God's word in today's world

A spanner in the works?

When I was very small, my dad had a square framework with a row of small steel balls on strings hanging from it on his desk. If you picked up the first ball on one end and let it fall, the ball on the other end would fly up nearly as high. I could play with this contraption for hours.

Obviously, this is a good way to explain Newton’s Third Law: For every action (force) in nature there is an equal and opposite reaction. For every action there is a reaction. The next verse describes a reaction to an action:

8God’s gift has restored our relationship with him and given us back our lives. And there’s more life to come—an eternity of life! You can count on this. I want you to put your foot down. Take a firm stand on these matters so that those who have put their trust in God will concentrate on the essentials that are good for everyone.

  • When our relationship with God is restored, the action – then we have our lives back, the reaction.
  • When we really understand the truth of Jesus’ death on the cross, the action – we have eternal life, the reaction.
  • When people put their trust in God, the action – then they focus on doing good for everyone, the reaction.

It’s like Newton’s law, this is how it works. I couldn’t pick one ball and let it fall and nothing would have happened to the ball on the other end. The force had to be transferred to something somewhere. There had to be a reaction on the other end.

Christians cannot remain unmoved when Jesus’ love flows over them. The energy must flow through us and over to others. There has to be a reaction on the other end. That’s how it works. It’s a law too.

But I don’t see it work out like that in practice. If it was working like that in all Christians’ lives, the world would’ve looked different. For one reason or another we succeed in breaking the law. The normal response to God’s actions is nothing or hardly anything!

I suspect it’s because we keep everything inside. But that’s unhealthy. Too much of a good thing is not necessarily good for you. If you drink litres and litres of water, it will make you ill. Water is not intended for that.

In the same way, Jesus’ love is not intended to be held inside us. It must have a reaction where we start serving other people and do the best for them. That is the necessary reaction to God, the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit coming into our lives.

Let’s not be a spanner in God’s do-good-to-others works. Let’s go and look purposefully and intentionally for places where we can be a reaction to all God’s actions. Let’s do good things for others. Let’s serve others and do our best for them.

Titus 3:8-11

What is your reaction to God’s action?
Is something wrong?
What and where can you do?

Father, I must confess that sometimes I throw a spanner in Your works. I really don’t want to do that. Lord, please help me live the reaction to Your action wherever I go. May I see others and serve them. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

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