Step by Step

“God cares for you intimately, but is never thinking only of you.  His plans are always bigger than us, and that is for our ultimate good.”

From “Climbing with Abraham” by David Ramos

A few days ago, I read the quote above in a devotional I’m using.  It went on to say how Abraham, at the end of his life, had only one legitimate heir and a burial plot in the land where God had taken him.  He didn’t see the fulfillment of the promises God had made to him.  He never knew that one of his physical descendants would be Jesus and his spiritual descendants, the Church.

Then I went to a Gideon breakfast with my husband.  A man spoke about how he found a Gideon Bible in what he described as “a roach motel.”  In two years he had read the entire Bible.  He became a Christian, then a pastor.  He started a new church and now that congregation sponsors missionaries in 6 countries.  The Gideon who placed the Bible will probably never meet him.

Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses on a church door.  He expected to open a dialog that would lead to some reforms in the Catholic church.  He had no idea it would lead to new denominations, printing and translation of the  Bible into numerous languages, an increase in public education, etc..

We can only follow God’s leading one step at a time.  We are “living stones” in God’s plan, but we will only see a small piece of our part.  Maybe we’ll even think we have failed to accomplish anything. Lucky for us, we’re not in charge.  If we’re faithful, God will use us in ways we can’t even imagine.

So, if you’re discouraged, take heart. You’re part of God’s plan, just like Abraham, Martin Luther, and the Gideons.  He loves you and so do I!

You’re Part of the Story

I started a new devotional book today, it’s called “Climbing with Abraham” by David Ramos. (by the way, I got it on my kindle through Bookbub FREE).  The first devotional starts out by saying that most of the time, in the Bible, a person is first described by listing where they came from, who their parents were, etc.. The author says this is to  show that their story begins long before they do.

The same is true of our churches.  They have a story that began before we were members (at least most of the time).  So when we join a church, we become part of a bigger story.  As an adult I have been a member of two churches.  The first was a mission congregation and although I was not a charter member, it was a “young” church.  I got to be a church builder.  I was there through more than 25 years and three locations.  It was started by a small group of Midwesterners who wanted a Missouri Synod Lutheran Church, and there were none in the area.  My current congregation is “old”…. we just celebrated our 190th anniversary.  It was started by German farmers who just wanted a Lutheran church in their community.  In this congregation, I am maintaining a legacy.

My first congregation has grown and changed since my husband and I were called to St. Paul’s.  A time will come when we leave St. Paul’s as well.  We’re only a link in the chain that has kept these churches going. We will have spiritual descendants who will do the same.

So what’s your church’s story?  What ‘s your role?  Isn’t it exciting to be part of God’s plan?  Send us your thoughts and comments.