The Greeks Bring the Party

Sermon from John 12:20-36

This passage opens with the arrival of a group of Greeks to the Jewish feast, saying “We wish to see Jesus.” I’m reminded of the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding. My step-mother is from a Greek family, and so I am familiar with what a Greek party looks like, and that movie does not miss the mark. When Greeks show up, they bring the party! So although commentators debate at whether John meant actual Greeks or just generic Gentiles, I smile imagining a group of Greeks busting into this Jewish feast ready to party. So whether it was Greeks or Gentiles, the disciples of Jesus did not know what to do with them when they arrived.

However, when Philip and Andrew asked Jesus what to do about this group of Greeks, it seemed as if he didn’t even hear their question, for he started talking about what seemed like something completely different! Jesus replied to them with, “The hour has come…” (v. 23). This is actually a recurring theme in the Gospel of John – references to “the hour,” or the divine appointed timing of God. It was first mentioned at the Wedding at Cana when Jesus told his mother, “My hour has not yet come” (John 2:4). There are several other moments in the Gospels when Jesus says things like, “The hour is coming…” and now we come to the end of his life and ministry, and “the hour has come.” It is time for the climax, the denouement, the moment that changes everything.

So what is the hour that has come? “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.” At first this might sound awesome to Jesus’ listeners, but he goes on to explain what he means by using two illustrations. First, he compares himself to a grain of wheat. A grain of wheat has to fall to the earth and die in order to bear much fruit. A seed has to be broken apart and destroyed in order to bring forth more life. When Jesus says that this is the hour, he is talking about the cross. Only when he dies can he bring eternal resurrection life from the grave.

Jesus goes on to reflect on the meaning of laying down one’s life. He not only laid down his own life, but he calls his followers to lay down our lives as well. We lay down our fears, our material desires, our concerns of what people think of us, and yes, our physical safety. And in return, we gain eternal resurrected life. What an exchange!

Although this is a wonderful exchange, Jesus knows that it is difficult for us. It was difficult for him! After speaking of laying down his life like the grain of wheat, he directly tells us, “Now is my soul troubled” (v. 27). But he provided for us the example of what to do when our souls are troubled by fear and hardship. We pray for the Father to glorify his name. God hears and he responds, and he will indeed bring about glory through our suffering.

Jesus then switches illustrations and brings up the concept of being lifted up, which is another paradox. When we think of being lifted up, we think of encouragement, light, brightness, and adoration. But Jesus was speaking of the way he was about to die. Just like the death of the seed led to life, the death of Jesus brought about glory. Jesus references being lifted up three times in the Gospel of John. The first is in John 3:14, when he compares his own death to the way Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness to save the Israelites from the curse of poisonous serpents (See Numbers 21:4-9). In the same way, looking to our Savior lifted on the cross will save from eternal death those of us who bear the curse of sin.

Isaiah 52-53 gives us a picture of this. Isaiah 52:13 says that God’s servant is wise and high and lifted up, but then verse 14 says that as he is lifted up, we can see that he is marred and disfigured. Isaiah 53 goes on to beautifully express how God’s Suffering Servant bore the weight of our sins in his own body. This is how Jesus was lifted up.

But what breaks forth from his suffering is a new covenant. He brings new life to a dead and dying world. With the cross, Satan is now a defeated foe. The power of our enemy has been stripped from him. The cross has broken the bondage of sin and death. As the Son of Man is lifted up, those who look to him find life.

Going back to the Greeks, these Greeks were a little early for the party that was coming with the resurrection of Christ. May they be representative of the people of God receiving and celebrating the glorious light that broke forth after the suffering and death of the Savior, the glorious salvation and freedom of the children of God, and the eternal resurrected life provided to those who look to him.

The Pigeons Must Go!

