From the Evangelist’s Desk
Proverbs 3:28 (New International Version)
28 Do not say to your neighbour, “Come back later; I’ll give it tomorrow” when you now have it with you.
How many times have I resented someone wanting something when it is inconvenient to me? How many times has this happened to you?
It is said that John Wesley had a motto, “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can.”
Reading this I think about how short I really fall from this motto. But as a servant to Christ, I should be willing surly to try and meet with the Wesley motto.
Galatians 6:10 (New International Version)
10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
When God puts someone in need right in front of us, he is giving us the opportunity to grow in servant hood. Notice that God says the needs of our church family are to be given preference, not put at the bottom of our “things to do” list.
We may miss many occasions for serving because we sometimes lack sensitivity and spontaneity. Great opportunities to serve never last long. They pass quickly, sometimes never to return again. We may only get one chance to serve that person, so take advantage of the moment.
Have you ever thought after spending some time with someone, ‘I wish I had said that at the time, or I wished I had done that at the time.” I have, but I also realised that it was too late and the ‘moment’ had passed. How many times have we been in that ‘moment passed’ scenario?’
Sometimes we reason that we are not good enough to live in the moment for God, or that we do not have the skill, or that we are worried about mucking it up.
Well we must remember that the Lord is an all loving God, who cares for us all and we are part of His creation therefore we are all certainly good enough to be in the moment. Acts 7:55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. When we are in need the Lord will provide.
Our Christian journey teaches us many things on route, so eventually we will have the skill set to be in the moment, plus as long as we try God will build on our learning and will provide for our needs be they physical or spiritual.
We must also remember that when God is in charge we should not muck things up. Again we will be given what we need to complete the task. Stepping out in faith sometimes means stepping out of the boat into the water like Peter did. We take the first step just like a child takes their first step, we may wobble and fall down, but the Lord will always pick us up again, brush us down and set us on our journey again. Remember we learn from our mistakes.
Again I think of the Wesley motto, “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can.”
St Benedict has a rule asking that, “First of all, every time you begin a good work, you must pray to God most earnestly to bring it to perfection.” A thought for you. If we all try to undertake any good work to perfection, then we are trying our best at all times. Work by the way can be our everyday mundane jobs, our work within our church family, albeit servant or the servant’s servant, or the work we do at home with our friends and families. To aim at bringing it to perfection means that whatever we do and whenever we do it, we will hopefully come near to meeting Wesley’s motto.
So let us try and never let that moment pass without us doing something about it there and then, remember, Proverb 3: 28 Do not say to your neighbour, “Come back later; I’ll give it tomorrow” when you now have it with you.
Yours in Christ Jesus.
© Rick Hayes, September 2010