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It’s always interesting when alcohol is brought to church…

preaching in poznan_pastor richard

I am sure if you already read the title, you have formed an opinion — perhaps a judgment.  Perhaps only a curiosity.  In any case, it brought you here.

To this article.  You want to know more.

Is the alcohol for Communion?  The time we come before the Lord in great remembrance and thankfulness for what he has done for our hearts—our very lives?

Is the alcohol snuck in from a prodigal just hoping to return to God?  To church?  To life?  An offering of surrender for the start of a new life?

Was the alcohol brought in by an unruly menace—here to cause trouble?

The answer to all of the above is:  No.

The alcohol was brought in by the pastor.  A beer to be exact.  One that he bought.  And is very proud to display.

In fact, he paid about 300% above sale price for this very beer.  And he holds it very dear.

Here is the story…

Pastor Richard founded Bread of Life, a registered NGO in Poland.  A foundation that largely serves society’s outcasts:  addicts, homeless, forgotten.  It also serves society’s most in need:  sick, elderly, poor.

This particular story, however, has to do with an addict.  Today, the foundation has a home for men off of the streets and out of prisons…but back when this beer was bought, this home (the New Life Center) did not exist.

Therefore, partnerships were formed throughout Poland with crisis rescue centers and places for addicts.

This young man, Michal, had been coming every week for a long time to the soup kitchen, Holy Start, started by Pastor Rich and his wife.  Pastor Rich could see in Michal’s life and soul a longing for more…a life lived without the demons of addictions that had engulfed his being.  And so Pastor Richard traveled to the north of Poland and asked a very successful home if they would take in Michal.  They said yes, to the delights of all hearts!

Plans were made.  Michal was ready, by the grace of God, to board this train for his new life.

The thing was…he had no money.

He met Pastor Richard at the train station, where he went to see him off.  It was there that Pastor R saw what was a part of Michal’s final train journey to new life.  A bag that contained this beer.

Now, you see, Michal wanted a new life—but, sometimes, just sometimes, it’s hard to leave our old lives behind.  Or we want one last hurrah!  Sometimes we hold onto something—even though that is the very thing we need to repeal!

This is how Michal was traveling—with the hope of a new future but still clinging to the devils of his past.  Michal was having a hard time letting go.

Can you relate?

To make a long story short, Pastor Richard offered to buy Michal’s beer off of him for the price of his train ticket.

Pastor Richard was giving Michal an opportunity to let go on that sin which so easily entangles him…to march forward with the freedom that Christ offers through new life.

BUT…

MICHAL said NO!

He didn’t want to sell his beer.  He paid an entire 3zl for the beer…this beer was VALUABLE to Michal.

Aren’t we all like that?  Holding onto something that we deem valuable when God has something so much more valuable for all of us!

Pastor Richard shared with Michal this very thought.  Here Michal was holding onto a 3zl beer when Pastor Richard was offering him so much more—in fact, 300% more!  A train ticket to a new life.

Michal reluctantly “sold” his beer to Pastor Richard, where Rich in turn purchased Michal’s ticket for him, prayed for him, and sent him off for a new life.  Hopefully a conquering life in sobriety and strength in Christ alone.

Friends, Readers, Family all over the world.  We are Michal.  We hold dear our 3zl beer when God is out there saying—LET GO!  I Have you!  And I have SO MUCH more for you than this…

Let Go, and come.  Trust me!

Today, we at Poznan International Church, encourage you in these words,

Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding…Acknowledge Him in all of your ways and He (GOD ALONE) will make your paths straight!  Proverbs 3:5-6

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