VIDEO Viral Servanthood

Servanthood is a pure expression of love. 1.

For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.  Galatians 5:13

 

When the coronavirus struck China earlier this year, millions of people fled or were quarantined, as fear spread across China to the world. One group of people, however, had a different response. Christians in the city of Wuhan—the virus’ epicenter—went into the streets distributing face masks, passing out Gospel brochures, and sharing the message of Jesus. One pastor said, “It is readily apparent that we are facing a test of our faith. The situation is so critical, yet [we are] trusting in the Lord’s promises, that his thoughts toward us are of peace, and not evil, and that he allows for a time of testing, not to destroy us, but to establish us.”[1]

Christians find joy through serving and helping others. Even in trying times, we can encourage and assist others—especially those who are sick or alone. If you can’t leave your home, you can still reach out with a card, an email, a phone call, and through prayer. It is our joy as followers of Jesus Christ to minister to others in His Name. He brought joy to the world!

You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you. John Bunyan


Galatians 5:13-15 – In Depth – Pastor Chuck Smith – Bible Studies

Loved, Beautiful, Gifted

The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.  Romans 8:16

 

Malcolm appeared confident as a teenager. But this confidence was a mask. In truth, a turbulent home left him fearful, desperate for approval, and feeling falsely responsible for his family’s problems. “For as far back as I remember,” he says, “every morning I would go into the bathroom, look in the mirror, and say out loud to myself, ‘You are stupid, you are ugly, and it’s your fault.’”

Malcolm’s self-loathing continued until he was twenty-one, when he had a divine revelation of his identity in Jesus. “I realized that God loved me unconditionally and nothing would ever change that,” he recalls. “I could never embarrass God, and He would never reject me.” In time, Malcolm looked in the mirror and spoke to himself differently. “You are loved, you are beautiful, you are gifted,” he said, “and it’s not your fault.”

Malcolm’s experience illustrates what God’s Spirit does for the believer in Jesus—He frees us from fear by revealing how profoundly loved we are (Romans 8:15, 38–39), and confirms that we are children of God with all the benefits that status brings (8:16–17; 12:6–8). As a result, we can begin seeing ourselves correctly by having our thinking renewed (12:2–3).

Years later, Malcolm still whispers those words each day, reinforcing who God says he is. In the Father’s eyes he’s loved, beautiful, and gifted. And so are we.

By:  Sheridan Voysey

Reflect & Pray

What words come to mind when you see yourself in the mirror? How different are they from Scripture’s depiction of what God sees in you?

Father, thank You for loving me, gifting me, and making me Your child. May Your Spirit work in me today to truly, deeply believe it.

Holy Spirit’s Gifts

1 Corinthians 12:1-31

Look into any healthy church, and you will find believers who are actively serving the Lord as well as some who are not. But Christ’s church was never meant to resemble a sporting event with a few participants on the field and many spectators in the stands. Although some may be uninvolved because of apathy, there are many Christians who just feel inadequate. But a believer’s limitations are no excuse, because God has provided everything we need to serve successfully.

On our own, every one of us is ill-equipped because human strength and talent are insufficient for service to God. Therefore, the Lord has given each of us specific divinely empowered abilities called spiritual gifts to use in doing the work of Christ. We can’t choose for ourselves what our gift will be; this is the prerogative of the Holy Spirit. He alone knows exactly what He wants to accomplish and enables each of us accordingly.

The Spirit’s gifts are to be used for the common good of the church. Though given to us, they’re intended for the benefit of others. Our responsibility is to start serving, and in doing so, we will begin to discover how unified the body of Christ really is.

The Lasting Noahic Covenant

“And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.” (Genesis 9:11)

When God gave Noah this promise, the world had just been through the devastating cataclysm that flooded the entire globe and destroyed all except those on the Ark. The world was fearful and barren, and there seemed nothing to prevent another such flood from coming on the earth.

