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Outstanding Among the Apostles | Romans 16:7

Greet Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners. They are well known to the apostles, and they were in Christ before me. Romans 16:7

I’m certain there are times we all feel as if we’re just not contributing to much of anything. For example, new jobs where you’re the new employee and they haven’t quite figured out how to inject you into the workflow. In a broader sense, we see all the swirl going on around our culture and can’t figure out how to contribute and make a difference. Perhaps even in Kingdom work, we feel rather puny in our contribution.

Nothing could be further from the truth! There’s no way we can fully understand the influence we have on those around us. Recently, we had my dad’s funeral, who died on June 26th of this year. I’m sure he felt the same way, not having any influence on people, places, or things. What an amazing outpouring of love and affection we witnessed for dad! Men and women he worked with in the US Navy; Teachers and administrators from the small Christian school where he was the principal; and many folks from his church. Despite his feelings of inadequacy and lack of contribution, those around him spoke quite the opposite.

Andronicus and Junia are mentioned only here. I like the ESV rendering of the word συγγενεῖς as kinsmen, which are understood as blood relatives. Other renderings are ‘fellow Jews,’ but while Jews are considerably tighter than most as a culture, being considered related by blood more aptly describes (for me) his feelings towards these two people.

Paul adds more weight to their import in the next sentence where he declares their relationship with the Apostles (‘well known’) and their early acceptance into God’s Kingdom before Paul!

We have absolutely no way of knowing in this life whether these two members of the faith felt as we do sometimes. We just can’t. And keep in mind that for every mentioned name, there are ‘scads’ (as my dad used to say) of people unmentioned. The only One who really matters knows all who are called by his name and he misses no detail (Luke 12:7). Re-read Romans 16 from start to finish. Notice the names, perhaps even trying to pronounce them out loud. Begin to realize that, just as Paul has listed these people, your name is known to Jesus concerning your Kingdom work, and that’s all that really matters!

By Rich Obrecht

Outstanding Among the Apostles | Romans 16:72020-08-13T12:39:29-06:00

Is Healing Possible? | John 9:1, 6-7

As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth… Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing. – John 9:1,6-7

In that day the deaf shall hear the words of a book, and out of their gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind shall see. – Isaiah 29:18

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; – Isaiah 35:5

to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness. – Isaiah 42:7

I don’t get migraines often, but I know when one’s coming my way. As I’m reading, and can’t ‘see’ what’s on the page, I usually wait a bit. What comes next is a shimmering ‘halo’ slowly growing in my vision. I’ve learned taking 2-3 Tylenol before the halo disappears prevents a whopper of a migraine where simple movement makes my head pound, and my vision is blurred. Unlike the blind man in John 9, my ‘blindness’ is temporary. His blindness was forever, or so he thought.

We’re living right now where spiritual blindness is becoming increasingly evident. Things in this country have been going on ‘right under our noses’ and we seem unaware of it. But many created in the Imago Dei have been dealing with it generationally. Certainly, there are those who’ve been able to excel despite it through their own efforts, or in concert with the backing of family and friends. They’ve skirted the oppression. But, as many haven’t experienced it, many more have. And we’ve not seen it.

This blindness, for many, isn’t intentional. They’ve lived lives where paths haven’t crossed, and they haven’t purposefully suppressed in work or life, persons of color. Many of us are the recipient of ‘invisible’ or ‘unintended’ privilege because of how we appear. Like the blind man in the story and his blindness, there’s nothing we can do about our skin’s appearance. And, just like the blind man in this story, many who suffer this oppression can’t change their own situation. They find ‘lifting themselves up by their own bootstraps’ impossible. The American Dream isn’t theirs.

While turmoil stirs and rumbles around us, with justice being sought, deep search your heart. Grab the horns of God’s altar and pray earnestly to surrender your lack of vision for God’s. Go for God’s Tylenol! Pray with open hands and hearts for God to peel off the scales so you ‘see’ what’s happening around us. And, like the blind man, experience the joy of healing from blindness! Don’t be the one spoken of in James 4:17. See the oppression through God’s vision, and once you begin to ‘see,’ ask God to help motivate you to personal change.

NOTE: If you’re interested in a good book that will begin to help you ‘see,’ read “The Cross and the Lynching Tree”, by John H. Cone.

By Rich Obrecht

Is Healing Possible? | John 9:1, 6-72020-08-07T10:15:13-06:00

For the Lord… And For Gideon | Judges 7:1-25

And he said to them, “Look at me, and do likewise. When I come to the outskirts of the camp, do as I do. When I blow the trumpet, I and all who are with me, then blow the trumpets also on every side of all the camp and shout, ‘For the Lord and for Gideon.’”

