Yesterday, the vocal group 'In Joy' shared their worship with our church and sang a song "Count Your Blessings" which took me down memory lane. I was physically in First UMC Lewistown but emotionally I was sitting in Centre UMC Osceola Mills. I could actually recall distinct smells from my home church. I could visualize the pews, the huge pulpit, the chancel rail, everything. Voices of my family and friends from years ago echoed in my head as 'In Joy' wove together tight harmonies and moved our church in worship! Glorious!!
During the Sunday school RENEWED hour, our focus on prayer and the testimonies from several people once again led us on a journey back through our lives as we considered our own investment in prayer. One person would later confide to me of their struggle with prayer and how the testimonies spurred a positive moment for them. Glorious!!
This morning I have been wandering back through my mind to a time when an evangelist visited our little church in Clearfield county. He came prepared to preach Christ and to move those of us sitting on the fence to make a decision for Christ. Rev. Ed Bonsall spoke of Christ and God's grace. He spoke of sin and our need for salvation. Even now, I am transported back to that evening in 1978 and can still feel my body rising out of the pew and mystically walking forward to the chancel rail. I can hear the pastor's voice as he prayed over me, a sobbing wreck of a person, who needed Jesus and restoration.
We all carry debts of gratitude inside of us and our work for Jesus Christ is one of the ways we can say thank you to Him. Everywhere we go there should be the sweet fragrance of Jesus emanating from within us. Spreading scriptural holiness was a John Wesley staple for living in faith. It should be ours. Wesley believed a Christian had the responsibility to address social concerns and meet needs of those who were stuck in sin and suffering. Sounds as though Wesley was modeling the life and ministry of Jesus Christ.
Today, let your life be a living sacrifice for Jesus and offer "works of mercy" toward another person who is just trying to figure out this life. Be the instrument in God's hand that affects another sister or brother to consider Christ. Oh, the other song 'In Joy' sang yesterday spoke of St. Francis of Assisi and his desire to be an intrument of peace. Be that and more today!!