August 21st

Servants of the Lord

“Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations: Before I was born the LORD called me; from my birth he has made mention of my name. He made my mouth like a sharpened sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me into a polished arrow and concealed me in his quiver.”  Isaiah 49:1-2 NIV 

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.  Psalm 23:1-4 NIV 

These are encouraging passages for those people who answer God’s call and follow him.   Did you know that God has a special purpose for you and longs for you to discover his best plan for your life?  The Bible says, For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV). Unfortunately, not everyone heeds the Lord’s invitation.  Some allow sin to choke their fruitfulness for God.  Even so, if we return to the Lord, he can get us back on track and make the best of whatever the circumstances are at the time.   

One of the awesome personal aspects of God is that he knows each of us by name.  Before we were born, God knew us and all the days we would live on the earth (Psalm 139:13-18).  When we answer God’s call and present ourselves to serve him, he takes us through a training and development process that varies according to our mission.  Some people assume that this means working in a “full-time ministry” position like a pastor or a missionary.  Often this is not the case, as God needs faithful witnesses in the workplace and in every place that there are people who haven’t heard about Jesus.   

As we follow God, he  is gracious and protects us from the evil one.  For example, Jesus spent 30 years in preparation for his ministry.  God protected him from the many attacks of the enemy, even before he was born.  God hid Jesus in the “shadow of his hand” and concealed him in his quiver like an arrow.  God will likewise hide and protect us as he readies us for service. 

God will equip us with the tools we will need to complete our mission.  He made Jesus’ mouth like a sharpened sword that would speak the Gospel.  He made him like a polished arrow that would be shot at just the right time to change the course of eternity.  Similarly, God will use what we have to form the tools for the mission.   

It could be that you are the only person in the world that has the exact combination of skills and talents to best complete the mission God has for you.  I encourage you to seek God and serve him, so that the mission he has for you is completed! 

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

“Lord God, I praise you and thank you for your love and mercy on me.  How awesome it is, Lord that you know me and have a perfect plan for my life.  I confess the sin that I’ve allowed to muddy the water of my life and/or divert me from serving you in the past.  Please forgive me for that sin and guide me in the path of righteousness as I walk forward with you.  If I am hesitant about serving you, Lord please help me deal with my concerns and create a passion in me for your work.  Thank you, my Lord and Master, my God and King.  I praise you and worship you now and forever.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”