"And when he desired to cross to Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him; and when he arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace; for he vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ" (Acts 18:27-28).
Are You Engaged?
The last year has taken a lot out of me. To be honest, I am worn down in the natural man. The endless inconveniences of the pandemic have taken a toll. Just the fifty times I've started into work or a store without my mask and had to walk back to the car has worn me out.
The temptation is to withdraw. My flesh wants to be quiet, sit in a corner, and just recover. There's a time for everyone to do just that. For me, now is not that time. More than ever, our world needs you and I to stay engaged.
Not all of us are called to the Paul kind of ministry, but some of us are called in that direction. The verse above says that Paul vigorously refuted the Jews publicly. More than that, he planned to go to Achaia perhaps knowing what lay ahead of him. It wasn't going to be a church pot luck kind of visit. He needed to go and stand for the Truth in front of the religious leaders who missed the mark.
Love Means Engagement
Part of our job as Christians is to engage with others. Not just Christians, we are called to get out there in the world and love those who so badly need it. The Father sent His precious Son into our world because of love. When the love of Christ fills up our lives, we are compelled by love to engage. "In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him" (1 John 4:9).
If we don't feel like getting out into the world and loving, it means we need more time alone with God first. As God fills us up, His guidance, peace, grace, hope, and excitement fill us. Eventually, time with God drives us to engage with our fellow man. His ability to make us whole when we used to be a total mess drives us to love those He placed in our lives.
As a believer, God will put us in situations with people who desperately need spiritual help. It may be a wayward son with a praying mother. The person God place in your life may be a young woman at work who is desperate, without a close friend. She may need that positive word, that smile, that inspiring story that only you can tell.
Don't listen to the selfish voice that tells us we have no time to stop and help a stranger. God intends to use us if we will make ourselves available. Let's not make ourselves so busy with meaningless pursuits that there is no time left for loving others.
A Prayer for You and Me
Heavenly Father, we need You. Meet with us now. Fill us with Your love and care for others. Guide us to the people this week who need our help. Show us how to reflect You to the world. Curb our selfish desires, and give us the strength, energy, and excitement to engage on behalf of You. Increase our prayer time. Increase our worship time. Increase our ministry to others as we turn our lives over to You each day. Amen.
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