A wise woman once counselled me about public speaking: God gives you a swimming pool-ful of inspiration as you prepare; you deliver a bucket-ful; your listeners might hear a cup-ful and then they’ll take home a thimble-ful. My thimble has been full over the last month listening to Ian’s, Mark’s and Bob’s sermons. I’ve tried to ‘listen’ better (Thank you, God for your revelations to our preachers).
Ian reminded us of God’s providence with Paul’s shipwreck in Malta. Seeds of the Gospel were planted then and still today Malta identifies as 95% Christian. God is good all the time even when there are shipwrecks, snake bites, dysentery and other tragic circumstances. Malta’s history, since Paul’s providential visit, has been sprinkled with invasions, sieges, wars, bombings. No doubt it has also been sprinkled with evidences of God at work where the Loving Saviour invades with His rescues, miracles and seeds of hope. One church in Malta has preserved a replica of an unexploded WWII bomb which landed inside the main worship area. A video clip tells tourists of God’s miracle.
Bob told us we are the ongoing story of Acts. ‘How is the Holy Spirit writing my bit?’ I thought. “Please God, don’t let me be a hearer only and not a doer, nor one of those whose ‘hearts have grown dull’ and ears ‘hard of hearing’ in Acts 28:27. Even Josh with his grass-seed head got that message. Open my eyes, Lord, even when I’d rather keep them shut and not see the suffering and pain in this world. Especially, don’t let me forget that you are good all the time. Amen”.
Mark has left us with Matthew 25. No doubt you’ve tasted droplets from your thimbleful as you’ve visited the sick in hospital or housebound, fed the hungry & given to the poor with Baptist Aid cards from Kezia, Johanna et al. The Holy Spirit prompted me to encourage someone to repent and have their ‘sins blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord’ (Acts 3:19). Visitors from Paris were brought our way and our household offered hospitality, scoring some yummy French baking in the process!
The Holy Spirit is able to take the drops from our thimbles and usher in a tsunami-ful of power and love.