I recall at age 22,  after committing my life to Christ how on fire I was for Jesus.

So much so that I was annoying.

Eventually my parents asked me to stop talking to them about it because they believed they were already Christians due to their infant baptism and church membership.

This summer marked the 35th anniversary of that moment I recall clearly of prayer, alone in my living room and the immediate knowledge that I truly was forgiven and born into God’s family as a follower.

Early on I would hear that we are in the last days and yet, here we are 35 years later and I really don’t know how close to the end we are.

Ultimately, knowing the date or time of when life on earth will end doesn’t matter to me as much as the here and now.

The end has multiple meanings.

For example, a coworker of mine got to the office yesterday and 5 minutes later received a message from his wife that his father-in-law was found dead unexpectedly.  Another friend of mine lost his life in a motorcycle accident this summer.  You and I have no idea if we will wake up tomorrow to live another day on this planet.

So with that mindset, I prefer to look at each day as a gift and responsibility.

A gift from God.

A responsibility to serve God.

The gift part can be as simple as observing the beauty of creation around us, or even the miracle of life in our own bodies.

The responsibility is to be aware of God’s Holy Spirit leading us which occurred recently in my life.

The church I belong to has been seeing a decline in total attendance and involvement of the members.  Not uncommon for a church that has been around for multiple decades.   I was invited to be a member of an Engagement Task Force, a 12 member team of people from our congregation of over 1000 members, that would spend 3 months working with the leadership team to assist in developing a plan of action.

We finished our work in May and decided to launch a new series of initiatives under the umbrella term; Day One.  Engagement Groups are being formed under the headings of Serve, Grow & Live.

I knew that there was a group that I wanted to lead that fit under the Grow category.  A mens bible study and fellowship that would look at the book of James.  I call it, The Jimmies because I wanted an informal but appropriate name that was distinct and men could invite other men to join.

Monday’s at 6:30pm we are meeting weekly for an hour and the concept is to simply read a chapter in its entirety each week and then share with each other any way that it speaks to us and our lives.

Last week we began with James chapter one and one of the guys told a story about his Dad that the Holy Spirit prompted him to share.  Next Monday, we’ll read James 2 and  see what the Holy Spirit lays on our hearts and minds to share.

The concept that I want to encourage you to follow is this:

We don’t know when “The End” is coming.  Either for us personally or for the biblical end times. But you and I have plenty we can and should be doing right now.  Ask for God’s wisdom for what you should be doing and the Holy Spirit will guide you.

Speaking of the Holy Spirit…

A couple of days after our Jimmies meeting on James chapter one, a friend shared her experience of one of the verses in action in her life.   She shared this picture and wrote on her Facebook page:

 

I am not sure when I will ever truly learn this in my life. God does care about every detail in our lives not just the big ones. On Monday I called a local plumbing company to help me solve my plumbing issue they were so honest and said they do not unclog drains and did not want me to spend money on a service call to be told that. Thanking God for a honest company. Call Flow-Tech if you want an honest company in Columbia City. They gave me Nick Millers name who was able to come out the next day. I sometimes share too much and I must have shared that I was a widow and never really know what to do with maintenance issues of home ownership. He arrived worked his magic when I went to pay he gave me my bill . Tears flowed and I was so humbled to see Jesus love in action. God does take care of even the little things in our lives. This is what James 1:27 says:
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
Nick and his family are a walking testimony of this. We need more of them in this world.