 So Gideon and the hundred men who were with him came to the outskirts of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, when they had just set the watch. And they blew the trumpets and smashed the jars that were in their hands. Then the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the jars. They held in their left hands the torches, and in their right hands the trumpets to blow. And they cried out, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!” 

Every man stood in his place around the camp, and all the army ran. They cried out and fled. When they blew the 300 trumpets, the Lord set every man’s sword against his comrade and against all the army. And the army fled as far as Beth-shittah toward Zererah, as far as the border of Abel-meholah, by Tabbath. Judges 7:17-22

What an amazing victory God wrought! Using only 300 men, this huge enemy army was defeated by very simplistic and unbelievable means. How could trumpets, clay pots, and torches cause such panic in an overwhelming army? Perhaps we could argue that the 300 lamps and trumpets could have given the impression of a much larger force. Regardless of theories, the fact is this huge army was defeated by a much smaller force, and soundly. Only God would be able to do this impossible task. But why did Gideon feel he had to be ‘named’ in the battle cry?

In the lead-up to the battle, God winnows Gideon’s army from tens of thousands to three hundred using nonsensical means, watching how they drank water from a stream. In hindsight, it makes perfect sense, but Gideon had to be scratching his head over that one. To boot, God gives Gideon information about the impending victory, not from God’s mouth, but through the enemy’s mouth. Then, it takes Gideon’s comrade to relate the impending victory by interpreting the dream. Gideon seems to consistently lack trust in God and how he was using Gideon.

Many have experienced earnestly praying for God’s intercession in life’s issues, and feel he hasn’t done what we’ve asked. But remember Gideon. He begins with an army of tens of thousands and ends up with 300. And this little army is going against an enemy who probably resembled a stirred anthill. I’m confident Gideon felt more comfortable looking over the army of 32,000 rather than 300.

When God does work miraculously, even if it’s not how we felt it should be, sometimes we feel we’re somehow responsible for the resolution, forgetting altogether our doubts and fears. In reality, it’s more profitable for our soul to take a back seat and glorify God in his work! If Gideon had responded in this way, how much more good could God have done using Gideon as the instrument? When these victorious and miraculous moments come into your life, try throwing the victory crowns at the feet of Jesus, and glorify God! Experience the joy of Kingdom victory!

By Rich Obrecht

For the Lord… And For Gideon | Judges 7:1-252020-07-23T16:06:47-06:00

Swept Up in God’s Story | 1 Samuel 25:32-42

And David said to Abigail, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me! Blessed be your discretion, and blessed be you, who have kept me this day from bloodguilt and from working salvation with my own hand! For as surely as the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, who has restrained me from hurting you, unless you had hurried and come to meet me, truly by morning there had not been left to Nabal so much as one male.” Then David received from her hand what she had brought him. And he said to her, “Go up in peace to your house. See, I have obeyed your voice, and I have granted your petition.”

And Abigail came to Nabal, and behold, he was holding a feast in his house, like the feast of a king. And Nabal’s heart was merry within him, for he was very drunk. So she told him nothing at all until the morning light. In the morning, when the wine had gone out of Nabal, his wife told him these things, and his heart died within him, and he became as a stone.  And about ten days later the Lord struck Nabal, and he died.

When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Blessed be the Lord who has avenged the insult I received at the hand of Nabal, and has kept back his servant from wrongdoing. The Lord has returned the evil of Nabal on his own head.” Then David sent and spoke to Abigail, to take her as his wife. When the servants of David came to Abigail at Carmel, they said to her, “David has sent us to you to take you to him as his wife.”  And she rose and bowed with her face to the ground and said, “Behold, your handmaid is a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord.” And Abigail hurried and rose and mounted a donkey, and her five young women attended her. She followed the messengers of David and became his wife. 1 Samuel 25:32-42

I’m so fortunate to have my wife as a source of checks and balances. There are so many times where she injects sanity into my life. I sometimes become so focused on accomplishing one thing that I nearly bowl over other aspects of our lives. Thank the Lord she’s there to say things like ‘Are you sure you want to do that?’ or ‘Have you thought about this?’ These words tend to get me thinking with a broader scope, illuminating the big picture. Once I’m pulled back from the precipice and consider more than what I was focused on, things usually go quite a bit smoother.

There’s something similar going on despite the relationship between David and Abigail being very fresh and new. Abigail spoke to David in much the same manner as my wife speaks to me. Granted, I don’t surround myself with men armed with sharp, pointy objects, but the effect on David is the same. To David’s credit, he listened to Abigail describe the result of his pursuit of Nabal in a very realistic way. In short, it wouldn’t go well for David. It would seem she brought his heart rate and breathing frequency down, pulling him back into reality.

