Reach Out

Last week, I gained the opportunity to go to Spring Harvest in Minehead, where the theme was ‘Immeasurably More’ – For those who don’t know, Spring Harvest is a large, Christian organisation, and every year they host a big conference in both Minehead and Skegness. I learnt many things over the week but mostly, that we can encounter God in immeasurably more ways that we could ever imagine – it just takes faith! Returning home from such an amazing week, I was determined to not lose the passion, gained from two worship sessions a day, and so I got stuck into Romans ch 1, which really inspired me…

*Managed to grab a photo with Hillsong London!

*Managed to grab a photo with Hillsong London!

At first, it discusses how the apostle Paul, was called and set apart for God – set apart for the word that had been spoken years before, through prophecies, and that word, in flesh, was and is the Son of God who died and rose again, giving us grace and discipleship with Him. In the same way, we are also called to be set apart from others and these same prophecies were not just spoken over the salvation of people in general, but over your salvation as an individual! What does being ‘set apart’ look like? It’s about not being afraid to be different, to make sacrifices that put God first, and give him glory, all the days of your life.

Yet, not only did Paul set himself apart, in an intimate relationship with God, but he desired to reach out to the people in Rome, and to help them encounter the holy spirit for themselves – to encounter God in immeasurably more ways that they could imagine! His desire did not sit on his heart, as an, “I wish” dream, but he prayed to God, for an opportunity to reach out to them – He asked God’s help, to be able to bring the love of Christ closer to other people so that he could harvest a people of God – a team, a family, and a nation. However, he did not only reach out to those in Rome whom he desired to reach out to, but also, he was not ashamed to reach out to the Gentiles (the people seen as outcasts and ‘undesirable’ in society at the time) either, because he was comforted by the fact that God reveals righteousness to all, especially those who perhaps make us fearful… He saw potential in the most broken of lives…

A very inspiring verse within the passage is that “faith is being reported all over the world.” Faith is rising! This movement of faith is not just national, within a certain group of people, but international and cross-cultural! We too, can be a part of this international movement, by taking the first step to reach out to God, and then by reaching out to others in faith.

Moving onwards, Paul begins to change topic, and dicuss how people know God but don’t give him glory – in other words, they know and see forms of love and happiness around, but don’t acknowledge God as the provider of these emotions; they don’t give the glory to God, but to the earthly things in which they discover God’s goodness. They take God out of the equation. The result? They also take the glory out of these things, and the goodness fades leaving only half-hearted goodness, so many begin to search for goodness elsewhere, all in all, leading to sinful desires…

As people take God out of the equation, relationships are destroyed, bodies are disrespected and minds become depraved; gossip rises, and slander becomes normality yet what’s more, is that people become trapped in approval of this because they don’t know of any other method, of happiness – this isn’t even happiness, but sadly is the very limited 1% of thrilling ‘happiness’ that they know and think to be all. Do you see? The world is desperate for happiness, because they do not know God. For some, God is foreign to them – they don’t even have the opportunity to take Him out of the equation in the first place. This is why we are called to be set apart, so that others may see us praise God with joy, and look towards the hopeful without having to seek for something more fulfilling; we are to live in such a way that makes others question their disbelief, and be led to repentance. The world needs God (they just don’t realise it) and it’s our task to reach out, and put Him back into the equation!

So, set yourself apart, ask God for opportunities to help others encounter Him, and join the international kingdom of God, by reaching out in love as you put God back into the equation. Reaching out can be simple – a random act of kindness that will start a conversation. Perhaps start with a food substance: bake a cake, buy someone coffee or invite someone for a meal, then contribute in conversation, see where it leads and then mention your faith, giving an insight into the love of God. In summary: Eat out, Reach out and Preach out!

What opportunity will you create this week? Share some opportunities below, and together we can reach out to others!

Eleanor ♥

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