You may or may not think that God has a master plan for your life, a grand design. It may slip your mind while you’re reading through the bible that you’re reading true stories, some of the greatest ever told. It can be easy to get lost in the character’s that overcome with amazing courage in the face of daunting adversities. It is probably the same reason we go and watch the “Hunger Games” movies. I love those movies because I envision myself as Katniss looking evil dead in the eye, and making evil fear me. I find myself completely engaged in her mission hoping that I could have that extreme bravery to stand up for what I believe and lead ordinary people to fight for what is right. But of course that is just a movie. We can read these epic moments in scripture or see these fantastic moments play out on the big screen and it can make our lives just feel so ordinary. Does what we do today even matter? Our 9-5, us watching the kids, our normal lives?
How you approach what you do now will prepare you to be like Katniss when your name is “pulled out of the bowl” in a sense. Katniss’ strength came through years of bow hunting. No one knew she could use a bow and arrow, but she had quietly been working on her shot all her life and became strong in the skill of archery. When it counted most it saved her life multiple times and eventually saved the people of Panem.
Did you know there is a entire season of Jesus’ life that isn’t even recorded? His childhood is unknown other than the fact that when He was about 12 years old He strayed from His parents to be in the Temple & chat with the religious leaders. We forget that in between His birth and His ministry He was just a boy helping to provide for his family. In the 18 or so years between being 12 in the Temple & His ministry at age 30, we forget that all He was, was a carpenter. Nothing else about His life is mentioned. He was working a seemingly mundane job. Look at Katniss when she was only a sixteen year old girl in the poorest district, she worked selflessly to provide for her family and make sure they didn’t starve. She hunted to survive. When she chose to be the one to represent her district in the Hunger Games, she also chose to be more than what she thought she was meant to be. She took her sister’s place willingly and without hesitation. Jesus knew His ministry wasn’t just to heal people and die to save the world but to use where He was in His life as a carpenter, to point people to God and be an example of what it means to live a meaningful, God honoring, fulfilling life. Then He willingly took our place on the cross without hesitation.
The things happening in your life now are all in perfect timing and God’s grand design. In mundane moments like these it is the secretly incredible life you live, even though nobody is watching, that matters. Notice the word “secretly” as in no one will ever know that you are great but you still do what is right and you still work hard anyways. That is incredibly honoring to God. This is why I believe there is little to no record of Jesus before His ministry. All we have to go on for those mysterious years is “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men”(Luke 2:52). How you approach what you do now will prepare you to be like Jesus when your cross is placed in front of you.
It was no accident that God sent Jesus when He did. The events and history that led up to Jesus’ time on Earth took place perfectly so that Jesus could show up when He did. There were three major forces that were prominent at the time of Jesus and they explain why Christianity spread so rapidly.
Hellenism, greek culture and influence, increased almost everywhere in the civilized world making cultures similar and establishing one main language that tied the people within the empire together. It made ideas and values much easier to communicate and spread faster.
Judaism, the religious institution at that point in time provided a solid foundation for Jesus to grow up in. Judaism was the official religion of God’s people, the Israelites, who followed and obeyed the scriptures in the Old Testament. It makes sense that Jesus would be born to two servants of the faith and followers of the law.
Finally, Roman imperialism, which provided a strong legal and political force providing peace, unity, excellent communication and transportation within the empire. Since Rome nearly covered all corners of the known world at the time there was no better time for Jesus to come and establish His church. The timing was right for His type of ministry to spread throughout the world, and it was all planned.
These factors cannot be ignored and cannot be considered a coincidence but recognized as God’s master plan. Three things that we miss if we just read the bible as another story. There is proof of God working out His master plan in our lives as well. Where God has us currently is our ministry. Quietly work on your skills now. Quietly grow spiritually now. Be incredible in your everyday activities and keep it a secret between you and God. Grow in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and people. Because people matter to God, they should matter to us. eikoOur lives are not just an accident. There is worth in the 9-5 and there are things happening around us now setting us up to succeed!
By: Daniel Guadiano
Eikon Youth Intern