Monday, March 6, 2017

Rod Gartner  

Spreading the Word 

Matthew 10:5-9 (NIV)5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6 Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. 7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy,[a] drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give. 9 “Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts—

2 Corinthians 4:1-7 (NIV)  This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed. 2 Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. 3 I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. 4 My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. 5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.  6 Now, brothers and sisters, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written.” Then you will not be puffed up in being a follower of one of us over against the other. 7 For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?

How often have we listened to a sermon or a presentation encouraging us to tell others of our faith or to lead someone to be open to Christianity.  Or, how often have we listened to people deriding the Christian faith and tried to counter their arguments?  Being lost for words is too often the case.  Why can’t our talented Christian educators provide us with the means to respond? 

As told in Matthew 10, Jesus sent out his 12 disciples to work with the “lost sheep of the house of Israel.”  How could we today even come close to accomplishing what those 12 did?  Perhaps we are too hard on ourselves.  Maybe we have helped a few.  Have you ever been on a mission trip and worked with families who have had very little?  Many are very eager to learn, and we are challenged to dig out the right resources.

In the process, we have often been the ones to have gained the most.  But back to the main challenge; how can we even initiate the change process?  A minister friend of mine offered that we can be effective by just living a good Christian life in the best way we can.  This can become a copout.  We must continue to learn and be aware of any humble way by which we can help.

Prayer:  Help us Lord to not hold back, make us aware of situations where we might be of help, and then guide us in taking some action.

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