Tidings for Tuesday

For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end that ye may be established. Romans 1:11

My old friend Stan phoned to say he was just passing through and would like to get together for a short visit. We made arrangements to meet at a nearby coffee shop. No sooner were we seated with our steaming mugs at a corner table than Stan pulled out a briefcase and began presenting his pitch for a MLM opportunity. It turns out Stan wasn’t so much interested in me as he was in expanding his own business network. Many of the people we meet are like that. Everybody, it seems, listens to radio station WIFM – What’s In it For Me! Paul’s desire to see the folks in Rome was not motivated by any such selfish idea; he was genuinely interested in seeing those people so he could be a help to them spiritually. This would be an excellent motive for you and me to adopt.

During normal times, family reunions and picnics are common this time of year, as are community bake-outs and barbecues. Getting together is important for many of us, and it’s a valuable way of keeping in touch. We want to know how everybody is doing health-wise and family wise, who is getting married or having babies, and other such matters. But do we ever express interest in how our friends and relatives are doing spiritually? Do we ever desire to meet with them to pass on some special portion of Scripture that we feel will be a help to them? Do we long to see them so we can contribute to their increase in their knowledge of the things of the Lord? If you are anything like me, probably not.

What is more important concerning the people you expect to encounter in the next week or so, their financial welfare or their spiritual growth? What is more important, whether they are close to retirement or close to the Lord? What is more important, whether they have obtained more of this world’s goods or more knowledge of the Word of God? We know the answers to these questions, but we tend to take a greater interest in the mundane things of this life. Paul’s example should guide us to take a deeper interest in the spiritual well-being of our fellow believers, and have something spiritual that we can pass on to them when we meet.

If we prayed daily for people, like Paul did for the Christians in Rome, we would be more likely to take a deeper interest in their spiritual needs. -Jim MacIntosh

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