This month’s Pastor’s Perspective is delivered by Pastor’s Perspective by Matt Albritton, First UMC Wetumpka
On Sunday, February 6, 1763, John Wesley wrote in his journal: “Knowing many were greatly tempted on occasion of these occurrences, I preached on 1 Corinthians 10:13, ‘God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.’ In the evening, we had a love feast, at which many spoke with all simplicity. And their words were like fire. I hardly know when we have had so refreshing a season.”
The “love feast” or “Agape meal” is a Christian gathering recalling the meals Jesus shared with disciples during his ministry and expressing the fellowship enjoyed by the family of God. Just as times of refreshing were enjoyed with Jesus and at this gathering almost 260 years ago, I believe that God wants to send times of refreshing into your life today.
I remember working in the hay fields with my grandfather as a teenager. Those hot summer days in the middle of the hay field with no shade would drain the life right out of you. Then a cool and gentle breeze would blow and refresh me. In a spiritual sense, our lives can be like that hay field. We are hurried by the work, frustrated by coworkers, pressured by deadlines, tempted beyond what we can bear, and pushed to the breaking point to make ends meet. My hope is that you will begin today to pray and ask God to send times of refreshing into your life. If you will humble yourself and pray, God will answer your prayer.
Now imagine what your life will be like after God has answered your prayer and sent times of refreshing into your life. Paul reminds us that our lives are fragile like jars of clay and in these jars of clay ‘we always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body’ (2 Corinthians 4:10). You have been saved so that the life of Jesus may be revealed in your life. Imagine how wonderfully Jesus’ life can be revealed in your life once you have been refreshed.
Every day the Father is conforming you into the likeness of his Son, and with each new day come opportunities to let others see Jesus in you. For some people, the only Jesus they will see today will be in you.
You and I did not do anything to deserve our salvation, but we must do something to exhibit that salvation. Paul is helpful again when he says, “Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). As Christians, we must rise to the occasion to allow our speech, our thinking, and our emotions to be the evidence that God is at work in our lives. It is called the fruit of the Spirit, and since we live by the Spirit, we need to stay in step with the Spirit.
God will never shield you from the requirements of being His son or daughter. So, do not think it strange when trials come your way. Instead, rise to the occasion. Do whatever the trial demands of you. It does not matter how difficult it is or how hot it gets in the hay field, as long as it allows God to reveal the life of Jesus in you. Then in those difficult days, God will send times of refreshing to see you through the trial.
May God bless you and your family in these days of refreshing. In Christ’s arms, Matt Albritton
Matt Albritton, a US Navy Veteran, is pastor of First United Methodist Church in Wetumpka, Alabama. Matt’s greatest joy is encouraging others to live their life for Jesus Christ. Matt and his wife Tammy have four grown children, eleven grandchildren and one great granddaughter whom they love to spoil.