September 25, 2016

Two More Plane Tickets

Acts 20:22-38

Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

—  Acts 20:32

My friend Ron had had a rough relationship with his dad. I met Ron’s dad just once. It was at Ron’s funeral.

The information about Ron’s death is sketchy. A witness saw Ron’s Lexus plow into the back of a truck at high speed on the highway. No one else was hurt. That’s all I know. So I flew back to attend his funeral.

Two years later I bought ­an­other plane ticket, because Dick, another member of our small church, died too, of old age and natural causes. I was able to take part in his service.

I marvel when I think how much these men cared for each other, because less than ten years earlier none of them had known the others existed. And they weren’t coworkers in an office, or players on a sports team. The reason and cause of their bond was Christ. Honestly, nothing else was accomplished except the living, eternal work of God in their souls through the love of Christ.

I can testify that sanctified people make you emotionally and spiritually rich. These men had their faults and often stumbled in their Christian walk—and that might make some people want to give up on them. But it works better to risk your heart and to cherish each person with God’s love. This is how God made sanctification to be.

Lord, thank you for the Christians around me. You have made me rich through them, and you have blessed me. Thank you for these gifts. Amen.

About the author — Keith Mannes

Keith Mannes serves as pastor at Highland Christian Reformed Church in McBain, Michigan. Keith and his wife, Alicia, recently celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary,
and they are thankful for their three children—Eben, Charis, and Breanna.

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