Links Daily Devotional

Who’s Next?

How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you?  (1 Thessalonians 3:9, NIV)

If you granted yourself a respite from the cold on Sunday afternoon and flipped on the television to take in the scenes from the Sony Open in Hawaii, you may not have been impressed only with the scenery. You may also have been amazed to see the excellent play of several young players who are suddenly showing up in the later groups on Sunday with regularity—namely Sony winner Jimmy Walker, runner-up Chris Kirk, and two-time 2013 winner Harris English. All together, the three have now won five times since last June. Add Will Wilcox, just a third-time starter on the PGA Tour who played in the final group, and that’s quite a young set.

In their midst, though, was 47-year-old Jerry Kelly, who finished third, two shots back, after giving victory his best effort.

One of the beauties of golf is how young and old stick together. It’s a rare 40-something who is holding his own with the youngsters on the baseball diamond, let alone the basketball court or the football pitch (or the football field!).

This is also one of the beauties of the church of Jesus Christ. Always, as men and women first say yes to Jesus, those who are mature in the faith find themselves blessed and challenged by the presence of those new in the faith.

Sometimes it is not easy to backtrack in one’s own studies to help the tender shoots weather the storms of early faith, but it is a necessity, both for their sake and the sake of those more seasoned who may otherwise be given over to pride or rote activity. Leave it to the young in the faith to keep things lively!

Because this is the case, if you are a “seasoned traveler” on the walk with Christ, you should be always asking the question, “Who’s next?” You should be on the lookout for those whose life circumstances may have them asking fresh questions of God. And you should be eager to see whom the Lord brings across your own path for spiritual conversation and a chance to nurture in the faith.

This question should also be asked in prayer, for sometimes the Lord intends to ignite faith in those we would never expect, and we want to be ready to welcome them into the kingdom and encourage them as their trust and obedience to God take root.

There is wonderful reward in this work, for when we cross-minister to one another—the mature with wisdom and the young with eagerness—we end up being one another’s joy, as the Thessalonians were for Paul, Silas, and Timothy. We end up as true brothers and sisters in Christ.

Jeff Hopper
January 15, 2014
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