I love listening to other Christians and reading what other Christians have discovered about our faith and about what God is saying. I don’t know about you but sometimes (quite often actually) a thought or a verse from a passage in the bible can be opened up to me by the thoughts and words of others and I think, even if I had read that a hundred times, I would never have seen that! I suppose that is why I treasure studying the bible with others.
I belong to an online group called Rural Missions. Barry Osborne who is one of the leaders has years of experience of Rural Ministry and gives great ideas and advice to engage in Mission within our setting. He recently reflected on a sermon he gave called ‘Nobody is Nobody’.
Here is a little of what he wrote: The talk I gave at church last Sunday caused me to realise how often significant actions were undertaken by people who are not named in the Bible. The focus of the talk was the four men suffering from leprosy who lived as exiles outside the walls of Samaria. When God brought an end to the famine that was brought about by being besieged by the Aramean army, it was these four un-named men that he used. ( 2 Kings:7) The title provided as the theme for the service was “Nobody’s a Nobody”. Barry then wrote about a few other un-named people in the Bible who came to his mind and says, “You might be able to think of others”, and asks: Who was the young girl whose testimony resulted in Naaman being healed? (2 King 5:1-19) Who was the man who prepared the upper room for what we call the Last Supper? (Luke 22:7-23) Who was the woman who anointed the feet of Jesus and washed them with her tears? (Luke 7:36-50) & who was the young lad whose packed lunch was used to feed 5,000? (Matthew 14:13-21) Who was the young man who fled naked from the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus was arrested? (Mark 14:51&52).
Although on this occasion the person is named, I always think of Ananias, when God asked him to go to the mighty Paul, the then Saul, and frightened though Ananias was and even though we hear nothing about him before or after this incident, if he hadn’t, (insignificant though it may have seemed) been obedient to God; would Paul ever have had the amazing ministry he had? (Act 9:1-19).
All of these situations came in a time of doom, despair and sadness, something that we can all identify with at times in our life. So what can we take away from this? Well within minutes of reading Barry’s letter I read another thought by another Christian, who has written many books and this is what he said.
God will not turn away from doing you good. He will keep on doing good. He doesn’t do good to His children sometimes and bad to them other times. He keeps on doing good and He never will stop doing good for ten thousand ages of ages. When things are going bad that does not mean God has stopped doing good. It means He is shifting things around to get them in place for more good, if you will go on loving Him.
God created me—and you—to live with a single, all-embracing, all-transforming passion—namely, a passion to glorify God by enjoying and displaying his supreme excellence in all the spheres of life. (John Piper, Don’t Waste Your Life.)
So Father, thank you that you are with us at all times of our life and would use us, as maybe nobodies to the world but so significant to shine your glory. Amen
Have a lovely summer.
God Bless and keep you,