Jesus’ Agenda Page
by Steve Bacon
In his devotional book New Morning Mercies, author Paul David Tripp makes this statement in his September 6th reading,
“I think many of us are just not on Jesus’s agenda page. What we dream of and hope for is not the same as what he has promised us and works by zealous grace to deliver to us.”
With all that He has done for us you would think this might never be the case. Thankfully, my wife has never had to bail me out of jail. But, if she had to, do you think she would be understanding towards me after I’ve caused her to navigate through the process of acquiring bail, put our livelihood at risk, endure public embarrassment and then, I skip town and leave her holding the bag? No! I would have to find some hole in Swedeborg, Missouri to hide in while I try to convince myself she won’t find me.
That scenario is not to far off from what we do to our relationship with our Savior when He has; chosen us from the very beginning of existence, adopted us as one of His very own, redeemed and forgiven us and given us an inheritance among the finest beings ever created! And in exchange for that, we sleep in on certain Sunday mornings and can barely find time to read more than a chapter of Scripture a day! When our agenda trumps devotion we’ve jumped bail. Tripp continues…
“Perhaps many of us struggle with disappointment with God because, at street level in our daily lives, we don’t esteem what God values. Could it be that many of us don’t treasure what God has harnessed the forces of nature and controlled the events in human history to deliver to us?”
I think if we were to report to Jesus’ office every morning, he might have a far more serious agenda planned for our day than we would dream up for ourselves. That’s because what He desires to accomplish in and through us requires our complete departure from our agenda and absolute allegiance to his. To that idea Paul Tripp writes:
“The reality is that God has little allegiance to my selfish little wish list. He has not signed on by his grace to deliver to me that catalogue of things that I think will make me happy. He has not committed to meet everything I have christened as a need. He is not working to make my journey between the “already” and the “not yet” as easy as it could possibly be. God is never caught up short when one of His children is enduring difficulty, as if something strange were happening.”
I think the only strange thing that is happening, is that God has practically hand delivered His agenda right to us with an accuracy and efficiency that makes Amazon Prime or the United States Postal Service function like the pony express. While we fail to accept the package from Him as it comes to us.
The Apostle Paul prayed that the faithful disciples in first century Ephesus, though being surrounded by pagan influences and economic prosperity, would be inspired to seek out the deepest and most profound mysteries of the Christian faith. He longed for and prayed earnestly in Ephesians 1:18, 19 that they would learn what was:
- The hope of God’s calling;
- The riches of the glory of the inheritance in the saints, and;
- The exceeding greatness of His power toward them who believe.
Just three things? That should have been easy. But, Paul was leaving, and printed resources were limited. The presence of religious persecution and the pending invasion of false teachers, whom Paul referred to as “savage wolves” would take its toll on the young church soon after his departure. In Revelation 2:4 Ephesus was labeled as the church that lost its first love. What happened?
At some point, the exuberance of learning the deepest doctrines of the Christian faith outlined in Paul’s Ephesian epistle lost its attraction to the believers. Perhaps they were drowning in cultural trends or were too drawn away by the doctrines of false teachers.
Sadly, what happened to them has been happening to the church of our age. By and large the church of Jesus Christ is losing people to the draw of cultural trends and either inaccurate or superficial or teaching. Ask todays average churchmen if he or she knows; what is the hope of God’s calling in their life? What are the riches of the glory of the inheritance in the saints? What is the exceeding greatness of His power toward them? See what kind of response you get.
I admit that I have spent hours developing my answers to those three questions, but that’s the point isn’t it? Surely, I am not hindered by many of the obstacles faced by my Ephesian brothers. Am I?
I’m able to prioritize study time with an abundance of resources available to me while avoiding time consuming distractions that don’t include religious persecution. I really have no excuse. Unless of course, Jesus is not on my agenda page. Or worse, I’m not on His. After all, why would I be if I’ve lost my first love, wandered off and jumped bail?
But wait, wouldn’t that make me a lost sheep? Actually, no. I’ve already been found. I’m just wandering away squandering time and the tremendous privilege to know my Lord at such deep and meaningful levels. How about you? Are you on Jesus’ agenda page?
- Your turn, what are your answers to these three questions?
What is The hope of God’s calling in your life?
What are the riches of the glory of the inheritance in the saints?
What is the exceeding greatness of His power toward them who believe?
- Do you need to make some adjustments on your “agenda page”?
November 26, 2023
November 12, 2023