Play Your Part

Salmon was the father of Boaz by Rahab, Boaz was the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse. – Matthew 1:5

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“Sight and Sound” Theater, well known around the U. S., is located only a few miles from where I live in central Pennsylvania (as well as Branson, Missouri). The company is famous for their elaborate productions and “wrap-around” staging. What they are not known for is their stage stars or famous personalities. You see, nowhere in any of their printed material will you find profiles of the actors as you do in other theatrical productions. Each actor appears anonymously it seems, in order that God might be the true star of the show.

A few years ago, after the viewing the performance of “Ruth,” I was reminded that in God’s eternal plan there are many anonymous actors whose lives are nonetheless vital to the telling and accomplishment of “His-story.” Each person’s contribution makes a difference, often an eternal difference.

May each of us play our part well.

God’s providence is not blind, but full of eyes. – John Whittier Greenleaf

Time to Shine

Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. – Matthew 5:16

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Light shines the brightest in the darkest room or storm and it is in such places and times that God has called each of us to individually be on mission, to shine His light, for Him. As a unique part of His Body, we do not have a choice. We must each find our place in the array of lights illuminating a path for the world to follow to Christ.

For our personal expression of Christ’s presence to be the most visible, it must of course be on display for the world to see. As light contrasts and dispels darkness, the life of Christ is most obvious when it is firmly placed amidst trial, difficulty, lost culture, or even a global crisis. We may all desire to be someplace else or to be experiencing a different set of circumstances, but we are not. We are “here,” in this moment of time and history. As a person places a lamp or candle in a darkened room, God has placed each of us in this present darkness to reveal His glory.

Time to shine.

Preach abroad, it is the cooping of yourselves up in rooms that has dampened the work of God, which never was and never will be carried out to any purpose without going into the highways and hedges and compelling men and women to come in. – Jonathan Edwards

Let Him Lead

When they had brought them outside, one said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you, and do not stay anywhere in the valley; escape to the mountains, or you will be swept away.” But Lot said to them, “Oh no, my lords! Now behold, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have magnified your lovingkindness, which you have shown me by saving my life; but I cannot escape to the mountains, for the disaster will overtake me and I will die; now behold, this town is near enough to flee to, and it is small. Please, let me escape there (is it not small?) that my life may be saved.” – Genesis 19:17-20

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When the two angels dragged Lot, his wife, and their two daughters out of Sodom they also told them to run to the mountains for safety. Lot, however, debated with the angels, begging them to allow his family to remain in the small, insignificant village of Zoar. He reasoned that they would not be able to survive in the mountains. Lot was a righteous man, but he lacked wisdom and struggled to trust what God was clearly communicating through those who were trying to preserve his life.

Outside of a saving relationship with Jesus Christ, a person cannot be redeemed or escape a fiery judgment. Like Lot, it shows a tremendous lack of wisdom for us to “go our own way” when Jesus (who is The Way) has brought us into the light of His truth. Wherever God leads us is best, no matter what our not-so-common sense may tell us. He knows the dangers. He knows our needs. He knows what is coming.

We must trust Him and let Him lead.

There is no more terrible sight than ignorance in action. – Johann Wolfgang Goethe

In the Moment

So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. – Matthew 6:34

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Back in 2006, at the end their last regular season game, Jeff Garcia (who was the aging quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles) was interviewed by a sideline reporter. Because Garcia’s career had basically come to an end (before an injury to the starting QB had given him an unexpected opportunity to be a starter), the reporter asked him to reflect upon his unlikely success. Garcia’s response was indicative of his experience as a player and a human being. He said, “The past is history, the future is a mystery, and today is a gift.”

If we serve the Lord, we have a secure future in Christ, but we must live each day, each moment for Him. Life is just that, a string of moments and each one should be an offering to the Creator. What will you “offer” Him today?

Without Christ, not one step; with Him, anywhere! – David Livingstone

Money, Money, Money, Money … MONEY!

When he saw the ring and the bracelets on his sister’s wrists, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, “This is what the man said to me,” he went to the man; and behold, he was standing by the camels at the spring. Now Rebekah had a brother whose name was Laban; and Laban ran outside to the man at the spring. – Genesis 24:29-30

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Laban (Rebekah’s brother) was a greedy, dishonest man. We see the first hint of his despicable character in his early encounter with Abraham’s servant. His motives were clearly revealed when Jacob (Rebekah’s son) returned (many years later) seeking a wife.

The love of money is indeed the root of all kinds of evil (1 Tim. 6:10). Is it truly necessary?

By money, God produces much good; however, in some Christian ministries there is an unhealthy preoccupation with it. Leaders can often be the guiltiest. One must certainly manage God’s resources well, but if a leader takes more delight in a big offering or donation than a new convert or if he is more excited over the addition of a wealthy donor than one with meager resources, then a bankruptcy of spirit may be of greater concern than a declining bank account.

A wise mentor once told me, “Trust God. Tell people.” The Lord will ensure that you have what you need to obediently accomplish what He desires. Use wisely what is provided, but don’t fall in love with it, for in an instant it can all disappear.

A dreadful thing is the love of money! It disables both the eyes and ears and makes men worse to deal with than a wild beast, allowing a man to consider neither conscience nor friendship nor fellowship nor salvation. – John Chrysostom