Sermon from John 2:13-25

Upon reading this story of Jesus cleansing the temple in John 2, my first thought was, “What did Jesus have against those pigeons?” Sure, pigeons make a mess, but did he have to get so upset? There is clearly more going on here. It is worth noting that although the other three Gospel writers placed this story at the end of Jesus’ ministry (In fact, that is what the Pharisees used as a pretext for Jesus’ arrest leading to his execution.), John places it right at the beginning of his Gospel account. So one theory is that John tells the events of Jesus’ life out of order to make points about theology rather than to tell a story from beginning to end. However, I also think it’s entirely possible that Jesus did this twice.

We know that Jesus was raised as a Jewish boy who often went to Jerusalem for the Passover, and so his last Passover was not the first time he had seen this commerce going on inside the temple. I suspect that every single time Jesus saw it, it bothered him. And it is not beyond imagining to think that the Jews of Jerusalem would go right back to doing things the old way even after having Jesus cleanse the temple once earlier in his ministry. So then we can imagine him coming back at the end of his ministry and being frustrated at finding them in their same old ways.

So what bothered him so much about this? First, let’s understand the practice. God-fearing people would make pilgrimages from all over to make sacrifices at the time of Passover. They might travel from far-flung places by ship or on foot, and it would be a challenge to bring your sacrificial animal with you on that pilgrimage. It made a lot of sense to wait to buy your sacrifice until you got there, and Jerusalem had a whole economy around raising flocks of animals to be temple sacrifices. In addition, since people were coming from many different places, they were bringing foreign currency with them, and they had to exchange their currency to the Jewish shekel in order to pay their temple tax while they were there. Therefore, having an animal market and money changers near the temple was very practical and convenient.

The problem came when these practical conveniences crept into the temple itself. The temple was meant to be a place of worship and prayer, and bringing these things inside the temple brought distraction. Imagine it being the same as when someone is talking behind you or knocks over their cup of coffee in church. It’s difficult to focus on worship when other things are going on around you, and the noise and smell of an animal market would certainly distract a person’s mind and heart from worship!

In addition, the Scripture indicates that there was also corruption going on. The animal vendors and money changers could make a ton of money by inflating their prices, which was selfish and irreverent to focus on personal gain rather than worship. And there could have been even more about this circumstance that was offensive to Jesus, but we do know that he was upset that they were not engaging in worship rightly. They were not giving God his due reverence.

So he overturned the tables of the vendors and drove the animals out with a whip, demanding that they remove their commerce from his Father’s house. It’s interesting that as Jesus’ disciples were watching him do this, a psalm of David came to their mind:

For zeal for your house has consumed me,
    and the reproaches of those who reproach you have fallen on me.
When I wept and humbled my soul with fasting,
    it became my reproach.
When I made sackcloth my clothing,
    I became a byword to them.
I am the talk of those who sit in the gate,
    and the drunkards make songs about me.
But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord.
    At an acceptable time, O God,
    in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness.

Psalm 69:9-13

King David was kind of a mess with lots of sin and failures on his record, but one thing he had in his favor – he deeply loved the Lord. This psalm of David reflects that passion for the Lord’s reputation over his own. Repeatedly we saw in David’s story his willingness to risk the judgment and scorn of others, including his own wife (See 2 Samuel 6:1-23), to wholeheartedly worship the Lord. Unlike most of us, he was not afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve and let all that he had in his heart – both good and bad – be seen by all. The rest of us tend to keep our internal struggles and failures hidden, trying to wear masks and pretend we don’t struggle. As my wife says, we judge ourselves by comparing our insides to others’ outsides. That never ends well.

This wholehearted abandon to the worship of the Lord is what made the disciples think of this psalm when Jesus was cleansing the temple. He wasn’t afraid of what any other person would think of him – he only cared about the glory of the Lord. Unlike David and unlike us, though, Jesus had nothing to hide on the inside. His motives were completely pure. He had nothing but absolute faithfulness to God.

