This past weekend, we had the privilege to take a small group of people to a conference in Austin. While this conference was amazing in every way, God was speaking to me something deeper and more profound than I could ever learn at the conference.
While we were in Austin, I got the opportunity to look up some of my parent’s good friends who are pastoring a church in Round Rock. In fact, this couple Jim and Sylvia Patterson, were my first pastors. That was about 21 years ago though, so I really had no relationship with them, but with their daughters. Since that time, we had all but lost contact with them until the advent of the Facebook. I reconnected with them in July and had the desire to reconnect with them. God opened the door and we were able to eat lunch with them and then attend their church on Sunday before returning home.
Now, I could have reasoned within myself that I do not really know them and it might be kind of awkward. I will probably even miss part of the conference that we are attending. I could have explained away all the reasons to meet with them, but I thank the Lord that I did not. Meeting these pastor friends was such a blessing to me and the people with me. We were able to share our hearts and get to be inspired by theirs. In the end, we encouraged and blessed one another just because we were willing to go out of our way and off our regularly scheduled programming.
Yesterday, I was reading Romans once again and rediscovered a passage that was so central to our journeys around the world. Romans 1:11-12 “For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established— 12 that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.” Contained within this passage is our heart for the people of God all over the world. We desire to come to them and encourage and be encouraged and help them out in any way that we can. This is what being a family is. We went out of our way to meet with this couple that I barely knew, and my wife and friends did not know at all. In the end, we had a great God moment in the middle of the restaurant praying and blessing each other. We were truly family even though we had barely met.
I want to encourage you in two ways today. First, do not allow silly things to keep you from relationship with the family of God. We can allow inconvenience, awkwardness, earthly divisions, and other earthly things to keep us from getting to know the true family of God. When Jesus is the center, we have the ability not only to encourage, but be encouraged by our brothers and sisters. Seek to be in unity with the family of God so that the blessing of unity may come upon you. Practically encourage someone today, not because they are your friend, but because they are a brother or sister in Jesus. Secondly, we must be willing to be inconvenienced so that Holy Spirit can lead us into obedience and blessing. We got to hear a lovely couple from Africa speak about how inconvenience had led them into more ministry in South Africa. People interrupting them while they were building ended up getting saved and discipled because they took the time to be with them and realized the true treasure in people. We make special time for our physical family, and we must be willing to take time for the children of God. If not, we are throwing away not only the very treasure that God wants but the treasure that He wants to bring us!!!
Look for the treasures of the Lord today and do not let inconvenience, selfishness, or fear keep you from receiving these blessings from the Good Father!!!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!