Who's in Your
3 Mile Radius!
Good morning Church Family,

This past Sunday, I taught from Psalm 67, a psalm that has been called a missionary psalm. It has brought back some great memories for me as I have noticed the notations that I have written in the column of that page in my Bible. " Team Beijing '08, Team Nicaragua '11, Team Oromo '17, and recently added 3 Mile Radius '19 ." These are times when I have prayed Psalm 67 over these times of action . Times when myself and a group of people went out and shared the love of Jesus with those that we encountered.

For the past 2 weeks I have been arrested by verses one and two of this psalm.

" May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations. "

Yesterday evening as I was pulling out of the parking lot of a local Walmart, there was a mother and child sitting next to the stop sign that I was approaching. As I got closer to the intersection, I watched her pick up her sign with her plea for help written on it and aim it right at my approaching truck.

I could actually feel myself intentionally trying to not make eye contact. I literally did the opposite of what the psalmist was asking God to do for His people. Why? Why would I turn my face away from someone in need? I am embarrassed to admit that I did not turn my face to them and offer them something. I had change in my cup holder, I had a couple of dollars in my wallet. Why? Why would I not help someone in need?

I don't have an answer that is adequate or acceptable. I could list off a few excuses for not turning my face towards them and be gracious to them, but I can't formulate not even one reason.

Am I alone in this? Have you had the same experience?

Church, I am very convicted by this and have confessed this to the Lord and am obviously now confessing it to you. So here is my plan, I will put back into practice something I used to do and that is to keep some cash in my cupholder or center console that is set aside for people in need.

I am reminded of another passage that has helped me this morning...

" And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice - the kind he will accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask? Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfiect his will really is. " - Romans 12:1-2 NLT

I love the way the New Living Translation puts it, " When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask?" Certainly not! It is not too much to ask for us to offer our bodies to God. When we consider how God has turned His face to us and shined upon us and been gracious to us, let us set aside our excuses and be a people that blesses those in need.

Let me encourage you this week to keep your eyes peeled for someone at work who needs a word of encouragement. A neighbor who needs a helping hand. A stranger who needs a smile or a couple of dollars. And more specifically, keep a watch out for those who are in need of Jesus. Let's be quick to tell them of the love of Christ.

As you go this week, " May God be gracious to you and bless you and make His face to shine upon you, (Why?) that His way may be known on earth and His saving power among the nations. "

Go be a missionary this week in your 3 mile radius!


Pastor Joel