Devotional Thought of the Day:
11 It was He (Jesus ) who “gave gifts to people“; he appointed some to be apostles, others to be prophets, others to be evangelists, others to be pastors and teachers. 12 He did this to prepare all God’s people for the work of Christian service, in order to build up the body of Christ. 13 And so we shall all come together to that oneness in our faith and in our knowledge of the Son of God; we shall become mature people, reaching to the very height of Christ’s full stature. Ephesians 4:11-13 (TEV)
1 Does this sound as if we were again boasting about ourselves? Could it be that, like some other people, we need letters of recommendation to you or from you? 2 You yourselves are the letter we have, written on our hearts for everyone to know and read. 3 It is clear that Christ himself wrote this letter and sent it by us. It is written, not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, and not on stone tablets but on human hearts. 2 Corinthians 3:1-3 (TEV)
195 When there is zeal for souls, good people can always be found, fertile soil can always be discovered. There is no excuse! (1)
This weekend was one of those lessons in ministry that had to be driven home with an exclamation point. I listened to 6 sermons, all by men who desired to serve God, who knew HIs love. One was during our church service when a deacon preached about a widow who would give all because she God could care for her. Then five deacon candidates preached a sermon on Philippians 2 as part of their homiletics course.
There were other sermons, not prepared, but sermons like the letters Paul mentions to the church in Corinth. The letters testifying to ministry being done, of the word being preached, of the Holy Spirit at work
One lady, who very rarely comes to church (like 3 times 7 years!) who was telling another guest about how great the church was, and that she should come here regularly. (And her laugh as I looked at her, and she realized she was talking to herself) Another man who was taken aback by several telling him he should be in the next class, and seeing his heart consider it, as He was speechless at the thought. Another man talked to me about how much these friends of his matured, how God had caused them to grow. Most impacting were the tears of one lady, as she watched her husband of forty-plus years come alive as he preached, and as she encountered the power of God at work in their lives. I could go on, to tell the stories I witnessed, as people were impacted by those messages, by those messengers.
None of the men who I heard yesterday would most consider “Minister material.” But the people they ministered too could not deny God’s work through them. Like the small shepherd who would be king, or the terrorist who would become an apostle, or the coward who would lead God’s people to freedom. They have some rough edges; each has significant struggles in life that would make most hesitate to put them in a pulpit. But this is undeniable, God used them. The proof was seen in the lives and conversations they touched. They worked their tails off, and God blessed others through them.
We are all called to ministry, and it is a wondrous thing to watch the church growing and serving each other. Even those we don’t anticipate God use so dramatically.
So how are you going to become the messenger whom God will write on others hearts this day? Or how will someone else by used by the Holy Spirit to imprint on your heart the message of God’s love? For we need both, we are fertile fields, and workers set apart to work in the fields ready for harvest.
(1) Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). Furrow (Kindle Locations 1026-1027). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.