Are We Asleep in the Light?

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Are we asleep in the Light?

That’s what happened to the prophet Jonah. He thought he could shut his ears to the mission God had for him, and fall asleep. What Jonah found out is he couldn’t hide from God no matter where he ran.

“What do you mean sleeping at a time like this?”

That’s what the captain of the sinking ship Jonah hopped aboard when he tried to run away from God asked.

In the midst of a powerful storm, which threatened to send the ship to the bottom of the sea, Jonah retreated below deck and took a snooze.

Do you find that as odd as I do?

While the desperate sailors shouted to their pagan gods for help, the prophet of the One True God was sound asleep. Jonah’s disobedience is what caused the storm, yet in the midst of the storm Jonah turned the volume of God’s voice way down. He took a nap while those around him fought to save their lives.

God gave Jonah a mission. Go to the people of wicked Nineveh and preach repentance. Jonah feared the fierce Ninevites and headed the other way. Guess Jonah figured if he closed his eyes and slept, his problem would go away. Or maybe he figured it would resolve itself without his help. Either way, he wasn’t about to go to Nineveh.

I’ve always found it interesting the sailors cried out to their gods to save them, while a prophet of God shut his eyes to those dying around him.

Just like Jonah, sometimes we listen to God’s voice and sometimes we don’t. Sometimes God asks us to do something we don’t want to do, like extend God’s grace and mercy and forgiveness to someone we feel doesn’t deserve it. And like Jonah, sometimes we shut our ears to God’s voice, go below deck, and fall asleep. Hoping the problem resolves itself without our help.

God sends each of us who call ourselves Christ-followers on a mission to bring the Light of his Word, the Good News of a Savior born in Bethlehem who grew up to be the Sacrificial Lamb, to a dying and lost people. Let’s not run the other way. Let’s not cover our ears. Let’s not head below deck and take a nap, intending to stay there until the great storm is over.

Maybe Jonah going below decks isn’t so odd after all when we examine our own behavior.

The singer Keith Green called this type of behavior Asleep in the Light.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

But as the ship was sailing along, suddenly the Lord flung a terrific wind over the sea, causing a great storm that threatened to send them to the bottom. Fearing for their lives, the desperate sailors shouted to their gods for help and threw the cargo overboard to lighten the ship. And all this time Jonah was sound asleep down in the hold.

 So the captain went down after him. “What do you mean,” he roared, “sleeping at a time like this? Get up and cry to your god, and see if he will have mercy on us and save us!”

Jonah 1:4-6 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Another Lesson From Our Hawks

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

This morning as I searched the trees for one of our resident hawks, I heard a call I at first thought a juvenile hawk, only to have it give way to an incessant squawking. My juvenile hawk turned out to be a blue jay.

It didn’t surprise me to hear the jay, but it did surprise me to see where it was. Sitting on a branch near the hawk.

If you’ve read my previous entries about the hawks in our backyard, then you know they like to seek their prey in our backyard. And that was the reason for my surprise. Knowing hawks eat other birds, why was that blue jay pestering the hawk?

More puzzling, why wasn’t the hawk going after the jay?

So I did some research and discovered:

  • The blue jay can be beneficial to other bird species, as it may chase predatory birds such as hawks and owls, and will scream if it sees a predator within its territory.
  •  It has also been known to sound an alarm call when hawks or other dangers are near, and smaller birds often recognize this call and hide themselves away accordingly.
  •  It may occasionally impersonate the calls of raptors, especially those of the red-tailed and red-shouldered hawks, possibly to test if a hawk is in the vicinity.

Seems the jay was warning surrounding birds and animals of the predator. Guess the hawk figured it would stay put since he’d not be able to find anything to eat with all the squawking going on.

Although I’ve written before about the need to tell those around us who Jesus is, there were several things I discovered from my observation of the blue jay and the red shouldered hawk that apply to us as well.

The jay stood his ground. He sounded the alarm and warned those around of the predator who lurked.

Good thing for the other birds the jay wasn’t complacent.

The musician, Keith Green, called people who get comfortable with their own salvation and don’t feel the urgency to tell others who Jesus is, “Asleep in the Light.”

Like the blue jay, we can be beneficial to others by screaming if we see predators in our territory. We can sound the alarm to take shelter under God’s wings. We can be vigilant and make sure we know when the enemy is in the vicinity.

In my research I never did find out why the hawk didn’t go after the jay. Do any of you know?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

I urge you, Timothy, as we live in the sight of God and of Christ Jesus (whose coming in power will judge the living and the dead), to preach the Word of God. Never lose your sense of urgency, in season or out of season. Prove, correct, and encourage, using the utmost patience in your teaching. 2 Timothy 4:1-2 (Phillips)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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One of my articles is scheduled to appear on Inspire a Fire May 3, 2016. Please stop by.

Don’t Keep the Love of God to Ourselves

By Sandy Kirby Quandt

In an earlier post, I mentioned how our hummingbirds were not willing to share. They chase each other away from the feeder. Seems one of our squirrels has the same problem. While there is enough food to go around, this particular squirrel hisses and snarls at any squirrel who happens to mosey into the backyard.

Like I said in the hummingbird post, Christians may be guilty of trying to keep our nectar, the love God has given us, to ourselves. We may be guilty of being selective as to with whom we are willing to share the Gospel. Exclusive as to whom we allow into our circle. Guilty of being what Rob Cook, one of the speakers at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference I recently attended, calls Zombie Churches. You know, they look alive on the outside, but are dead on the inside.

Rob CookDuring his keynote speech Rob mentioned many soul-searching thoughts. I’ll list a few of them here. R signifies the gist of what Rob said. S signifies my thoughts in response.

R – Jesus hung out with sinners. We don’t want them in our churches. S – Hello? Aren’t we all sinners saved by the grace of a loving God, and the sacrifice of Christ? Who are we to keep anyone away?

R – Jesus loved his enemies. We boycott ours. S – How can we reach out to our enemies with the love of God, if we’re always picking fights with them?

R – Jesus commanded his followers to make disciples. We make church goers. S – Hmmm…which one are we?

R – Jesus said we would be known for what we’re for. We’re know for what we stand against. S– Think about it…if you asked, which would someone outside your church be able to tell you. What you stand for, or stand against?

Rob challenges us not to worry with figuring out WWJD — What Would Jesus Do? Instead Rob asks us to DWJD — Do What Jesus Did. S — That means we need to read and study the Bible to find out.

Bing imagesRob gave an illustration…suppose you are drowning and see a lifeboat. You struggle to pull yourself into the boat. As you get ready to climb inside, you notice it is filled with vipers and haters. What would you do? Probably throw yourself into the water and take your chances right back in the middle of all the stuff you’ve been trying to escape. Safe haven? Hardly.

 

What about our churches? Are they filled with vipers and haters? Closer to home, what about us? Viper? Hater?

Instead of telling someone they are not wanted inside our churches because of the way they look, where they’re from, number of tattoos or piercings, how about we throw open the doors, get out into the streets, welcome one and all, and show the love the Father has shown us.

What are your thoughts on the subject?

Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?”

When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.” Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices. For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” Matthew 9:10-13 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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One of my devotions will appear on Christian Devotions June 10, 2014. Please stop by.