Am I Willing To Wait?

As Christians, most of us have made some sort of dedication pledge giving our lives to God. We have given Him permission to send us and use as as He sees fit.

The servant’s attitude inherent in such a pledge often prompts us to be active in service to others. We act and give in order to relieve the suffering of others and aid in the spread of the gospel throughout the world.

We take seriously the message of the Good Samaritan parable. Our hands, feet, arms and legs are always available to be used by the Father. In moments of peak dedication we might even be willing to wash feet. 

Such activity gives us moments of satisfaction, knowing we are serving God by helping others. We revel in Christ’s words “unto one of the least of these” (Matthew 25:40). We build ministries on “Pure religion….before God…is this, to visit the fatherless and widows (James 1:27).

But are we willing to sit quietly and do nothing if that is what He directs? Are we content to “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalms 46:10)? Do we allow God to give us times of restoration and relaxation so we will be able to serve more effectively later?

God knows when we need to be pulled aside and have our batteries recharged. He knows when we need to sit and study, rather than strive and serve. He knows there are times when we need to rest rather than minister. We need to accept his decision for us to “sit on the bench” until He puts us “back in the game.”

Bits & Pieces, Odds & Ends – 12

What does God most want to give me? Himself. Is that what I most want to receive?

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Sometimes God’s provision for hungry people gets stuck in the pockets of middle-class Christians.

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In the operation of a church, efficiency and respectability must never over-shadow compassion.

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Where will obedience to God today lead me tomorrow? I don’t know. If I  trust Him enough I won’t care.

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The cross is the proof of God’s love. The empty tomb is the proof of God’s power. The invitation to enter his kingdom is proof of God’s mercy and grace. Do I really need to know any more about Him?

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The way Peter talked (Matthew 26:73) convinced strangers he was a disciple of Jesus.  Does the way I talk tell people the same about me?

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The main goal of prayer should not be “God, hear me.” It should be “God, help me hear you.” I am not praying effectively if I am not hearing God clearly.

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Are praise and meditation mutually exclusive? Is “…shout to the Lord…”(Psalm 32:11) permission, a suggestion  or a command?

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Jesus was the Father’s translator and interpreter. He heard a voice men could not hear in a language they could not speak. His actions and miracles were the audio-visuals of his teaching ministry.

Hurters, Hurriers, Helpers

Some people are “Hurters.” They see people as objects to be used to gain more stuff. Their attitude is “What is mine is mine and if I can work it out, what is yours will be mine, too.”

Others people are “Hurriers.” They see people as objects to be by-passed in their their frantic efforts to keep all they have. They believe “What is mine is mine and I intend to keep every penny of it.”

Still others are “Helpers.” They see people as objects with whom they can share what they have. They believe “What is mine is ours.” They seek chances to pass on to others what God has given them.

I was created to be a Helper.
I was saved to be a Helper.
I have been gifted to be a Helper.
I must be trained to be a Helper.

SHEEP FOOD

In John 21:17 we have the record of Jesus telling Peter to “Feed my sheep.” The sheep belonged to Jesus, but Peter was to become the shepherd of that flock, protecting them and teaching them.

What was Peter supposed to use as food? Where was he expected to get the fodder the sheep needed?

Of course Jesus was not talking about physical food. Earlier He had taught the disciples the relative importance of physical needs when He said “Don’t worry about having something to eat, drink or wear” (Matthew 6:25 CEV). Jesus was referring to spiritual food. He was telling Peter to give people all that was necessary to meet their spiritual needs.

But what spiritual food was available for Peter to use? The only Scripture he had was the Old Testament. What did Jesus intend for Peter to use to accomplish his assigned task?

Peter was expected to use the same thing we should employ as our primary source for feeding sheep today – JESUS.  Earlier the Master had said “…if I be lifted up…I will draw all men unto me” (John 12:32). For his sheep to fully understand and appreciate Jesus as the sinless, crucified, resurrected Son of God, they needed a daily dose of Him.

As children of God we are to be in a constant teaching mode, always alert to opportunities to tell people about Jesus. But we are also to be in a learning mode, eager to learn more about Him for ourselves. (Acts 10 tells of one such learning experience Peter had after the ascension of Jesus.)

How do we feed his sheep? The ways are limited only by our ability to hear and follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance. We can openly praise God for daily blessings. We must refuse the socially acceptable sins that surround us. We are to serve others, while exhibiting the inner joy that circumstances cannot erase and fellowship with other Christians.

The list of “how” will continue to unfold in our minds when our response to Jesus’ command is “Yes, Lord, I will gladly feed your sheep.”