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Covid-19 Devotionals

Does God Put the Same Idea Into Two People’s Minds?

Do you believe God can put the same thing into two different minds around the same time? On a morning walk about a week back, I started thinking about the possibility of starting a webpage for ministry. For more than two months, I have been writing daily notes of a devotional nature and recently have started making video clips of sermons. As there are other things that can be added, I thought that having a webpage to host this material and materials of other people plus links to good reformed sites could be a great idea. Each day I would walk and think about the possibility. I decided that I would speak to Roy, our son-in-law about this as he is far more clued up about these matters than I am.

Every Saturday from 16:30 to 18:30, we have a Zoom call with Roy, Angela, Nathan and Luke. They live in Naperville, Illinois in the USA. As I mentioned this thought to them, both Angela and Roy started smiling. The more I spoke, their smiling turned into laughing. When I finished what I wanted to say, Angela said, “Dad, Roy has been talking to me about this very thing.”

Then Roy said something along the lines of, “Dad, I have already registered a webpage for this very purpose … to put the daily notes and links to the sermons on.” We were all staggered. At the same time I’m thinking about a webpage, Roy is thinking of a webpage for the same purpose … and takes it further by registering it and setting up a skeleton page. Can you believe that? I mean, we are “only” about 14,000 kms apart. We are 8 hours ahead of them. Normally we only Zoom on Saturdays … yet a week back he has the exact same thought as me. Is this coincidence? Is it just chance? Or is there something bigger behind this?

Look at this Scripture:

2Co 8:16 I thank God, who put into the heart of Titus the same concern I have for you.

(Read the whole chapter for context.) The context is one of collecting financial love gifts for the poor struggling saints in Jerusalem. The previous year saw these Corinthians in the front of the giving queue. This year they were slow in collecting this gift. Whilst the Corinthian Church was affluent and ought to have responded quickly with a handsome gift, they were slow and perhaps reluctant. Paul explains how the poor Churches in the Macedonian Region responded

2Co 8:1 And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2 Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. 5 And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will.

Their motive is quickly seen. They wanted to participate in “the privilege of sharing” … helping the poor in Jerusalem, even though they were so poor. Paul wants the rich Corinthians to enjoy the same spiritual joy and blessing as the Macedonians did. There is joy in the Lord and there is joy in service. The root of this is spiritual maturity coupled to deep love for Jesus and sincere gratitude for personal salvation. That’s what Paul wants from them: 1. that the poor in Jerusalem have their needs met; 2. that the Corinthians obey God’s voice in their hearts to give; 3. that they then enjoy spiritual joy. We could summarize this by saying Paul’s love for God resulted in loving His suffering children. And … that is exactly what was in Titus’ heart. They had the exact same desire. How so? Well, we read:

2Co 8:16 I thank God, who put into the heart of Titus the same concern I have for you.

God put it into Paul and Timothy’s heart and He put it into Titus’ heart. The same desire within the same context.

God can and does do this when there is a genuine desire to see the Gospel spread and the people of God cared for. So, at the same time God was working in my heart about starting a webpage for ministry, He was working in Roy’s heart about starting a webpage for ministry (I think Roy was even a little ahead of me!).

This happens where there is a common agreement regarding eternity! Where heaven and hell are real in the hearts of two or more people. Where the gospel shapes the thinking and living. Where the desire to see souls saved is a top priority in life and family, in how you work, do church, conduct interpersonal relationships, spend money, etc. Where thankfulness to God for personal salvation overshadows all of life. Where “but for the grace of God, there go I” features critically in the mind. Where unity in theology and unity in doctrine shape a belief in and a passion for evangelism.

You see, there is nothing mystical or magical about what happened in Roy’s heart and my heart. God takes people who have a similar passion for His cause and works in their hearts to bring about something that could be used for the Kingdom where He gets the glory and His people might be educated and lost souls might be saved. Surely then, Paul’s words can be understood in the heart:

2Co 8:16 I thank God, who put into the heart of Titus the same concern I have for you.

Dear God, thank You that You work in the hearts, minds and desires of your obedient people. There is so much two or three people can do together for the Cause of the Gospel. Lord, You are the one who can link people together to do ministry for you. Please search my heart and use me as you please for Jesus sake. Amen.

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