Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Just-In-Time G-d

As some may already be aware, I've been out of work since November (my old employer having been bought out by a Salt Lake City-based company). This is not a rant against the company, which treated me very fairly, and the severance, combined with my savings and unemployment, has kept me in rent, food, and gas as long as I was careful with my funds.

A little over two months ago, I interviewed for a technical writer contract with a small, start-up company. The interview went very well, but much to my discouragement, the owner of the company chose to sit on the project that I was bidding for. I went on to make other contacts and bid for other jobs, but while I had some good interviews which may yield contracts in the future, none of them came to fruition, increasing my discouragement.

As we came up on Passover, I felt the Spirit telling me that I would get the contract I wanted, but that it would not be until after my debate with Don so that I would have the time to help out with Passover and prepare for and go to the debate.

Yesterday, just ten days after getting back from Memphis, I got the email saying that the job was mine. It'll be a couple of weeks before I start--which will pretty much coincide with the end of my unemployment.

"Furthermore, we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called in accordance with His purpose" (Rom. 8:28). What Sha'ul doesn't point out here is that not only does ADONAI work everything out for our good, but He does it with just the right timing to a) demonstrate that He really is in control, and b) teach us to trust Him. If I had landed the contract two months ago, not only would it have made it very difficult to see to my ministerial duties during a particularly busy time, but I wouldn't have been able to see God's hand so clearly in my getting it.


Sunday, May 13, 2007

Times of Refreshing

We're rapidly coming up on Shavuot (Pentecost), the Feast of Weeks. For anyone in the eastern Metro Atlanta area, Beth HaMashiach will be celebrating Shavuot with a cookout at Brisco Park on Wednesday, May 23, from 4-8pm.

We Messianics are often accused of legalism or putting ourselves "under the law" when we observe G-d's Appointed Times. On the contrary, such times are the epitome of G-d's grace, not only offering us relaxation and refreshment (as I said to Pat Donahue during our debate, I don't need to be saved from having more holidays), but tell us in detail G-d's plan of salvation. In Passover, we celebrate the sacrifice of the Lamb; in Matzah, the removal of sin; in Firstfruits, the Resurrection of Yeshua as the Firstfruits of the Dead (1 Co. 15:20). Shavuot celebrates both the giving of the Torah on tablets of stone from Mt. Sinai and the giving of the Torah on our hearts by the Spirit in the New Covenant (Jer. 31:31-34--I'll do a more detailed write-up closer to the event).

I spend a lot of time emphasizing G-d's grace in my ministry. That surprises a lot of people, who assume (erroneously) that Grace is incompatible with Torah. But the simple fact is that if we lose sight of G-d's wondrous and incomparable grace, these times of refreshing that the Eternal has given for our blessing (cf. Mark 2:27) become instead a burden to us, something that we have to do rather than something that we look forward to get to do.