Freely You Have Received: Freely Give

by | Apr 5, 2017 | 2017 | 0 comments

WEEK 6: APRIL 3-9

Raised to be Sent Out

During our last week in this Lenten devotional we turn to a challenging Resurrection story where we learn that the disciples are sent out and they too are raising people from the dead! Amazingly, that is also our story, that we have been raised to life to now join Christ in bringing light into the darkness. We are being called to participate in RISING UP and bring life into every part of our daily experience. In week 6, you will be challenged by some of our own faithfully answering the call to go out and “raise the dead.” As you read Matthew 10 this week, consider how you are being called to join Christ in His mission.

APRIL 5
Freely You Have Received: Freely Give
By Gladden Lawrence

Read Matthew 10:7-8; 24-25 14:27-29.
By the grace of God I was able to travel to Joy in the Harvest (Kigoma, Tanzania) in 2009 to help put a roof on a community center building. What do I know about putting on a roof? Nothing! It was an adventure and opportunity to hang out with a bunch of Christian guys I’d been friends with for years…so why not. The roofless community center was gigantic 2-story building (bigger than I expected, or what was on the video). The center was open from floor to the ceiling, with 2 levels of offices, kitchen, and an area set aside for Radio Joy. Wood is scarce in Africa, so concrete was used to build the floor and ceilings. A rather solid structure built to last through African rainy seasons.

Over coffee one morning I had a discussion with one of my Christian brothers about Peter’s faith. We dissected the story of when the disciples were sent to the other side of the lake by Jesus. You know this familiar story. Peter was in the boat; he saw Jesus walking on the water; Jesus called out to him; Peter gets out of the boat; a wind comes up; Peter’s afraid, then is admonished by Jesus because of his ‘ little faith’. Little did I know, this was going to be my teachable moment.

Later that morning, with the trusses in place, we were to begin putting on the sheet metal sections to close up the roof. My job was to stand on the 2nd concrete level at one end of the building and hand 3 ft sheet metal sections of the roof to a couple of guys who were attaching the sections using a power drill with self-tapping screws. It wasn’t long before one of the guys was called away leaving me with one of the Africans. We continued attaching roof sections until I couldn’t stretch any further from the safety of my location to hand him a sheet of roofing material.

With a certain amount of fear (which subsided later) I crawled out on the roof and stood upright passing sheets of roofing material (got out of the boat) praying all the while, Jesus, you called me here to do Your work; keep my eyes on You and don’t let me sink (fall).

My faith received a boost that day, up in the air on the roof; allowing me to freely give without condition. To God be the glory.

Prayer: Father, help me strengthen my faith by keeping my eyes on Jesus who died that I might live! We love you and trust you. In the name and for the sake of Jesus, Amen.

What boats have you gotten out of recently to meet Jesus?

Does fear and weakness keep you from growing your faith?

What can you do to resist just sitting in the boat instead of stepping out on faith where God wants you to move?

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