Aug15WedAugust 15, 2018
A few weeks ago, a friend from my grade school years contacted me out of the blue via Facebook. We had lost contact with one another during high school. After he got married, he literally moved to the other side of the world - Australia. The two hours that I spent with Tyler over coffee flew by as we did our best to recap the previous twenty years of life. After about thirty minutes, I learned that not only did Tyler still believe in Jesus, but he is actively serving in children’s ministry at his local church. My old friend suddenly was revealed as my brother-in-Christ and co-worker for the Kingdom of God! What a joy it was to hear about God’s work in Australia. I know that he enjoyed hearing about the wonderful work that God is doing at FMC. We parted ways after praying for one another not knowing when we’d see one another again but so thankful to have reconnected.
I had two similar moments on our family vacation from which we just returned. On Sunday, we joined up with friends of ours who recently moved from Morton and now live in Tennessee. Our family of six walked into Providence Baptist Church and worshipped next to the Smidt family. Although I profoundly missed our church family at FMC, I was thankful to be worshipping with other believers – singing familiar songs, praying and studying the Word under a preacher with sound theology. Without knowing the names of the people sitting around us, the worship leaders or teaching pastor, we were surrounded by brothers and sisters in Christ and co-workers for the Kingdom of God!
Later that evening, our family gathered for supper with two of my father’s brothers, two of my aunts and two of my adult cousins. This was a special moment because it had been seven years since we had shared a meal and conversation together. However, the greater joy was hearing how both families are serving Jesus. One of my uncles continues to encourage Christian authors to write and speak about the work of God throughout the world. The other is serving as an Elder as their church prepares to plant a new church. I was so encouraged to hear of their faith and witness. Even though we are related, our conversations display the reality that they are also my brothers-in-Christ and co-workers for the Kingdom of God.
Within the span a month, I have been able to hear testimonies of how the Holy Spirit is moving in areas of the world in which I am unfamiliar. All of this reminds of me of Jesus’ parable of the mustard seed from Mark 4. Since 30 AD, the seed of the gospel has spread to many places around the world and its fruit is being experienced by the dozens whom I know and millions whom I will never meet this side of eternity.
As school returns, schedules change and fall rhythms begin to take shape, I encourage to remember that God is working. He is working in Australia, in Nashville and wherever you find yourself this month. Whether you are entering the classroom or the workplace, spending time with strangers or relatives, be on the lookout for brothers and sisters in Christ and consider it a great joy when you connect with them. The Kingdom of God is everywhere. Let’s continue to join the Lord in His work around the globe and down the street.