Children have loved to play the game of connecting the dots. As a primary teacher, I used it to help the children learn the sequencing of numbers. They loved seeing what picture was formed as they went from number to number and connected them. Sometimes it could be pretty complex but the kids felt success when they could get the whole view! As we grow older, often we can look back and see how we got to a place, conclusion, or situation by connecting the dots of life events. Our “son-in-love” is from Sweden and came to the U.S. for college and to play tennis. He was in Texas and then here locally at Point Loma Nazarene University. He met our daughter there on the tennis team and also got saved at a Promise Keepers event in San Diego. Connected and still connecting the dots!

This is particularly true of our salvation and the first dot begins with Jesus’ prayer for us in John 17:20, “… I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message.” It began with the disciples! All believers, directly or indirectly, have come to Christ through the disciples’ obedience to spread the message. Someday in heaven perhaps we’ll be able to look not at a genealogical bloodline but rather a spiritual genealogy. Wouldn’t it be a joy to know if the first dot for you was perhaps John, Mark, Thomas, or another disciple? Who received Christ through their messages and passed on the Good News? Who was praying for their descendants centuries ago to come to know Christ? How did it travel to where you trusted in Christ connecting the dots over the last 2000+ years? This was not a happy accident, but God’s specific plan for His people!

In the Old Testament times, the High Priest would go into the Presence of God in the Tabernacle and Temple. He would be wearing a breastplate that bore the names of the 12 tribes of Israel. In the same way, the Lord Jesus, the great High Priest, carried the names of all believers past, present, and future into the holy Presence of His Father. We, the church, are all part of a much bigger picture than we can begin to imagine. Each of us has had and will have a part in connecting the dots for others’ path to salvation; we won’t know all the ways we’re doing this until heaven. Some prepare the soil, some plant, and some harvest. “As it is written: How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Romans 10:15. If we “live in the way of Jesus with the heart of Jesus,” we’ll be connecting the dots in immeasurable lives!

Reflection: Who was part of connecting the dots for you? How can you pray for your descendants as others have prayed for you? Spend some time thanking God for those who went before you and were faithful to God’s plan for your sake.

Francie Overstreet
EFCC Member

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