2 Timothy 2:24-26 – And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will. (NKJV)
For two years, many years ago, every Sunday afternoon, we would drive forty-five miles into south Boston to a Mission to be part of a wonderful Sunday School program with lots of Bible teaching, singing, and a light lunch. One rainy afternoon, we were gathered around the piano singing, when suddenly the Mission door flew open and in came an angry young man who was very upset. Although the teachers remained calm and continued singing, the children's eyes were on the intruder, and they were afraid. Then without hesitation, an older gentleman, the Mission Director, stepped forward and very calmly walked over to the intruder, put his arm around his shoulder, whispered a few words into his ear, and led him towards a door at the other end of the room, away from the view of the children. After a short time, they came out of the room. The young intruder was in tears and quietly followed the elderly director into the Mission kitchen, where the two drank tea and talked for a long time.
The following Sunday, the formerly hostile man was back at the Mission, a gentle, kind man, taking time to pass out little hymn books to the children when they arrived.
Many of us would have driven the young man away in order to protect the children. But the older Christian man was a faithful servant for his Lord. He interpreted the intrusion as an opportunity to gently console this young man in his hour of frustration, confront him concerning his hatred, and tell him that there was a Saviour who could wash away his hate and revengeful feelings, a Saviour who could and would make him a new creature, assuring him an eternity of peace and joy forever.
When that young man stands before Christ in eternity, he will be able to say, "Lord, I was upset, and my friend comforted me; I was hungry, and my friend fed me; I was thirsty, and he gave me drink; I was lost, and he led me to Calvary where I met You." And our Saviour will turn to the Mission Director and say, "Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord."
Life is short, and eternity is but a step away. So often, we, who are asked to be faithful servants of the living God, stand by and watch many of our dear friends and loved ones going into a lost eternity, not knowing Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord, because we didn't share the old, old story of Jesus and His marvellous gift of salvation with them.
May we, like my friend at the Mission, be as willing to share the wonderful story of God's eternal love that knows no end with those we know who are unhappy, angry, tired, lonely, sick, rejected, physically and mentally abused, and heartsick. Are we good and faithful servants?
Prayer: Eternal Father, giver of every good and perfect gift, we pray that You will teach us, as Christians, to show compassion and kindness to those we know who are spiritually lost and searching for the security, confidence, and stability that only Your love can bring into their lives. Make us humble servants of Yours, ready and willing to tell those in need that You are the One who will bring joy and peace eternally. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "Rise Up O Men Of God" (Lyrics)