Last Monday I was sharing my heart about resting in Christ while laboring to see the Gospel transform others' lives. I was so encouraged to read your many responses, and to be reminded that God is truly at work in each of our lives--finishing the work He has begun.
It's fitting, I suppose for these thoughts to be fieldnotes, observations that dominate my thinking at the start of a week, as Sunday is the day that my spouse's weeklong wrestling with the Word of God culminates in the proclamation of that truth. Sometimes it's a slam dunk; sometimes it's not. And while it may appear that he has "one shot" each week at delivering the message, the work of God upon the flock is not a once-a-week engagement. Sunday is not "showtime," a performance, or the sales-pitch. In fact, my sweet Preacher likes to think of the finish line each week in these terms: "The goal is not to prepare a message, but to prepare a heart."
For a pastor who teaches the Word of God verse by verse, there are inspiring and not-so inspiring Sundays. It's understandably easier to get more fired up about preaching Romans 8 than Matthew 1; and yet, I get to witness the faithfulness of a man who labors diligently, considering "all Scripture [is] breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." (2 Timothy 3:16)
I also get to be be a part of the weekly surrender in prayer for the Lord to do the work-- through us, and in spite of us. Despite what may seem to be the cultural norm, it is not charisma, eloquence, credentials, or convincing speech that will ultimately transform lives. It is the Gospel of Christ itself. Being attractive and put-together does not make for a better vessel, when the contents of that vessel is the real treasure.
And that, dear friends, is what encourages us in whatever ministry we've been called to. We can "...boast all the more gladly of [our] weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon [us.]" (2 Corinthians 12:9)
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
-2 Corinthians 12:9
Just some thoughts from the field this Monday. Hope you are encouraged today to simply be a vessel...a broken and refashioned vessel for His glory.
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