Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Continuing in the grace of God

Today’s Reading: Acts 13:43 NIV

43 When the congregation was dismissed, many of the Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who talked with them and urged them to continue in the grace of God.

Good morning!

What drives your passion for living? Has something or someone compelled you to move forward in faith?

My sister-in-law recently received a prestigious lifetime achievement award for her years of service teaching high school English. Her skill sets go far beyond the blackboard and classroom. It is her life’s passion, lived out in the vocation to which she has been called, leaving an everlasting mark on the lives of her students. Can you name the one teacher who profoundly impacted the direction of your life’s work?

My mother recently entered the hospital urgently. Her personal physician was out of town at the time she was admitted for treatment. Her case was promptly assigned to a physician whom we had never met. I was humbled by his devoted attention to Mom’s treatment plan and care. Our doctors give their lives to assessing the health needs of all who come to receive restored health and hope. They often work long hours, with precious little time to spend with their own families. What a remarkable gift he gave to my Mother! It is certainly possible that he may not remember her name next week; yet, I will remember with a thankful heart her physician’s name and face, as I pray for him in the days and weeks to come.

It is clear from Scripture that Paul and Barnabas were compelled to preach Christ boldly wherever they went. Because of their religious upbringing, they longed to share the Good News of grace with their Jewish brothers first. It must have been extraordinarily encouraging for these young evangelists to watch their kinsmen receive new life as they accepted Christ. They knew from whence the power came; if there were any new converts, it is only because of the power and support of the Holy Spirit moving and working in seeking hearts.

I am daily blessed by the encouraging words of my pastors, teachers, mentors and Christian friends, who share new life and live it out in tireless devotion for others. I can see Jesus living and working within you. May you be encouraged today in the faith, as you share your passion for Jesus Christ with the world.

A little encouragement makes all the difference as we step up in faith. Christians receive encouragement from the Holy Spirit, who comes to us in a rushing wind, igniting us with holy fire. May you find the strength you need in the Lord who calls you to live your life with passion and purpose, continuing in the grace of God.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO



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