Monday, December 14, 2015

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Proclamation Through Suffering
Acts 20:17-25
Nobin Vaidian
  St. Thomas MTC, NY
19 serving the Lord with all humility and with tears, enduring the trials that came to me through the plots of the Jews. 20 I did not shrink from doing anything helpful, proclaiming the message to you and teaching you publicly and from house to house.
 
Many times when we hear suffering, we tend to run the other way or far from suffering. Suffering isn’t pleasing nor is it enjoyable. We are blessed to be living in a country where we don’t face persecution for our faith as those in other parts of the world. There are many characteristics for serving the Lord, but a few that stand out would be humbleness, suffering, and trials.

 
           The first characteristic that you ought to have when you’re serving someone is humbleness. You are humbling and lowering yourself before the Lord in order to serve Him. When we choose to be a servant of God we are proclaiming that He is King and that He can do whatever He wants in our lives.  An example of this would be, from Jeremiah 18, where the Potter is able to mold and create the clay in the way that He chooses, and the clay submits to Him. In the same way that we submit to Christ, we also submit to all those around us because of how gracious God has been to us. In 1 John 4:19, we know that we love because He first loved us. We are able to extend that same love and grace because we have received it from the Father.

 
           The second characteristic for serving the Lord is to endure the suffering that you face with grace. We all have experienced it at one time or another and we feel unmotivated because of the lack of support or actions of people. In John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” In our faith we aren’t guaranteed to have comfort but that we will face trouble. When we face trouble we should hold fast to what we are called to do because our God has overcome the world.
 
           The third characteristic of service is enduring trials, and for this it goes hand in hand with suffering. Further in Acts we see that Paul says to the elders of the church, “I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number, men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard!” It may be terrifying but there are ways in which we will face trials and we need to be on guard and work at serving the Lord.
 
           Serving the Lord will be the greatest thing that we can do in our lives. The created serving the creator is such a beautiful picture. Through the humbleness, the suffering, and the trials we can know that serving God is what we are called to do. I find that James 1:2-4 goes with all that we may face and that we should be joyful in it. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

PRAYER

Father, thank You for building us up through the many trials and helping us to grow stronger from each trial that we face. We pray that You would show us ways in which we can serve you more. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
 
“When you have no helpers, see your helpers in God. When you have many helpers, see God in all your helpers. When you have nothing but God, see all in God. When you have everything, see God in everything. Under all conditions, stay thy heart only on the Lord.” - Charles Spurgeon