Date: Monday, August 19
Scripture: Acts 24:10-23
Verse: unless it was this one sentence that I called out while standing before them, “It is about the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial before you today.” (Acts 24:21)
God is often a God of surprises. There was a time when I used to think God was reasonable. Given enough time and thought, I believed I could figure out God’s will – what he did and planned made sense. But then I found myself in the middle of God-moments that made no sense. God hadn’t worked through the reason of the doctors, but had miraculously intervened to cure one’s cancer, or bring healing to a baby born with a severe disability. I quickly found out God was bigger than reason, or any system I could understand. Instead of saying God was a god of reason, you might have said of me at that time that reason was my god. I have since become fond of saying that any god who fits in my brain is no god at all.
While on trial, Paul tries to get at the heart of what the objection to the gospel is all about. He comes up with one thing – resurrection. The Sadducees argued against a resurrection. The Pharisees believed a day of resurrection was to come, but it was a once-for-all resurrection. Jesus’ one-person resurrection didn’t fit their understanding. Both were quick to dismiss the Way (Christianity) because it simply didn’t fit the systems they led and trusted. God was working out-of-the-box, and they were not willing to follow him there.
Sometimes I get concerned I don’t let God surprise me because I think I have things figured out. Oh, reason is not my god anymore, but there are times when I might deify a segment of my thinking, my theology, my politics. There are times I begin to think my opinion is God’s, and act or respond accordingly. The scripture tells me though that God is a God of surprises, that Jesus is alive and still leading. I had better remain open to his movement – even if he leads somewhere outside of the box of how I’ve decided he works.
Prayer: Thank you, most holy God, for being far bigger than I can comprehend. Amen.
Action: Reflect on your God box. What types of things do you quickly reject as not the work of God because they don’t fit? What ideologies/theologies upset you? What ideas have you deified?
Respond: When have you been surprised by God? Answer by clicking “Leave a Comment” below. If you are receiving this via email, click the title at the top of the email to take you to the devotion webpage where you can leave a comment.