Day 14: Pastoral excellence

1.jpgExodus 16:4
Then the LORD said to Moses, “I’m going to make bread rain down from the sky for you. The people will go out each day and gather just enough for that day. In this way, I’ll test them to see whether or not they follow my Instruction.

Years ago I remember reading about a Methodist missionary recounting a visit from a student. He had been reading the Bible and said, “It writes here that when Jesus will come again, he will come with a shout. What will Jesus shout?” Reflecting on his walk with Christ on the mission field he replied, “Christ will shout ENOUGH! Enough poverty….enough suffering…enough hunger…enough hatred… enough death. Enough.”

That word “enough” is one we struggle with in our culture. Voices bombard us daily saying we don’t have enough. We must buy one more electronic gadget so life can be easier. We must acquire more money to be comfortable. We need more work on the house so it will compete in the market. We need one more car to make life fun. “Enough” gets stretched further and further from our reach. When is enough?

God tried to teach the Hebrews in the wilderness that “enough” was a matter of trust in God’s love, provision, and grace. The Biblical narrative is full of illustrations of good people not getting that lesson. We see it all the way down to Jesus as he stood before the multitude. He kept telling the disciples that a few loaves would be enough.

This is a lesson the church continues to struggle with. We are filled with fear of the future. We are afraid there will not be enough time, energy, money, resources or whatever to take care of the “have to’s,” much less risk caring for those outside our circle. But Jesus patiently keeps saying, “Enough.” Jesus keeps suggesting that we look at our “have to’s,” again. Do they reflect, “I love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength and my neighbor as myself?” Enough! That shout transforms us because it shatters fear and releases us in trust to live the life Jesus called “Abundant.”

Prayer: Lord, Jesus, in your power and in your love, release us for “enough.” AMEN.

The Rev. LeNoir Culbertson
Murfreesboro District Superintendent-TN Conference

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Use a program on your computer, a traditional journal, or feel free to use the comment section of this blog post to record your reflections as a conversation with others…
READ – What spoke to me as I read today’s meditation?
REPENT – Where is God showing me that I have failed to be obedient to the call to discipleship today?
RECEIVE – What words of redemption and grace is God offering to me?
REMEMBER – Who and what is God calling me to remember in prayer related to today’s reading?
RESPOND – How is God calling me to respond today?

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4 Comments on “Day 14: Pastoral excellence”

  1. 1922blue says:

    Wonderfully written it calls our attention to the greed we live with or under daily. With all the things we are blessed with there is just NOT enough LOVE! May it be today that we never hear God say enough Love, but let it overflow the way God would have it be for brothers and sisters here on this earth the believers and non-believers.

  2. Daryl Byford says:

    When I read this I smiled, because I often joke with those near me, ” I won’t be buried with $20 dollar bills stuffed in my casket!” Of course this is ridiculous. I have experienced going through worldly possessions at the death of parents. It was just stuff. It didn’t go with them. May we bear these facts in mind as we live. Jesus does indeed say enough.

  3. James Cole says:

    Excellent Lenoir! Good reminder of living out of an ethic of abundance and not scarcity! God bless and thanks, James Cole

  4. Tony Newman says:

    My father had a saying, It’s not the high cost of living, it’s the cost of living so high. Simple but true. How high are we living? Seek Christ and see when enough is enough.