Ed the……

Published on Oct 28th, 2015 by Pastor Ed Hlad | 0
Ed the......

Ed the……

Two events shaped my thinking this week.  One was my father-in-law’s 80th birthday party.  Many friends and families gathered to pay honor to my father-in-law.  As each person spoke, they shared how they admired him.  Words such as faithful, strong, courageous, and hurricane were appropriately used to describe this great man.  The other event was my reading through Romans with a friend.  We were finishing up Romans and as we read chapter 16, I noticed how many people Paul mentioned.  A few of those people were given a brief sentence or two to describe them.  In both cases, my father-in-law and Paul’s companions, the credit for the descriptions of their lives was given to the God who was shaping them.  He was seen as the one who was responsible for the good said about them.

Of course, my mind began to think of how people might describe me.  “Ed the Magnificent” quickly came to mind but then I began to think of my friends and the busters that they are and I concluded that “Ed, Bigger in Life” would probably be their way of busting on my waistline.  My smart aleck friends aside, the Holy Spirit began to change my thinking from how people might describe me to how I see the work of God in other’s lives.  So often, we too quickly see the weaknesses in people.  We allow those things to define them rather than the work that God is doing in their lives.  As we look at our friends, we need to discipline ourselves to see the evidences of God’s grace in their lives.  “Frank the Faithful” is certainly a testament to my father-in-law but it is much more a testimony to the work of God in his life. Seeing that work as an evidence of grace gives us much more patience for people’s weaknesses.  They are simply areas that God has not changed as of yet.

One of the blessings of Paul’s list is that sometimes he mentions someone who has been overwhelmed by a truth.  Apelles, who is “Approved in Christ” or Rufus, “Chosen in the Lord”.  What a blessing to allow the truths of God to define us.  John did the same thing when he referred to himself as the “disciple whom Jesus loved”.  Did Jesus not love the other disciples?  Of course he did.  But, John was so overwhelmed by the truth that Jesus loved him that he let it define him.  Look around.  See the evidence of grace in people’s lives.  It is a very encouraging discipline.

I thought I might give you a few examples to help open your eyes.  Mary the Strong.  John who has been faithful in the work of God.  Jeff the Empathetic.  Nancy the Humble.  Dale, Helper of the Needy.  Tom, a Sinner Saved by Grace.  Rocco, the Giver.  Greg the Driven.  Barry the Gifted.  Jill the Shepherd.  Chelsea the Compassionate.  Lindsay, Lover of her Gift.  Nate the Discerner.  Elroy the …..

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