After studying the Word this morning I began to think of the times that my wife and I got to bring good reports to others. For some reason the very first thing I remembered is when I received my first promotion when I began working at Hewlett Packard way back in 1980. It had all happened kind of quickly and had to be a Godly influenced event. After I had been there for about six months endeavoring to do my best in the position I was hired for as a silkscreener, I had approached our Section Manager and talked to him about what I would need to do in preparation to be considered for a future supervisorial spot.
The manger happened to be the president of the local Mormon stake and we had actually talked on various other occasions about our beliefs and the current state of events in our churches. Therefore I had developed a pretty good working relationship with him and felt comfortable speaking with him. We talked for quite a while and he graciously outlined what he considered to be the normal one and a half year process that led up to the possibilities of promotion.
Piper and I prayed over and were excited about that information and the potential it held for us. Then unexpected things began to happen! It seemed like it was only a few days later when my immediate supervisor announced that he was transferring back to a HP division in Palo Alto. I was sorry to see him go, but didn’t think that it had anything to do with me because I figured that I had another year to go before I could start applying for a job like his… until he took me aside one night and seriously looked me in the eye (I thought at first that he was upset with me!) and said: “Are you going to apply for the job or not!”
Well, I did and I got the job! You can’t tell me that God doesn’t make a way for His kids! So it was either that same night or the next day when my young wife, our first little baby and I headed up to her folk’s house to share the good news! I really don’t remember their reactions, all though I’m sure it was positive, but I do remember standing in the entrance to their living room wearing my old brown corduroy coat, holding Piper’s hand and feeling like I was going to explode with joy!
That feeling of bursting with the joy of life is what I felt as I read from Acts 4:10 this morning when Peter stood in the face of the convictions of the religious leaders and declared: “…this man stands in your presence with a healthy body because of the power of Jesus Christ from Nazareth. You crucified him but God has brought him back to life.” (God’s Word ©) With that statement it was as if Peter was talking directly to me asking if I was a bearer of life or a bearer of death!
In so many words, Peter was telling the religious leaders that their solution to life’s irritations was death, but God’s was to bring life – joy filled life – to the irritations that we face on a daily basis. Peter brought a good report to those men as did Piper and I on that day over thirty years ago. Another one of my favorite all time scriptures is found later on in the book of Acts in chapter ten verse thirty-eight. Once again it is Peter talking and he tells us all of the work and nature of Jesus Christ. He described it saying “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil, for God was with him.” (KJV)
You can get a lot of answers to many questions from this verse including the source of sickness and disease, but for my purposes today I want to focus on two things. That Jesus’ mission was to go “about doing good” because of and/or due to the empowering fact that “God was with him!” Jesus was a bearer or life and not of death. When He walked into a troublesome situation it always changed for the better! I don’t think that my wife and I walked into a troublesome situation at my in-laws that day back in 1980, but I am assured that the atmosphere was brightened and changed after we left!
Believe me, over the last six years Piper and I have had many folks share their thoughts with us concerning what we are facing and most of them brought good reports full of the potential for life, but a few shared their fear filled concerns that reeked of death. And I must honestly tell you… We enjoyed and received the good reports much-MUCH more than the others!
So I’ll ask you the same question today that Peter asked me. Are you a bearer of life or of death? Do your presence and your words and actions towards others contribute to a joy filled life and the expectation of good to other’s... or do they reek with death? At times like this it might do us good to remember that old slogan that actually annoyed me at the time back in the 1990’s because it was so over-played, but never-the-less is true… and ask yourself: “What would Jesus do?”
Well, the answer is pretty straight forward. He would ALWAYS bring life, encouragement, and the truth of His Word which would leave those He attended to with a foundation of great expectations! Give it a try this weekend… and thereby have a great weekend. Stay in tune to His Word, and keep asking yourself… “What LIFE am I expecting to bring to someone in need today?”