Posts Tagged ‘encouragement’

Another Sunday feeling discouraged and disconnected. It’s been my experience that when you’re feeling down, Christians instinctively know to avoid you; it’s as if you become invisible. I don’t blame them. I’m not your typical, normal Christian, so I don’t expect too many people to understand me anyhow. So, like I said, I don’t blame them; I probably even creep out some of them!

Yes, brother, let me have some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ. (Philemon 20; NET)

After coming home, I received a timely call from one of my closest friends. We spoke for almost an hour, since we haven’t seen each other or talked with each other for quite some time. Amazing how our timelines seem to be in sync — God has recently been awakening him from his spiritual slumber as well. I have to admit I was thrilled to hear the zeal and excitement in his voice: here was a man whose love for his Lord has been rekindled! And he lovingly exhorted me to not waste my gifts and my life, but to serve the Lord wherever doors open. He challenged me to pray more and ask God to empower me and use me where and how He see fits, not what I envision. As always, it boils down to what I constantly struggle with, the great deficiency in my life: prayer and communion with God.

I told my brother that I’m not so sure anymore what my gifts are; his were very apparent the day I met him decades ago: evangelism and exhortation. He reminded me we will stand before our Lord someday to give an account of how we used our time and our gifts. He challenged me by saying that he felt my gifting hasn’t changed and to stop trying to make excuses! (Like I said, one of his gifts is exhortation!) He told me to keep reading and studying the Word and opportunities to teach the Word will open up in many ways (whether at church, disillusioned saints no longer in church or one-on-one with a believer at work, etc.). He paused and challenged me to ask God to bring broken, downcast and lonely sheep across my path; this was something I’ve always had a burden for, he quietly reminded me.

I was much encouraged by the conversation and I was also thankful how it meshed so well with the good word that SG shared with the church today concerning “worship”: do we truly ascribe ultimate value and worth to God? Do we seek to worship and serve Him for show or for His glory? Do we seek the praise of men or the favour/reward of God? A timely and challenging message!  Thank you Lord for all these ways you are speaking to me and molding me.

The Spirit also reminded me again of the pastoral and prescient insight that IB shared with me over a year ago. Upon reflecting on this further, I realized that there is still some fear and hesitation on my part. May the Lord help me to cast away this spirit of fear …

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