Blessed… Don’t Take it For Granted

Then he began to scold the cities where he had done his greatest miracles because they didn’t change their hearts and lives. “How terrible it will be for you, Chorazin! How terrible it will be for you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles done among you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have changed their hearts and lives and put on funeral clothes and ashes a long time ago. But I say to you that Tyre and Sidon will be better off on Judgment Day than you. And you, Capernaum, will you be honored by being raised up to heaven? No, you will be thrown down to the place of the dead. After all, if the miracles that were done among you had been done in Sodom, it would still be here today.  But I say to you that it will be better for the land of Sodom on the Judgment Day than it will be for you” (Matthew 11:20-24, Common English Bible).

This is one of those places where Jesus has some tough words for his listeners. Jesus’ listeners would have very well known what became of Sodom and Gomorrah (if you are unfamiliar with the story read Genesis 19). And, here Jesus is saying it would be better for Sodom, a city entirely destroyed because of how terribly they sinned, than it would be for Capernaum at Judgement Day! Those are some scary words that at least to this point, seem to have little impact.

So what is the big deal? With all that Jesus was doing in and around Capernaum and Bethsaida, with all the miracles they saw performed, they just took the miracles for granted. They didn’t seem impressed by what they saw Jesus do. They were used to having Jesus around and doing things. To my way of thinking, what it really amounted to is: Yawn, “It’s no big deal. We’ve seen it before. There is more where that came from. Sure, Jesus brought a little girl back to life (see Matthew 9:18-26), but he did it once, he can do it again.

Is it really any different for us? In American society today, we take God’s provision for granted. So much of the time we take what God does and what God gives and think we did it ourselves. Even if the event is beyond our own capabilities, it was fate, we just lucked out. We might even say that God was looking out for us, but all too often it changes nothing about how we are living our lives.

I’ve often wondered, after Jesus’ little lecture here, if the folks in Bethsaida, Chorazin and Capernaum changed their ways. There might have been a slight change but I tend to think that because of the human condition, there was little long-term change.

The same is often true for us. We know what Jesus has done. We know what the Holy Spirit does. When we really think about it, we are thankful but it doesn’t take too much time until we are slipping back into old habits.

Perhaps what we really need is another miracle, a miracle that will help us to remain faithful and thankful for what God has done for us.

How would you pray for God to help you to be more faithful?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy, Peace and Thanksgiving,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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