November 1, 2009

In Control

Through October we’ve looked at ministry. We considered how to start to identify our ministry, and ways to live out our ministry, and what it means to be involved in ministry. Undergirding all this is God. It is the Living God who invites us to participate in sharing His love, His story, His grace with others. It is our Father God who gives us the gifts and talents we need to accomplish our service.

Jesus reminds us that we are like the servants of a household. In Matthew 25:14-29, we read the Parable of the Talents. The householder gives three servants talents/money (a talent is worth about 15 years wages) to use wisely until he returns. When he does return the householder finds that two of the servants have used their talents and earned more. One however says, “I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.” (Matt. 25:25)

Like the householder, God expects us to use the gifts—our natural talents—to the Glory of God. Our lives are to be lived so that everyone we meet knows that we are stewards or ambassadors of God. An ambassador or a steward is someone who acts on behalf of someone else. As God’s ambassadors we act as God’s representatives—an awesome responsibility.

Lest we begin to think that we are important because we are God’s ambassadors, we are to remember that God is in control. It is God who gives us responsibility (ministry) and it is God who gives us the gifts, strengths, talents to accomplish our ministry. We are like this child, in God's eyes. The planting of a seedling by this child is what our greatest ministry is in comparison to God's glory and power. Yet, planting of the seedling of Love that we are called to do.

The Epistle to the Philippians is filled with exhortation to minister on behalf of our Lord. Paul reminds us that “he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Phil. 1:6) We are all given many opportunities to do ministry. And each is an opportunity to glorify God--like Christ, to step aside and "take the form of a servant" (Phil. 2:8)

When we feel that we cannot go on, encouragement can be found in Phil. 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Like the first disciples, Jesus calls us to follow. Below is a poem I wrote several years ago. Maybe you will find yourself in the words.

Follow Me

(c) Cynthia Davis

“Follow me,” the man said.
Do I want to be led?
Who does he think he is
To ask for change in lives?
But still, there he stands
Holding out his hands.

“Follow me, for lives you’ll fish.”
Is this the pathway I wish?
I do want to do God’s will
But to stay as I am still.
To follow will mean a turn
And at his hand new ways learn.

“Follow me,” I wonder why
He asks me to give a try
At new ways of faith and trust.
Leave behind the old, I must.
The way is hard, I can tell
Yet his hand & eye compel.

“Follow me,” where will we go?
There is so much I want to know.
But it’s one step at a time
Not knowing what hill we’ll climb.
And he will lead the way
Yes, is all I have to say.

“Follow me,” this, of life the word
Of calling by the Lord I heard.
And the life of this Love is ever new
I will live and follow what is true.
In trust, not fear I will freely stand
Choosing to be guided at His hand.

See you next week. If you are interested in participating in the upcoming Dancing in the Footprints of God study check out more info on my website
(Those in Albuquerque are invited to the ReadWest Book & Craft fair on Nov.7 at the Rio Rancho Inn--lots of books and crafts by NM Authors and crafts-persons--do your Christmas shopping early!)

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