What an incredible month we’ve had, and I praise God for His blessings upon our church. I am so filled with joy as I reflect on the Missions Month.
Mike & Carol Hart shared with us how God can powerfully work in our lives when we surrender completely to Him. They have abandoned the American Dream to pursue God’s Kingdom dream by leaving the comforts of life to follow Christ beyond their world.
Mike & Carol, without knowing what the future would bring onto their path, leaped into God’s hands in faith trusting fully and completely in Him. I believe God does His magnificent work beyond our comfort zone and beyond our own world.
I am reminded of what Paul said to the Ephesians: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,” (Ephesians 3:20). I believe God created us for transcendence, to be a part of something beyond ourselves. Merriam Webster Dictionary defines transcendence as “going beyond the limits of ordinary experience: far better or greater than what is usual.”
Deep within our hearts, we all have this desire – to be a part of something profound. Paul Tripp said, “There is woven inside each of us a desire for something more-a craving to be a part of something bigger, greater, and more profound than our relatively meaningless day-by-day existence.”
He elaborated and said:
This desire for transcendence is in all of us because God placed it there. He constructed us to live for more than ourselves. He designed us to want meaning, purpose, and consequence. We were not wired to be fully satisfied with self-survival and self-pleasure. God purposed that the borders of our vision would be much, much larger than the boundaries of our lives. We were meant to see more than our physical eyes can see, and it is that greater vision that was meant to engage, excite, connect, and satisfy us.”
GCC, do you know that God is powerfully at work within us to do “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine?” Mike & Carol felt unqualified and did not know how God would use them. In obedience and faith, however, they experienced the power of God at work to start the Zoe International ministry.
I believe God will do His greatest work in us and through us when we go beyond our world. He has already promised that we will not lack anything if we seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33). Therefore, let us live out the promises of God and dare to do great things for His kingdom.
Furthermore, David Kim shared with us that God desires to make Himself known to others in our work places. The message was very clear. We are created to work to bring glory to God and to serve others. Serving at church is considered as work unto God, but in our secular work places we mistakenly detach ourselves from having any spiritual influence upon others.
Do you know that a majority of the time Jesus spent doing ministry was outside the synagogue? His ministry was in the public. Do you know that Jesus spent more than 50 percent of his life as a carpenter? Of 132 public appearances, 122 were in the workplace or the market place. Of 52 parables told, 45 had a workplace or market place context. Of 40 divine encounters in the book of Acts, 39 were in the workplace. I think the dread you feel about work is because you have no idea what God wants to do in your workplaces.
Many people see work as a place where you earn money to provide for yourself food, house, cars, wealth, insurance, and enough for retirement. Here, we work for physical needs and fail to see the spiritual aspects of work. Therefore, you can work hard all your life and still feel empty.
Our daily work is a calling to serve others. Jesus said, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many,” (Mark 10:45). Our main purpose in work is not to accumulate wealth and power but to serve others at work so that through our lives, people will be able to see and touch the genuine love of Christ.
Therefore, our work places, instead of just being a place to earn a paycheck, should be a place to build relationships. When Jesus gave Peter a miraculously successful night of fishing, Peter said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man.” However, Jesus said to Peter, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people,” (Luke 5:10). Let us win souls for the Kingdom of God through our work.
Lastly, I would like to encourage everyone with one of my favorite stories told by Chuck Swindoll: Ignace Jan Paderewski, the famous composer – pianist, was once scheduled to perform at a great American concert hall for a high-society extravaganza.
In the audience was a mother with her fidgety nine-year-old son. His mother was in hopes that her son would be encouraged to practice piano if he could just hear the immortal Paderewski at the keys. So, against his wishes, he had come. As the mother turned to talk with friends, the boy, weary of waiting, slipped away from her side, strangely drawn to the Steinway on the stage. Without much notice from the audience, he sat down on the stool and began playing “Chopsticks.”
The roar of the crowd turned to shouts as hundreds yelled, “Get that boy away from there!” “Who’d bring a kid that young here?” “Where’s his mother?” “Somebody stop him!” When Paderewski heard the uproar backstage, he grabbed his coat and rushed towards the stage.
Without one word of announcement, he stooped over behind the boy, reached around both sides, and began to improvise a countermelody to harmonize with and enhance “Chopsticks.” As the two of them played together, Paderewski kept whispering in the boy’s ear, “Keep going. Don’t quit, son…don’t stop…don’t quit.”
And, so it is with us. We hammer away on our project, which seems about as significant as “Chopsticks” in a concert hall. And, about the time we are ready to give up, along comes the Master, who leans over and whispers: “Now keep going. Don’t quit…don’t stop…don’t quit,” as He improvises on our behalf, providing just the right touch at just the right moment.
GCC, we will face challenges ahead of us, and we will feel discouraged time to time. It’s inevitable in this life. However, let us not give up, because Jesus promises to be with us to the end of the age. He will give us victory!!!