2016: Page 251

Page 251 was back to the early morning cleaning and building prep to start the day.  As I took the trash out, there were a few deer in the back corner of the property keeping an eye on me to make sure I wasn’t coming out to disturb them.  They seemed okay with me being out there as long as I wasn’t making any attempt to move in their direction.  Once the early part of the morning routine was done, I responded to some messages and ordered some cleaning supplies that we were running low on.  After that, I settled in to do some more writing on my “Devotions For Those Who Serve” series.  Today I worked on several days worth of devotions on the topic of serving with purity.  Much of what I hear or read on the topic of purity focuses almost exclusively on sexual purity.  While that is an important aspect of purity, I think that sometimes the immense focus on that tends to make the larger topic of purity go unnoticed.  Many times if we would address a lifestyle of purity that encompasses everything we do, sexual purity would become a natural result without having to make it into more, or less, than what it should be.  When our mind, our heart, our actions, our very way of life is lived with purity we bring ourselves into submission to Christ and it transforms us from the inside out.  Too often though, we fail to allow God to cleanse us from the inside and then we wonder why our life seems to be headed down a track that is going nowhere.  

After my mind and eyes were tired of writing, I began to wrap up my workday and got drawn into a conversation about volunteers in the church — specifically a growing lack of volunteers and commitment to teach and lead the next generation.  One of the premises of the devotional series I am currently writing is that we are all called to serve.  While each of us are gifted in different ways and are called to serve according to our gifting, within that serving ought to be an element that sees value in teaching those younger than us whether it is younger chronologically or spiritually.  While not all of us have a gift of teaching, we have all been commanded to make disciples and teach them to obey all that Jesus commanded — including the command to make disciples and teach!  Many churches have difficulty finding volunteers to teach children and adults when they ought to be filled with people wanting to share how the truth of God’s Word transforms lives.  Perhaps one of a multitude of reasons is that we’ve been led to believe the teaching roles belong to the “professionals”.  Unfortunately, that attitude is shared by some in “professional ministry” as well as some who ought to be volunteers.  In my first part-time youth ministry, I had a preacher tell me that I had no business being in ministry without a Bible college degree.  Over the years I have also heard the excuse by potential volunteers that “that’s what we pay the youth/children’s/associate/senior minister to do”.  Yet the truth is that God says those who have been given specific gifts, including teaching, have been given them for the purpose of equipping the body, that is everyone else, to do the works of service that will build up the body into maturity with the head of the body being Jesus.

I pray that you and I would seek to live with purity in all aspects of our life.  I pray that we would live as those that have been washed in the blood of Jesus.  I pray that we would live as pure from the inside out.  I pray that God would raise up volunteers within His church that would respond willingly to His command to make disciples and teach.  I pray that we would value the contributions of everyone as fellow laborers for the cause of Christ.

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