It’s pretty obvious Nabal is living up to his name: fool. Unlike David, he doesn’t listen to his servants as they explain the importance of what David and his men had done. In the end, after Abigail related to Nabal just how close he came to being dealt with in a rather terminal way by David, Nabal ended up dead and David married Abigail.

As I go through life with my lovely wife, I don’t see her not filling this role for me. There are times, when I’m not with my wife, I start this sprint towards the edge again, and somehow, I’m able to elicit a shadow of her wisdom by asking myself the questions I know she’d ask, and stop short of making big mistakes. In these cases, I feel as if I’d prefer to be an ‘Abigail’ than a ‘David’ in how I consider my actions. I would like the privilege of influencing others if it would save them future pain and problems. If this parallels your reaction, join with me in prayer, surrendering my pride to Jesus and praying for his hand to guide me in influencing others.

By Rich Obrecht

Swept Up in God’s Story | 1 Samuel 25:32-422020-07-16T12:46:59-06:00

Midwives Under Pressure | Exodus 1:6-16

Then Joseph died, and all his brothers and all that generation. But the people of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly; they multiplied and grew exceedingly strong, so that the land was filled with them.

Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. And he said to his people, “Behold, the people of Israel are too many and too mighty for us. Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and, if war breaks out, they join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land.” Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with heavy burdens. They built for Pharaoh store cities, Pithom and Raamses. But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad. And the Egyptians were in dread of the people of Israel. So they ruthlessly made the people of Israel work as slaves and made their lives bitter with hard service, in mortar and brick, and in all kinds of work in the field. In all their work they ruthlessly made them work as slaves.

Then the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah, “When you serve as midwife to the Hebrew women and see them on the birthstool, if it is a son, you shall kill him, but if it is a daughter, she shall live.” Exodus 1:6-16

It seems these days we’re experiencing pressures most haven’t felt before. To be sure, there are those who’ve experienced the pressure of a World War, a Cold War, fear of nuclear destruction, political upheaval and significant civil rights pursuits and unrest. So, for those of us in the former, these are trying times, and those in the latter who are familiar, it may seem like a rerun. Either viewpoint can be full of real and perceived pressure and stress. It’s times like these where I’d prefer previous experience to fall back on.

In many of my jobs, I’ve worked with those who were veterans. Their experiences varied from logistics, where getting supplies from point A to B was their role, or they disarmed roadside IED’s in Iraq. Both roles can, and often do, have stress. In my experiences, when stress and problems at work cause fellow workers to become overloaded and frantic, those veterans lean on their experience and perspective to maintain an even keel, and get through tough situations. I’m sure experience with hard things helps quite a bit, but I’m positive their perspective gives them the ability to behave coolly and efficiently. They’ve been here before.

Though there are many of us who haven’t previously experienced all these things going on today, we have a unique perspective to guide us. This perspective is eternal! As Jesus followers, we’re family members in a Kingdom stretching from eternity past to eternity future. Even today, we enjoy the benefits and perspectives of this Kingdom. This Kingdom perspective can help us navigate life, using God’s strength for what’s going on today, and what we can’t possibly foresee. Remember, Jesus has seen it all and knows what fruit these experiences will produce in us, all of which are ultimately good (Genesis 50:19-20, Romans 8:28). As these experiences seem to crash over us in huge waves, recall our Kingdom perspective and look to the one who strengthens us all. Look to God.

By Rich Obrecht

Midwives Under Pressure | Exodus 1:6-162020-07-09T11:12:44-06:00

A Fearless Apologetic | 1 Peter 3:13-14

Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good?  But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 1 Peter 3:13-14

There are those who perish every day for their faith, and many of them are Jesus followers. Perhaps one of the better books outlining past martyrs is Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. If you haven’t read this, I would highly recommend your reading it to understand more fully the suffering martyrs past and present have experienced. Their martyrdom came mostly by living and sharing their faith. Learning of their journey of suffering may leave you in awe. See if it doesn’t change your concept of persecution. I believe it will because it changed mine.

There are many reasons for fear in sharing your faith. Perhaps, like me, the fear of rejection causes hesitation or not sharing at all. My father-in-law used to do and say things that would cause me to cringe when we were at restaurants. There were times he’d actually walk into the kitchen to chat with the chef. Other times, he’d ask questions about getting something free or at a reduced rate. Whenever we would say something, he’d always reply with, ‘What’s the worst that can happen?’ Invariably, the answer was always ‘they might say no.’ It was amazing what he’d be able to get!

