Tag Archives: dust

Paul in Ephesus

Ephesus: Road to Library

While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul passed through the interior regions and came to Ephesus, where he found some disciples. He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?” They replied, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” Then he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They answered, “Into John’s baptism.” Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied— altogether there were about twelve of them. He entered the synagogue and for three months spoke out boldly, and argued persuasively about the kingdom of God. When some stubbornly refused to believe and spoke evil of the Way before the congregation, he left them, taking the disciples with him, and argued daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. This continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia, both Jews and Greeks, heard the word of the Lord. (Acts 19:1-10, NRSV)

Paul continued his journey through the land and spreading the word about Jesus as he went. Anyone who was receptive to the message he would share with them. Paul did not force his opinions or views on anyone even though he knew the message he was sharing was one that would save all who would hear and accept it. When he was met with opposition rather than argue, he would move on.

Do we do this?

Or do we want to be right?

Maybe the best thing to do is move along when we do not agree. Rather than trying to make others see our point of view and force our way, what if we did what Jesus said, shake the dust off and move along. Jesus is the one who brings change, we get to bring the message of love, but if it is not heard, forcing love won’t work.

So what will we do?


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

shake off the dust…

Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness. These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed him. These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment. Take no gold, or silver, or copper in your belts, no bag for your journey, or two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for laborers deserve their food. Whatever town or village you enter, find out who in it is worthy, and stay there until you leave. As you enter the house, greet it. If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town. Truly I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town. “See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of them, for they will hand you over to councils and flog you in their synagogues; and you will be dragged before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them and the Gentiles. When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you at that time; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next; for truly I tell you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes. (Matthew 9:35-10:23, NRSV)

Jesus called the disciples to go and to share His message. And the instructions were clear. Take nothing with you, receive without payment and give without payment. Only wear what you need nothing more. When you enter a town find one place and dwell there while you are in that town. Give your peace to that place and if it will not accept your peace, take it back. And if they will not listen, shake the dust off your feet so you take none of that place with you and go on to those who will listen.

Seems a little harsh, but Jesus was trying to help the disciples I think. And He was saying if people won’t listen, it is ok, and it is there lose not yours. Do not get hung up on people not being perceptive to the message of grace, just move on to those who will be.

So when you encounter those who don’t want to hear the good news, just shake off the dust and move on…


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Praise the Lord!

160924Praise the LORD! Praise, O servants of the LORD; praise the name of the LORD. Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time on and forevermore. From the rising of the sun to its setting the name of the LORD is to be praised. The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens. Who is like the LORD our God, who is seated on high, who looks far down on the heavens and the earth? He raises the poor from the dust, and lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes, with the princes of his people. He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the LORD! (Psalm 113, NRSV)

From the rising of the sun to its setting we should praise the Lord!

Why should we praise the Lord?

He raises the poor from the dust.

He lifts the needy from the ash heap

He makes the lowly sit with princes.

He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children.

He comes to the help of those in need.

That is why we praise the Lord because He is worthy to be praised!



Tags: , , , , , , , ,


“At that time Michael, the great prince, the protector of your people, shall arise. There shall be a time of anguish, such as has never occurred since nations first came into existence. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone who is found written in the book. Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. (Daniel 12:1-3, NRSV)

If you are righteous and your name is written in the book you will be delivered.

And then the word that struck me in this reading…


Many of those sleeping shall awake, some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

Really many? Not all?

So who is left behind in the dust of the earth? And in the Hebrew the word is there. I admit I am not a Hebrew scholar by any stretch of the imagination, but it looks like a good translation to me. But that leaves the question of who is left in the dust. Because some rise to everlasting life and some rise to everlasting contempt.

It is a question we are left with to ponder, yet we can know from this passage if we strive to do what God has called us to do and follow Him, we will shine like the stars forever and ever.


Tags: , , , , , , , ,


Dust ~ Photo a Day Challenge Lent 2014



Tags: , , , ,

Magic Jesus Dust…

Today in the gospel lesson (John 14:26-31) we hear Jesus tell the disciples as the head up the Mount of Olives that they will all desert Him, and that Peter will deny Him 3 times. Peter vehemently said, “Even though I must die with you, I will not deny you.”  And all of the disciples agreed…

However we know what comes next. At this point in the story though, Peter and disciples have this all worked out in their minds. They have seen what has happened, and they are looking forward to what they know will happen. They knew that Jesus was going to be the king and put down those who were oppressing their nation, and they were correct, but not how they thought.

And we never do that do we? I have had plans all of my life and think that is the way it should be. I heard Mark Hall of Casting Crowns this morning on the radio talking about magic Jesus dust. Magic Jesus dust is the stuff we go to Jesus for when we have our plans all together and we go to get His blessing on it. But as we see from the gospel passage in John that this is not how it works. We can not make up our minds and set our plans how we want and then go to Jesus and say, “Here it is and this is how it is going to happen.” He will tell us, “not so fast, I think we may need to rethink this…” There is no magic Jesus dust to make all of our plans to be what God wants. All through the Bible we are told to ask for what we want and God will give it, if it is in His will. If is the smallest biggest word in the English language.

If your plans are in line with what God knows is best for you, and we all know how often that happens… Well we can plan, but do not get attached. Ask Jesus first what needs to happen, and go with what He is telling you. Your plans are not His plans, and His ways are not our ways. So don’t go to Jesus looking for magic Jesus dust to make all your dreams come true, go to Jesus asking what His dreams are for you, and live into that, because that is the best way to go.

And always remember if you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,