Do you believe in God? Do you believe God? When He said He will provide for you, do you believe Him?
So … why has God not filled that Sunday School position? Or why is the Youth Group under staffed? Where is God in that? Maybe pointing the finger at God is pointing in the wrong place! God does and is providing all the time. Most of the time, we humans are making “revisions” to Gods Plan. We ask God for people to work and help in ministry, but then we don’t want those He sends our way!!! How very demi-god of us to make that decision.
But those people will be difficult to work with. They don’t know what they are doing – I will have to train them. That will take time away from my family. I already put in 35 hours a week in at church (on a good week – but who’s counting). Why should I have to give up more of my time – my personal time – to train these people that God brings into my life and my ministry. It’s my ministry anyway. Just what does God think He’s doing???
Any of that self talk sound familiar? If your honest and your human, it does. It is difficult to put our heart and soul into our ministry and not get possessive of it. We know what we want in this ministry, for this ministry. We know the fruit of this ministry is going to be and by golly, we’re going to get it there using those whom we hand pick or it “just wasn’t supposed to be”.
Sometimes, I don’t want to get involved in an “open” ministry – one where God is in control. Why not? Cause then I would have to work with some people that I don’t want to work with. Sometimes it’s those who argue all the time, sometimes it’s those who are SUPER needy and sometimes it’s those who are downright mean. Sometimes, it’s working with those who are just “below” us – spiritually, emotionally or monetarily.
Open Ministry. What is Open Ministry? It’s one where God is the leader. One where everyone has a place. It’s a ministry that is OPEN to ANYONE. I got to tell you – it’s the hardest ministry you will EVER have in your entire life – but it’s one that God will move in more than all the others combined. Look at Jesus’ Ministry. Who did He minister to? Who did He use to help Him minister? Were they the wealthy, the powerful? Jesus showed us how to lead a ministry. Follow Jesus’ example. Use those God brings – not the ones you bring. You’ll be amazed at how God’s people are “dead ringers” for that particular ministry!
I have a friend who is a young mom of four young kids. When you see her at church, she’s usually got a smile for you. When you see her at Safeway, there she is with that same smile. The smile that shines from way deep inside.
But this past summer, I saw this gal along the side of the road resting. She and her four kids were bicycling around town enjoying the sun – a rare thing that summer! Her husband is a fisherman and as such, is gone for long stretches of time. This was one of those times. She was tired. Tired physically, tired emotionally … just flat out tired.
We slowed to see if she needed help. She had her head turned talking to one of the kids. When she turned back around – there it was … that smile. She was tired and worn out, but her smile was still there. Her smile is so much a part of who she is, she just can’t leave home without it!
What a joy and blessing this wonderful Christian friend is. Who she is on the outside, yea, that’s who she is on the inside! Yup, she does say what she means, and sometimes it takes you back some! But she loves with an open heart. And this day and age, we need more like my friend.
We’ve been going over I John and now we’re on II John. What’s been hitting me is the theme of Truth. Truth verses Lies. Do you believe that you should tell the truth? Are you known for your truthfulness? Do you smile at church and bully everywhere else you go? Do people look at you and wonder what is so different about you? Why do you actually get along with your teenage daughter?
Do you LIVE the truth?
Dear Lord, change me. Let me love with an open heart. Who I am on the inside, Lord let me be that on the outside. Yes Lord, that may mean You’ve got a lot to change on the inside, but Lord, let me live the truth – Your truth.
In Jesus’ precious Name, amen.
This past weekend I went on the Women’s Retreat for our church. It was awesome …
As I sit in the Chapel, I look up thru the window and see a lone pine tree. This tree is old and scraggly, no leaves, only sticks where once beautiful branches hung.
Yet far beyond in the distance rises a mountain top … full of Pine Trees. At first glance the trees on the mountain top look all full and beautiful. But look closely and you’ll see stark branches as the early morning light shines off of some bare tree trunks.
Each of us bring something different to the mountain top. Each of us separately look out of place … lonely. Yet when we all meet at the mountain top and gather in close, that stark branch on one side of me is covered with a beautitful full branch of the tree standing next to me. All our “disabilities” melt away as we become one in Christ … one on the Mountain Top.