Aug 27

Chosen by Lot

Zechariah was old. His hope of having a son was gone, but he had a great life. He got to serve in the temple of God. He could not have known how his life would change one morning as he took his turn in the service of God. Luke tells us:

 

“Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense.” (Luke 1:8-9).

 

While in that temple the angel of the Lord spoke to him. He was told that in their old age he and Elizabeth would have a son. You probably know the story of that boy as he grew to be John the Baptist.

 

Look back at that text and see five words, “he was chosen by lot.” It reads like it was just by chance that he went into the temple that day. He was “chosen by lot.”

 

Those of us who know God’s Word and way know that Zechariah’s presence in the temple and before the angel was not an accident. Yes, it was a game of chance that allowed his to enter the temple, but it was God who directed the game that day. It was God who made the lot fall on him. In this case “chosen by lot” means that God worked the circumstance for the will of his own plan and his own child.

 

Chosen by lot still works in us all. Perhaps you are where you are today because of many possible reasons.

 

1. The circumstances of life have just worked out that way.

2. You have ignored the door God has opened before you.

3. You have made decisions without consulting God.

4. God has placed many doors (opportunities) before you.

5. God placed before you a special door and you went through it.

 

Perhaps you are where you are because you were chosen by lot, God’s lot.

 

Some days I wake up in my Virginia home and believe God has chosen that lot for me. Some days I wake up and look at my Caribbean beach and believe that is God’s lot. Some days I walk endless through airports and trust that God has that plan for me too.

 

Chosen by lot means that you believe that God is working in your life and has a plan for you, even if you cannot see it right now. 

 

So, what lot has God chosen for you? It is a question that you have to ask and answer.

 

Lonnie Davis

Aug 23

“A Monumental Moment”

I was born in Searcy, Arkansas when my parents were students at Harding. In fact, my birthplace is right across the street from the side entrance to the American Heritage Building. So whenever I go to Searcy, I always have a little fun pointing out to whoever’s listening my “pedigree” as one not only born in Searcy, but on the Harding campus. (Disclosure: on the day of my birth, the doctor’s office in which I was born was not actually on the campus. It was purchased later for use by the Psychology Department. My birthplace, which for a time was my dad’s office, is now a parking lot, without the required historical marker.)

Anyway, last week we were in Searcy. We brought Daniel down to “matriculate” at Harding. And as we rounded the corner approaching the location where I took my first breath, I grinned and told my kids, “Okay, get ready to look to the left and genuflect (What does it mean “to genuflect” anyway?). You’re about to pass by my birthplace.”

We looked to the left. We prepared ourselves to pass by the special place. And we saw the monument. My monument.

A dumpster. Filled to the brim with rubbish.

I laughed out loud. My wife and kids laughed out loud (and a little too long, I might add). And I thanked God, who knows how to bless - and to humble - His children. And often, when He humbles us, he does so with a sense of humor.

I’m reminded of my high-school friend, who, trying to be “cool” one day but neglecting to look where he was going, walked right into a wall. We laughed, and laughed, and laughed. I’m sure he’s over it by now. Hope so, anyway.

I’m reminded of the many mistakes I’ve made that made me look a little silly and subjected me to the ridicule of my buddies. I learned to be more careful (especially around those guys!); I also learned perhaps the most important lesson of my life: I ain’t perfect. I’m pretty much broken, in fact. I need grace. And the longer I live, I’ll likely need a larger dose of it.

So when He humbles us, remember that He does so as a loving Father, who cares for us more than we can imagine. Remember that what He does, He does for our eternal good. Remember that He’s God; that we’re not; and that that’s okay. The moments when we are humbled can be “springboards” to greater service – if we learn from them. And, perhaps, the most important lesson we can learn would be to not take ourselves so seriously!

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