While technology has continued to go forward in leaps and bounds, my understanding of how things work is still back at the landline telephone!
Reference: v.14 Then some soldiers asked him, "And what should we do?" He replied, "Don't extort money and don't accuse people falsely – be content with your pay."
Explore: As I was heading out to go to a conference, my husband gave me a special dongle to attach to my laptop so I could access the internet while I was away from home. While technology has continued to go forward in leaps and bounds, my understanding of how things work is still back at the landline telephone! When Cameron handed me the dongle I instinctively went to get a pen and paper to write down all the instructions I would need to remember in order for the dongle to work. But Cameron was short and specific, 'Plug it in, press connect.' There was a pause as I waited for the rest of the instructions and my face must have displayed that I was anticipating something more. 'That's it,' Cameron said. So I started quizzing him about passwords and programs and log ins. But Cameron reinforced, 'Plug it in, press connect.' I couldn't believe it; it was that simple!
Application: When people were coming to ask John the Baptist how they should live, he replied by giving them basic steps. To the crowd, he told them to share; to the tax collector, he told them not to cheat; and to the soldiers, he told them to be fair. That was it! Just like me, they didn't need a pen and paper to write down all the instructions. It was simple and could even have been classed more as basic morals rather than the divine words of a prophet. But John's answers were clear. Often, when we seek direction from God we are anticipating some kind of rocket science. However, often the guidance we receive in simple and clear. That doesn't mean that it's always easy. The dongle for my computer was easy however some of the simple instructions that John the Baptist gave were difficult. Simple – yes; but easy – no. Often we don't want to share, we know we'll get away with cheating and we haven't been taught to be fair. Some of these good actions fly in the face of what we desire. However John was simple and clear; basically he was saying, 'Treat others as you would like to be treated.' Now, I've heard that somewhere else before! When we look for ways that we should act like a disciple they are often simple and clear. Sure enough they're not always easy but they do require us to show love to others.
Prayer: Lord, sometimes life throws tough situations our way and the path ahead seems foggy. Help us to understand your clear and simple instructions. And may we be brave enough to fulfill them. Amen.
What is a simple instruction you find difficult to follow?
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This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.