Friday, June 28, 2013
No One Ever Said It's Going to be Easy
2Tim. 4:1 ¶ In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I solemnly urge you:
2Tim. 4:2 proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favorable or unfavorable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching.
2Tim. 4:5 As for you, always be sober, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully.
The call to ministry was never expected to be an easy one; instead it was one that had to be carried with all the grace and strength that only Jesus Christ could provide. The message of Jesus needed to be, and continues to need to be, spread throughout the world. Sometimes that will be easy and people will respond, but at other times it will be extremely difficult and people will not be willing to listen. That doesn't mean that we give up. Instead we are to work to convince others, to rebuke when necessary, but to encourage and finally to never give up -- but to continue forging ahead with great patience. People may not always understand but we must be teachers who are willing to put the time and effort into peoples' lives. On a personal note -- the minister has to be willing to forge ahead, put up with all that happens around and just keep fulfilling the ministry!
The world, and even certain "preachers" would like to tell us that life is supposed to be fun and easy. We are constantly blitzed with advertisements for the "good life." But if we choose to take on the mantle of service to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ we must be willing to take up our cross daily and follow him to the very end of the world and endure whatever may be thrown our direction. Why would we assume that things would be easy? Life wasn't easy for Jesus. Life wasn't easy for his Apostles -- they were all martyred, except for John (who had to live in exile). Paul was eventually martyred. The first centuries of the Church are littered with the bodies of those who were willing to stand up and be "witnesses" to the new life they had experienced in the power of the Holy Spirit.
This week it has been a privilege to visit with those from remote corners of the world who are willing to put their lives on the line to serve Jesus Christ. My brother from XXX nation is on a hit-list because of his leadership in the kingdom of God. That is mind-boggling! And yet thousands are coming to Jesus on a regular basis. This is where the rubber meets the road. We are called to be working every single day for our Lord and Savior and to be willing to put up with and endure whatever is thrown at us. No one ever said that following Jesus was going to be easy -- but we must push ahead and continue with the ministry to which we have been called. All of this must be done in faithfulness to the one with whom we have fallen in love. He will never, ever, leave us nor forsake us. To God be the glory!
Lord, thank you for the reminder that we must continually forge ahead with you. Amen.