This is one indicator of the heart of a faithful worshiper – they don’t care what others think of them. People who judge the worshipers of God are people who don’t understand God, and true worshipers just won’t let that bother them. A person coming to offer wholehearted worship to the Lord won’t care what anyone else thinks but only what God thinks. A wholehearted worshiper won’t want to please anyone else besides God.

The animal sellers and money changers were not true worshipers of God. They missed the heart of God. God is so jealous for the hearts of his people. He wants us to be wholly devoted only to him, much like a marriage vow. He faithfully keeps his covenant with his people, and he desires that same faithfulness from us. He will not share worship; he will not share our hearts.

Jesus was reacting to this unfaithfulness with passion and emotion, the same jealousy that God feels for the hearts of his people, and the temple leaders were put off by this. They challenged him, saying, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” (v. 18). They didn’t think he had the right or the authority to act on behalf of God. However, Jesus’ answer was that he would destroy the temple and raise it again in three days. His listeners at the time completely misunderstood his meaning, but later they would realize that he was speaking of the temple of his body, which he did raise again three days after it was destroyed.

Jesus came to give us a new temple, where the abiding living presence of God dwells within his people, not in a building of stone. The indwelling Spirit of God empowers our hearts to be wholly devoted to him.

The Curtain Has Been Torn

In the Temple of Jerusalem during the time of Jesus, there were three sections. The larger part that worshipers were able to enter was the outer courts. Then there was a private inner section called the Holy Place where only the priests could enter. Then the inner sanctum called the Holy of Holies, and none but the most holy were allowed to enter. Therefore, only God could dwell there, and a high priest was able to enter once a year on the Day of Atonement after special animal sacrifices and offerings for his own sin an the sin of the people.

Between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place here was a large curtain that separated these two places. The curtain prevented access to the Most Holy Place where the glory of the Lord dwelt.

We see in the very beginning of the Bible (Genesis 3) and mankind’s relationship with God when Adam and Eve sinned, and they lost access to the Most Holy God. They were separated from God, and they were kicked out of the garden where God dwelt.

Ever since then, man has been longing to return to dwelling with God, walking in His presence and fullness like Adam and Eve did before they fell. Only in God’s presence can we find peace and rest. The Temple was the place where God and man could meet, but only by sacrifice could worshipers even enter the Holy Place, the outer courts of the presence of God. They were continually bringing animal sacrifices, over and over and over just to try to earn minimal access to God. It was an exhausting and ineffective way to live, because we know that “it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4).

However, God had a plan to end that ineffective system. Christ Himself became our sacrifice, once for all, and His sacrifice opened the way for all of us to be restored in relationship with God. When Jesus died, “there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun’s light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two (Luke 23:44-45). Jesus didn’t just pull back the curtain, He tore it right down the middle! He permanently opened the way for all of us to access the Most Holy Place, to be in relationship with the Most Holy God.

How do we respond to this powerful and wonderful truth? The writer of Hebrews tells us plainly:

“Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.”

Hebrews 10:19-23

Think on this whenever you gather with the people of God. It is only because Christ gave you access to the Most Holy Place by His death that you are able to be in relationship with God and His people. When we lift our hearts in worship to the Lord, we are lifting them into the Most Holy Place, where Christ gave us access directly to the living God. Worship with confidence and joy, knowing that Christ permanently opened the way for you.

Attending to the Word of the Lord

The writer of Hebrews says that Jesus was “tempted in every way as we are, yet without sin.” Christ was tempted the way we are, yet our temptations are never as strong as His. That’s because we give in before they reach their full strength. Then temptation is no longer temptation, it’s sin. The extremes of Christ’s temptations are something we would never experience, because we are too weak. Yet He can sympathize fully with our own struggles with temptations. He is our example of ultimate endurance, and He is our source of comfort and mercy in our time of need. In order to find that comfort, we have to seek to draw near to His heart.

