Connected to Others
Ready or not, September has arrived. Ministry calendars and events are being set into motion. Are you ready? Not? Take a moment to be inspired, as I was recently, by this devotional written by Paul and Peggy Schlieker. I am grateful for their permission granted to share this article with you. May we remember that we are called to connect with others. As you will read, “Jesus is ready to do his work through you.” May God lead each one of us through an effective, connecting ministry year.
Sent By God
By Paul & Peggy Schlieker
I know a school teacher who believes she was sent by God to her elementary school. Every August, before her students arrive, she sits alone within her empty classroom and prays that God will use her to be a blessing to her new class.
She prays that God will create a loving environment within her classroom. She prays for the families of her students and asks God to bless their parents.
Next, she prays for the other teachers and staff within her school. Finally, she prays for the principal and the school board members. Why? Because she believes that her job is more than a job. She believes that her job is her God-given assignment. She believes she has been sent by God.
We Have Come to Pray
Several months ago, I read a story about two international workers who were attempting to bring the gospel to a remote village within a country that had virtually no access to the teachings of Jesus. As they entered the village, the international workers said, “We are men of God who have come to your community to pray for sick people.” These words of love and kindness opened the hearts of many to listen to the message of Jesus. This is what people do when they have been sent by God.
In the life of every follower of Jesus, there is a gradual progression of spiritual maturity. This progressive growth and development can be broadly described in three stages: sonship, discipleship, and partnership.
The disciples that Jesus trained were approaching the third stage (partnership) when he said to them, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you” (John 20:21). Just as Jesus was sent by his Father to rescue a lost and helpless world, his disciples began to realize that they were going to be Jesus’ ministry partners. He was now sending them.
It is in this third stage of spiritual partnership that Jesus wants you to begin seeing yourself. This is the stage in which we experience the excitement of Christ Himself working through us. For every person in the family of God, there is a purpose, a plan, and a place.
God will Lead You
I believe there is someone in your life God has uniquely prepared for you to bless. They have been prepared for you and you have been prepared for them. I believe that it’s time to ask God to lead you to that person. Don’t be surprised if it’s someone you already have a relationship with. Jesus is ready to do his work through you. All He needs is your availability.
And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me” (Isaiah 6:8-9).
For more resources, visit Paul and Peggy’s website: http://www.bible-study-lesson-plans.com/bible-study-lessons.html