Firefighters Are we ready? Is our past holding us back? Let’s not let our past keep us from His presence.
“But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14
In this New Year the challenge that lies before us all is to be more engaged with others personally.
Relationships are hard work, messy, painful, and often invasive. They require great sacrifice upon our part. And sometime our sacrifice feels as if it was offered in vain. This causes many of us to shy away from impactful investments in others because of our painful past.
Our lives are more than the past. Our sins have been forgiven & forgotten. All that we have been through allows us to be stronger and to empathize with others who are hurting. “The more we go through, the more we can love God and others.” Pastor James McDonald
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
In this New Year to truly impact the lives of others it will require much of us all. First it will require availability.
We cannot help anyone unless we make ourselves available to do so. Consider the example of Christ, much of his many miracles occurred while He was on His way to somewhere else. He did not cast them aside but He stopped, cared, listened, and loved.
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” Matthew 28:19
The next requirement of us is even more difficult; we must be vulnerable.
We are by nature courageous individuals to serve in the fire service yet we tend to shy away from opening up to others. To serve as a firefighter it requires a sacrificial servant heart where we put others first.
To serve as a Christian we must have a heart big enough to hurt with the others but not absorb their pain. To have a heart big enough to face the pain & suffering of others requires a heart that belongs to Christ.
Once Christ lives within our hearts, we look at others differently. Those who used to hurt us and annoy us we now have compassion for. We see them as Christ saw us; in need of comfort, love, and mercy. We were extended that same mercy and grace through Christ. And we can either be a doorway to the Gospel or a stumbling block.
If we don’t open up, share our wounds, and be loving as we share our stories we are not only leading people away from Christ we are causing harm to them. For the Dead Sea is dead because a mighty river flows into it and nothing flows out of it.
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,” 1 Peter 3: 15
Andy J. Starnes
Bringing Back Brotherhood Ministries