Thursday, March 15, 2012

God's Will part III

I cannot say specifically what God’s will is for your life, but in the book of Thessalonians, Paul clearly outlined what God’s will is for us.  I will continue to explore that.

“And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:14

Admonish a : to indicate duties or obligations to b : to express warning or disapproval to especially in a gentle, earnest, or solicitous manner
2: to give friendly earnest advice or encouragement to.

The Thessalonians got into the mindset that Jesus is will return very soon, so there is no need to work.  But work was always in God’s plan from mankind, even before the fall of mankind (Genesis 2:15).  In Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians Paul further tells them that if they do not work, they should not eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10).  We should continue to work for the glory of God, but be careful not to get ourselves overworked.

There’s a wonderful quote by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven played music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry.  He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”

We all face issues in our lives.  Some of us deal with fear and faintheartedness.  We all are important to the Kingdom of God and we all have something to offer.  We are like spices in God’s master stew.  We bring out a different flavor, something fresh.  But the enemy doesn’t like this, and tries to put fear in our hearts.  We should be encouraging everyone to bring their unique flavor.  Maybe someone has a gift with comedy, and maybe through that gift of comedy, they are able to tell someone a joke that becomes a segue into sharing the gospel.  But how will that person with the gift of comedy share the gospel with anyone if they are afraid.  But what if the comedian were encouraged to use his gift for God?

I think there’s something inside us all that repulses us from people who are in a weak state, I admit feeling this way myself.  It seems like people want to overlook other people in pain, but focus on those who are successful.  We want to be around people who are strong because we think it makes us feel strong.  If being around people who are in a lowly state were an easy thing for most people, we wouldn’t need to be told to do it in the Bible.  So it is important that we reach down to people to lift them up.  I remember a person ministering to youth speaking at a convention about how to minister to youth.  He told a story of a young lady who walked up to him and told him, “If you can buy into my pain, then I can buy into your ministry.”

Sometimes, all a person needs is someone to cry with, they don’t need a lecture.  I read about a woman who had just lost her baby in a stillbirth.  The woman was making arrangements to have a small funeral service for her baby and had called on a pastor for the service.  The pastor, upon entering the house without saying a word, took the child in her arms and wept solidly for thirty minutes before saying anything.  This made a huge impact on the entire family because the pastor was able weep with the family over such a tragic event.

A person in a fainthearted or weak position is in a very critical state.  They may be turned away from serving Jesus or turn away from friends and family if they are hurt by bad advice or good advice given with a wrong heart.  On the other hand, this could be a time where they are truly impacted and may set their hearts on the Kingdom of God.  That is why patience is one of the most important Christian virtues.  We need to deal with everyone in the deepest love that Christ Jesus gives  us.

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