Friday, November 18, 2016

Commissioning by God

Chuckle: One day I was walking down the beach with some friends when one of them shouted, "Look at that dead bird!" Someone looked up at the sky and said, "Where?"
Ponder This: "Live as if Christ died yesterday, rose this morning, and is coming back again tomorrow." -- Martin Luther 

"He (God) said, 'Go and tell this people" (Isaiah 6:9 NIV).
After God had forgiven Isaiah's sins, cleansed and purified him, and called him to a mission, Isaiah responded with, "Here am I. Send me!" Now he was mentally and spiritually prepared to hear what God would commission him to do. This picture reminds me of the way Jesus led and taught his disciples, preparing them for the time when he too would commission them to the greatest task ever assigned to anyone -- "Go and make disciples of all nations . . . ."  (Matthew 28:19).
God commissioned Isaiah to prophesy to a people whose hearts had become hardened beyond their ability to repent. This seems strange on the surface unless we come to understand that God had long range plans for his people and looked forward to the day when they would repent and return to him. Jesus' was confronted with the same hardness of hearts when he preached here on earth. Not only did many not believe, but some were outright hostile toward him. When God sends us into His fields of service, He knows the difficulties we will face. Nevertheless, He requires our faithfulness and has promised to be with us in every circumstance. Christians can never let opposition to the message of God's love or hardened unbelief become a justification for failing to share the message of Jesus Christ.
Unfortunately, many Christians go through life never accepting God's commission and never sharing Christ with anyone. Many experience guilt and shame for this, but seem powerless to change the situation. Maybe you are one of those who just doesn't have the courage to share with others the message of salvation through faith in Christ. Be assured that Satan will try to convince you that you just aren't up to the task. Here are some excuses I have heard and experienced: "I just don't know enough Scripture; I am afraid I will be rejected; I don't express myself very well; I'm afraid of making a mistake, etc." If you consider these excuses carefully, every one of them emphasizes the personal pronoun "I." In other words, they show we are dependent upon our own strength and abilities to witness for Christ. We will always fail when we depend upon ourselves rather than God for courage, strength, and wisdom. Now let's turn these excuses into positives: "God will help me share his Word; He will help me overcome the fear of rejection; He will give me the courage I need; He will give me the right words to say; He will take away my fear of making a mistake." "At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you" (Matthew 10:19b-20 NIV).
Oh, what a difference an attitude of dependence on God makes in the way we reflect Christ to those around us. When we depend upon our Lord, we are accepting His promise, "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age" (Matthew 28:20 NIV). One of the most effective ways to share the love of Christ is through your own personal testimony about what Christ has done in your life. The simple story about how your personal faith in Christ has changed your life can be used by the Holy Spirit to draw others to himself. Just relax and let our Lord guide you in your encounters with those who need Christ. Above all, let others see Jesus in you by the way you live. Our Lord will never leave you nor fail you!  
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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