Jump Start # 2726
Philippians 4:21 “Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren who are with me greet you.”
People—we all have them in our lives. We refer to them as family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, brethren in church. Paul had them in his life. They helped Paul in so many ways. They made it possible for Paul to do what He did so well. They were messengers who carried things to and from him. They were reliable, dependable and willing. Paul was sending people here and there and it seems that they always went. They didn’t throw a fit. They didn’t complain about not wanting to go. Travel was rough, even dangerous and life threatening back then. A kingdom started and grew because of the tireless efforts of those people surrounding the apostles.
Coming off of Thanksgiving, we need to be thankful for the quality people in our lives. The church is not pews, lights and thermostats. It’s people. It’s young ones and old ones. It’s new faces and familiar faces. It’s leaders who are ready to answer our questions and hear our concerns. It’s preachers who always seem to know where that certain verse is that we just can’t find in our Bibles. It’s deacons who are running about making sure all the lights light and the heat heats and everything is polished and ready for worship. It’s song leaders who are humming a tune that they are about to open worship with. So many people busy doing things on a Sunday morning so our worship runs smoothly, Biblically and is encouraging.
All of us have had wonderful people in our lives that have brought smiles when we were not smiling. They were there to lift us up when we were down and nearly out. They reminded us. They encouraged us. They showed us. They shared with us. They taught us. They helped bring out the best in us. We are what we are because of others.
First, there was a time in our lives when we really needed the help of others. The new Christian. The new parents. The new shepherd. Someone to show us the ropes. Some to take the time to develop us. Someone to answer our many questions. Someone who believed in us and gave us a chance. We have all been there. Those faces, those names, those wonderful people who loved us so much.
Second, even today we need quality people in our lives. Our questions are not so simplistic today. Our concerns are much deeper today. The pandemic has illustrated how important interaction with others is. It has opened our eyes to what fellowship is. It has made us miss each other and shown how important each of us are.
Third, all around us today there are others who need you. There are those who are right where you were ten or twenty years ago. You hear them asking the same questions you once asked. You see them trying to figure things out in their minds just as you did. And, just like others did for you, you are patient, giving them a chance and are there to help them. You do this because others have done this for you. You do this because this is the right thing to do. You do this because someday you want these people to do the same thing for others.
Ahead of us, besides us, and behind us—just like driving down a highway, so it is with the people in our lives. We are always learning from those who are ahead of us. We are sharing with those beside us and we are helping those who are behind us. That’s fellowship. That’s love. That’s the church.
All around us are people. People that we love. People that Jesus died for. People that we long to be in Heaven eternally with us. Around Thanksgiving, it’s easy to be thankful for things, and we ought to be. We couldn’t live without food, water and shelter. But greater and more eternal than things are people. And, when you are thankful, it makes you honor them, appreciate them, cherish them and do all that you can for them.
Thankful…thankful for YOU.