To understand better, let’s examine the wilderness temptation of Christ in Matthew 4. The first part of that temptation was to turn rocks into bread. The miracle itself of turning rocks to bread wasn’t the sin that Satan was tempting Christ to. It’s the trust in bread to fill Christ’s hunger that was the temptation. Jesus had to resist the temptation to believe that the bread itself was His greatest need, and we have to resist the same temptation. Humans are amazing at taking the most mundane things and believing they are of the utmost importance. But Jesus reminds us that “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every Word that comes from the mouth of God.”

The question is, are you present as you are hearing the Word of the Lord? Are you paying attention? It’s easy to live the church life and ignore the reading of Scripture, and we forget that the Creator of all things is lovingly speaking directly to us. Don’t get distracted, don’t zone out, don’t forget where life actually comes from.

It is an awesome responsibility to sit in the pews of the House of the Lord and have the King of kings and Lord of lords speak directly to our hearts and offer us His salvation. What a privilege that we don’t have to go to great lengths to search for the Word of the Lord. He gives it directly to us! What a gift! Don’t lose sight of how precious that is!

God makes His Word accessible and present to us. Pay attention!

Glory

Sermon about beholding the glory of God in Christ

As we continue our Lenten journey seeking to draw near to the heart of God, I want to ponder the glory of Christ. One good definition of the word “glory” is, “the visible manifestation of the attributes of God.”

The Transfiguration is one of the very few instances where a human was allowed to actually see the glory of God. One is Moses on Mt. Sinai (Exodus 33-34), another is Elijah at Mount Carmel (1 Kings 19), and then there was Peter, James, and John on the Mount of Transfiguration (Luke 9). They saw the full divinity of Jesus revealed, and it was staggering!

The full revelation of the glory of God gave Moses direction and determination, it gave Elijah courage and purpose, and it filled the disciples with all they would need to face the ordeal that Jesus knew was coming. Jesus knew that you can’t receive the full glory without first enduring the cross.

Our sin and shame keeps us from fully embracing the revelation of God’s glory, and it causes us rather to hide in fear. However, now that Christ’s work as our Great High Priest has been completed, we no longer have to hide from the glory of God. In 2 Corinthians 3, the Apostle Paul reflects on the way Moses could see the Lord face to face, but the rest of the Israelites could only see Moses’ reflecting the glory of the Lord from behind a veil. Paul says that through Christ, the veil is removed, and we can stand fully in the presence of the Living God.

In order to go from fear to the fullness of God’s glory, the action we need to take is to turn our faces to Him – repentance. We have to say along with Moses, Elijah, Peter, James, and John, “I want to see your glory!” Let’s seek Him with unveiled faces and repentant hearts.

Dust to Life

With these words, the priest marks a sign of the cross in ash on the Christian worshiper’s forehead: “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

It is a stark reminder that we are sinful, fallen and under the curse of Adam. Ashes are used throughout the Bible as a symbol of our mortality, of our sin and of our need for repentance. In the Bible, people don sackcloth and cover their heads with ashes to tangibly grieve and mourn sins. When Job is humbled before the sovereign Lord he says, “I repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:6). The prophet Daniel’s prayer of corporate repentance on behalf of the people of God is marked with physical signs of grief over sin:  “So I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes” (Daniel 9:3).

Ash Wednesday signals the beginning of Lent. The period of Lent is a 40-day journey of self-denial. Through “self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 265), we are invited by the Church and the Lord to individually and corporately prepare ourselves for the annual celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus during Holy Week and Easter.

The Ash Wednesday service has a tone of solemnity. We begin in silence with a collect:

Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have
made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and
make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily
lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness,
may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission
and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives
and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever
and ever. Amen. (Book of Common Prayer, p. 264.)

The words of this prayer echo Psalm 51, a prayer of repentance from King David after he committed the sin of adultery with Bathsheba. David prayed:

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit (Psalm 51:10-12).

