"If you’ve raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in thickets by the Jordan?" (Jeremiah 12:5). Our journey is intended to be more than simply "stumbling" through the days while the world "wears us out.” We are made to experience the thrill of "running with horses” and to navigate life amongst the "thickets." The RWH blog focuses on both the spiritual race of which Jeremiah speaks, and the physical act of running that I absolutely love. In short, it's where "the miles meet the Message" to provide insight, perspective & encouragement that might enable you & I to successfully run either of the races set before us. May our course be purposeful and may we be passionate in our pursuit of the abundant life He desires for us.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Change and Transition (Acts 18:1-17)

In a way, John Williams called me out as an "oddball" on Sunday, (no surprise, huh?).  He spoke to the "normal" outlook regarding change as being dread and resistance. And I guess, considering that the most requested topic for corporate speakers is Change Management, he has a point. But I thought to myself, "Wait a minute,  I actually enjoy change!"  Yes, I'm the guy reorganizing the office every few months just to get a different perspective.  I tend to believe change brings about spontaneity and excitement.  Of course, the realization that we've had 10 zip codes in 20 years might have something to do with this mindset, but nonetheless, I say bring it on. 

That said, I do appreciate the fact that times of transition can be very difficult.  Change disrupts our own plans and takes us out of our comfort zones.  And of course, not all change results in positive outcomes.  You win some, you lose some. 

In Acts 18: 1-17, we see how Paul exhibits a willingness to change on matters much more pressing than an office layout.  By doing so, he experiences relationships and conversions that he might otherwise have missed. Following God's direction, his own discretion and the ever changing path ahead, Paul redefines his ministry and brings the Gospel message to many that had never heard before. 

I encourage you to take a look at the passage in Acts.  I also encourage all of us to be more flexible in our discipleship and our areas of service. We have no idea what awaits.  I'll leave you with the three key areas of change in Paul's ministry that Pastor Williams provided. 

1.  Change in vocation from part-time to full-time ministry (from tent making to "exclusively teaching and preaching" vv. 3-5)

2.  Change in ministry focus from Jewish to Gentile audiences ("from now on I will go to the Gentiles" v 6)

3.  Change in the "known" to the "unknown" (vv. 9-10 speaks to God's comforting of Paul through uncertainty as he was experiencing these changes)

RESULTS:  "many of the Corinthians who had heard Paul believed and were baptized" v 8   /   "so Paul stayed in Corinth for a year and a half, teaching them the Word of God" v 11

Oh, and don't worry 'C', we are NOT moving! At least not yet ..... But I do think I'll switch it up later this week and go with chocolate sprinkles instead of an original glazed. Change is good. 

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