23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
“To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.” —Colossians 1:29
I love going to professional sporting events. There’s nothing quite like cheering for your favorite team alongside thousands of other fans. I can’t help but think, however, that Christianity has become a lot like professional sporting events, with a select few in the game being watched by thousands of their fans. While we may be cheering for those who are in the game, it’s not God’s game plan for His people to merely watch the action on the field. He wants us to climb out of the stands, get out there, and join the team in action!
If you are wondering what good you can do on the field, wonder no more. What about your financial resources? Jesus can take your “silver and gold” and use it to accomplish great things for His glory. But more than just getting out your checkbook, you have gifts you can contribute. God has given each of us spiritual gifts that can help advance His kingdom. Whether it’s teaching, encouraging, serving, showing hospitality, or extending mercy, each ability can yield great dividends. Let’s follow the example of Paul, who tirelessly served on God’s field for the joy of being used by Him (Col. 1:28-29).
Believe me, it’s far more rewarding to be on the field than to sit in the stands!
Start where you are in serving the Lord,
Claim His sure promise and trust in His Word;
God simply asks you to do what you can,
He’ll use your efforts to further His plan. —Anon.
Don’t just sit there… be part of the action!
They will lay their hands on you and will persecute you … bringing you before kings and governors for My name’s sake. It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony. Luke 21:12-13 NASB
Peter Cartwright was converted through one of the camp meetings that swept throughout the United States in the early nineteenth century. He later became an evangelist known for boldness and powerful preaching. He often spoke three hours at a stretch several times a week. He had a booming voice that brought conviction. Thousands were converted under his ministry.
Cartwright did not compromise his message. Once he warned General Andrew Jackson (who later became a US President) that he would receive no special treatment before God. His earthly power and accomplishments did not change his need to humble himself and repent of his sins, like any other person.
A pastor who heard these words apologized to Jackson for this bluntness. But Jackson defended Cartwright. He said that Christ’s ministers ought to fear no mortal man, adding that he wished he had a few thousand officers like Peter Cartwright.
Many Christians fail to have this boldness. They react with fear just thinking about witnessing for Jesus. Yet He told us that we have an obligation to share our testimony. In fact, we should look forward to the opportunity to tell others about Him. He also told us that we should not worry about what to say and would be given the “utterance and wisdom” we need (v. 15).
Ask God to give you a spirit of boldness. Do not compromise your faith. Stand firm. Be ready to give your testimony to anyone at any time.
Streams In The Desert
By: L.B. Cowman
The Lord hath sent strength for thee (Ps.68.28, PBV).
The Lord imparts unto us that primary strength of character which makes everything in life work with intensity and decision. We are “strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man.” And the strength is continuous; reserves of power come to us which we cannot exhaust.
“As thy days, so shall thy strength be”—strength of will, strength of affection, strength of judgment, strength of ideals and achievement.
“The Lord is my strength” to go on. He gives us power to tread the dead level, to walk the long lane that seems never to have a turning, to go through those long reaches of life which afford no pleasant surprise, and which depress the spirits in the sameness of a terrible drudgery.
“The Lord is my strength” to go up. He is to me the power by which I can climb the Hill Difficulty and not be afraid.
“The Lord is my strength” to go down. It is when we leave the bracing heights, where the wind and the sun have been about us, and when we begin to come down the hill into closer and more sultry spheres, that the heart is apt to grow faint. I heard a man say the other day concerning his growing physical frailty, “It is the coming down that tires me!”
“The Lord is my strength” to sit still. And how difficult is the attainment! Do we not often say to one another, in seasons when we are compelled to be quiet, “If only I could do something!”
When the child is ill, and the mother stands by in comparative impotence, how severe is the test! But to do nothing, just to sit still and wait, requires tremendous strength.
“The Lord is my strength!” “Our sufficiency is of God” (2 Cor. 3:5. from The Silver Lining.
The conversion of Saul of Tarsus
By: Charles Spurgeon
“And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.” Acts 26:14
Suggested Further Reading: John 15:16-25
When you were first pricked in the heart, how personal the preacher was. I remember it well. It seemed to me that I was the only person in the whole place, as if a black wall were round about me, and I were shut in with the preacher, something like the prisoners at the penitentiary, who each sit in their cell and can see no one but the chaplain. I thought all he said was meant for me; I felt persuaded that some one knew my character, and had written to him and told him all, and that he had personally picked me out. Why, I thought he fixed his eyes on me; and I have reason to believe he did, but still he said he knew nothing about my case. Oh, that men would hear the word preached, and that God would so bless them in their hearing, that they might feel it to have a personal application to their own hearts. But note again—the apostle received some information as to the persecuted one. If you had asked Saul who it was he persecuted, he would have said, “Some poor fishermen, that had been setting up an impostor; I am determined to put them down.” “Why, who are they? They are the poorest of the world, the very scum and dregs of society; if they were princes and kings we perhaps might let them have their opinion; but these poor miserable ignorant fellows, I do not see why they are allowed to carry out their infatuation, and I shall persecute them. Moreover, most of them are women I have been persecuting—poor, ignorant creatures. What right have they to set their judgement up above the priests? They have no right to have an opinion of their own, and therefore it is quite right for me to make them turn away from their foolish errors.” But see in what a different light Jesus Christ puts it. He does not say, “Saul, Saul, why didst thou persecute Stephen?” or “Why art thou about to drag the people of Damascus to prison;” No—“Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?”