From: Rich Carlson
Date: March 15, 2019
Subject: It's March 15; Good Morning Union

“Men from Cyprus and Cyrene went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus.”   Acts 11:20

Ok, some background to my text for today. I’m reading Acts of the Apostles right now as I prep from one of my classes. I was impressed when I came to this section with the reminder of our focus here at Union College on “calling.” If all you get is a professional degree so you can go out and get a job then I feel you have wasted your time. We want so much more for you!

The story in Acts is one of purposeful evangelism, NOT through being a pastor or an evangelist (though those are both great callings!) It’s in the life of non-clergy who find a profession and life in that profession as a way to reach people with the gospel whom the pastor or evangelist might not be able to reach. These guys mentioned in my verse for today felt a calling to go to Antioch, a cosmopolitan  center of commerce, and establish themselves professionally AND spiritually in the community. When “the church in Jerusalem” sent one of their leaders, Barnabas, to “check things out” because they had heard of the progress of the gospel there, they found to their delight that, “The Lord’s hand was with them and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.”

Acts of the Apostles added that these two men were to be our example of serving the Lord intentionally out of our professions and says they only had two qualities that set them apart to do this work- “they had a knowledge of the word of God, and they knew the power of His grace.” They knew God’s word and they had experienced His grace; and THAT prepared them to do a great work for the Lord.

SOOOO, my prayer and dream for each of you is that you take full advantage of the quality academic training that you can receive here at Union for your profession, AND that you take even FULLER advantage of the environment and opportunities here at Union to know God’s word and to experience His grace. THEN you can graduate with more than a profession but a calling! Next weekend we have a Union grad coming to explain his move to New England with this very intent with the plan to offer you seniors a chance to join him!

Just a side note, it was in Antioch that the believers were first called “Christians.” The reason? “Christ was the main theme of their preaching, their teaching, and their conversations.” I wonder if we hold that same standard when we call each other or ourselves Christians today?

Have a great day taking advantage of all you can get here at Union,

Pastor Rich


Quote for the day:      “Grace is God’s overwhelming desire to treat you as if you had never sinned.”


PS        Family Worship- sponsored by Nathan and his Union for Christ team. Tonight we have Bryan Williams, ultra-marathoner, who will be sharing with us the lessons he has learned about life in this ultimate physical discipline. See you in the church tonight at 7:30. He will be primarily speaking about his experience running the entire Colorado Trail from Durango, CO to Denver, CO (a total of 486 miles). When he has spoken at other locations, his spiritual emphasis is that of having faith as small as a mustard seed.

PPS      Afterglo will be hosted by Rachel and her CABL friends