Success In The Country
When Mary and I moved to Midlothian from Dallas in 1973 the population was barely over two thousand, there were no stoplights, and the Western Kountry Klub used in George Strait’s acting debut “Pure Country” was only six years old. Our North Dallas friends thought we were crazy, but we discovered that God has a special place in His heart for country folks. Why? Because Galilee where Jesus was raised was pure country, and this is where Jesus initiated His public ministry of miracles and teaching. Luke introduces Jesus’ Galilean ministry (Luke 4:24-9:50) like this:
“Now Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread over the entire region. He was teaching in their synagogues and was being praised by everyone.” - Luke 4:14-15
We know from Luke 2:39 that Jesus was raised in the region of Galilee in Nazareth, Mary and Joseph’s hometown. In our plot so far John the Baptist preached God’s Kingdom, baptized Jesus, and got arrested by Herod Antipas. Then Jesus took center stage. He was tempted by the devil in wilderness close to the Jordan, beat the evil one by the power of the words of Deuteronomy, and now we see Jesus heading north, back to His home area. The Holy Spirit is upon Him, and the initial response is all good. The hometown boy has created buzz throughout the county and initially everyone sings his praises.
Whether it’s a marriage or a pastorate, there’s an initial honeymoon period then things can get tense. In our next Devo on Monday we’ll see how Jesus’ hometown folks take to their homegrown prophet’s message, but for now, let’s take the time to enjoy the initial wave of favor.
LORD, Mary and I want to thank you for the years of favor you gave us in Midlothian and in the country surrounding our town. We saw You generate churches, send out missionaries, and most of all transform individual lives through the same power of the Spirit that guided and sustained Your Son in His earthly ministry. Today we pray for a new movement of Your Spirit as Midlothian has grown, has become a “hot” place to live in the DFW area, and is no longer pure country.
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