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In our last post from the book of Acts we saw how the earliest believers all desired to become “little Christs”, that is to say, they all wanted to become as much like Jesus Christ as possible. And we looked at what that implies for you and for me, and the effect that approach has on the people around us if we choose to follow Jesus the way those earliest believers did (and we also looked at the effect we have on the people around us when we choose not to adopt that approach). You can check out that last post here if you’re interested: Are You Truly a Christian, Literally?–Acts 11:26.
Every Person Used by God had this one Trait in Common
In today’s post I just want to say one thing about the apostles and Barnabas and Paul and all the earliest Christians we’ve been reading about and learning about in the Gospels and in Acts. So here it is, here’s the one thing:
They were available.
Have you ever noticed that? Have you ever thought about that?
The new believers in Antioch need to be taught, and Barnabas and Paul are available to go teach the new believers in Antioch. The centurion Cornelius and his household are led to inquire about Jesus, and Peter is available to go share with them and he stays there a few days. Philip was available to wait in the desert for the Ethiopian eunuch. Over and over again we see Jesus make himself available to whoever interrupts him. It’s a common trait we see in everyone used by God.
Every single one He chose to use was available.
The Consequences of Unavailability
One time in my life I had this vision to build a big beautiful house in a beautiful location with a big beautiful view. I had the ability to imagine this place before it was built and it became a personal dream of mine. I designed the house because I had the ability to design a big beautiful house. I received financing because I had the ability (in the form of a decent credit score) to obtain financing for this big project. And I had the finances to receive the bank loan because I had the ability to hold a job that paid well. I had the ability to manage and coordinate a group of contractors to make the vision a reality. It took me a few years but the result of all these combined abilities was a big beautiful house overlooking the valley.
But there was one ability I sacrificed in order to use all those other abilities. Someone close to me needed me during those few years but I didn’t have time for him.
If I was following Christ the way those early Christians were, I would have made myself available to that person.
But I was too busy making my vision into a reality.
I’m still living with the consequences today. Without question, this was one of the biggest moral failures of my entire lifetime. If I had a time machine I would go back and trade that dream for the time that man needed from me during those years. But I don’t have a time machine. I’m guessing you don’t either.
You Can Learn From Mistakes (but they don’t have to be your own mistakes)
So here today as you read this blog post you can learn from experience. When you learn from experience you don’t have to learn by making your own mistakes. You can learn from someone else’s mistakes, someone else’s experience. So I want to encourage you to learn from mine.
Make yourself available to do what God wants you to do. Even when it means being interrupted.
Even if it means sacrificing a dream.
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This is a powerful post.
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