I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face. ESV 3 John 1:14
God blessed me yesterday with a variety of face to face interactions with fellow believers and those we are trying to reach with the gospel. I had breakfast with my daughter, and while there ran into a neighbor who expressed interest in coming to Christmas Eve services. Later I had coffee with a friend who assured me he has been praying for our adoption. Then I met a believer who had fallen back into sin and was struggling to come into the light. I encouraged him that God still loves him, even when he sins. Another friend took me to lunch, and we discussed his passion at helping an immigrant family with Christmas. At lunch he introduced me to the father of the owner of the restaurant. I took my wife back there for dinner to follow up on the contact with the father. I was also prepared to invite our server to Christmas Eve services. Turns out, our server was connected to the church and had already been invited and committed to coming. Then we judged Christmas lights, again interacting with the granddaughter of a man who has come to faith in recent years and is slowly leading his family to the Lord. And this only covers about half my interactions from the day.
The spiritual formation point is simple: spiritual change takes place in face to face relationships. More importantly, most of us already have these relationships, we just need to be intentional about them. We eat three meals a day (usually one at work with other people). We stop for coffee, gas, groceries, and other things. We know our co-workers. We have family that need Jesus. If we carefully pray and ask the Lord Jesus to use us, each of these face to face interactions can advance the gospel. Sometimes its very small steps…but they are still steps. Never underestimate the power of relationships.
Whom has God placed in your life today? Whom will you see face to face? How can you encourage them? My lunch friend acknowledged God put him in a group of about six men a few years ago, only one of whom went to church. Two years later only one didn’t go to church. Coffee every morning with a group of guys made an eternal difference. Carpe Diem.