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Message of Christ more important than what we are feeling, wounds that we may have

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Tollie RogersOver the past few months, we have been talking about the book of Acts at my church. The last couple of weeks, we have come to the first missionary journey of Paul and Barnabas.

While reflecting on Acts 13 and 14, I have come to a deeper understanding of Paul and his mission to the Gentiles. Paul was a Pharisee of Pharisees, meaning that he was all in or sold out to the Jewish religion and was ready to kill to protect the traditions until Jesus got ahold of him on the road to Damascus. Paul had an awakening and started following Jesus and spreading the gospel with as much zeal as he did the traditions of the Jews.

Well, that got me thinking about when he was run out of towns and even when he was stoned and left for dead, he was willing to return to the cities that had done this to him. He believed that the message of Christ was more important than his safety.

Paul preached with boldness and he planted churches so that the message of Jesus could spread all over the world. Quite honestly, we are the recipients of that message today. So, what are we doing with it?

Are we sharing the love and the grace that is found in Jesus? Are we speaking boldly when the time arises to share Jesus with our friends and neighbors? I have heard it said before that Christianity is just a few generations from extension. That is why it is so important for us as Christians to be sharing Jesus with those who need him the most. It doesn't matter what church you go to, we are all in this together spreading the gospel of Jesus, our only salvation.

October is Pastor Appreciation Month and I want to say to all the pastors here in Prineville that I greatly appreciate them. We are all working for the same goal and the same end. We want to see the residents of Prineville come to a relationship with Jesus, one that is built on the love and grace that only Jesus can give, one of forgiveness and freedom in Christ.

It is not about the number of people in our local congregations. It is about reaching out and building the Kingdom of God. Sometimes we get down and discouraged, but we can learn a lot from Paul. The message is more important than what we are feeling or the wounds that we may have.

Pastors, you are making an eternal difference, keep up the good work and know that you are not alone. Your people love and appreciate you!

P.S. - If you haven't taken time yet, tell your pastor that you love and appreciate them.

Tollie Rogers is the pastor at Ascent Christian Church. He can be reached at 541-362-1025.

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