Repentance leads to joy. God longs to restore his people and bring us out of the bondage of sin and death into new life in His son. This is the entire goal of our Lenten discipline—to be restored to the joy of God’s salvation. To be restored, yes, from dust to life.

Ash Wednesday does not leave us in the dust.  The season of Lent invites us to the throne of grace.  We are invited to the table where the Lord has given us another firm reminder—one of grace, redemption, and restoration. In the bread and wine, we mysteriously commune with the body and blood of our crucified Savior.  Through the Sacrament, we remember what He has done for us in bearing in His body the finite and mortal nature of man.  By becoming one of us and like us in our death, God has made it possible for us to become like Him.

Before going to the cross,

Jesus took bread. And when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood” (Luke 22:19-20).

So, today mark your course in ash and set out in the way of the cross and resurrection of Jesus. Begin a holy Lent, from dust to life.

Faith to Overcome

Faith to Overcome

The last characteristic needed is a certain confidence, we call it faith. No one said that finishing the task that God has put us on this earth is going to be easy.

It’s not going to be easy. In fact, it’s going to require a certain characteristic that will get us through the most difficult of challenges and obstacles that this world. The evil one and all of the forces of Satan that are hosted against God will throw obstacles at the people of God to prevent them from finishing the task that He’s given the people of God to finish.

It will be tempting to give up, to quit. But we have to have a confidence that comes from outside of ourselves, something that will give us the strength to persevere and to have that determination: that single-mindedness; and again, where does that kind of strength come from?

Well, again, the writer of Hebrews, Chapter 12:1-2 describes Jesus as the Author and Finisher of our faith.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. –Hebrews 12:1-2

Jesus is the outside source of strength. It takes enduring faith, not in ourselves as the self-help books will often tell you. “You’ve just got to have faith in yourself. You can do it. Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps.” That doesn’t work.

No, you can’t pull yourself up by your own bootstraps. You need somebody else strengthening you. There’s a stained glass window at St. Peter’s of the Apostle Peter trying to walk on the water and it captures the moment when he looks at the wind and takes his eyes off Jesus. Right then, he starts to sink, but as soon as he brings his eyes back upon the Lord, he rises back up onto the water and he is walking on the water again!

Jesus is our focus, the Lord, His will; we have faith and trust in His Word. Jesus said it this way,

I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me. –John 5:30

If Jesus says “I can do nothing on my own,” what in the world makes us think that we somehow can do life on our own!?!

What is the Father’s work that you have been given to do? It is not your work. It’s not somebody else’s assignment for you nobody other than the Lord. What is the work that God the Father has given you to do? That’s who you have to trust in: the Father. What has He called you to? It’s faith in the Father, faith in Jesus, the Author and Perfector of our faith that will get us through.

I love this little poem about a young boy in a race who keeps falling down, desperately wanting to please his dad:

Defeat! He lay there silently, a tear dropped from his eye.

“There’s no sense in running anymore…I’m out…why try?…
“I’ve lost, so what’s the use,” he thought, “ I’ll live with my disgrace.”

But then he thought about his Dad he’d soon have to face.
“Get up,” an echo sounded low, “Get up and take your place.

You were not meant for failure here, so get up and finish the race” …
He resolved that win or lose, at least he would not quit…

And to his Dad he sadly said, “I didn’t do so well.”
“To me, you won,” his father said. “You rose each time you fell.”

And now when things seem dark and hard and difficult to face,
the memory of that little boy helps me in my race.

For all of life is like that race, with ups and downs and all,
And all you have to do to win—is rise each time you fall.

Quit! Give up, you’re beaten,” they still shout in my face.
But another voice within me says, “Get up and win that race.”

“It is finished.” And the last book of the Bible, there are seven letters to seven churches and in those letters, there is a last point that Jesus makes to every one of those churches. Over and over He says: “To him who overcomes… to him who overcomes… to him who overcomes… and to every one of those who overcome…”

Here is a montage of all of the promises offered to those who overcome:

I will give the right to eat from the tree of life which is in the paradise of God. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations. He who overcomes like them will be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my father and his angels. Hold on to what you have so that no one will take your crown. Him who overcomes, I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my thrown just as I overcame and sat down with my father on his throne.”

