Gerry & Julie Gutierrez' Update
First Thought Series - GA
Opportunity comes to the door on a horse and stops long enough to pick up a willing rider on his back. It is like the evening bus that comes at 6 p.m. at night, 9 p.m., and the last bus comes at midnight. Then it will be long time before it comes again.
In the same way opportunity comes to us at least three times in our lives. Opportunity is good looking but taken for granted and mistreated in his two previous visits and shamefully treated and wounded by beating, and thrown out in rejection.
The third time that opportunity comes it does not stay long as in the previous two times. In fact this rider is almost bald on the back of his head because as he leaves the door of his last stop he leaves in a hurry. Many have tried to jump on at the last minute and could not make it on the back of his horse so that the reluctant rider is left with a hand full of hair as a memory of what it could have been should he or she have mounted the horse and embraced him tightly on time all the way.
The last bus has passed empty! It was the late bus. Three strikes and out!
He or she had three opportunities. The traveler has been left behind with no one to blame but self. This traveler is to face the SENDER of the opportunities.
In the same way in this passage the landlord, our Father in Heaven, will come to settle accounts with us his tenants for mistreating those who HE SENT and for killing His son on the cross instead of receiving Him in welcome to His vineyard.
After all, they had long usage of the land and the owner only wanted some fruits for himself. But greed and love for money led them to kill even his beloved and only son. Their felony was to try to gain illegally an inheritance by force and violence.
May we never be found as those who said: “May this never be.” Because it will be so, and no other way! Rejection must happen! It happened to Jesus. It will happen to those of Jesus. The servant is not greater than the master.
God is the one building a case that works at the same time for his glory and the condemnation of the guilty. “It is established for a man to die once and after that face the judgment”.
The great rejection becomes the greatest rejection, because God builds his church on the rejected capstone that is Jesus. God builds with what man rejects.
The follower of Jesus who is rejected in this world by being walked away after being beaten, shamefully treated and thrown out, will be the very bricks that the master builder will use as he builds his kingdom.
But not so fast.
There is something unusual in this passage that we need to contemplate slowly and meditate carefully.
It is the LOOK of Jesus directly in their eyes similar to the look of Jesus to Peter after he denied Him in the Sanhedrin. In equal circumstance when Peter said to Jesus. May this never happen to you Lord. I will never walk away from you.
A well deserved Look to those who do not believe in the immutable predestined nature of the events according to the sovereignty of God. This stern LOOK is for those who believe in the easy way that excludes suffering and the cross.
“May this not be!, May this never happen to you Lord”. This is the will of man. Who is always seeking to avoid the cross.
This will be so! And it is necessary because its the will of God that includes the cross.
The will of God is bound to prevail with more exactness than a Swiss watch in time and space with the immutable precision determined from before the foundation of the world.
Unless every belief we embraced on Earth is rooted out of time and space and before the foundation of the world, our lives will be as shaky as the “fiddler on the roof.”
Many well-meaning brothers are emasculating the power that comes from taking Jesus at His word in a child like manner. They do so by rationalizing one side of the truth that has become like an over inflated fat tire of a poor teenager’s bicycle that has a bump that in every turn bumps and is annoyingly noticeable.
Love and Justice, Grace and Work, Mercy and Sacrifice, are not enemies but two faces of the same coin. Neither should either one acquired a life of their own and make us the 007 agents of Jesus with licenses to abuse race or re-invent the wheel to change the world.
Every generation is competing with the next generation in ways to change the world. The temptation is great to be the new amateur providences of our time. The world does not need any other brilliant mind with messages never heard or spoken or thought before.
We need less of those who say “It is here” no “It is there” and us sending our best to go and learn the secret of those who promote their great ideas by camouflaging their message by using the name of Jesus and talking about Him convincingly enough that distract us from going back all the way to Jesus himself who is the very fountain instead to their nicely bottled water.
You may say: Water is water! You are right and probably bottled water is purer than running water from a brook, but water from the brook is not what I am talking about. I am for water from the fountain from the heart of the earth bubbling fresh with all it’s minerals designed by God to nourish my unknown needs.
I am for going back to Jesus himself. Not to talk about Jesus with someone else’s conclusions. I want food that I can chew myself and not food chewed with somebody else’s dentures. I want the teaching of the Holy Spirit with its own power.
I want us to take Jesus at His word in a child like manner in prayer and take the will and word of God as more reliable as the constant speed of light. I want the Holy Spirit to be my denture as I chew the word and make my calculations till I come into alignment with God and His will.
Let us look back at Jesus directly.
Ours is a gospel of repentance for the forgiveness of sin. The sun of your life may be on its afternoon or about to set in the horizon. Opportunity is still there waiting at your door eager to ride with you.
This may be his third and last visit. There is no risk on faith and prayer. No one has failed who trusts and prays. He who makes the will of God his own shall prevail. He who walks with Jesus will surely arrive home and arrive on time.
God has not been silent or inactive with us. He has sent three times for to feed Him. Let us not be left behind or walk away. “Three strikes and out they say.” We may disagree with the call and like the coach of a baseball team run to the umpire screaming at the top of your voice. MAY THIS NEVER BE! Then we will see His piercing eyes on us and remember that He has the power to eject us out of the game saying OUT. Strike three! You are out!!! There is nothing we can do. He sovereignly has predestined all things and his will shall prevail. Let us come into alignment with God, for that is his nonnegotiable will for our lives. That is true blessing on earth. Look unto Jesus in submission and humility.
PS. Please keep Julie in your prayers as she need Jesus more than anything else. If it weren't for Jesus and your prayers I would have long lost my mind and my life. My Peruvian visitor who are from the anti-terrorist and drug trafficker killer were led to Jesus in a very dramatic way by a former enemy (me) to surrender their lives to Jesus and went back to Peru rejoicing. Thank you for your prayers. News will come later about them.