Friday, February 2, 2018

Want A Blessing From God - You Must Stop, Look, Listen, And Then Obey

Woe is me if I do not preach the gospel! —1 Corinthians 9:16

{CHAMBERS} “Beware of refusing to hear the call of God. Everyone who is saved is called to testify to the fact of his salvation. That, however, is not the same as the call to preach, but is merely an illustration which can be used in preaching. […] Paul’s words have to do with our being made servants of Jesus Christ, and our permission is never asked as to what we will do or where we will go. God makes us as broken bread and poured-out wine to please Himself. To be “separated to the gospel” means being able to hear the call of God (Romans 1:1). Once someone begins to hear that call, a suffering worthy of the name of Christ is produced. Suddenly, every ambition, every desire of life, and every outlook is completely blotted out and extinguished. Only one thing remains— “…separated to the gospel…”"

{ELGIN}  Yesterday, a partner in the Gospel, John, and I were at a Home Depot getting some parts we needed to finish work on a family’s house that had been damaged during Hurricane Harvey.  As we checked out, there was a young woman checking out ahead of us.  I noticed she had building materials but was not wearing clothing that suggested that she was about to put them to use.  We paid for our supplies and walked out to leave.  I noticed that the woman was trying to put the materials in her small SUV – 10 pounds in a 5 pound can. I asked her if we could help her load her vehicle.  She looked relieved and said “yes”.  Well … the 5 pound can had not gotten any bigger.  I asked her if she lived far from the store and she told us about 5 miles.  So I offered to put her materials in my truck and we would follow here back to the house.  (thinking about that later, I would have been upset if my wife said yes to two strange men following her home! And I told the woman so.) But let’s just say the Spirit of God was at work.  When we arrived, we set the materials in her garage.  She said they had just moved there – the garage was a mess – and she and her husband were fixing their daughters room up. OK – this is where it gets interesting.  She told us that they have son who has special needs.  He was in Infant ICU for 6 months.  Their son has several significant physical problems. They have a full time nurse helping them.  John shared with her about one of his grandchildren.  Then the conversation got even more personal .. John asked her if she believed in God … to which she replied … “you may not believe it, but I was studying to be a youth pastor and married a pastor.  She went on to say that her husband was unfaithful and she divorced him.  She was rejected by the local church instead of being comforted.  Since then she has not had much to do with church or God.

I asked her if I could pray with her, and she agreed.  I told her that God had us at Home Depot at that time because He wanted her to know that He had not forgotten her and she should not give up on God.  She said that she cried all the time she was driving back home because we were being so kind.  I told her that we are obliged to do it. I shared Galatians 6:2 “Bear one another’s burdens and fulfill the law of Christ.”  I shared 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 that “God is the God of all comfort who comforts us in our afflictions so we might comfort others with the same comfort we, ourselves, have received.”  She started crying again and I could see that God was speaking to her broken heart.  Then I prayed with her that God would bring healing to her son and to her.  She asked if she could take a picture of the three of us.  For her privacy I will not post it.  Then we left.

So to the point.  You never know when God will put you in a place of fulfilling your calling to lift Jesus up and point people to the Father.  Be ready.  There is really nothing sweeter than fulfilling God’s purpose for you.  But you have to be listing, watching, ready and willing.  We could have walked by her in the parking lot because we had things to do … but we didn’t and were blessed in our obedience to the call of God.  And you can be as well.

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