The Promise is for You
“For the Promise is for you and for your children, and to all who are afar off…” (Acts 2:39)
I have seen lately, an increase in the love that people have for one another at our church. It has always been a loving church and that seems to be what we have been known for, where brothers and sisters in Christ can come together and say, “I rejoiced with those who said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord” (Psalm 122:1)
Life-giving things happen on Sunday! The heartfelt worship of the believers ushers us in unison to our Heavenly Father’s throne of grace. Our hearts are prepared to receive the Word which goes forth in power. We share smiles, hugs, prayers and life-giving words of encouragement and hope with one another. We stoke up the fire within and are strengthened once again to go out and be salt and light to a hurting world.
We probably know that we cannot do all this on our own, nor can we manage to carry on life in a challenging world through a once a week encounter with God. We need regular fellowship with one another. We cannot live effective spiritual lives in isolation. We need each other. Different parts of the body have different gifts, skill sets, wisdom and perspectives. I will say it again, we need one another!
But some have felt cut off from the body, for perhaps a variety of reasons or maybe just one that began years ago and lies buried under the recurring hurts and disappointments that we all experience in this walk of life on earth.
The Lord gave a Word during the first Sunday service in February:
“Some of you don't feel like you are, or have, or even can, connect with others. The Lord wants you to know that this is not true. He says that "the promise is for you and for your children and those that are afar off.” (Acts 2:39) In context, this verse is speaking about the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which of course is ALSO for you, as are ALL the promises of God.
Why do we feel distant, estranged or unable to connect with others?
The message from Pastor Joanie this past Sunday, had some powerful points: perhaps it was an offensive comment or thoughtless act whether intentional or completely unknown by the parties concerned. Like an annoying pebble in our shoe, this can grow and become so troublesome, that all we can focus on or feel is the pain of that irritating rock until it is finally removed.
I am reminded of a young woman I met recently at a leadership training on Relationships. Her name was Perla. It was unique to me so I asked her about her name. She told me the story of her mother eating oysters the night before she gave birth and one of the oysters had a pearl in it! So instead of the other name that had been chosen by her parents, God gave her the name, Perla, or pearl! How Beautiful!
Only God can create something beautiful out of something irritating. Do you have a piece of sand in your life that God can turn into a pearl? Give it to Him and He will do it. Not only freedom from the discomfort and constant awareness of this unwelcome annoyance, but God turns it into something beautiful that will give glory to HIM and yes, even draw others to you because of the transformation and your testimony! That’s our God!
The story of blind Bartimaeus gives us an example of one who probably felt disconnected and rejected by the very fact of his physical condition and limitations. He was blind. He was told to be quiet and was silenced and rejected by the very people that traveled with Jesus! But we serve a compassionate God. By His great grace we also “must be compassionate just as our Father in heaven is compassionate” (Luke 6:36). Jesus welcomes all who would come to Him!
Pastor Leaf shared a word this past Sunday to “Take Heart”. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! Jesus has overcome the world(John 16:33) The Master is calling. He is calling us to Him. So if you are hearing, “Be quiet, don't bother Jesus”, persevere like blind Bartamaus. Try again and take heart. The Master is calling. He has heard your prayer! The promise is for you!