Friday, December 1, 2017

Commissioned for Service

Chuckle: While walking on a beach, I heard someone shout, "Look, a dead bird!" I saw another person look up at the sky and say, "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 his 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 wanted him to do. This picture reminds me of how Jesus prepared His disciples to accept His commission by giving them to the greatest task ever assigned to anyone -- "Go and make disciples of all nations . . . ." (Matthew 28:19 NIV).
God commissioned Isaiah to prophesy to people whose hearts had become hardened beyond their ability to repent. This seems strange on the surface unless we 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' confronted the same hardness of hearts as He preached here on earth. Not only did many not believe, but others were 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. We can never let opposition or unbelief to justify our failure to share the message of Jesus Christ.
Sadly, many Christians never accept God's commission and never share Christ with anyone. Many experience guilt and shame for this, but seem powerless to change the situation. Maybe you are one of those who lacks the courage to share the gospel message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. 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 don't know enough Scripture; I'm afraid I will be rejected; I don't express myself well; I'm afraid of making a mistake, etc."
If you consider these excuses carefully, each one of them features 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's Holy Spirit 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).
What a difference our dependence upon God makes in the way we reflect Christ to those around us. When we depend upon our Lord, we are relying upon 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. 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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