Thank You

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Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NLT)
Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

Max Lucado tells about living as an American in Brazil. One day, as he was walking along the street on his way to the University to teach a class, he felt a tug on his pants leg. Turning around, he saw a little boy about 5 or 6 years old with dark beady eyes and a dirty little face. The little boy looked up at the big American and said, “Bread, Sir.” He was a little beggar boy and Lucado said, “There are always little beggar boys in the streets of Brazil. Usually I turn away from them because there are so many and you can’t feed them all. But there was something so compelling about this little boy that I couldn’t turn away. So, taking his hand, I said, `Come with me’ and I took him into a coffee shop.” Max told the owner, “I’ll have a cup of coffee and give the boy a piece of pastry…whatever he wants.” Since the coffee counter was at the other end of the store, Max walked on and got a cup of coffee, forgetting about the little boy because beggar boys usually get the bread and then run back out into the street and disappear. But this one didn’t. After he got his pastry, he went over to the big American and just stood there until Lucado felt his staring eyes. Lucado said, “I turned and looked at him. Standing up, his eyes just about hit my belt buckle. Then slowly his eyes came up until they met mine. The little boy, holding his pastry in one hand, looked up and said, ‘Thank you, sir. Thank you very much.’” Lucado said, “I was so touched by the boy’s thanks that I would have bought him the store. I sat there for another 30 minutes, late for my class, just thinking about a little beggar boy who came back and said, `Thank you.’”

In Christ,

Pastor Mark

Be A Conduit Not A Detour

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Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:

Acts 15:19 (NLT)

19 “And so my judgment is that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.

Recently, I was having a phone conversation with my brother, and he was telling me about a detour to get to his house. He told me that when I come to his house, rather than turning where I normally turn and cross a bridge over the river, that I needed to go another five mile down the road, turn there, and come back several miles in order to get to his house. The reason for this is the bridge is currently closed off, and as a result, I have to go five miles out of the way. Isn’t that what we do with unbelievers? Sometimes we make things difficult for them to come to faith in Christ because we expect them to look like us, talk like us, dress like us, and dare I say it, smell like us! We put roadblocks in their way that causes them to go a roundabout way to faith, or even miss it all together. I once developed a good relationship with a man I was trying to convince to attend our church (not New Life, but another church I was Pastoring at the time). As hard as I tried I could not convince him to attend church. His reason: when he was a young boy he was emotionally hurt by a man at the church he was attending, and as a result he has never been back. Let’s stop being detours to people coming to faith and start being conduits and transmitters of faith. Let’s do what Paul said in his first letter to the Corinthians, “To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. 23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings” (1 Corinthians 9:22-23, ESV).

In Christ,

Pastor Mark