Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The great divide

Today’s Reading: Acts 14:4 NIV

4 The people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews, others with the Apostles.

Psalm 78:13 NIV

13 He divided the sea and led them through; He made the water stand firm like a wall.

Good morning!

How far would you go to keep peace in your family? When I was a young girl, my mother would insist we honor the adage, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” This was a required rule of thumb in our home. Basically, children were not allowed to express differences of opinion with their parents and grandparents, for it was viewed as an act of utter disrespect. Voicing our beliefs and differences of opinion in public today has become a sad form of public entertainment. Good people with passionate views are often categorized and labeled by society; this trendy undercurrent has caused a massive split - not only in individual family units, but in the communities where we live.

We do not have to look far to recognize the stark divisions and differences of opinion existing in our world today. Questions of right and wrong, good and evil - are served up daily on the dockets of our Chiefs of State. We fight wars to keep peace; pass legislation that may, in and of itself, lead to the annihilation of two distinct generations - our young and old. The crumbling world economy has slowed humanitarian efforts to provide adequate help for innocent victims caught up in catastrophic natural disasters; these emergent situations are occurring almost daily. Tomorrow’s news and how we respond as a generation will become the historical legacy we leave for our children and grandchildren. I fervently pray they are smarter than we are.

There is no doubt in my mind that we live in difficult times. I would like to suggest that our generation is not so far removed from generations before us. When Moses was called by THE GREAT I AM to go into Egypt and demand the immediate release of His people, there was a deep divide brewing amongst the Hebrews. Many were fearful of this proposed lifestyle change; they could not see that the Lord was answering their fervent prayers to end their days of slavery. Many followed Moses reluctantly to the sea, fearing they would surely die. A great impasse is no match for God. His ways are not our ways; what we have yet to dream He has already done. It takes a great leap of faith to cross the divide; to look beyond our finite human circumstances, and fully trust in the one thing we cannot control. When our imperfections are humbly relinquished into the hands of the only powerful One, answers to life’s questions become crystal clear. The ultimate solution has come.

Paul and Barnabas were sharing their life testimony; it changed them from the inside out. They knew Jesus Christ would divide the city and potentially put them in harm’s way. Christ’s Great Commission was far too important not to share. The long awaited Messiah had come to free His people from the slavery of sin forever. Jesus died and rose again – He lives so that we might live with Him now and forever! Their prayers for the coming Messiah and all prophecy had been fulfilled before their very eyes; yet many could not let go of human time-honored traditions and rules to see His Truth revealed.

The only answer to our human situation is standing right in front of us; and we are missing His Message. It is time to relinquish our imperfect human ways and fully rely upon the Lord. If we humble ourselves and repent, He will heal our land. THE GREAT I AM is ready to divide the sea once again and lead His people through. Are you ready to take a leap of faith across the great divide?

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


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