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Tuesday Thoughts 2-27-18

A common feeling comes over most of us when we’re asked to participate in something, and know we have nothing to contribute.  I recently experienced that sense at the National Prayer Summit over last weekend.  Though it was announced the day before, when the plates came by for a special offering for anyone wishing to cover some of the costs of the free event, I still felt weird letting the basket pass even though I had nothing to put into it (God provided just enough to get down and back!).  While it was a fleeting thing in this instance, there are plenty of other times when it is extremely uncomfortable not being able to answer the call for involvement.  The Bible reveals many calls like this.  The greatest of these is to follow Jesus, but our involvement here is receiving!  When once we have entered into this joyful relationship, it is the opportunities to contribute to the “one-anothers” that often cause this creeping feeling of inadequacy.   If this is familiar to you, I want to first offer you peace.  We find it in the New Testament book of Acts, which is the powerful story of the formation of the Christian Church through the presence of the Holy Spirit.  In the sixth chapter we find Peter and John on their way to the Temple.  Just outside, a physically challenged beggar asked them for a handout.  Boom, a call to help the poor and downtrodden.  Keep in mind that the teaching of Jesus was laced with the principles of helping the poor, imprisoned, lame, orphaned, and widowed (the least of these).  But the followers of the Savior were not a bunch of rich guys, rather, they lived (as Dave Ramsey says) from paycheck to paycheck…they had nothing to give, a perfect opportunity to feel bad.  But the truth is, they had something even better: “But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!” (Acts 3:6 NLT), and he got up and walked!  The good news of peace for all of us, is that we are only asked to give what from we have, so relax the next time you get that, “I can’t help” feeling.  That’s only part of the story though.  If you’re not feeling it, allow me to draw you into the lingering question here.  What is it you have?  You do have something, don’t you?  Are you feeling a little uncomfortable?  It’s okay, that’s a good thing!  The reason we are not drawn up to heaven at the moment of our salvation is that we have been given something to share, and those with whom we are to share it.  It’s called purpose and I think we may be missing the boat!  Since all who are in Christ have the same Spirit out of which the healing power flowed from Peter, we all have something important to give (we are all reflecting His glory!).  What is it, and how am I giving it?  I’d love to be the answer-man today, but I can only leave you with this very important question, and Jesus’ own instructions on how to receive the answer, “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7–8 (NLT).  Share with me and one another when He speaks to you, I’ll do the same!

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