“So guard yourselves and God’s people. Feed and shepherd God’s flock—his church, purchased with his own blood—over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as leaders.” Acts 20:28 (NLT)
There is an old expression made famous by Joni Mitchell (Big Yellow Taxi) that goes, “You don’t know what you got ‘til it’s gone”. We are SO blessed in this country in this part of the world that we take a lot of God’s blessing for granted. We just assume we will always have food that we never give it a thought unless it is along the lines of, “Where should we go to eat?” We don’t think about the safe place we have to sleep tonight or the fact that all we have to do to have clean clothes is to “do a laundry”. If any of these huge blessings were removed from us our very survival might become a question. Yet, for most people in the world, they live without these luxuries on a daily basis.
Another luxury we get to enjoy in our culture is the freedom to worship God as we choose. We are so comfortable having this freedom that we often don’t even value the opportunity to go to church. However, in many other parts of the world, they travel great distances to attend a worship service and it might consume the better part of their day. They often risk persecution or worse if discovered praising the name of Jesus where we hardly think about him day to day. The early church suffered in this way as Christians were being hunted down and executed. They held their faith as precious and each member of the Christian community was so treasured by every other member. They shared what they had so that everyone had enough and they thanked God for their blessings.
In my prayers each day, I include a prayer that my flock at Gulfview would get to know each other better, love one another better, and count every other member as precious. Each one of you has been given the responsibility by God to take care of your brothers and sisters in the church. Rather than skipping out to a restaurant immediately after service, why not take a few minutes to come by the Fellowship Hall and get to know your church better. It is not only obedience to God but you might even find a new friend. Amen.
Pastor John Woodrow