I wish I could share some amazing prayers that God has answered lately, but that would digress from why I write.
But I am fairly overwhelmed. They aren’t all about my husband’s illness, but some are, too.
I will say that the situation I sought prayer for here worked out wonderfully. My friend actually asked me how she should talk about God to a friend of hers who is dying. That gave me an entree to share the gospel with her!
My friend and I had an amazing discussion tonight (she is speaking with her friend tomorrow, our original appointment time). She is on her way to – if not already in – the kingdom, but wonders if she needs an “experience.” I talked through the gospel, gave her some gospel brochures, and encouraged her to pray the prayer at the end – not to force God’s hand, but to put a stake in the ground: “I know for sure on this day I expressed my belief in Jesus and asked Him to take over my life.”
Which reminds me of one of the passages I read this morning… Paul who evangelized the Corinthian church talks about life as an apostle:
For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like those condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to human beings.
We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored! To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless.
We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the garbage of the world—right up to this moment. 1 Corinthians 4: 9-13 NIV
No one I know in full time Christian ministry in the US (including myself) has such a difficult life. Everyone I know in full time Christian ministry in the US has a home, food, and water. As far as I know, none of my friends in US ministry are frequently treated like fools, dishonored, cursed, or slandered.
Should they be? Should I be? Is it a sign that we in ministry are somehow missing the mark if we are treated well? Living well?
I don’t think I’ll go hungry and homeless just to make sure.
BUT, Paul is contrasting his situation with that of the Corinthian church which apparently held itself in high esteem.
When we serve in ministry, we serve. We take the low position and by doing so, demonstrate what it means to walk like Christ until those we serve learn to serve, too.
We are fools to those we serve so that they become wise.
As Paul said later in the passage:
Therefore I urge you to imitate me… [Timothy] will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church. vs. 16 and 17
Lord, Help me to imitate You and Paul. Far better than I do now. Amen
Today’s Readings: Job 35:1-36:33, Psalm 99:1-9, Proverbs 23:22-23, 1 Corinthians 4:1-21. See About for what I’m up to with these daily posts. Your daily blogger, Holiday Longing (Reproduce with permission only).