Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Trust and See The Goodness of the Lord

Looking over the faith of my mother and father I can lessons they taught without words.  Both fed the homeless and volunteered on Christmas Day at a homeless shelter in Dallas each year.  We kids went along but it wasn't until I was 11 that I asked my dad, "Why do we go to the shelter each year."  My dad looked at me and replied, "It is the right thing to do."

My mother donated time at a nearby nursing home each Thursday reading to the residents there.  Individually she would knock on their doors and ask if they wanted her to read to them.  Mostly she read from Time, Life, or Readers Digest.  Sometimes though a resident would ask her to read a letter from a family member.  Their eyes were too old and tired to read it.

It took a great deal of trust for my dad to take his family to a homeless shelter.  It took a great deal of trust for my mom to go into the room of a stranger.  Yet, they saw it as an act of faith.  Their faith led them to do these things.  They saw life is centered on giving glory to God and that each act we do is an act of faith.

Today, how much trust do we have for our fellow Christians?  Do we trust those we minister with?  Do we see that guy over there trying to steal "my" ministry?  Think about Jesus and the Apostles.  Jesus called 12 strangers to Him.  These 12 strangers lived, worked, and traveled together for three years.  It took a great amount of trust.  What if one was a resistance fighter against the Romans?  They trusted the fact Jesus knew who He called.

The educated Matthew was a tax collector and Peter was a lowly fisherman.  Matthew never looked down on Peter.  Matthew did not throw a tantrum that Peter was called to be the chief Apostle.  John the beloved Apostle never upbraided Timothy and Thomas for their continual questions.  The Apostles saw a greater goal and a bigger picture.

If we do not trust our brothers and sisters in faith then perhaps we need to stop and ask if we are called to minister.  If we feel that ministering is somehow a pursuit that only those we approve of should be a part of, then perhaps we need to question if we actually trust Christ, who calls the laborers into the vineyard.  We must simply reply as Elisha, "Speak Lord, your servant is listening."

Ministering is being a servant.  It is not a profession nor is it a means to financial wealth.  There is a difference between being a soul winning minister and being a mega church leading evangelist.  There is not enough of the former and far too many of the latter.  Jesus calls soul winners.  The world creates mega churches.  One has a focus of quality the other has a focus of quantity.  Somehow we as Christians have equated financial success with proof of blessing and this is a huge mistake.

Kim Jong Un is veru rich in North Korea, I would venture to say he is the richest, but could we say this proves he is somehow blessed above the starving innocents he is leader of?  I say absolutely not.  Martin Luther King Jr. and his family lived humbly, and despite his fame it did not equate to riches.  Does this mean that the Kennedy family was blessed more so than the King family?  Again, absolutely not.

Perhaps we need to trust Jesus and trust our fellow Christians.  Jesus said in the Gospels that those for us are not against us.  Homes divided against themselves cannot stand.  When we can take the leap of faith to trust then we can see allies and not enemies.  It is much better to reach out with  a hand of friendship than a fist of indignation.

My father would lend folks money knowing he would never be paid back.  I asked him once why he did this.  He replied it was not his money but God's money.  As a minister we must see our ministry is God's ministry, and the people around us are God's children.  All we have is a blessing and the purpose of this life is to give glory to God in all we do.