Have you ever been overwhelmed?? It’s Tuesday and I’ve already been overwhelmed twice this week (in a good way and a bad way). Today I was totally overwhelmed with all that I had to accomplish and the small amount of time I had to accomplish it in. Tuesday’s are a busy day for us. We have co-op with Ridgecrest Christian School in the mornings and then I have people filing in and out of here for their Hope Cooks orders. And today it was just tough to get everything done in the manner I wanted it done in. Thankfully, my husband came to my rescue as he often does. I’m so thankful for that man!!!
But I was overwhelmed in the best sense of the word on Sunday morning. As you know, Keith and I are planting a new church here in Dothan, Redeemer Church. Well…..he’s doing all the work and I’m along for the ride and moral support. 😉 We started meeting here in our home in November of 2010. That’s difficult for some of you to even imagine I know!! It was for me too until we actually got started. But we started here with just the 5 of us. That first Sunday was the sweetest worship experience I’d ever had up to that point. And this past Sunday comes right in up under that one. We will start meeting at Honeysuckle Middle School from now on….I’m actually going to miss the Sunday mornings that we’ve had here with our group.
But this past Sunday we had a combined service with Greystone Church (the former Lafayette Street United Methodist church). They’ve been meeting at Honeysuckle for the last 4 years and are now moving in to their newly built facility on Fortner Street. We’ve gotten to know the pastor there just through working things out for us to begin meeting at HMS when they were finished. Oh My Goodness is all I can say about those people!! Well…I can truly say a lot more than that! 😉 I am a blogger after all. 😉 But they blessed us oh so much. It was their idea for us to do a combined service this week in observance of the new chapters that each church is starting. Now, we all know that it is very hard for believers to look past denominational differences unfortunately. And we rarely cross over the proverbial denominational lines to work together and support each other. And I guess that’s why this Sunday overwhelmed me so much. Not only are we different denominations but to actually support, encourage and share the pulpit with another pastor/church COULD be like advertising for another restaurant on your own restaurant’s menu. Sadly, there is territoriality in the church community throughout the nation. But that was NOT the case with neither Greystone nor Redeemer this Sunday nor should it ever be. God so used them to bless us in a MIGHTY way. They showered us with unprompted encouragement and love. We are thankful that they believe in the work we are doing here. We pray God blesses them greatly in turn as we know He will.
I’ve been studying the book of Luke this year. This whole situation reminded me of Luke chapter 9. Peter, James and John had not long left the mount of transfiguration. They’d just seen a glimpse of God’s glory in His son. A defining moment in their lives as disciples and it’s followed with an argument about who will be the greatest in God’s kingdom. Are you kidding me??? Oh how arrogant we are!! Verse 47 says, “But Jesus, knowing what they were thinking in their heart (we so often forget that He can do that!! ;), took a child and stood him by His side, (48) and said to them, “whoever receives this child in My name receives Me, and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me; for the one who is least among all of you, this is the who is great.”
At this point John, the beloved disciple says, (49) “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name; and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow along with us.” (50) But Jesus said to him, “DO NOT HINDER HIM; FOR HE WHO IS NOT AGAINST YOU IS FOR YOU.” Being a follower of Christ is NOT a middle-of-the road deal. Matthew 12:30 says, “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.” But this man, the man John was referring to in Luke was doing the same work the disciples were doing….in the SAME name that they were doing it in. The name of Jesus. Yet they stop him because “he’s not following with us…he’s not doing it like we’re doing it….surely he’s out of line here….doesn’t he know that this is our stretch of the street to work??” Here’s a heart check. What’s our motive…for who’s glory are we looking for?? Our own or our Father’s?
It seems John still wants to be the greatest. I want to be the greatest sometimes too. We all do…we’re lying if we say other wise!! But it is important to remember that God is no respecter of persons. He has no favorites. It’s sad that so often we fight and hinder and hurt those who are working for the kingdom along side of us in our own effort to be the greatest. God forbid that ever be the case in our churches and in our individual lives. It truly is a wonder that He uses any of us. I’m thankful for His grace and mercy. I’m also thankful for Greystone Church and I believe they are GREAT because they have taken in and received the “least of these”. Jesus wants us to recognize and welcome those who are working for His kingdom….no matter where they are serving or how they may differ from us. He is the only one with the ability to read the heart.