by Rev Robert A Wendel
Before leaving them, Paul told the Ephesians “Now I am turning you over to God, our marvelous God, whose gracious word can make you into what he wants you to be and give you everything you can possibly need in the community of holy friends.” (Acts 20:32 The Message.)
The Message, Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase of the New Testament, gives us a glimpse of Church life as Christianity began to take root.
“Things calmed down and the Church had smooth sailing for a while. All over the country of Israel, three decades after the Resurrection, the people still felt a deep reverence for God.”
They did not need Paul. To accomplish his mission, Paul needed them. Well-traveled, Paul had discovered the value of dependence. He learned the value of other believers. Leaders in the churches he began must keep those congregations going after he is gone.
Don’t try to go out there on your own. Remind yourself that those around you may be the key to your (or your church’s) very survival or success. Believe it or not, each one of us needs a support network. Nobody can handle all the pressure over the long haul. Companionship is essential. Sooner or later, you will need someone to pick you up. We are neither invisible or irreplaceable.
In His church, God is looking for broken vessels, wounded hearts and humble servants, even those who have had weak track records and whose life is scar ridden, but who have come to appreciate the value of others.
Paul David Tripp wrote “In Christ, we have everything we need to live in peace with God and the people he has placed in our lives.”