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standing on shoulders

Because of what Jesus has done for you, you have the ability to deeply impact another person.

My parents were married in 1952 and lived most of their married life on West Eden Street in East Peoria. I was brought home from the hospital to 100 West Eden and attended the East Peoria Church of Christ until I left for college in 1987.

While in junior high and high school, there were several older men from the church who taught our Sunday and Wednesday Bible classes. One of my favorites went to be with the Lord in November of 2000 — Jeff Glover. Along with the others, he was a consistent presence in my life through very important years.

In 1984, I was baptized by our preacher — Brad Carman. Not long after, he invited me to give a devotional at church. Then he asked me to preach on a Sunday night. Three years later – knowing I wanted to be a preacher myself – he invited me to spend the summer following him around. He was the first person who ever said to me, “I believe you can be a preacher.”

I think of these people (and so many others) whenever I read today’s passage. It was written by the apostle Paul to a friend …

Philemon 4-7 … 4 I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, 5 because I hear about your love for all his holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus. 6 I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ. 7 Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.

Who does that passage make you think of? When you look back across the years, who were the people whose lives and examples had a profound impact on you?

Truth is, we are all composites. A composite is something made up of various parts or elements.

For you, it might have been a school teacher or a coach. I’ve met many people who have a relationship with God today because of the influence of a grandparent.

Let’s not kid ourselves: there are no self-made people. We all stand on someone else’s shoulders. And, like it or not, someone else will be standing on our shoulders.

My prayer for you is that you will find a Philemon and be a Philemon.