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Chasing Endurance, Issue #003 -- The Stewardship Edition
December 20, 2015
I hope you’ve been having a great month so far. As the year draws to a close, much of our focus will be on preparing for the holidays. It seems as though we spend weeks preparing for an event that blows off in a few hours. I know how hectic life gets at this time of the year, but do you have a few minutes to reflect on how you spent your time this year?
Were we good servants? Were we faithful in our gifts of time, money, energy, talents and spiritual gifts? Did the people around us easily identify that we were Christians? Or did we have to tell them? If Jesus were to come today, would He say “Well done thou good and faithful servant, enter into your reward”? Or would He say, “Depart from me, I know you not.” How was our service this year? This edition will be about “Stewardship.”
A lot of us think that stewardship is how we spend our money. And it is. But it’s also so much more than that. It’s about how we spend our time, our efforts, our gifts. The talents that God has given us, what are we using them to accomplish? How have we served the people that we’ve come in contact with?
In this edition we'll have:
How Was Your Service?
Our society has gotten us into believing that it is our right to be served. After all, the customer is always right. This mindset has permeated our churches and we have a lot of Christians who “get fat” in the pews. We go to church for a “word”. We expect good singing and spirit-filled preaching. We expect to be greeted with a holy kiss and concerned questions about our week. At the end of the program we take our self-satisfied selves to our homes and then it’s business as usual. Where’s the Christ-like behavior in all that? When God gives us the “word”, what do we do with it?
When Jesus gave up His kingship to come to earth, He came to serve. He wasn’t born to some rich parents with a dozen servants at his beck and call. He didn’t gad around Galilee on a camel with no responsibilities and no chores. He also didn’t call the angels to do His bidding and He knew they were
there to minister to Him. He came from humble beginnings. How poor do you have to be to have a baby in the stables?
In Mark 10:25 (NLT), Jesus told His disciples that “the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give His life as a ransom for many." If we are exhibiting Christ-like behavior then we are to serve others as He did.
One of the most vivid acts of service that Jesus performed was at the Passover Supper. Just imagine, the creator of the whole world, king of the universe, Son of God, put a towel around His waist and girded His loins like a servant to wash the dirty feet of His companions (John 13:4-5). These feet were not 21st century dirty. They were walking-all-day-in-the desert, haven’t-bathed-in-days dirty.
To wash these dirty feet, Jesus had to stoop down. He had to subjugate himself to wash their feet. He washed the feet of the man that would deny knowledge of him
three times before the night was through (John 13:6-10). He washed the feet of the men who would abandon Him in his time of greatest need (John 13:12-14, Mark 14:50). He even washed the feet of the man He knew would betray Him (John 13:2, 11).
What was the point of all this? We were given the example so that we should do to others as Christ had done for his disciples. (John 13:15-17). His service was an act of love and kindness. Our service should be the same. We should consider it an honor to be used by God to serve his people.
Don’t get me wrong, serving others is hard, especially because we can be very harsh and unappreciative towards those who serve us. But if we continually remind ourselves that it is a privilege to serve and pray for a heart like Christ; if we pray and ask sincerely for His strength, then we will learn to serve with grace and love. It should also prompt us to be more gracious to those who serve.
If we endure to the end, then Christ will say, “Well done my good and faithful servant, enter into your reward.”
Interview with Kerresa A. Wright (Part One)
Q: How old are you? A: I am 29 years old.
Q: What's your Jesus story? How did you meet Him?
A: I wish that I could be the woman at “The Well,” whose story could be summarized in just one sentence “Come see a man which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?”
This was very simple, selfless and straight to the point and it directs all the focus to the master which should be the aim and purpose of any testimony. Though Jesus did reveal all my sin and had mercy on me - unlike the woman at the well you do not know me so you would be unable to identify the goodness of the Lord unto me. But I hope my story will draw you closer or help you to meet him too.
I grew up in the church – much like Matthew in the gospels; knew almost all the doctrine of the church,
enjoyed and partook in the services of the church. But, I could identify all the weaknesses of the church along with the hypocrisies of its members. But I did not know and had not met Jesus. Along with that, my family was breaking apart and the desire for church was irradiating from my mind as everything in life seemed to be falling apart with no answers.
I stopped going to church at about age twenty. I hated everything that to do with God or religion on a whole. I just wanted to live a peaceful and “normal” life. Religion was just too confusing with no answer to life’s problems since those who considered themselves religious were actually living worse lives than those in the world.
However, God in His goodness and mercy just winked at my ignorance.
One day when I was walking from school about 9:00 p.m. I was held up by a robber. It was then that I truly understood that I could not live a peaceful and normal life without
God. The thief said a number of things that led me to think that without God I was nothing. He made threats such as “I will make your family find you at the hospital or by the morgue. I do not know how you’re getting off so easy but God must be on your side. Just walk and do not look back. ” Which I did!
After having such a horrible experience, trembling I thought, “What if he had killed me that night, what would have be my destiny (eternal damnation or eternal life)? I would have been lost and no one would care, maybe they wouldn’t even have found my body!
I thanked God for saving my life that night. I also vowed in my heart to know the true and living God so I can serve Him aright. I desired that I was going to church the Sabbath following the incident (rain or shine). From then I purposed in my heart to know the true and living God by searching the scripture and telling others and about Him.
Q: Did you have to step away
from persons you considered friends?
A: Yes, I had to step away from friends as some were extremely religious and others were too worldly. I started spending a lot of time reading, praying and asking God to reveal answers to my needed questions. I started spending a lot of time alone with God.
Q: What’s the hardest thing God asked you to do?
A: The hardest thing was when I had to stand up for what I believed concerning the word of God knowing that everyone was against me and that they (my coworkers and management) would not understand. My workplace wanted me to work on the Sabbath since I was new and the department was doing poorly.
Management called me into meetings beseeching me to work and help the department recover from its deplorable state. There was a lot of pressure, especially with my coworkers turning on me. I respectfully and prayerfully said, “With all due respect I will not be able to work late on Friday and Saturday during the day, but I will be able to work Saturday night and Sunday.” We’ll hear more of Kerresa’s story in next month’s ezine.
What's New on Hebrews12Endurance.com
For the period of December 14 through January 8, we are looking at some of "The Promises of God". Jehovah has made a lot of promises to His people. When we study them we have hope as we get a clearer picture of just how much He loves us.
The most recent articles are:
Thanks for taking the time to read this month's Chasing Endurance. Talk to you soon!
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