James and Cephas and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given to me, they gave the right hand of fellowship to Barnabas and me, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. Only, they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.
Galatians 2:9–10, ESV
Paul is describing an early meeting he had with the leaders of the church in Jerusalem. At this meeting, they validated God’s call on his life to take the gospel to the Gentiles. I appreciate how they did this. I think we might benefit from imitating the four things that James, Cephas, and John did for Paul and friends.
They perceived the grace that was given to Paul. Today would be a good day to reach out to someone and let them know that you have noticed how God has given them grace—that you have seen the God’s grace at work in their lives and have seen it flow through them as they serve others.
They gave the right hand of fellowship. Here is a social distancing challenge for the day! How can you let someone else know that you have not forgotten them and that they are still an integral part of your life in this time of isolation? Phones, computers, and cards are pretty simple tools that we use every day for all kinds of things. Let’s convert them into right hands today.
They sent Paul and friends to the Gentiles and they committed to reach the Jews. How can you encourage a missionary today? Again . . . phones, computers, cards are nice tools for this purpose. Reach out and let them know you are praying for them. Then figure out how you are going to reach the one person God would have you reach with the gospel today.
They asked Paul and friends to remember the poor. This pandemic is taking a financial toll. Government gifts of money will not change that. We need to care for own. If you know of a need and can meet the need, meet it. And please do not forget to keep giving to your church so we can do the same (we are still getting the mail every day).
Don’t waste your isolation. Be the church.
I am praying for you.