Thursday, January 30, 2014

(40 Days of Focus) Day 26: "An Honor to Serve"

Read: “I became a servant of this Good News through God's kindness freely given to me when his power worked {in me}. I am the least of all God's people. Yet, God showed me his kindness by allowing me to spread the Good News of the immeasurable wealth of Christ to people who are not Jewish” (Ephesians 3:7-8, GW).
Think About It: “When I look in the mirror, I don’t really like what I see.” With tears streaming down his face, this young adult was internally plagued by the shame of his prior mistakes. His inability to see his purpose beyond his past was a blow that had potentially devastating effects on the promise of one so loved and treasured by God. As days turned on, much like the fast-flipping pages of a best-selling novel, the smile of one so forlorn was returned and beamed as though it were used to brighten a darkened world. Undeterred by who he had been and more focused on who he knew he could be, a United States Marine was in the making. In letters he would write home, it was more than obvious that a true sense of purpose had overwhelmed the shadows of past regrets, failures, and mishaps. He knew who he was. He served a purpose greater than himself. Life was too short to focus on something so small. There was aim that was higher than his own ambitions. It was about courage. It was about service. It was about honor. 

Going Deeper: In his letter to the Ephesian church, Paul recognized that, in and of himself, he was nothing special. He understood the mistakes he had made and the deplorable actions he had taken against those who had dared to stand for the cause of Christ. Now he was one of them. He was fully transformed by the awe-inspiring knowledge that the love and grace of Jesus had looked past who he had been and saw with absolute clarity who he could be. His response would be nothing less than total devotion to Jesus and matched with a surrendered determination to reach as many as possible with the “Good News” of Jesus. So simple is the giving into the temptation of seeing “serving others” or “serving in church” as an obligatory requirement that ranks up there with manipulation or cruel and unusual punishment! The love of God knows no bounds in reaching in, rescuing a heart that was hand-formed by the God who spoke creation into being, and using it for His greater purpose. You are one of those of hearts. His desire is to use you to show others the guiding light of His love in a world overshadowed with the darkness of yesterday’s mistakes.

Next Step: More than an obligation or a “job to do or to be manipulated into doing,” see the purpose of God using you as an honor to be lived out. Have you thought about what God has brought you through lately? Take an index card or fold a sheet of paper so that it’s small enough to fit in the binding of your Bible or in your wallet. Answer these questions: “What have I seen God do in my life?” “How has my life been impacted or changed by His love?” Next, ask God to open your eyes to see the honor of how what He’s done in you, could be used in the lives of those around you. Let God use you. Remember, it is an honor to serve.

1 comment:

Mary Sayler said...

One of the wonderful things about being a Christian poet or writer is seeing and writing about the redemption God brings to the disappointments and difficulties we entrust to Him in Jesus' Name. And, praise God, He can use our joys to bless others too! Thanks, Chris.