Tuesday, October 16, 2012

God's Gentle Probing

Photo taken from Microsoft Clip Art Gallery.
I would like to share a few thoughts from scripture that have been on my mind lately.  For several years, I have been pondering the possibility of moving toward serving the Lord and others in full time ministry.  While a few reasons have held me back in the past, God is currently refreshing this burden.  So now I need to get serious about it!  The gentle probing in my heart needs to be given adequate attention through prayer and meditation on God’s Word and hopefully soon some action.

First, my focus needs to be in the right place

Luke 9:57-62

57 Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.”
58 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”
59 Then He said to another, “Follow Me.”
But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”
60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.”
61 And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.”
62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

This passage shares the responses of several people who considered following Jesus.  Each one had an excuse why he/she could not follow Him at that time. 
#1.(v.57-58) Not a comfortable life or desired standard of living.
#2.(v.59-60) Social duties and closeness to family.
#3.(v.61-61) A divided focus. 

The reason this scripture passage has been running through my head is because one of my siblings has a serious ongoing health issue.  Sometimes I am afraid of leaving and then something terrible will happen and I will not be here. Well, that is no excuse!!  God will be as close to E if I am here or across the land or sea.  It takes faith to do what is right.  Maybe God does not want me to go now, but if I do not examine my heart and the possibilities in front of me I will never know. 

Then my motivation needs to be in the right place

 “It was love that motivated God to send his Son on a mission of salvation (John 3:16).  The same must be true of us.  Only the great commandments to love God with heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves can push us outside ourselves and our narrow self-interests (Mark 12:28-34). Only this love can compel us to lay down our lives caring for the poor, marginalized, and oppressed of the world.

“Only this love will give us the sustained courage to go into the world to speak the foolish, unwanted, yet saving message of a crucified Messiah.  Love has to fuel mission.  We can’t go to the world because we want their approval; we can’t go for power or to prove ourselves right.  Mission has to be the overflow of a love for God that aches to see others experiencing his grace, love, and compassion for people who are lost and destined for hell.”
(p. 211 Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris)

What is my motivation to reach out to the world?  Am I really motivated or just tell myself that I should be?  Am I sharing God’s love with the people I know here, today or do I think that some day or in some other situation, I will be more motivated?

Well, that is where I am today.  This post may be the first of many such thoughts.  I pray that God will continue to challenge my heart and that I will listen.

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