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The Grace Project

Be the Difference

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The discussion sparked on my Facebook yesterday after I posted that odious You Tube video ('Pay tithes or get SHOT') was hugely encouraging.  I'm glad we're not numb to the pain that this anti-Christ gospel is causing.   But we need to allow ourselves to be more than grumblers we need to be prepared as God leads us to make a difference.  You see Love is not a protest, it is a demonstration. 
 
In recent weeks I have heard the cry of the Lord to me personally, a cry that I am compelled to respond to, not I may add out of duty but out of desire.   
 
Let me invite you to read the first few verses of Ezekiel 34 

"The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy, and say to them, even to the shepherds, Thus says the Lord God: Ah, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep? 3 You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat ones, but you do not feed the sheep. 4 The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the injured you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought, and with force and harshness you have ruled them. 5 So they were scattered, because there was no shepherd, and they became food for all the wild beasts. 6 My sheep were scattered; they wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. My sheep were scattered over all the face of the earth, with none to search or seek for them.
 
So here we have the pastoral mandate which to me distills to this feed them and lead them:  
 
1. (v3) feed the sheep? 
2. (v4) strengthen the weak  
3. (v4) heal the sick 
4. (v4) bind up the injured 
5. (v4) bring back the strayed 
6  (v4) seek the lost 
 
But what difference can I make I hear you say.  I don't pastor a church, I don't even go to church; I'm not trained etc etc etc ...
 
Let me tell you a simple but profound story: 
 
A man who was wandering along the seashore early one morning, reflecting on his life and trying to establish a sense of meaning.  It was very early, just before sun up, and he imagined that he’d have the beach to himself.  To his surprise, he saw, from a distance, a young boy whom, he presumed, was playing on the beach.  “Strange,” he said to himself, “what with it being so early and all.”  Something about the boy’s game caught his attention.  The boy would bend down, pick something up and, with all his might, toss it into the sea.
 
There was a real urgency about the boy’s game.  In rapid succession he would repeat the action – bending, picking up and throwing; bending, picking up and throwing.  When the man got close enough to the boy, he could see that the boy was throwing back into the sea starfish which had been washed up onto the beach by the incoming tide.  The beach was literally carpeted with them.
 
The man called out to the boy, “Hey, son!  What are you doing?”
 
Without looking up but continuing his bending, picking up and throwing motion, the boy replied, “I’m saving the starfish.”
 
“Oh,” exclaimed the man, a little bewildered.  “Well, look here.  There are thousands of them.  How can you make a difference?”
 
Completing one of his mechanical cycles, the boy looked up as the water splashed when the thrown starfish re-entered it.  He said, “I guess you’re right but I sure made a difference to that one, though.”
 
The man laughed.  “Hey, can I join you?”
 
“Sure,” answered the boy, “there’s plenty left.”
 
Well, my friend,  grab yourself a star fish.  There’s plenty left.  Or as the Lord puts it, “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few.”  Go on, be the difference ...
 

 

 
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