Its amazing to realize that no matter who you are, what your back ground or what intelligence level you are at God can use you if you are ready and willing to be used. Before this time I never really believed that God could give me a word like that so that I could share with others, it was truly a blessed time and I am so thankful that God made my heart receptive to his word.
Now comes another challenge: URBAN ENCOUNTER. This is a summer program that my church holds every year allowing youth groups from around Texas and other states to come and stay with us, participating in work projects, ministering/praying with the people living in apartment complexes in the Fort Worth area and this year getting a much deeper into the presence of God. At first I was a little apprehensive about participating, UE takes up a lot and I do mean A LOT of time. You exhaust yourself until you have nothing left, you spend every moment that you have either at the church or on site somewhere working. When you get a free moment to relax, its usually spend sleeping stretched out on the chairs in the sanctuary or in one of the nursery rooms. You spend all of your time with the same people and that can help bonds grow stronger, but it can also get on your nerves. You minister to those who maybe are there to truly hear what you have to say or might be using you for a free meal, either way you are called to love them as Christ loved you. You meet people and children from completely different backgrounds, but somehow at that moment God brought you together for a purpose and you must learn how to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit so that he may use you as he wills.
I was pondering all these things on one of my morning runs this week: God how am I going to handle all of this? Sometimes I just feel like I need a break because I am tired and I teach year round, this is summer I'm supposed to be relaxing etc... at this point I was about halfway through my run and I began to slow down, feel heavy and weary and in that moment God gently spoke these words to me:
You can rest when the work is done.
So I thought on this statement as I ran and continued to press forward to the finish line of my run, and a scripture came to mind.
Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.
If you haven't read Acts, then you are missing out! It gives us a picture of the early Christian church, the radical ways they lived and fellowshipped together and also how they functioned as the body and how they began fulfilling the great commission of Jesus Christ to "go and make disciples of all the nations."[Matthew 28:19] These men, these who followed God with all their hearts, forsaking anyone and anything else gave over and surrendered everything in their lives to do the work that God had set before them. And so I must look at my own heart and understand that I must be willing to never stop teaching and witnessing and sharing the good news. This is not a call to only myself, but to everyone who believes that Jesus is the Son of God and the Savior of the world.
This can be a hard thing to swallow. But it is truth, how can we go on with our lives knowing that Jesus devoted his life to teaching us, loving us, dying for us....and here we are some of us living as if we are unaware of the greatness and holiness that is his name in which he has authority over all creation. And how can we live knowing that some people in our world have not yet heard of his wondrous love? Therefore who will God intrust to go, who will be willing to stand up and say "Here I am! Send me!"[Isaiah 6:8]?
And so this is a challenge not only for myself but you as well. Live your life daily as if your work has not yet finished, live it so that others will know instantly that you are a son/daughter of God and see the love God has for you and them as well. Know the weight, the responsibility that you carry. This isn't a game, it isn't something you do on the weekends for fun, but it is the most important mission you will ever carry out in your life. To proclaim to others the good news of Jesus Christ, Redeemer and Savior of our souls with how you live and what you say.
I hope that this has encouraged you in someway today, please let me know your thoughts.