Ah . . . back from vacation.  Ready for the new year that lies ahead.  I am really excited about the coming year.  It is going to be a great year as we learn together more and more what it really means to love God and love others and then do it.  That of course is the key.  For us to merely learn about it does us no good if we don’t actually start doing it.  So, anyway, vacation was very good.  Spent some time in Lancaster with friends.  Did some fishing with the kids (Alyssa caught a huge largemouth bass) and a lot of bike riding.  After that we went over to NJ and stayed with my mom for a week.  More bike riding, hanging with my brother, Matt and my new sister-in-law, Amy and visiting with friends.  On Sunday the 24th we went to the church I grew up in, First Baptist Church of Toms River.  So much has changed and so much remains the same.  As I was flipping through the bulletin, I came across a devotional or letter that the pastor writes each week to the congregation.  I recognized the person being spoken of in the illustration.  It was my mother.  She had just told me about the incident and that she told the pastor.  What was written was so well done that I wanted to share part of it with all of you and challenge you to think hard about it, meditate on it, search your soul and listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to your heart.

Many of us now have the benefit of GPS navigation tools in our cars.  One of the women in our church told me this week that her son gave her a GPS unit for her car.  She listens to the directions when she is comfortable with them, and does her own thing when she is not sure about the GPS directions.

It occurred to me that her response to GPS is much like our response to God and His Word.  When biblical instruction is comfortable to us, we have no problem obeying.  When the Bible pulls us out of our comfort zone, we often choose our own way over God’s way.

I wonder if God’s people will ever learn the simple practice of godly obedience.  What will God need to do in our lives to bring us to the place of responding “yes” to everything God says?  In our brokenness, we still believe that we know better than God does.  I wonder if we know the danger we bring to our lives by thinking this way.  Where might you and I be living as though we are smarter than God?  If we were to choose simple and complete obedience to God, what must change?  (Pastor John Strain)

 How will you answer those questions?

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