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Engage through Interaction

Sunday’s Monday

Engage through interaction

This has been the busiest week I’ve had in a while! The highlights are as follows, Meals on Wheels 2 different days = 234 meals delivered, Brother Night Leadership meeting was highly productive, and the Brother Night East meeting was fantastic. Breakfast at Foothills House of Hope was refreshing and real (thank you Ken Niewulis) along with a Memorial Day Cookout with family, hosted by Charlie, Kim and Emily Loftin. Lots of Fun, Food and Family, what a wonderful combination. As the song goes Pat and I are greatly blessed, highly favored. Thank you, Lord!

This has been a week of hearing the word engage. In several conversations and a couple of meetings where the word engaged was used. Except the word was used in separate context, which enticed the spirit within me to ponder the subject for a while. I happen to be one of the people that enjoys being engaged in the service of Jesus and always looking to positively impact others. Ergo, I researched the word engage using engage - verb (used with object), to occupy the attention or efforts of (a person or persons): He engaged her in conversation. Engage - verb (used without object), to occupy oneself; become involved: to engage in business or politics. Engaging: adjective, winning; attractive; pleasing: an engaging smile. I admit for the sake of space I did not list every example however they all follow suit.

Now that we know what the world says about engage, what does the bible say? The bible doesn’t used the word “engage” however it speaks volumes to the definition of the word. For example; John 1:14 (NIV), The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. Yes! I know the old testament is full of God encounters with men however He is not recorded as being in the flesh until the birth of Jesus. It was at this point that God as Jesus, became totally engaged with His creation of flesh. As the gospel song by The Gaither Vocal Band says, “He came down to my level, when I couldn’t get up to his” and I thank God he did!

When I think of engaging someone, I think of how Jesus engaged those as He walked through this life. He went where they were, not to judge, condemn or preach but to speak truth in love. Jesus always had and has their, our, my, best interest at heart! He didn’t and doesn’t use empty, meaningless words or haughty, spiritual gestures to merely draw people near Him. He becomes connected through love, as He is the solution to every situation! He instructs us to be likewise in, James 2:16 (NIV), If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? Should we decide to become engaged in anything or with anyone, we must first decide to be all in or simply stay out. Half hearted effort always results in wholehearted damage.

Now what does that look like! First of all, I’m reminded of something my Pastor Joe Dillard has said for years; “If it’s not working at home don’t export it!!!” Don’t bring lazy into the mix and cause unnecessary confusion and suffering for self and others. The bible explains in, Ephesians 4:14-15 (NIV), 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. Once we are engaged in God’s truth, then and only then can we carry it to the people of which God has chosen for us. It’s sometimes called divine appointments. However, this is not to imply that I shouldn’t carry on a social conversation which may include my relationship with Jesus.

I can remember my first few years after becoming a believer when I set out to save the world, which proved to many how smart I was, this is not even biblical. Matthew 25:46 (NIV), “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life” ergo, not everyone will believe therefore I am to do everything under the supervision of Jesus. As Jesus opens the door into another’s life, I am to obediently engage (interact through love) with that individual (right where he or she is.) Not knowing where God is going to take it but trusting God for His perfect results. You see I’ve learned, when I engage (on my own) it’s to cheer people up and brighten their day but when God engages me, it’s for Him to change someone’s life! Huge difference!

Think on this for a little while and see how you are or can be engaged with someone, see what it looks like to you and pray for Jesus to clear up any confusion or re-enforce your gift of engagement. This is not a church project or a Christian function, and certainly not a personal (look at me) feel good activity. Jesus gave us, John 13:34-35 (NIV), 34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” For me this puts a new light on the word engage! I pray that you’ll find something that may help you.

This is my prayer for you this week; Romans 15:5-7 (NIV), 5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, 6 so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. Amen



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