Thursday, January 28, 2010

Devotional 1-29-10

Stewards of the Gospel

Please read Jeremiah 1:4-10.

Jeremiah was only a boy when God appointed him to be a prophet to the nations. Not surprisingly, Jeremiah said God must have dialed the wrong number. Fortunately, God was patient with Jeremiah and empowered him to be a great prophet with a message of hope for the future during turbulent times.

God’s call followed by Jeremiah’s excuses is a pattern we see repeated throughout the Bible. Think about it…when God called Moses, Moses pointed out that he was no good at public speaking. When God called Isaiah, Isaiah reminded God that he was a lost sinner, a person of unclean lips who lived among a people of unclean lips. When God called Jonah to go east, Jonah set out for the far west.

Accepting no ifs, ands, or buts, God used Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and even Jonah to do God’s ministry in spite of their weaknesses, unwillingness, and excuses. “You shall go to all to whom I send you, and you shall speak whatever I command you.” Jeremiah 1:7. As the saying goes, God doesn’t call the equipped; God equips the called.

We may think of God’s call as something that happened in ancient times to a select few. God calls us, too—maybe not as a prophet to nations; but make no mistake. God calls us to ministry. Most of us respond with excuses. We’re too young, too old, too busy, too weak. Maybe later…when this project is finished…when the kids are out of diapers…when the kids are out of college…when the mortgage is paid off…. We miss opportunities for ministry because we do not have enough faith to believe God will give us what we need to accomplish God’s will. Not our will, but God’s.

Recently I spoke at a local church program focused on some of the issues facing senior citizens. During his introductory remarks, the coordinator of the event noted that each person in the room could probably think of people who should have been there, who could have benefited from the information. He reminded the listeners that they were to be “stewards of the information and resources you receive tonight. Our job is to learn what we can and then share it with those who need to hear it.”

His words resonated with me! Isn’t that the charge of the Great Commission? The Gospel of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit are not ours to keep. We are called to be stewards of the good news, to share what we have received, and to make disciples of Jesus Christ.

You come into contact with people every day who need the love of God. It may be the clerk at the grocery store who is in an abusive relationship; perhaps the neighbor who has an addiction problem; the neglected youth…God is calling you to witness the love of Christ to them by your words and actions. If not you, then who?

What’s your excuse?

Jeff Taylor

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