Ever watched a playful or panicky cat scurrying up a tree? It’s amazing how fast and how high the felines can climb. Once they ascend, they have a birds-eye view of the ground below. Some kitties go up and down trees with ease; others panic and cry out for rescue. Their owners enjoy the shade of trees and fruit they bear; yet, most curtail their climbing of trees. Neighborhood boisterous little boys find the taller the trees, the bigger their yearning to shimmy up to the top. They may skin their knees but it is worth the risk.
Zacchaeus was up a tree and bravely took the risk of ridicule by his peers. “There was a chief tax collector there named Zacchaeus, who was rich. He was trying to see who Jesus was, but he was a little man and could not see Jesus because of the crowd. So he ran ahead of the crowd and climbed a sycamore tree to see Jesus, who was going to pass that way. When Jesus came to that place, he looked up and said to Zacchaeus, ‘Hurry down, Zacchaeus, because I must stay inyour house today (Luke 19:2-5 TEV).” Zacchaeus did not turn over a new leaf. He clung to the Vine.
The Lord alone is worthy of worship and praise. Before falling asleep, I often work my way through the alphabet, using words of praise starting at A and working my way up to Z. If I doze off before completing my goal, I fall to asleep feeling his peace and presence.
“Now to him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you without blemish before the presence of his glory with rejoicing, to the only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen (Jude: 24-25 RSV).”
I easily understand the four-word-sentence. “Listen to your body.” As a senior adult, I have my share of ailments; though none is life threatening, they are chronic. I have learned to listen to the inaudible sounds of symptoms alerting me to trouble. When I hear a message, I pay close attention. I have learned that dealing with a problem, when it first surfaces, averts more serious discomfort and trips to see my doctor. I listen to my body.
As a member of the body of Christ, His church, I listen to my body. “ For just asthe body is a unity and yet has many parts, though many, form [only] one body, so it is with Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) (1 Corinthians 12:12 Amplified Bible).” If one of the members cries out in pain, or causes conflict within the body, I listen closely. I am no medical doctor; yet, I know I am wise to seek early prevention in all matters of the church body.
“So there should be no division or discord or lack of adaptation [of the parts of the body to each other], but the members all alike should have a mutual interest in and care for one another (1 Corinthians 12:25 Amplified Bible).” I am hard-of-hearing and plan to invest in an affordable hearing aid soon. I tire of missing parts of conversations and repeatedly telling my husband, “I can’t hear you.” My body is talking. “I beg your pardon, what did you say? “
Beware; there may be a hidden agenda! We view our homes, communities, workplaces, nations and even our churches, as being deeply divided. We keep our guard up, knowing individuals and groups often have hidden agendas. On the surface, they may say or do something, which seems to be in harmony with our convictions. Yet, beneath the facade, they have an agenda radically opposed. God the Father has an agenda. He hides it briefly within our life experiences.
“We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose. For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers. And those He predestined, He also called; and those He called, He also justified; and those He justified, He also glorified (Romans 8:28-30 HCS).” He, through hidden agendas, transforms lives!