The weekly devotion with beckyjohn is sent out weekly to subscribers. Its main thrust is to encourage Christians to be the light that God has called us to be in whichever spheres we are in.  The Weekly Devotional is written with  Africa in mind.  
Aug 11, 2015
·         Understanding God's imperatives and His timing can help us avoid painful pitfalls and guide us into His perfect will (Jim Cymbala).

·         The Bible was written in tears and to tears it will yield its best treasures. God has nothing to say to the frivolous man (A. W. Tozer).

·         A leader is not an administrator who loves to run others, but someone who carries water for his people so that they can get on with their jobs (Robert Townsend).

·         A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it (Lao Tzu).

·         A Christian is one who is completely fearless, continually cheerful, and constantly in trouble (Ray Stedman).

·         We measure the impact of a sermon not by whether hearts are slain by conviction but by how high the people jump when the preacher tells them what they want to hear ( J. Lee Grady).

TEXT:Luke 19: 41  As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”

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Read Previous Devotionals:
Read - the walk of faith requires grasp of brokenness that leave one walking with a limp
Read - the danger of political identity shaping lived experience of faith.

Whydid Jesus weep as he approached Jerusalem? The residents of Jerusalem did notrecognize the time of God’s visitation. As a result they did not have insightof how their present was relating with their long-term perspectives. It ispossible that the people had shared beliefs that consisted of popular beliefsthat made headlines in their media. Unfortunately popular beliefs often containbroad fallacies, half-truths, and generalizations that can so preoccupy people thatthey are not paying attention to what matters. The people in Jerusalem werelikely to be so busy seeking ways to meet the needs that came out of theirmisconceptions that they did not take time to examine them. Whenyou meet disillusionment and disappointment do you wonder whether you havemistaken God's call on this life, missed some sign from heaven that would havedirected your steps another way?


Ignorance of the people- Thepeople of the holy city not only missed the opportunity to recognize God’svisitation, they missed to know that they had missed the opportunity. Thatreminds me of a time I waited for the institutional bus that used to pick thoseof us who lived at a given bus stop along the way. Having had a real niceconversation with a friend I just bumped into, I did not realize that the bushad left. That meant I could not make alternative arrangement because I thoughtthe bus was delayed.  I lack words toexpress the pain of realizing I was not going to deliver what I had so preparedto present to over one hundred students. Can you imagine the frustration thestudents were going through as they waited? While it was possible to profuselyapologize and seek ways of making up, there are opportunities that cannot berecovered. Whatdo you do when you realize the popular beliefs in your culture that includesthe church are not resulting from examination of how the pastconnects with the present and future from God’s perspective?

Ignorance of  God’stiming can be expensive. Think of what could have happened had Abraham notrecognized God’s voice “Do not lay a hand on theboy," he said. "Do not do anything to him. . . “(Genesis 22:12).  Failure to immediately recognize the turn inGod's plan would have cost the son's life. What would have happened to God’splan of using Abraham’s family to bless the nations of the world? Tofail to understand God’s timing regarding a matter can lead to destruction,disappointment and missed, irrecoverable opportunities.

Satisfactionwith their present- The residents of Jerusalem acted on a pattern ofthinking built on beliefs that were limited, yet they did not realize thedanger that posed. Abelief is a feeling of certainty about what something means. Popular culture isthe outcome of the shared beliefs. What people perceived as peacewas based on what they knew and what they could see. Unfortunately they couldnot see that the security they were having, as manifested by the values theyattached to the assets they owned, their postioning in their societywas likelaying a foundation on ‘sinking sand’. The people’s aspirations and actionsthat brought them satifaction, were derived from maintainance of  the status quo. The popular thinking was that the future wouldalways be a projection of the subject-matter of the present, a projection which is not arbitrary in theextent in which it divines the movement of the moving present. 

Do youfeel like weeping when you see some organizations/ churches based on thehierarchical model that has been passed on from the Industrial Age in Europe, obstructingJesus model of leadership? That has meant great leaders are those who areunemotional, rational, even mechanistic which is so unlike Jesus model ofleadership. Jesus was not using his status to cut himself off the people thathe came to seek and save.  Lack ofawareness of change make people keep searching for formulas of progress thatthey do not know where to find. We are in constant danger of being not actors in the drama of our lives but reactors, to gowhere the world takes us, to drift with whatever current happens to be running the strongest.”(Frederick Buechner).

Reflecting instead ofunderstanding the times- While it is important to lookback in order to understand what lies ahead, internalized beliefs can patternpeople in a way that selects what to see.  That selection tends to amplify what is likelyto give a positive impression while ignoring experiences and relationships thatare not desired. That is a kind of harless self deception that make people failto to look at contradictions and so they miss learning opportunities. Theresidents of Jerusalem had selected to see what enhanced their present view oflife rather than diligently seek to understand what God was saying. “If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth.”(Deuteronomy 28:1). When people live to be acclaimed as successful forhaving met the standards st by society, not God,  they risk missing out on God’s non-negotiablestandards. “Since theydid not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, theydid not submit to God’s righteousness. 4 Christ is the culminationof the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.”(Romans 10:3-4).  Without taking time tounderstand how God’s designed will in heaven is relating with the present dayactions, people are ‘stars’ whose light is from the opinions of the people.Only what happens to us can happenthrough us.  We must experience the gospel before we can give it toothers. In giving away the gospel we experience it more fully ourselves”.(Jim Denison).

            Christians who understand God’s timeknow that the love of God and fear of missing His will usually go together. Itis possible that the tears that flow because of the frustrating time ofwaiting, is God stretching our faith, which is necessary  for change and growth. “God causes things to happen at exactly the right time! Your job is notto figure out when, but to make up your mind that you won't give up until youcross the finishing line and are living in the radical, outrageous blessings ofGod!” (Joyce Meyer). To be a Christian is to surrender to the leadership ofChrist and so desire to be in God’s will. "The greatness of a person is in the measureof his surrender." (William Booth). That means a Christian is a leaderwhose understanding of God’s word makes him/her have insight that cannot be pickedfrom popular culture.  It should causetears to see the kind of display and public relations type of Christianity thatseems to be out of touch with God’s workings.  To daily live with awareness of the time, one has to befilled with the Holy Spirit. Without being Spirit-led, it is not possible tohave the divine insights that show the interrelationships of the past, presentand the future. Is your country, your organization, your family living with theawareness of the will of God? Breakthrough timing is all about knowing theexact will of God at a given moment. God has sent the Holy Spirit to guide hispeople in the paths He has marked out regarding moral issues and all importantdecisions at life's crossroads. Might Jesus be weeping over you because  of your lack of understanding time of God’svisitation? Do youweep when you see the satisfaction of the Christians while living incontradiction of God’s plan of salvation?

I ampersonally convinced that one person can be a change catalyst, a “transformer”in any situation, any organization. Such an individual is yeast that can leavenan entire loaf. It requires vision, initiative, patience, respect, persistence,courage, and faith to be a transforming leader.” (Stephen R. Covey)