One Person Can Make a Difference
A number of our church members are studying Nehemiah right now. It's a wonderful book, easily applicable to our lives today. There is a major underlying theme to the triad of Esther, Ezra, and Nehemiah: God has an unstoppable plan, and His plan includes you being where you are right now. The book of Esther includes the famous challenge from Mordecai to Esther, "How do you know that you weren't put into your position for such a time as this?" but all three books focus on people who discovered that God gave them their circumstances, positions, and connections so they could be used to make a difference in the lives of people in need. So that's point #1: God *can* and will use you to make a difference.
That's still true today. We should all take stock of our lives realizing that God can use any circumstance (no matter how strange or discouraging) to put us in the right place at His time to change someone's life. But that brings us to the second point: Esther, Ezra, and Nehemiah could easily have been caught up in the larger struggle of things beyond their control, but they didn't. They stayed focused on the things they could accomplish (which were admittedly large because they were in a unique position of wealth and contact to the king). In other words, they worried about the need in front of them. This is something I struggle with being new in Thomson - I see so many needs around us, don't know what I can do or where to begin, and then give up before I even get started. I think we can struggle with that as a church. Here's the solution from Nehemiah: God wants you to focus on the difference you *can* make, not be defeated by the needs beyond your reach.
We learned that Nehemiah had been looking for his opportunity to help his fellow Jews for a long time before it finally came. And when it came unexpectedly, he was ready. He had spent so much time in prayer and done so much planning that when God opened the door for him, he could plunge right through it. And that's the final thing for us to consider: when we see the needs around us, do we simply pray that God would meet those needs, or do we pray that God would show us how we can help *and* take the time to put together a plan of action? What a great and amazing challenge to us all! When you talk in Sunday School (or wherever) about the needs around us in Thomson, make sure you stop and ask God to show you how you can help and ask God to give you a plan to help. That's point #3: God wants you to be ready (through prayer and preparation) when He gives you that opportunity to make a difference. God bless you - mww
I am very excited to see how well our Missions Fund has started and pray that more of you will consider donating $5/week to this fund. That said, it's time to start encouraging church groups to consider how they might want to use the missions fund. We set a percentage of these gifts aside for use in and through FBC. If your Sunday School class talks about a need in our community (like I mentioned above) and wants to meet it, but there's a financial barrier, our fund is here to help. We have to put a cap on the amount of money we can give you, but we will have an application available to any group in our church who wants to make a difference in our community (or nearby) for Jesus but needs a little financial assistance to get started. Be on the lookout for more information soon!