Have you ever heard someone older than you say “The problem with young people these days is…” the last part can be filled in with a multitude of things: They don’t know what hard work is, they don’t know how easy they’ve got it, they want immediate gratification, all they care about is themselves, they let others raise their children and then wonder why their kids don’t listen to them, they’re wasteful, they’re disrespectful…. and on and on.
Now that I’m in my mid 30’s, I too am starting sentences that way about those younger along with my elders still saying it about me. This is a great spot to be and I plan on making the best of it while I’m here.
I’m now more open to listening to what those before me want me to know and I now understand that it’s important to study the history of events. To apply or not to apply them to my future endeavors. That when someone before me is willing to share their experiences, what a gift that is and I best stop and listen.
But I also recognize I have a responsibility to the younger generation. To “pay forward” the things and wisdom my elders had taken the time to pass on to me. There are many teachings that can be pointed to as worthy of being passed down. Like how to clean a walleye, the importance of a winter kit in your car, how to read a map even though there is such a thing as mapquest and GPS and the list goes on.
One of the most important pieces of wisdom I just now comprehend is the meaning of being a Christian. It is not enough to believe in God, believe that if I confess my sins I will go to heaven or that because I go to church I get to call myself a Christian. Those things are all just the start of being a Christian. Before, if I would have read the below devotional from Pastor Paul I would have thought, “yep and thank you God for giving me your Grace, Mercy and Peace.” Now, as I mature as a Christian I recognize that it is I that God uses to give on to others Grace, Mercy and Peace and it is through this giving that I receive Grace, Mercy and Peace. A BIG pay it forward. “God helps those that help themselves”… has been mistaken as an excuse to be self involved! The word themselves refers to a group of people, God is telling us that he wants his people to help his people.
Finally please chew on this… you don’t have to be a boy scout to perform good deeds and you don’t need to be retired to do volunteer work. Get involved in your community now, one way or another.
Wings of Hope are having its first opening meeting on October 25th at Blue Sky in Spicer. Join us at 7pm to learn how you, too, can lead a hand, give back, pay it forward and feel the Grace, Mercy and Peace God wants his people to experience.
Sunday, October 2, 2011 W/ Pastor Paul
Welcome to a brand new week never lived in before! It’s great to have friends like you, and when friends get together there is something special that happens! Our friendship, empowered by Christ’s love richly blesses our time together and creates an anticipation when we meet. Join in today as we come expecting a great day in the presence of God’s blessing as we go over our devotional together! –Pastor Paul
Our Word for this week is: “giving the best”
Scripture Text: I Timothy 1:1 NKJV “Grace, mercy, and peace from . . . Jesus Christ.”
Our Focus: Some folk are truly gifted at selecting and giving gifts. They seem to know exactly what the person needs or will most enjoy. Others are the opposite? Lacking creativity and imagination in this area, they throw money at gifts, are never quite sure what to give, and spend more than they should to make sure that person will like the gift.
There is a greeting card going around that reads, “I didn’t know how to repay your kindness . . . so I asked God to do it for me.” Who could ever be better at that? Look at His record of gift giving. “Thank God for His Son – a gift too wonderful for words! . . . To enjoy your work and enjoy your lot in life – that is indeed a gift from God . . . But the gift of God is eternal life . . . every good and perfect gift comes down from above, from the Father” (II Corinthians 9:15; Ecclesiastes 5:19; Romans 6:23; James 1:17).
The Apostle Paul gave Timothy, and you and me, great insight into what God selects as gifts for those who know and love Him. What better way to pray for those we love – that God would give them “grace, mercy, and peace from . . . Jesus Christ,” the best gifts.
The gift of Grace. Some gifts that we receive are just more of what we already have enough of. Not so with grace! Whatever else we have and however much of that we possess, we will always need a full measure of grace. Grace has been described as “God giving us what we could not deserve.”
The gift of Mercy. Mercy might best be described as “God not giving us what we do deserve.” “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed. His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness, (Lord)” (Lamentations 3:22-23). Every one of the 26 verses of this Psalm include, “For His mercies endure forever” (Psalm 136:1-26). Ever think the Holy Spirit that inspired every word might have been trying to tell us something?
The gift of Peace. The Hebrew understanding of this marvelous word, “Shalom,” is the sufficiency of everything needed for peace. It was not the promise of having no troubles. It was the assurance of God’s provision for our safety, security and well being, however troubling our circumstance may be at the moment. “Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness (the peace of God), everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life” (Philippians 4:7 The Message). Truly these are the gifts that keep on giving!
(Our biblical devotionals originate from Rev. Allen Randolph, San Antonio, TX, allenrandolph.com.)
For those interested in receiving Pastor Paul's messages, please e-mail Pastor Paul (email@example.com) and mention you would like to be included.
Our prayer this week is: for grace, mercy and peace in abundance. We pray this in Jesus’ name. ~Amen.