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A Vertical Moment

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Behind the Lot

“ … according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense.” Luke 1:9
 
Since the fall in Genesis 3, God was working His plan of salvation. Over months, years, and centuries, God’s plan moved firmly and advanced sovereignly. Nothing could thwart it (Job 42:2).
 
One part of God’s plan was John the Baptist, who was to be a forerunner to Jesus – “Prepare the way of the Lord” (Luke 3:4). God knew Zacharias and Elizabeth would be John’s parents, He heard their longings for a child, and He knew they were advancing in years. But because all things are possible with God, He wasn’t (and isn’t) concerned about their old age or any other alleged “obstacles.” There was a kingdom calendar to uphold, and sovereign timing. Before Zacharias could be John’s father, he had to have a close encounter with an angel.
 
I love the seemingly insignificant detail in Luke 1:9. Commentary says there were so many priests that each only burned incense for the people once (daily, for up to one week, and then never again). On a seemingly “random” day (many think it was a Sabbath), Zacharias went to the temple to burn incense because he was “chosen by lot” – a seemingly random method. But was it? Behind “the lot” was the sovereignty of God.
 
Have a Godly desire that’s burning in your heart? Continually pray and wait with an active waiting, but hold loosely. Things that seem insignificant or circumstantial or “by lot” may not be. At just the right time, God will continually advance His good and pleasing and perfect will. Be blessed in that assurance.
Posted by Joan S. with

Inseparable Love

“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).
 
It’s not every day you see a fully decorated Christmas tree in a graveyard. Yet each holiday season, that’s exactly what appears by a small, non-descript gravestone in the 167-year-old graveyard near our home. Earlier this year, through a caretaker of the property, I learned that the tree is brought in and outfitted each year by a mother whose 11-year-old son died, years ago.
 
I don’t know anything about this mother, how long ago this happened, or how old the boy would be now. But there’s something about the persevering love of a parent. Inseparable, enduring. Is there ever a year when she wonders if it’s worth it? If there is any internal wrestling, the love of her son always wins and the tree appears.

It reminds me of another Parent who went to great lengths. Another parent, and another tree (Acts 5:30). Our Abba Father sent His precious Son, Jesus, to earth – to testify to the truth, to share the Kingdom of God, and eventually, to die for us, so that we could become children of God as we believe in His name (John 1:12-13). And He did this for us while we were yet sinners, and quite dead in our sins (Rom. 5:8, Eph. 2:1).
Our Father’s deep and abiding love saves us and sanctifies us. His inseparable love goes to great lengths. Still. Always.
Posted by Joan S. with

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