Nevertheless, God’s promise—not only to Noah but also to the animals (Genesis 9:9-10)—has been kept for over 4,000 years. God later reminded Job of this promise when He told him that He had “shut up the sea with doors.…And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed” (Job 38:8, 11). The psalmist also referred to this covenant. When the whole earth had been covered “with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains. At thy rebuke they fled.…Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth” (Psalm 104:6-7, 9).

God has kept His Word, and there has never been another worldwide flood. Sadly, however, many modern compromising Christian theologians and scientists have said that the Flood must have been only a local or regional flood in order (they hope) to please the evolutionists, practically all of whom insist that the earth is 4.6 billion years old and never had any global flood.

If that were true, however, then God has broken His promise. There have been numerous local and regional floods in the world since Noah’s day. But God has kept His promise. The Flood indeed was a unique cataclysm in which “the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished” (2 Peter 3:6), and such a flood has never occurred again. HMM

The Sovereign Obligation

I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.

—Romans 1:14-15

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is something more than making us the happiest people in the Easter parade. Are we to listen to a cantata, join in singing “Up from the Grave He Arose,” smell the lilies and go home and forget it? No, certainly not!

The resurrection of Jesus Christ lays hold on us with all the authority of sovereign obligation. It says that the Christian church is to go and make disciples—to go and make disciples of all nations. The moral obligation of the resurrection of Christ is the missionary obligation—the responsibility and privilege of personally carrying the message, of interceding for those who go, of being involved financially in the cause of world evangelization.   TRA090

Stimulate me, Lord, with that sense of sovereign obligation. Then lead me to the right person with whom I could share Your grace. Amen.

 

Seize the Day

That the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

—2 Corinthians 4:11

 

Today is our day. No one at any time has ever had any spiritual graces that we at this time cannot enjoy if we will meet the terms on which they are given. If these times are morally darker, they but provide a background against which we can shine the brighter.

Our God is the God of today as well as of yesterday, and we may be sure that wherever our tomorrows may carry us, our faithful God will be with us as He was with Abraham and David and Paul.

Those great men did not need us then, and we cannot have them with us now. Amen. So be it. And God be praised. We cannot have them, but we can have that which is infinitely better—we can have their God and Father, and we can have their Savior, and we can have the same blessed Holy Spirit that made them great. NCA024

The surest method of arriving at a knowledge of God’s eternal purposes about us is to be found in the right use of the present moment….It is our business to piece it together, and to live it into one orderly vocation. JAS128

 

Forever Flowing Free

Psalm 77:19

The mighty oceans should not seem so ordinary. They should inspire awe and wonder. I know. I grew up by the Atlantic in a Maine seaport. When I stood at the shore in a storm, drenched with the thundering salt spray of crashing waves, I experienced the power at a primal level. To gaze from shore at the far horizon was to contemplate the unimaginable. To sail even a few miles from shore was to feel lost in the vastness.

The poet has written with the ocean swelling in his imagination:

 

Praise to the Lord,

Who, when tempests their warfare are waging,

Who, when the elements madly around thee are raging

Biddeth them cease,

Turneth their fury to peace,

Whirlwinds and waters assuaging.

 

Hymn writers have used the ocean as a metaphor in many ways. The Bible’s main marine theme is the beauty, immensity and wonder of the oceans. In Psalm 139, David reflects on God’s omnipresence and love which follows and surrounds us wherever we go, even when we try to run from Him. “Where can I flee from your presence?” David asks rhetorically. And then he answers his own question. If David tries to hide high up in heaven, or deep down in the earth, or out at the eastern horizon where the sun rises, God is there.

Then David looks one last direction, to the west, out over the seemingly endless Mediterranean. “If I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast.” We, too, know the unceasing presence and unfailing comfort of God whose great love, boundless as the mighty ocean, includes us all.

John Greenleaf Whittier’s timeless poem affirms God’s mysterious, all-inclusive love:

 

Immortal love, forever full,

Forever flowing free,

Forever shared, forever whole;

A never-ebbing sea.

Kenneth Baillie, The War Cry