Categories
Christian Living

Together

“Let us be concerned for one another, to help one another to show love and to do good. Let us not give up the habit of meeting together, as some are doing. Instead, let us encourage one another all the more, since you see the Day of the Lord is coming nearer.” (Hebrews 10:24-25 – GNT)

Jeff King, in his recent post, Quote for 01/31/2021, observed that Christianity is the premier team sport. “We’re all in this together, the body of Christ, the church,” said Jeff.

When I read these words, I remembered seeing a fire truck roll up to a call one time while I was sitting at a red light. As soon as the rig came to a stop, firefighters scattered from the vehicle like ants! Two guys unrolled a fire hose and pulled it to a hydrant, while two more unloaded a huge ladder.

Meanwhile, at least one person behind me honked—when the light turned green! So I was on my way, but something about what I saw stuck with me: first responders come out in pairs–just like Noah’s ark!

I asked a firefighter friend at church to fill me in about this “two by two” phenomenon. He explained: for safety and efficiency purposes, nobody works alone. Standard procedure calls for two firefighters in and two out. The idea, he said, is “I look out for you, you look out for me, and we both make it home.”

If Christianity is the ultimate team sport, and surely we can agree with Jeff that it is, then we must act like it. Nobody goes it alone! Like the writer of Hebrews says, we should show real concern for and help one another. Our love and good works speak far more than words.

By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Jesus – (John 13:34 NIV)

The application to the body of Christ, and by this I mean the church universal, is clear. We live at a point in history when both the world AND the church are on fire. I may be mixing my metaphors here, but we need all hands on deck!

Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God? Do you accept Him as the only way to heaven and trust Him to save you from your sins? Then we work at the same firehouse!

If God is your Father, I am your brother.

I look out for you, you look out for me, and we both make it home to heaven.

Categories
Christian Blog encouragement

God Chose You

“You did not choose me, but I chose you.” Jesus – John 15:16a

You know the kid on every playground who’s always chosen last? That was me. I could run fast, but my hand-to-eye coordination stunk. That meant being a sought after team mate for a game of pick-up basketball was out of the question. I can still see myself waiting and waiting to be called from a shrinking pool of eager wannabes. Know the feeling?

I took a trip back in time recently–to those second string days—when fochwoman posted about how she and her friends play a charades-like game called articulate. She confessed, when they get together, everyone scrambles to pick only the best players for their team.

“Yeah, just like back in grade school,” I said to my phone out loud. But fochwoman wasn’t about to gloat over being queen of some parlor game. No, she planned to blow my mind with an idea straight from heaven.

For His team, God chooses EVERYBODY!

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

Colossians 3:12

As she meditated on the scripture above, my blogger friend realized that God doesn’t just pick the best players for His team. There’s a special position for each believer!

And the greatest coach EVER even provides a free uniform! Did you catch that–where it says, “Clothe yourselves?” I once heard a sermon on this passage entitled, “The Clothes to Put On.” But I digress.

In his epistle to the Romans and also his first letter to the church at Corinth, Paul clarifies spiritual gifts. He tells the Romans, “We have different gifts according to the grace given to each of us.” (Romans 12:6a) And to the Corinthians he says, “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” (1 Corinthians 12:7)

In other words, God doesn’t pick the best players, He picks players best.

So chin up, dear disciple! It’s time to check back into the game. Because God chose YOU to be on HIS team; there’s even a jersey with your name on it.😇

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” God -Isaiah 43:1b


Photo by Miguel u00c1. Padriu00f1u00e1n on Pexels.com

Categories
Christian Living grace

#shareHisgrace

Photo by Gary Fultz on Unsplash

After I posted recently about the importance of being kind to others, Barb, from My Life in Our Father’s World , commented with the following hashtag: #shareHisgrace.

While my piece spotlighted the usefulness of people cultivating the good, Barb shined a floodlight on where to find it in its purest form.

Thank you, friend, for bringing the focus back where it belongs—on God. You added to the value of my thoughts exponentially.

I said to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have nothing good besides You.

Psalm 16:2 (NASB)

This collaborative experience with a fellow believer jogged my memory about a true story of two people who showed uncommon grace to each other. It happened at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.

Sueo Oe (left) and Shuhei Nishida – source Wikipedia, copyright unknown

Shuhei Nishida and Sueo Oe were two Japanese pole vaulters tied for second place at the summer games. However, as good friends and teammates, they declined to compete against each other (in a jump off) to decide between the silver and the bronze. So the silver was awarded to Nashida and the bronze to Oe, based on the fact that Nashida cleared the height in fewer attempts.

However, when they returned home to Japan, the two athletes did something extraordinary. They had a jeweler cut each of their medals in half and splice together two new ones—half silver and half bronze. They called these creations “Medals of Friendship.”

Source, Wikipedia – copyright unknown

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in it’s various forms.

1 Peter 4:10 (NIV)

A Few Observations

  • It’s God’s gift, not mine — the two athletes valued their friendship more than competition.
  • It’s not MY grace, either — they demonstrated this by committing to something larger than themselves.
  • God’s grace comes in different flavors — the Medals of Friendship were a unique way to show the true depth of their relationship.

My collaboration with Barb (and other believers, on and off-line) reminds me that our life in Christ is a shared experience. We are many members, but ONE body (Romans 12:4-5).

I like to call this interconnection “3 Makes 2”

You and me, with Jesus at the top of the triangle.

Walk in the wisdom of God as you live before the unbelievers, and make it your duty to make Him known. Let every word you speak be drenched with grace and tempered with truth and clarity. For then you will be prepared to give a respectful answer to anyone who asks about your faith.

Colossians 4:4-5 (TPT)

#shareHisgrace