“What if God, choosing to show His wrath and make His power known, bore with great patience the objects of His wrath, prepared for destruction?” Rom 9:22 (NIV)
I talked with a few physicists in New Mexico and asked them about global warming. One of them pointed out that there were major natural elements beyond the understanding and control of mankind. The first, he said, was the power of the sun, which waxed and waned in different cycles and caused the atmospheric envelope around earth to heat up or cool. The second was the intense volcanic activity, which spewed tons of dust particles high into the atmosphere and absorbed heat, adding to the warming.
There are also spiritual elements beyond our control: God’s patience. God’s mercies. God’s wisdom. God’s power. All of these are within the realm of our Creator and He is in control of our world.
What would happen is God’s patience ran out? What if He decided that Time was over?
We are at His mercy, under the grace of His Son. We have nothing to fear as long as we are ready for Him.
“Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.” II Cor 4:1 (NIV)
Ministries are the actions of Christians for their Lord. While it is important to worship together, share in giving, praise His name and fellowship, I believe the cutting edge of evangelism is ministry — serving the needs of those around us. Whether this be providing food, clothing, ministering with prayer, visiting those in the hospital or jail, etc these are all vital ministries that reaches people’s hearts.
And it is through God’s mercies that we are able to serve and make a difference in someone’s life. I believe that the most effective ministries concentrate one-on-one. One person helps another one. One Christian reaches out to another person. It is this personal interaction that will change hearts and lives for Jesus.
You don’t have to be a preacher. You don’t have to teach a Bible class. You don’t have to be a great prayer. You don’t have to go to Bible college.
All you and I have to do is to help those who are in need. Through God’s mercies and blessings, we put out our hands and touch the lives of those who are helpless and hapless.
“God works through different people in different ways but it is the same God who achieves His purpose through them all.” I Cor 12:6 (PH)
Many people avoid arguments at all costs. They don’t like the challenges and heated discussions resulting from differing opinions or ideas. They consider it messy, unnecessary and tawdry. A wise man once said, “Never wrestle with a pig — you’ll just get dirty and the pig enjoys it!”
Yet not all Christians can agree on things. There are differences of opinion and thought even within the same group or church. I’ve been to many board and committee meetings for various purposes and the exchanges can become quite heated and argumentative. But I also believe that God allows these differences to promote His will in different areas. Recently, I witnessed a heated discussion within a small group and it might appear to an outsider that this was fruitless. In fact, the disagreement resulted in a good plan!
We are all different people with different backgrounds, education, financial status and cultural group. God needs those differences to achieve His good purpose! He needs bikers to reach bikers. Africans to reach Africans. Americans to reach Americans. He need you and me to be able to work for one common purpose — to seek and save the lost.
It is up to each one of us to recognize that our fellow Christian might have a radically different point of view, but they are no less committed to serving God than we are.
Or is that stretching it a bit far?