Building One Another

E. Stanley Ott

BE GLAD, Vol 8 No 22

June 1, 2009

Dear Friend,

Do you ever feel jealous when another gathering of God’s people is growing?

It certainly happened in the ministry of Jesus: “Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. Many people, because they had heard that he had given this miraculous sign, went out to meet him. So the Pharisees said to one another, ‘See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!’" John 12:17-19*

It happened again at least three more times as reported in the Book of Acts where we see the anger and jealousy of people who saw the crowds gathering around the apostles to learn about Jesus. For example, we read, “When the Jews saw the crowds; they were filled with jealousy and talked abusively against what Paul was saying.” Acts 13:45

It’s easy to be jealous. It also deeply violates the Tenth Commandment not to covet – and misses the joy our Lord has in the widening circle of people who are finding life in Jesus, and love and a future and a hope in Him!

Consider Barnabas sent to check out the reports of a rapidly growing assembly of Jesus’ followers in Antioch. When he arrived he could have said, “Hey, I am from the Mother Church! Why aren’t you checking in with us?”

Instead we read these wonderful words, “When he arrived [in Antioch] and saw the evidence of the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.” Acts 11:23

Be glad wherever you see the people of Jesus flourishing!

With joy - E. Stanley Ott
Copyright 2009 E. Stanley Ott
*Scripture from the NIV