Here is the prize promised to those who finish: Paradise of God, the right to eat the tree of life, immunity from the pain of the second death, the gift of some hidden manna!

I am not sure what any of that is, but it ALL sounds awesome!

And there is more: Authority over the nations, dressed in white, never blotted from the book of life, acknowledged continually before the Father and the angels of Heaven, a pillar in the temple of God, the right to sit at the Throne of God with Jesus.

To him who overcomes…“It is finished.”

A Driving Intensity

A Driving Intensity

An example in the Old Testament of one who was a great finisher is a man named Caleb. Caleb was one of the warriors of God who was with Joshua and the other spies when the Israelites first arrived at the threshold of the Promised Land.

It first did not take them forty years to get to the Promised Land. That may be a surprise to read! They got there quickly and crossed over the River Jordan with a group of spies. The spies came back from the Promised Land with a mixed report. Yes, they said, it’s everything that God said it was, a land filled with milk and honey. They brought back some pomegranates and some really great things – but then they also had a little bit of a scary report:

So they brought to the people of Israel a bad report of the land that they had spied out, saying, “The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people that we saw in it are of great height… and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them.” –Numbers 13:32-33

The fear of the giants spread through the camp. Everybody started to grumble against Moses and Aaron, and said, “What did you do bringing us to this land just to get us killed?”

But two other men, Caleb and Joshua, said, NO. It’s ours. It’s a good land. Let’s go—God is with us! While everybody grumbling and whining about the difficulty of the task—Caleb and Joshua showed the character of finishers. So God sent the Israelites to do forty years of laps around the desert.

In the book of Joshua, you pick up back with the story of Caleb again. The Israelites had started to conquer the land under the leadership of Joshua. But they started to falter in their conquest of the land. Things started to get tough and the tougher strongholds of those groups identified by the spies were holding fast. The Israelites could not vanquish them and so they started to give up on these tougher assignments and these tougher jobs—they started to quit.

Caleb was by then 85 years old. Here is the character of driving intensity (This is all found in Joshua 14):

“You know that what the Lord said to Moses, the man of God, about you and me? Back then I was 40 years old when Moses, the servant of the Lord, sent me to explore the land and I brought him back a report according to my convictions…” Hear the character of determination which Caleb manifest; he had convictions, “… but my brothers who went up with me and made the hearts of the people melt with fear. I however followed the Lord, my God, wholeheartedly, with single mindedness.”

“So on that day, Moses swore to me, the land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever because you have followed the lord, my God, wholeheartedly.” Caleb was saying this: Just as the Lord promised, it’s time for me to claim my promise. That’s basically what he’s saying. He’s kept me alive for 45 years since the time he said this to Moses while Israel moved about in the desert. So here I am today 85 years old and I’m still as strong today as the day Moses set me up.”

Caleb was as vigorous to go out to battle at age 85 as he was when he was 40. Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day!

You heard him. Caleb was a finisher. I love the way the story ends. So Joshua blessed Caleb and gave him Hebron as his inheritance… and there’s this little parenthetical statement at the end of the story here (Now the name of Hebron formerly was Kiriath-arba, Arba was the greatest man among the Anakim.) Not anymore. It is called Hebron, because 85-year old Caleb went up there and defeated the mighty Arba and changed the name! How? Caleb had determination in the strength of the Lord. Give me those hills! Caleb was taking names for the Lord at eighty-five years old!

Do you have a driving intensity like Caleb? Do you yearn to finish what God’s put you on this earth to do! It does not matter how old you are, or how young you are! What matters is that you accomplish your call! What matters is that you have a fire in your bones that says “Give me that hill country!”