“Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Ella Fitzgerald stated: “Where there is love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong.”
Is there such a thing for God's people as taking a “time out”? Is there such a thing as being so close to God that His people can take a “time out” in expressing love and inspiration to others?
Dr. Henry Ward Beecher did not take a “time out” during his lifetime. He was an American Congregationalist clergyman, prolific author, and well-known speaker. In 1847, he became the first pastor of the Plymouth Church in Brooklyn, New York. During his ministry, and writings, he emphasized fellowship and God's love.
In the book, “Streams In The Desert, Vol Two”, author Mrs. Charles E. Cowman recounted a story about Dr. Beecher. The story went like this: the last time he served in the pulpit was the Sunday evening service. Afterwards, he “lingered in the aisle and gazed around at the building he loved so well”. When he turned to leave, “he saw two little newsboys who had wandered in for the services”. Because of his “fondness for newsboys...He put an arm around each of the lads and talked with them, as they walked down the aisle and out of the church...”. Within a week, he suffered a stroke, and two days later, died in his sleep.
“Forty-one years afterwards, at a celebration in honor of the ministry of Henry Ward Beecher, one of the speakers, a distinguished minister, told the story of that evening in Plymouth Church, adding...I was one of those newsboys...Throughout his life, the memory of the arm of Henry Ward Beecher about his shoulders had given him inspiration and strength. A great man had bestowed his friendship”, and fellowship.
The Book of Hebrews often emphasizes the importance of having fellowship and loving one another. It states: “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together...” for fellowship. A way a person shows love towards another person is by exhibiting genuine interest in them.
God's followers should not prop up their feet to take a spiritual time out. They are called to keep spiritually “fit as a fiddle”. There are many blessings to share with fellow Christians, and others. In any given day, you cannot go wrong if you take advantage of the many godly opportunities offered to you to express His love and fellowship. Dr. Beecher did not take a “time out”, and he did “glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ”. He extended his love and friendship to the newsboys, and the life of one of the newsboys was strengthened and motivated.
Lord God, thank You for giving to us opportunities to express Your love. Help us to be aware of those opportunities. Amen.
~ Ann Brock Ludington