Chosen to Serve
In 2013, I had the privilege of being part of a church plant in an inner-city neighborhood. It was arguably the most challenging and rewarding spiritual experience I’ve ever faced. The hours were long, and the jobs were thankless; nonetheless, we were a joyful group of people!
It took four months of immersing ourselves in the community before we launched our first church service. We started with a children’s ministry, a mentoring program for youth, and a weekly Bible study. Our offerings fit our mission; for the first year, it felt like that was all we needed. Our church grew over the year, nothing major, but people in the community came to know Jesus and got plugged into the church.
At our weekly Bible study, I noticed the majority of the group were women. So, I approached my pastor and suggested that maybe we start a women’s ministry or at least a women’s Bible study. I thought he would say, “Yes, great idea! My wife could do that!” because isn’t that what pastors’ wives do; they run the women’s ministry? (All the pastor’s wives reading this are groaning right now, I’m sure!) However, he said that if you see a need, you should pray about filling it. Um, excuse me. I was coming to him with an excellent idea for someone else to do, not me!
I agreed to pray about it and revisit the conversation with him later. The Lord absolutely was putting it on my heart and used others in my life to confirm that this was my season to serve Jesus by leading a women’s Bible study. Our time together during this study was so precious, and I still remember many of the great meals, laughter, tears, and prayers we shared over the years.
We’re all chosen to serve, and each of us is called to different areas. In the early Church, in Acts 6, we see that some were neglected during the meal distribution. The apostles gathered all the disciples and basically said, “Hey, we are called to preach the Word of God, so we’re going to appoint some of you to serve” (Acts 6:2, authors paraphrase).
So, through prayer and the laying of hands, the apostles essentially commissioned these men to serve the church to meet all the needs. I love this line in Acts 6, and if you pay close attention, you’ll see a similar theme throughout the book:
And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith (Acts 6:7).
The Lord continued to add to the number daily of those who found faith in Jesus Christ. He was rapidly growing the church, and His followers were using their gifts and talents to not only share Jesus but to feed, clothe, and shelter His people.
Are there areas in your church or community where you see an unfulfilled need? Don’t wait for someone to ask! God has chosen you to be His child; therefore, let’s all serve Him and His Kingdom as part of our worship of Him!
1 Kings 18:21 21Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” But the people said nothing.
Elijah had Ahab meet him on Mount Carmel with 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah. The people of Israel gathered to watch the showdown. After three and a half years without rain, did they still believe Baal could bring the blessing of rain? He asked them point blank, but they did not answer him. What would it take? What will it take today, as we see the weather plaguing us instead of blessing us? How long will the people of the world look to the god of science? How long will we waver between two opinions? People do not want to believe in God because they intrinsically realize that if He is real He is worthy of our worship. If He is our Creator, then we owe all to Him.
God was wooing Israel back to Himself with a challenge to believe. He had showed the impotence of their supposed gods, just as He had done before when He brought them out of Egypt. What will it take? Though Israel’s false god could not perform for them, they refused to believe in the God that had already performed miracles throughout their history. How many times does God have to miraculously show us that He alone is God? We will look at history and take lessons of the past as valid instruction for politics. Why not learn from the history of the many ways that God has proven Himself to be the Almighty One?
Consider: If there are trials and circumstances in your life today, they may be the mercy of God asking you, “How long will you waver between two opinions?”
The majestic voice
By: Charles Spurgeon
“The voice of the Lord is full of majesty.” Psalm 29:4
Suggested Further Reading: Hebrews 1:1-4
In some sense Jesus Christ may be called the voice of God, for you know he is called the Word of God frequently in Scripture; and I am sure this Word of God “is full of majesty.” The voice and the word are very much the same thing. God speaks: it is his Son. His Son is the Word; the Word is his Son, and the voice is his Son. Truly the voice, the Word of God, “is full of majesty.” Angels! Ye can tell what majesty sublime invested his blest person when he reigned at his Father’s right hand; ye can tell what were the brightnesses which he laid aside to become incarnate; ye can tell how sparkling was that crown, how mighty was that sceptre, how glorious were those robes bedecked with stars. Spirits! Ye who saw him when he stripped himself of all his glories, ye can tell what was his majesty. And oh! Ye glorified, ye who saw him ascend up on high, leading captivity captive—ye beloved songsters, who bow before him, and unceasingly sing his love! Ye can tell how full of majesty he is. High above all principalities and powers ye see him sit; angels are but servants at his feet; and the mightiest monarchs like creeping worms beneath his throne. High there, where God alone reigns, beyond the sight of angels or the gaze of immortal spirits—there he sits, not majestic merely, but full of majesty. Christian! Adore your Saviour; adore the Son of God; reverence him, and remember at all seasons and times, how little so ever you may be, your Saviour, with whom you are allied, the Word of God, is essentially full of majesty.
For meditation: The Lord Jesus Christ is full of grace and truth (John 1:14); in him the fulness of God dwells bodily (Colossians 1:19; 2:9). It should be a staggering thought that every Christian has received from his fullness (John 1:16; Ephesians 1:22,23).
In the Sanctuary
SCRIPTURE READING — PSALM 27:1-6
From: Today Devotions
One thing I ask from the Lord . . . to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.
The word sanctuary can refer to two different things. It describes a place that is holy, set apart for worship. It also describes a place of safety, where someone in danger can go to find shelter and protection.
Psalm 27 helps us understand how the two meanings of this word overlap. When we have received salvation from God, we are called to worship God. We go to the sanctuary to offer God our worship. We do this not for our own sake, but for God’s sake. God is holy and beautiful and calls us to worship him, so we offer God our worship.
But when we give God our worship, we receive a wonderful gift as well. Psalm 27 describes the presence of God as a place of safety. Because God is our Savior, we receive comfort and security in God’s presence. When we go to the sanctuary to worship God, we give God worship, and we receive peace from God.
This is why the psalmist longs to worship God. The beauty of the Lord compels the psalmist to go to the sanctuary of the Lord and worship him.
We can rejoice in following God’s command to worship too. For as we worship God, we receive his comfort, peace blessing, strength, and renewed energy to live for him. God is our stronghold—of whom shall we be afraid?
Beautiful Lord, help me to worship you. May I humbly offer you all my praise. Thank you also for granting me peace and security in your presence. Amen.