Monday, June 13, 2016
Through Christ, God has given us the privilege and authority as apostles to tell Gentiles everywhere what God has done for them, so that they will believe and obey him, bringing glory to his name. Romans 1:5(NLT)
My experience with the banana I chose to accompany me to my devotions this morning reminded me of the way my Dad taught me to cut down a tree. I decided the banana was a little less than fully ripe when I tried to peel it and only managed to bend the stem. So, with the tip of my thumbnail I made a crease in the skin and tried again. The little crease provided enough brokenness to let the peel break open…and then, the banana entered the ministry; delicious!
My father’s instruction was that to cut a tree, without having it fall on your house, car, or head, you must first notch it (like I “notched” the banana). And it must be notched in the direction you want it to fall. You must be careful with this, or you get some pretty interesting results – few of which are pleasant! One of my careless attempts some years back left quite a lasting impression on our chain link fence.
So, perhaps good logging advice here, but what does any of it have to do with Paul’s greeting to the Roman church? Well…frankly, everything. Note that Paul talked about the privilege he had of sharing his faith with people – the purpose was to create a notch in their lives that would fell them in the direction of faith and obedience towards God, bringing glory to God’s name.
Belief in God may happen in the head and heart, but obedience to that belief is worked out with the hands. It is faith AND obedience which bring glory to God.
In my life there were powerful influences that notched me in God’s direction. My Christian mother, father, and brother were part of that notch. Our church family helped form the notch. Acquaintances, both positive and negative bent me towards understanding that little faith God had placed deep in my soul needed to give way – all the way to what God wanted to do with this life He gave me.
As with the banana in my hand, the slight brokenness of that notch in my stubborn will became the direction of the work God wanted to do in me – to fall in His direction.
The people God has placed in your life’s pathway are like bunches of bananas; some need the kind of notch your life and witness can provide.
God’s got a lot of lumbering to do in this world…he needs notchers!