pastorjohnb

Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!


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Called

Reading: 1 Timothy 1: 12-14

Paul reminds us today that God can use anybody to help build the kingdom.  Paul acknowledges that his past included blasphemy, persecution, and violence – all against the newly founded church that followed Jesus.  He was very zealous in his work against this new church.  Yet God, in a show of great mercy, claimed Paul for service in the kingdom.  In a flash all the zeal against Christ became zeal for Christ.

When we look at Paul’s past, we can see how God was at work preparing Paul for the role we know him in as one of the great missionaries and teachers if the early church.  Early on Saul, as the old Paul was known, was a star pupil.  He was very intelligence and quickly learned the Hebrew Bible inside and out.  He quickly rose through the religious ranks and became a very well respected Pharisee.  It was all of this past knowledge and practices that allowed Paul to so skillfully build His case for Christ and to defend it against attacks from non-believers and the Jewish authorities as well.

Each of enters into God’s service in a similar way.  We too all come with our past sins and mistakes.  But we also come with we have done and experienced and learned in life.  The gifts and talents that God has blessed each of us with are a part of who we are as well.  Just like Paul, when we are called or led into service in some particular way, we are ready.  We are just who God has prepared us to be and needs us to be for that role.

Like so many before us, often we too ask, “Me?” as our initial response to God’s call.  We are usually skilled at saying “Well…”, “But…”, “When…”, and “No” also.  But God does not call us unless we have been equipped for the task at hand.  We may not know this or feel this way, but God knows better.  May we each obediently respond to God’s call in our lives so that we may say as Paul said, “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that He considered me faithful, appointing me to service”.


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A Love to Share

Our minds are capable of learning many things.  In school and in church we are taught a lot.  While in school we aretaught what is factually correct, in church we learn about what is true: Jesus.

In repsonse to Pilate’s questions about what truth is, Jesus responds, “Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”  In His answer Jesus implies that there is a relationship or connection between people who know the truth and Jesus himself.  In order to know the truth, we must listen to Jesus and come to know Him.

We listen and learn by being in contact with the teacher.  Through the written Word of the Bible, through the Word spoken in church, through time in prayer, and through fasting we seek to learn about and grow in Jesus.  Our learning and connection to Jesus is in direct proportion to the effort we choose to put in and to the amount of time we spend with Him.  For example, if all we are willing to give is one hour on Sunday morning then our connection and understanding is less than it could be.  On the other hand, if we also choose to spend time in the Word and prayer each day, what we know as truth will be greater.

As we come to know Jesus more and more, what the truth is becomes clearer and clearer.  As we grow in our love of God, it start to spill out into love of all of God’s children.  This love we share with Jesus becomes a love we share with all we meet.  As we grow into Jesus, our lives are transformed by His truth.  Jesus seeks to transform us so that we become His love poured out daily to all we meet.  This day may His love radiate from us and through us in all we do and may it flow out to all we meet.

Scripture reference: John 18: 33-38