Why not do the same in sharing our faith? What’s the worst thing that can happen? According to Matthew 10:28, we could lose our lives but our souls remain intact in God’s hands. In reality, at least in most countries, asking to share your faith with someone in conversation is rarely turned away, sometimes taken as you’re truly and deeply caring for them. If they refuse, no matter. Their refusing the Gospel is held to their account, similar to the people who didn’t listen to the watchman’s warning (Ezekiel 33:1-5). And hope helps us understand it may still be that little seed sown in fertile soil to bloom one day.

Fear isn’t from the Lord. It’s in the Evil One’s tool kit, and it’s perhaps the most widely used instrument. As those times come along where you sense a voice prompting the sharing of your faith, but it’s drowned out by fear, pause for just a moment. As you pause, pray for courage, and invoke the name of Christ against the fear. In your prayerful moment, see if Christ doesn’t dispel your fear and increase your courage to share your faith!

By Rich Obrecht

A Fearless Apologetic | 1 Peter 3:13-142020-06-25T13:57:30-06:00

Generational Gap | Isaiah 58:9-10

Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;

     you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’

If you take away the yoke from your midst,

    the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,

if you pour yourself out for the hungry

    and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,

then shall your light rise in the darkness

    and your gloom be as the noonday. Isaiah 58:9-10

In my past work experiences and missions trips, I’ve been blessed to visit London and have taken the subway (the ‘Tube’) to get around. It’s hard not to notice signs all over the place saying ‘Mind The Gap,’ referring to the space (or gap) between the platform and the subway car. I’ve never witnessed the result of not minding the gap, but I’m sure it probably involves tripping headlong into the car, injuring oneself, or others, or both. Perhaps the signs are paying untold benefits to passengers by preventing these injuries!

‘Mind the gap’ just might be helpful for us as we handle new generations, or those before. I’ve seen my parents sometimes shake their heads and say something like ‘what is this world coming to’ or ‘these are our future leaders?’ voicing their feelings and frustrations with generations ‘newer’ than their own. I have to smile when I catch myself thinking or saying the same thing!

There will always be new generations, thinking and doing things differently than before, and that is okay! This has been happening since humans were created, and we’re not going to stop it. Our white-knuckled grip on ‘how things have always been done’ only leads to being in conflict with later generations. It’s time for generations to ‘mind the gap’ and learn to treat each other well!

I know I’ve struggled with how my childrens’ generation say and do things, using differing terminology and sometimes way too many words. What I’m going to start doing now is change the way I behave when interacting with others, especially those of a different generation. This goes for newer and older generations! I’ve always had an interest in the views and perspectives of those from generations before, but it would be beneficial for me to do the same with newer generations. Study the passage for today and see if this isn’t true according to scripture.

If, like me, you’ve not ‘minded the gap’ with other generations, perhaps consider joining me in confessing our shortfall with them, repenting (or turning away), and then prepare to learn new things in new ways!

By Rich Obrecht

Generational Gap | Isaiah 58:9-102020-06-18T12:39:00-06:00

A New Heritage | Galatians 3:23-28

Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 5:23-28

What’s your heritage? That’s an ice breaking question I ask when trying to get to know someone. It doesn’t matter what they look like to prompt me to ask that question. I’ve asked innumerable people of all colors, shapes, and sizes this question. Most of the time, the question is met with slightly raised eyebrows, a smile, and an engaging conversation about them. It’s a better question than “where are you from?” which could be very different from their heritage, or “what’s your background?” which could be a vocational discussion. No, I find asking heritage questions promotes great conversation which demonstrates my interest in them.

As Jesus followers, our spiritual heritage is vastly different than it was. Before we began following Jesus, we followed the Evil One. His path was ours. Feeling ourselves to be good wouldn’t and can’t change our destiny (Mark 10:18). As we turn to Jesus, dying to the other path, our heritage changes being based on Christ! What a glorious thing this is! We’ve become part of God’s family, heirs to the throne, through Jesus (Romans 8:17). And, we find in our Galatians passage the equality ceaselessly sought in this life is already ours in Christ!

In this tumultuous time we’re living, we see demonstrations based upon a lack of equality in the diversity of cultures in America. Justice isn’t being served. Centuries of oppression surface culturally embedded anger and it boils over. Most of us have no way of understanding or empathizing because we’ve not lived within their culture. Like me, we wonder where it comes from, being unaware but guilty of the turmoil just under the surface.

Many understand the Kingdom of God where our equality is already established. Being ‘in the now and not yet ’ Jesus followers, we’re living in the Kingdom of God as we live this life. We’re all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28). Imagine if we began letting our Kingdom life spill into our daily life. How would that change things? How would we affect our neighbors?

