He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Psalm 40:3a

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Road To Service

           The Pastor gave the invitation to the congregation.  Several young people made their way to the altar.  Giving their hearts to The Lord, one of the young women looked at the Pastor and said, “I want to become a missionary.” 

            “I believe I would like to become a Pastor, said another.”

            And a third said,  “I would like to start a tutoring project for unprivileged children in the area.

            This scene is hard to imagine, yet years ago, this was not an uncommon occurrence when people came into the fold.  They realized accepting Christ also meant accepting responsibility to minister.

            After Jesus met with his disciples and other believers on the shore He prepared breakfast for the disciples who were out fishing.  There before the other disciples Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved him.  Peter was “grieved” that Jesus asked the question more than once, especially after Peter assured Jesus he did.  Jesus was sharing about agape love, a love which sacrifices and loves an enemy even when our humanness tells us that is wrong.  Jesus wanted Peter to recognize if he accepted the commission before him, his journey was going to rough and rugged and would need a man who knew exactly where he stood with the Lord and committed to obedience.

            We go to church every Sunday, maybe Sunday night and even on Wednesday night, but if we just attend services are we being a participant or non-committed observer?  Just as Jesus commissioned the disciples to “go out and minister,” so we are commissioned. 

            We can reject this commission, but we lose.  We lose the relationship we could have had with Christ. We miss the blessings that come with obedience.  We lose the opportunity to plant seeds, or lead someone to salvation and we cheat ourselves of rewards when we finally see Jesus.

            Abraham was a man of faith.  After God gave him and Sarah a son, Isaac, God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac.  As Abraham led Isaac up the mountain, surely he had questions, yet he pressed on.  The very idea of imparting harm to your child is enough to make a parent shudder.  When asked to take the life of your child, from a human perspective, it’s unthinkable.  Still he climbed the mountain.  God provided the sacrifice in Isaac's place, because Abraham believed.  God also asked Abraham to pack up and leave the country where he was born and all he had ever known.  Yet, without hesitation, Abraham packed up and journeyed to a country unknown to him. Abraham was called to a specific mission and he obeyed, and because of his obedience was rewarded beyond measure.

            We are all called to some kind of mission.  It may be as simple as praying for the sick, taking the shut in to the doctor, singing in the choir, or leading a specific ministry.  It may be more demanding like teaching a class, pastoring a church or even becoming a missionary. 

            What is important, however is that we recognize when Jesus calls us, listening to His instruction and then stepping out on faith in obedience and follow where He leads us.  We will never be disappointed when we do this.  It doesn’t mean there won’t be trials or tests along the way.  But if God brings us to it, He will get us through it and the blessings waiting for us will be greater than any inconvenience or problems we could ever encounter.

            I challenge you to be still, listen for His voice, obey His calling and know that He will never, never lead you down a road where He will not be right beside you.