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My Two Cents

by Rev Chuck Behrens


November, 2012

Past Articles
There was almost no first Thanksgiving. There almost were no Pilgrims. Those Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock got hit very hard their first winter. Many of them died, and many more could have died from starvation if it hadn't been for one man - an Indian brave they called Squanto.

As a young man, he'd been kidnapped and carried off to England to be a servant. While Squanto was there, he learned English and he learned about Christ. Because of the kindness of some of the people he met, he eventually made it back across the Atlantic to his people; except his people weren't there anymore. While he was gone, they'd been wiped out by an epidemic. He was the only one left. This was a man who knew a lot of tragedy and he knew a lot of hurt, but still he reached out to those early Plymouth settlers, struggling to survive. He taught them what his people knew about how to grow crops in that environment. He helped to build bridges between them and the Native Americans who surrounded them. He understood their language, he understood their faith, and he saved their lives.

If we belong to Jesus Christ, Squanto is more than just an interesting character in the story of the First Thanksgiving. He's a picture of your life, your destiny assignment from God. Because Squanto was Native American, he knew how to live in the new land of the pilgrims. Because he'd been wrongfully hijacked to another country, he understood the people who were struggling to survive in his land. Everything in his life seemed to prepare him for a vital mission - to help save the lives of people who otherwise would have died.

That's us - divinely positioned by God to help some people in our personal world meet His Son Jesus; their only hope of having any meaning in this life; their only hope of heaven when this life is over. And we are divinely prepared by God. The experiences, the interests, the personality, even the pain - they're all gifts that He's given us to connect with people who will listen to folks like us.

In 2 Kings 7:9, we see another picture of the life-or-death mission that God has entrusted to each of us. It's the story of four lepers who eked out a life outside the walls of their city; they weren't allowed in the city because of their leprosy. But when an enemy army besieged their city, nearly starving them into surrender, well there was no food to keep them alive. Each morning, they could hear the anguished cries of mothers in the city whose child had starved to death during the night. In desperation, they decided to walk into the enemy camp and try to surrender, and to their amazement, they found the enemy camp deserted. God had miraculously frightened them into retreat. So the lepers went from tent to tent, gorging themselves with food.

Finally, they woke up to the mission they had because of what they had found. The Bible says, "They said to each other, 'We're not doing right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves...Let's go at once and report this...'" They did, and they saved many lives.

We have Jesus. We have the good news that lives around us to depend on. Are we keeping it to ourselves? Whatever we're afraid of, whatever is keeping us from telling the people you know about Jesus, can it possibly be as bad as letting them live and die without knowing their only hope? God has divinely prepared us to be the kind of people they'll listen to. Our biographies are our credentials, and God has divinely positioned us to help the people we know be in heaven with us. Freely we have received; freely give.

Talk about "Thanksgiving" - the first one might have never happened and another one might not take place without the Great Gift that's been given, benefited and hopefully now shared as only we can share it.

See you in Church,
Rev. Chuck