Celebrating 30 Years of March Retreat, Devotional #3
We hope by now you have received your 30-Day Devotional Guide created by your Flourish Committee. If you haven't, we may not have a correct address for you. You can find a printable pdf version of the Devotional on our website www.theflourishconference.org or at www.cggcwomen.org. Over the next several months, we will be posting each devotional on our blog as well, helping us to celebrate this milestone throughout the year. Today's blog post commemorates the third year of the March Retreat.
#3 1994 Speaker: Miriam Neff
Round-Up for God’s Glory
“And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’”
I lived in Montana for about 10 years in my 20s and early 30s. Every fall, the ranchers would go out on either their ATVs or on horseback—which I always thought was the coolest way—and round up their cattle for winter. We are talking about thousands of acres of land they would need to cover to make sure they gathered all their livestock. Winters in Montana are brutal with bitter cold (-40 and -50) and snow. Cattle can't survive on their own all winter long. Snow would soon cover their food, and their water sources would be frozen solid. The rancher had to move them to where he could tend to them and make sure they had what they needed. There is no way that the rancher can do this by himself, so he would employ family, friends, and hired hands to help him get the job done. Each helper had a specific job to do to safely move the cattle to where the rancher can take care of them.
I can’t help but compare that to the life of the church. We, as Christians, are called to go out into all the world and make disciples, teaching them to follow Christ. Essentially, we need to go “round-up” people and bring them to Christ, where they can be fed and watered. Jesus was talking about this when he gave the great commission in Matthew Chapter 28. Every Christian needs to do their part in bringing people to Christ, but this is something we can’t do alone; we need others to help us, just like the rancher needs others to help move his cattle. We need a group of like-minded people with everyone doing what they have been called to do to build the Kingdom of God. We need to be outwardly focused, and so do our churches.
Lord, give us a heart to round up the lost. Help us to see who we can show the love of Christ to and give us the courage to share you with them. I pray that you give them a softened heart and open ears to hear what you want them to hear.
Thoughts to meditate on:
1. Am I doing my part to “round -up” people for Christ?
2. How can I use my calling or my talents to help my church “round-up” others for Christ?
Author: Kathy Odegard