“This is why we always pray for you — Our God called you and we want Him to make you worthy of that! May God also accomplish in a powerful way, all of the good you want to do and every action that comes from your faith.” I Thess 1:11 (Simple English Bible)
The answer was always the same: the church didn’t have the money or resources to build a day care center for the local children. Extra land was expensive and it would drain whatever funds the church had. One elderly widow thought otherwise. She approached a local realtor and told him of her desire to help the kids. When he was told that she needed a piece of land but had no money, he was polite and ushered her out of his office. But a man sitting in his outer office had heard the widow’s plea and decided to give her a piece of land near the church.
Another local electrician offered his help and his friends, a plumber and carpenter also climbed on board. A funding drive was started by the widow’s two granddaughters and work began clearing the land even though there was only a little money. A local radio station broadcast a news reports and a businessman approached his colleagues at the golf club.
Within six months, the day care center was completed. Kids from the community came to a brand new center, staffed by volunteer Christian workers. The widow couldn’t make it to the grand opening: she’d died a few weeks before. But her name is on a plaque near the front door. A testimony to a believer who’s faith and goodness paved the way for greater works for Christ.
Just like us.
“Love is the real reason for this command. It comes from a pure heart, a good conscience and honest faith.” I Tim 1:5 (Simple English Bible)
Mary wanted to know how her boyfriend was really in love with her. She had a few doubts and needed to understand if the love between them was genuine. We read this verse together and although it doesn’t specifically apply to a romantic relationship, the apostle does outline where love originates. Mary saw right away that there were aspects about the man she was dating.
Paul warned the Christians in Ephesus to instruct those who hold onto myths and traditions to cease their teaching. He warned them out of love, not out of a superiority or as a part of a power play. He did this out of Christian love. Honesty, honor and purity were the features of sincerity and a genuine concern for others. We call it love.
I could see that Mary was disappointed. She was hoping that her relationship with the man who claimed to love her, wasn’t genuine. But, she felt that she had the tools to guide her from the Word.
Which is where we should all go for our questions!
“Life is what’s next!” Anon wise man
It bothers me a little that the apostle Paul didn’t seem to take a vacation. Nor was he particularly concerned about a pension plan or his rights. I get the impression that he was focused on His Savior and ensuring that anyone he met, knew the name of Jesus. Maybe he did take time off in Corinth when he was earning a living making tents. I wonder if he and Luke had time to enjoy a play or concert in Ephesus.
Sometimes, I find myself looking ahead, contemplating my retirement years. Maybe financially, I don’t have enough if I live too long. Should it bother me that I don’t take enough time off for myself or just keep going? Perhaps like Paul, I should be more focused on my Lord and His name glorified. These thoughts crowd my head sometimes and I wince at the missed opportunities that I squandered.
I think life is what comes next. Whatever I do, wherever I go, to whomever I speak, I should be aware that my home isn’t anywhere on this planet. Maybe this is the secret: anticipate home! That’s where I will be one day — abiding with my God and my Savior!
Can it be as simple as that?