God's word in today's world

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Ettienne (not his real name) tells a little bit about his life:

We moved to PE dreaming of making millions and enjoying city life. I joined the athletics club where I met Attie (not his real name). He was a true Christian friend who led me to the Lord.

I started going to church, because I wanted the same. I read in the Bible that if you pray God will provide, but I was disillusioned. You can’t run the Comrades if you only practise for half an hour a day. You must change yourself, your time, your family and everything else. Find where God is already busy around you and become involved there.

Things started getting really bad. Then Jan came to visit. I had so many questions. I repented and God said He would provide.

Just the next day we lost everything! My wife and I sat down on the floor and instead of fighting and reproaching one another, we prayed. We started moving closer to one another and started praying together as a family, in the mornings and in the evenings.

Last year, we started a home church with a few friends. Jan guided us in a direction. God started doing wonders. God brought Jan and Attie to us.

It was a difficult year and I felt as if no one could see what I was doing. Then Attie said to me: “If you do something, do it as if you are doing it for the Lord.” Now, this is my motto, because that is how we should live every day.

With complete faith, trust and perseverance, God provided. God took my best rib and gave me a wife who helps to keep me on my knees.

It is now three years later, and God has opened the gates − not in terms of money, but faith.

There are many Ettiennes with almost the same story. Guys who got stuck somewhere in their lives and who do not know how to move forward. Completely disillusioned. And then God sent a few Jans and Atties to help the Ettiennes on the way, to encourage them, and to help them reach their calling in life.

That is why Paul commands: 14Gently encourage the stragglers, and reach out for the exhausted, pulling them to their feet. Be patient with each person, attentive to individual needs.

Each of us must be a Jan or Attie or San or Santie. We must know that each of us has a duty to our fellow-Christians. We must encourage one another. We must help one another with our faith. We must be patient because we might just be the one with a last chance to help that person. We could be the one that God wants to use in someone else’s life.

And no, you don’t have to have a degree in theology or psychology. God wants to use you just as you are, with all your faults. Get up and do the right thing today. Make a difference in other people’s lives by being available to God. Even if you are a crooked stick, He will make a straight hit.

Scripture

1 Thessalonians 5:12-15

Reflection

Do you realise that you have a responsibility to others?

What can you do for others?

Who do you have to help today?

Prayer

Lord, I realise I have a big responsibility. I know I have to help others, but feel so inept. Sometimes I’m afraid. Please open my eyes so that I can see where You want to use me. Amen.

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