Recently I reconnected with a good friend from my teen years. His family began attending my church when we were both in seventh grade. His parents had recently received Christ, and were looking for a church which took the Christian life seriously and taught God's Word. Though we attended different schools, we were pretty tight all the way through highschool and into college. We went our separate ways as we entered adulthood and only recently reconnected via Facebook.
His walk with the Lord is strong, and he is looking for ways to serve within a local community of believers, despite the fact his job has moved him around quite a bit and he doesn't exactly have an "eight to five" workday. We reminisced about those who impacted our Christian lives for the good; in particular, we really appreciate our youth pastor. He was always there for us, and seemed to "get it" when it came to pressures and challenges teens face. We wonder when he gets to heaven, just how many people he will realize he's helped in a profound way. My friend also teared up a bit when he said how much he appreciated my input into his life; it's so important, particularly for teens, to have Christian friends who will support them in their convictions.
So I leave you with two questions. As you look back on your life, who has influenced you, supported you, or challenged you in your walk with Christ? Go back and thank them if you haven't already. And, are you influencing others to "go the distance" ...in their marriages, under temptation, in their Christian witness? Take a moment to consider the people regularly around you and ask God to use you to serve and minister to them. As we live out our Christian lives, we need to be mindful of how God can use us in the lives of others.
- Pastor Colin