelievers will be so sharp, that the life of Christ will be clearly seen. Once that happens, the irresistible draw of the Spirit will burn within those who don’t have what we have. They will ask the same question the jailer asked Paul, “What must I do to be saved?”
As we operate in the world as believers, ever mindful of showing others the goodness of God, we will be living the difference we want to see around us. That’s what it means to live as lights and salt. When light is shining, everything around it is brightened; and when salt is mixed in, the taste is distinctive and cannot be mistaken.
So don’t be disconcerted; be distinctive. Don’t be challenged; be changed. Don’t be perplexed; be peculiar. “You are a chosen (peculiar) people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light” 1 Peter 2:9 (NLT).
©2013 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.
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