Pastor's Corner

29 Apr
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Mid-Week Challenge

I read a great article today by Jim Denison titled How People You Don’t Know Change Your World.   He talks about how people you have never met, maybe never heard their names, have a direct effect on your life.  Over the past seven weeks, through the power of technology, we have met a lot of officials, doctors and leaders who we would have never knew existed if it had not been for COVID-19.  Some of these people we look forward to seeing each afternoon or evening, others we wish we would never have met.  All in different fields, some liked, some not so much.  All doing their best, even if we don’t believe that about them in the process.  We don’t (and might not ever) know if they saved us from sickness or helped our economy or plunged us further into trouble.  History will show but by then, will we remember the names Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx? Will we remember that Mike Pence was our Vice President (who was Abraham Lincoln’s VP? Had to think for a second, didn’t you?).  The point is that people you and I don’t know have always been shaping the world we live in and will always be shaping our future.  

The Bible is full of these examples.  What about the Roman centurion that guarded Paul in the book of Acts? Acts 27 tells us his name was Julius.  In verse 3 we are told that he “treated Paul kindly” along the journey.  Why does that matter?  Guards had no obligation to do this; in fact it was against their nature.  Later in the chapter we are told that on a boat headed to Roman they hit rough waters and when their ship began to break up the soldiers planned to kill the prisoners but Julius wouldn’t let them carry out their plan (v. 43). As a result, Paul spent two years in Rome “proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance” (Acts 28:31). He also wrote Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon during this time. By saving his life, Julius made possible the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts because Luke was with Paul the whole time.  (By the way, Luke and Acts comprise more words than Paul’s thirteen letters, making Luke the most prolific author in the New Testament.) 

At this moment you do not know how you are having an impact on someone else’s life or if you have already planted a seed that one day will grow into a great mission for the Lord’s Kingdom.  The lesson is that we should be aware of how we interact with people. Be in prayer for those who are interacting with others in the way of leadership.  Be cautions how you judge, critique and complain about how others are doing jobs you have never held.  If you have not walked in their shoes you have no idea what they are dealing with, nor how you would respond if you had to take on their role.  Be thankful that the Lord knows what He is doing by placing people where He needs them, when He needs them. 

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.”  Matthew 6:1 

Serving the Savior

Bro. Jonathan

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