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Posts Tagged ‘Lt. Columbo’

Verses 6-7: “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”

My wife and I give to our church through other means than money. We buy and donate hard to get items for our church, such as items for the food closet. We had made a recent delivery during lunch, and were walking back to our truck, when my wife exclaimed, “The tithe! We forgot to give the check!” At which, we wheeled around on our heels, went back in the office, I did my unpatented Lt. Columbo impression “oh, just one more thing”, and we gave our tithe check. You see, we enjoy being able to give back to God through our local church.

Paul is reminding the church here that God loves a cheerful giver. Have you ever received a “gift” that really wasn’t heartfelt? (ever been forced to give an apology? Wasn’t very sincere, was it?) But in this case, we should be glad to give back to God, Who has given us so much. Just check out verse 15: “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” That gift is eternal salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ.

It’s impossible to out-give God…but enjoy it when you’re giving!

Something to think about!

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Verses 12-13: “So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean?” Others mocking said, “They are full of new wine.””

The Great Santini was a master magician, who regularly was thrilling audiences with his illusions and prestidigitation. He was also a man with dark secrets, who was not above murdering the blackmailing owner of the club he was performing at. To give himself an airtight alibi, he performed the murder during his great water-tank escape act…no one would suspect him, since he was in a locked trunk submerged in water in full view of the audience…or was he? The only person to suspect him, of course, was Lt. Columbo. “Now You See Him…” is one of my favorite Columbo episodes. Jack Cassidy plays Santini, an illusionist and magician par excellence, who audiences marveled at. Even the rumpled detective, played by Peter Falk, had to marvel at how Santini would perform his magic. However, he knew that it was illusion, and continued to pursue him to bring him to justice.

Folks can be like the players in this mystery. Some marvel at what seems impossible, wondering if it’s real magic. Others scoff at the trick, professing to know how it’s done. Others are left just plain wondering. The witnesses of the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost are just such a crowd. Some knew of the disciples and marveled that they were speaking the gospel in different languages. Others just said, “Ah, they’re drunk!” Peter took that opportunity that God gave him to get up and address the crowd with a sermon that was God-inspired and struck right to the need they had for salvation and forgiveness.

Jesus is no illusion; He’s real!

More to come…

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Verse 3: “to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.”

Welcome to 2015, as we begin a walk through the Acts of the Apostles. I feel like I should start this first devotional with the phrase “when last we left our hero”, because the author, Luke, starts Acts where the Gospel of Luke leaves off: restating the historical events of Jesus’s resurrection, time spent with the disciples over the next 40 days, and His ascension into Heaven.

I want to focus on the phrase here “infallible proofs”. I love to watch the old Columbo TV mystery movies that were originally shown on NBC. I always enjoyed the way that Lt. Columbo would find the proof he needed in the killer’s “perfect” crime so that he could eventually corner them. For the most part, it was always the little things that the killer would try to deny, but eventually have to accept, as all the things that Lt. Columbo would find would become part of the case against them…things that when put together, were impossible to deny. Even the killer would have to admit it.

Infallible proofs. Eyewitness accounts of seeing Jesus after the resurrection. Eyewitness accounts of Him appearing in a room with the disciples with the wounds of the cross still present. Proof of His being real, by talking with disciples and eating with them. The eyewitness account on the road to Emmaus. Not just one account but several. The verse here is best put as Jesus lives! Following this is the spread of His church here on earth.

So again, to paraphrase another old TV phrase, “tune in for the next episode” to see what happens. 🙂

Have a blessed day in Him.

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Verses 8-10: “which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all thing in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth – in Him.”

I enjoy watching the old episodes of Columbo on TV; I guess part of the reason besides the inverted detective format is the fact that I enjoy trying to guess where he is going with his investigations when he is exploring a murder. I sometimes feel a little satisfied when I correctly guess the mystery of just why Lt. Columbo is going down a certain path, or asking a certain question, or researching some little detail, which in the end, always comes back to haunt the killer. My wife and I like knowing ahead of the rest of our family when we are all watching it together. I have a friend who is the same way when watching a stage magician and figuring out how they perform a trick.

There’s a mystery that non-believers don’t understand, that we, as believers are privy to. God enlightens us when we come to know Jesus Christ, and that one day, God will unite all things on earth and in Heaven under Jesus’s rule. To those who don’t know Him, it is a mystery they don’t understand. But we see it just as plainly as Lt. Columbo sees the evidence of “whodunit”.

Something to think about.

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