Many times our imagination is the beginning of something becoming real. So, imagine being able to foster your Kingdom’s equality with your ‘here and now’ neighbor, then prayerfully pursue making it reality. Imagine what the ‘here and now’ would be like and how much deeper your relationships with your neighbors would be!

By Rich Obrecht

A New Heritage | Galatians 3:23-282020-06-12T09:49:29-06:00

Spirit of Love and Unity | Ephesians 3:17-21

…so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:17-21

God alone is truly trustworthy. While there are some we know who we trust deeply, God is alone in eternal trustworthiness. He will never forsake or leave us, increasing our ability to trust him. (Deuteronomy 31:6). We all know how long ‘never’ really is, or at least we think we do, and God is the only one who can deliver on that word. When we consider words like ‘always’ and ‘never’, only God knows the true breadth of these words. But, how does a spirit of love and unity relate to any sense of trust?

I was humbled and blessed to be a part of the 11-person team working through 216r applicants to select the next Lead Pastor of South Fellowship. There’s no way under God’s blue sky or on God’s green earth this could have been accomplished without copious amounts of God-based trust and hours upon hours of prayer. I can say without hesitation these prayers ran into days and weeks of time when one considers all 11 of us praying. Add to that those who prayed in the body at South, and the scope of knee-time spent increases exponentially. It seems to me trust and prayer go hand in hand.

We are still beset by the influence of Covid-19, and now have the violence of the riots, eclipsing the voice of the peaceful protests, adding to the already stress-filled environment. Feelings of helplessness abound, driven by a sense of not being able to really do anything. We’ve slid down to the end of our rope, tied a knot, and now swing in the wind. But, all along, the Holy Spirit’s been whispering to us, ‘Trust in me, I’m here.’ But, once again, the question arises ‘How does all this relate to love and unity’?

Several weeks ago, I wrote about praying for our leadership (“Citizens with Weapons of Love,” Friday, May 27, 2020), and I hope that’s part of our prayers. Hopefully, we’re praying for each other, neighbors, friends, and family, and surrendering them, trusting in God. Our sense of unity comes when we realize and comprehend the vast quantity of prayers reaching Heaven. If you’re praying, hallelujah, and intensify them! If you believe your prayers aren’t heard, don’t stop! And, if you’re not praying, I would challenge you to begin. Our shared prayers reaching God will have an effect (Luke 18:1-8)!

By Rich Obrecht

Spirit of Love and Unity | Ephesians 3:17-212020-06-08T13:28:44-06:00

Love With Our Eyes On Jesus | Matthew 19:16-26

And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:16-26

I used to use clipboards, pens and checklists on paper. I would note things to be accomplished, drawing boxes for check marks upon task completion. Yes, I was, and am, a nerd. While I didn’t have thick glasses and ‘high-water’ pants, I played the part well then, and still do today, with my checklist in an app, and checking items with my finger.

In this story, I see this man holding some sort of clipboard (made of stone, akin to the Flintstones). It’s gripped in one of his hands with a stylus in the other, looking at Jesus waiting to ‘check the box’ as the ‘to do’ list is recited. Unlike some of my co-workers, slapping their foreheads as I arrived with my clipboard, Jesus looked at this man and knew his heart and where his identity lay (v. 21). In his day, wealth was seen as a blessing from God for good behavior. But Jesus’ answer racked his world.

Jesus knew what was amiss. I’m certain the man’s clothing showed him as wealthy, having the ‘markers.’ Jesus didn’t judge him: he saw him with compassion. The one thing remaining was surrender. For him, it meant surrendering his wealth identity for Christ identity. Sadly, his wealth identity was too strong for him: he couldn’t let it go and walked away.

I had a similar experience several years ago. While I didn’t have the joy of a face-to-face experience with Jesus, my Holy Spirit encounter was just as real. My wife and I were on a short-term mission trip to Czech, and we were speaking with Czech teenagers about our identities. Starting a few years previous, I’d been in a class that challenged my nationalistic identity and I’d been wrestling with it ever since. During this conversation with these teenagers, it was as if the Holy Spirit’s arm rested on my shoulder, and whispered in my ear, ‘that’s you.’ My stare into space wasn’t a thought-filled look, but rather these words washing over my soul. Does this sound familiar? Is it happening now? If so, surrender your identity! If not, perhaps consider your life, where your dedications and passions lie, and see if it isn’t true for you, too. If your identity is firmly in Jesus, praise God! If not, surrender and love the wonderful world of souls around you with different eyes, those of Jesus.

By Rich Obrecht

Love With Our Eyes On Jesus | Matthew 19:16-262020-05-27T13:18:39-06:00
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