Isaiah 30:21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."
In my opinion, there are some movies that should be part of every person's basic education. Schindler's List is one of those. The film centers around an entrepreneur, Oskar Schindler, who is a German and a member of the National Socialist Party (the Nazis). Schindler relocates to Poland to earn a small fortune off the production of war materials. He staffs his factory with Jews because they are the cheapest labor as the law requires no payment of wages to them. Over the course of the war, his heart toward these people changes and possessing a deep desire to see none of them tortured and killed, he spends his entire fortune saving their lives from the fate of death in the concentration camps. Oskar Schindler is just an ordinary man. One who neither professed faith or even necessarily morality, yet is a shining example of how God works through people to accomplish good.
This morning I am reading Acts 5:22-42. The apostles have just been miraculously freed from prison to continue their work of preaching the gospel. They are faithfully continuing their work which mystifies the Jewish leaders. Frustrated and considering issuing capital punishment, an unknown Jewish leader steps in and convinces the council to leave them alone. Look at Verses 38-39 with me: "Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God."
This leader, Gamaliel, will also play a vital role in the training of the final person designated an apostle. Saul (later renamed Paul) who became the missionary to the world beyond Israel was trained as a Jew under Gamaliel's tutelage (Acts 22:3). Paul's masterful understanding of the Jewish Scriptures (the Old Testament) laid the foundation for the labor he would later do spreading the gospel. God worked mightily through this Jewish leader to not only save the lives of the original twelve apostles but also to train the thirteenth.
Oskar Schindler and Gamaliel have one thing in common with each other and the deepest desire of my heart - they were used by God. God works just as incredibly through ordinary people today. Schindler could easily have hardened his heart and refused to see the Jews as anything but disposable. Gamaliel could have been more concerned with what his fellow council members thought of him, than the fate of a band of rouge Jews. Each chose to say "yes" to God when given a divine assignment.
Shannon, will you say yes today to whatever work God gives you to do? Today I can say yes to a phone call from a hurting friend, yes to showing kindness to a stranger and yes to writing an encouraging note to someone struggling with their faith. God's assignments for me today may not save the lives of hundreds or even twelve Jews but they might improve someone's outlook on their day or circumstances. Whatever I encounter today, I will say yes to God.