Summer is Closing
It has been quite the Summer season for us and I must note right away that All your prayers and support have been greatly cherished, used, and answered with God’s faithfulness! It has been a sobering time for us and also a great season of reflection as we can now look back with the wisdom of hindsight. It is in these times of closing that we best can truly assess our goals and tune our focus for the future.
A Friend reached out recently and really helped address some questions and even some doubts that were residing within our minds concerning our purpose and time here. All Summer there has been this sentiment that we simply cannot keep up. In some way, this could be understood as true, but in the broad sense, it has not been a case of keeping up but rather a case of feeling obligated to. When you are part of a church or even just simply an organization it is natural to want to perform and meet expectations, so it is no surprise that the same urge resides in a Christian regarding Christian service. If something is scheduled, it is inherent for an engaged part of the body to be part of it. In looking back, we not only missed out on the scheduled opportunities but in many ways, we missed out on taking responsibility for what is truly our offering to give. Overall, the assessment of our Summer has really highlighted what is in our hands to steward and enjoy as our own before God in worship moving forward.
The Gift of Work.
It is a common notion nowadays that work is a curse and the labor we partake in is just futile and empty before God and men. Although this may have a holy ring to it when you think about heaven and glory to come, it however could not be further from the truth. Work from the molding of time was a gift from God to man. It was and is still currently our means to take what God gives us graciously and worship him. In the scientific community, it is simply stated to be: “the measure of energy transfer that occurs when an object is moved over a distance by an external force at least part of which is applied in the direction of the displacement.” In layman’s terms, it is the energy exerted to move things. Now here is a simple question to better frame your perspective on what the scripture defines work to be, “Are you called to move things?” The most powerful words in the Bible and language are Verbs. Scripture communicates to our hearts and mind by the utilization of profound verbs. When God speaks there is great action and eternal movement! There is indeed a call to yield to God’s work and cease from our own considering the power of God’s work, but all in all, we are called to be doers, movers, keepers, followers, and learners. We are called to partake in the gift of work!
The Stewardship of Work
As you peruse the scriptures you cannot help but notice great promise in receiving a worthy and just reward for labor. Verse resonates in our hearts as truths such as Hebrews 6:10- 11 remind us that God does indeed reward work and labor in equity and absolute righteousness.
“For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:”Hebrews 6:10-11
There is also the truth that reminds us that it is our portion in this life to enjoy our labor, even though the fruits of it may be tainted by the curse of sin and the world (Read Ecc.). We have a great call to “BE”. Christ has forever secured a place for you and me in eternity by His work and by our own works we can partake of the fruit of that today as He reaches out to others.
Just imagine what a shame it is for someone to come under the employ of another and not know what their work or purpose is within the structure. Day by day this poor soul panders about doing a little here and there but to no effect as it is not his part. Over time this unfortunate soul loses all drive to do anything whatsoever and creates a subjective target to reach as he congratulates himself for accomplishing so much as in truth, he has done so little. This in many ways is us as believers, we oft forget our place in God’s hands and our purpose in God’s kingdom. We enjoy the activity of things but do not have another to objectively qualify that the activity is even needful. And Lord help us when we start creating our own benchmarks of what success or progress is or is not! We need God’s word reigning supreme over our lives and desperately need the loving hands of the body of Christ to attenuate our inclinations of making work a striving of the flesh. Work is a gift to be stewarded not an act to create. Too often we are striving to bring fire down from heaven to the detriment of our own bodies while we have just been called to first listen, obey, and partake of the work that God has already initiated. The altar was aflame when the waters of true worship were applied! We must exert force in the right direction to obtain the true aim of God’s work and displace the work of evil in the world.
The Beauty of Work
Why did God give us work? If we just take a stroll through the mountains or gaze upon the horizon of the vast sea the answer is plain as the air that we breathe. To glorify Him! No matter the measure, whether it be just a simple day job or the great toil of running a corporate firm, our work, the means to partake of God’s provision for life, is to glorify God.
“And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men unto me.”John 12:32
We can make so much of what we do as a ministry or as people in general, but the purpose of our work is to glorify God. When we take responsibility and steward what God gives us to work with, there is a great ability to express ourselves and worship God in Spirit and in truth! Every soul that partook in any part of the tabernacle or the temple of God was carefully recorded and named according to what they did. Do we realize we have everything we need for life to beautify our savior, to beautify His church, to Glorify His name? When we see work as anything else but a gift, we so easily can start giving God the leftovers of our efforts and in many ways misrepresent the vast riches of who He is.
Have you ever wondered why some places of worship feel and even look more like prisons rather than places of joy, expression, and life? How about a home? Or maybe one’s own life? Will we dwell in shanty homes while the house of the Lord lies in shambles? This is such a powerful thought as we look forward. God desires to manifest beauty and has given you a part to partake in the beauty of His holiness. Souls need to be beautified by the word of truth. Our church needs to exemplify the beauty and order of heaven (with whatever means we have).
Our lives ought to be wonderful vessels of honor fit for the master’s use. If we set out to do anything, Lord may we do it well unto the glory of Your name. Do not fear a little elbow grease, it’s a gift to keep you alive and moving for the purpose of God!
Our Vision and Prayer according to The Great Commission:
“All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore(Reach), and teach(Teach) all nations, baptizing(Immerse Them in Christ’s Truth) them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all(Challenge their capacity) things whatsoever I have commanded you:(Engage their faith in Biblical Responsibility) and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world (See Them faithfully kept by God’s Grace). Amen.”Matt 28:18-20
Please pray as we believe God to:
- Reach: Evangelism to the Lost
- Teach: Biblical Study and Training in the Word of God
- Immerse others in Christ’s Truth: Fitting into the fellowship of the Church, discovering their Identity in Christ, and Observing the Ordinances
- Challenge their capacity: Biblical Discipleship and Biblical Accountability
- Engage their faith in Biblical Responsibility through His Ability: Opportunity and Leadership Development in the Church
- See Them faithfully kept by His Grace: Faithful Feeding and Fruitfulness in their Lives