Going through the motions won’t do the job

One day in July became increasingly challenging. First, the water pump in the well was producing only a trickle. Then the fuse on the nearby transformer pole blew, cutting off power to our house.

No water, no power. We were back to heating water on the stove after carting it from another place. Fortunately both water and power were restored in less than twenty-four hours.

You don’t miss something as much as when it is no longer available. To lose something valuable and essential or to have something break that you need means spending time looking for it or getting it fixed.

The Bible tells of a young man who was chopping wood when the axe head flew off and sank in a pool. To make it worse, the axe was borrowed. When the prophet Elisha learned of it, he tossed a stick in the water. As the stick floated, so did the metal axe head! The woodcutter was able to replace it and continue his work.

How foolish to continue swinging the axe handle with no cutting edge. Nothing is accomplished except working up a sweat. Just going through the motions won’t accomplish what needs to get done.

I don’t want that to be the case with my family or my faith. I want a continuous growth relationship in both areas.

It was a dark day figuratively and literally for the disciples when Jesus was crucified on the cross. His death seemed to be the end of all they hoped for. Their hearts and minds were probably filled with “if only” thoughts regarding their own actions and for the situation they faced.

What rejoicing when they learned the reality of the resurrection. Jesus is alive! He is conqueror of death and the grave!

Jesus departed after showing himself alive to over five hundred people for forty days. Two men in white, apparently angels, appeared to the followers of Christ to tell them that Jesus will return in the same way he went, in clouds of glory. “This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”

The disciples made “a Sabbath day’s journey” from the Mount of Olives to an upper room in Jerusalem. It was a trip well worth the time and effort. God’s Spirit came to those who waited for his promise to come to pass. Both the ancient prophecy of Joel and the promise of Jesus were fulfilled in the second chapter of the Book of Acts.

Though Jesus was gone physically, the Spirit of God came to fill the lives of his followers with power, change, and divine presence. This experience has happened to countless numbers since that day. Rather than lose it or miss it altogether, follow the advice of Hebrews 6:12 (New Living Translation); “Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance.”

Mitch Glover is pastor of the Sterling Pentecostal Church located on Swanson River Road at Entrada. Services on Sunday include Bible classes for all ages at 10:00 a.m. and worship at 11:00 a.m. Thursday Bible study is at 7:00 p.m. (sterlingpentecostalchurch.com)

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