What’s the Message?

When I pick up my phone in the morning, the first thing I check is if there are any messages. Sadly about 90% of what comes in is spam. Those not only get deleted, but I also block that person from sending any more. Those messages are “spam” because of one major detail: I have no relationship to that person. Wherever, our calling is, whether at church, at the prison or at nursing home, it is important to remember that our most important message is not delivered by the words we say (or sing). What matters to the people we are called to serve is the relationship that we have built with them. How much of ourselves have we personally invested in the individuals in the places where we go? This was made crystal clear to me when I was able to return to nursing home ministry after three weeks recovering from Covid. When I stepped into the room at memory care yesterday morning, the most precious thing was to see the faces of my friends again. Of course, I sang their favorite songs and shared a few short encouraging words, but what mattered most was that we were together again singing for Jesus. We were connected, not only to Him but to each other. When Jesus was getting ready to finish His earthly ministry, His disciples were understandably confused, sad and curious all at the same time. They wanted to know where He was going, what He expected them to do and where they should go next. Jesus answered with a deceivingly simple sentence –

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. John 14:6 NKJV

His entire message about God’s kingdom, eternal life, forgiveness of sins and the love of God was summed up in the relationship He had built with His disciples. That is why at the table He had given them the cup saying, “This is the New Covenant in my blood.” A new covenant is a new relationship. At the time the disciples had been so busy arguing about which of them was the most important, that they missed the message. Jesus was about to give His life for them, and He called them friends. Our Christianity, our calling and God’s expectations for us are all focused on one thing and one thing only: our relationship to Jesus Christ. Wherever God calls us, the people we serve receive the most important message from us when we call them friends, because of Jesus. He is what connects us to each other and the only way we can ever be truly connected to God. That is why, saying or singing everything perfectly isn’t what matters most. What counts is if we are doing it for friends. Where are we called to serve? Why are we there? If the first reason that we give is our friendship with Jesus, then building a genuine loving friendship with those we serve will be the most natural thing on earth.

There's not a friend like the lowly Jesus
No not one
No not one
None else could heal all our soul's diseases
No not one - No not one!

Author: pastorpete51

My wife and I serve as members of a worship team at a multicultural church. Our members are from Brazil, Nepal and the U.S.. Because of the many languages and cultures in our local body we face unique challenges, such as how many songs will we do in English today? What new songs can we use in either language that are simple enough for the people to sing. The songs, the devotions and insights here are a small portion of some of the ways God is leading us as we push towards the goal. I pray that these will be both a blessing and an encouragement for those of you who may pass by Praise 2 Worship.

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