Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Devotion 1.19.17

My observation is that many great ideas die because they were not thought through.  A group of well-intended people gathered, maybe under the enthusiasm of an individual or a couple of dominant individuals, and they decided that it was time to do something.  My favorite tv show example of this is from the "Andy Griffith Show" (that's a show from a long time ago if you are under 45 years of age - you might have caught a few episodes on TVLand).  The circuit preacher came to Mayberry one day to deliver a sermon one Sunday and harkened back to yesteryear when people took time, didn't hurry quite as much.  What happened to those Sundays in the park when people gathered in the afternoons, made ice cream, and listen to the town band play? he reflected fondly. 

So, after Andy and Barnie get excited to do just that, throw together an afternoon in the park that includes getting out the old band uniforms, sewing them back together, getting the band together to rehearse, and getting Aunt Bea and others to throw together a picnic type set up, they literally beat themselves down and are drop dead weary by the time it is supposed to fall together.  And they fall apart.  This notion of a relaxing Sunday afternoon is a great idea, but how is it going to happen.

I marvel at the Apostle Paul.  He understands the undertaking he has committed to after being called by Christ.  He is to preach and teach the gospel to people, namely take the message to the Gentiles.  That should seem simple enough.  Go out and take my gospel message to the people.  What we learn in Paul's letters is he has an understanding of how to carry an idea through to its completion.  In 1 Corinthians, he writes the church in Corinth, a result of following up on information he has learned through his interactions with people who have come and gone from there, only to learn there are some divisive issues.   Paul visits.  Paul writes.  Paul sends people.  Paul follows up.  In speaking of the divisions within the church, Paul says the following, "For it has been reported to me by Chloe's people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers.  What I mean is that each of one you says, 'I follow Paul,' or 'I follow Apollos,' or 'I follow Cephas (Peter),' or 'I follow Christ.' Is Christ divided?  Was Paul crucified for you?  Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?" (1 Cor 1:11 - 13)

It is important that to understand the magnitude of spreading the gospel, we follow the example set forth by our apostles in scripture.  It took leaders and followers.  It took time. It took planning.  It took work.  It took follow up.  It took teaching again if it wasn't quite where it needed to be. 

We thank God for the gifts we have and for those who use those gifts to spread the Word of Christ to the "Gentiles" (those outside the faith).  We pray that we lead, follow, and work to be a part of the unified body of Christ in the capacities that God has given us.

Hope Men's Ministry

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