Working Together

Published on May 15th, 2013 by Pastor Ed Hlad | 0

 

Do you have people in your life that you have been ministering to for years?  People who are dear to you and you have been diligent in praying for them, yet God has not seen fit to do a mighty work in their lives as of yet?  The burden that is felt in a situation like this is way too much for us to bear.  I am not sure there is anyone, besides Jesus, who has felt the weight of this burden more than the Apostle Paul.  I am always convicted of my cold heart when I read his words in Romans 9.

 

“I am speaking the truth in Christ – I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit -that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.  For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh”

 

Those are powerful words that are coming from a heart broken over the failure of his fellow citizens to repent and follow Christ.  I just got off the phone from speaking with a friend of mine and we were sharing the heart breaking story of the Boy Scouts and their bending to the will of the homosexual agenda.  We both shared our great grief over the blindness of sin in our country.  The attacks against anything that even appears to give assent to God and Jesus are blatant and often overwhelming.

 

I believe many of us are like Paul.  We have been given the heart of our Father.  If we could give our eternal lives promised in Christ Jesus so that our loved one or our country would be brought to Christ – we would do it.  We know that this is impossible and so we pray through the long nights. We plead with God to work, and we appeal to those who do know Christ to follow him.  We go to battle, every day, seeking to be a light into darkness.  We have faith that today would be the day of repentance for those whom God has burdened us.

 

Sometimes we walk in the flesh and try to squash that great burden down.  We live for ourselves and try to distract our hearts from this heavy burden.  We seek other desires that have been put to death by Christ’s work on the cross.  We ignore the Word of God, the songs of God, and the people of God so that we will not be burdened once again by those who do not follow Christ.  We work hard at trying to convince ourselves that we have said all that the needs to be said has been said, and we seek to simply live life.  We attack other Christians because their ministry in other’s lives and their attempt to minister to our life becomes a reminder of who we really are.

 

But God has given us his heart, a heart of love and compassion that desires for all men to come to know him.  In our new creation we have been given a heart that is built to invade the lives of others just like Jesus invaded our life.  We can’t help but love others – if we will just allow ourselves to look at them.  We can’t help but be moved with compassion.  We can’t live without being burdened for those who are lost and living without a shepherd.  It is who we have become in Christ.

 

So let me close with these encouraging words from Paul.  “Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain”  II Cor 6:1.   I often find myself believing that I am working for God.  Paul continually reminded himself that he was working with God.  That is a huge difference.  That is an amazing privilege.  Today, Lord willing, I will act on the burden that God has given to me and appeal to people that I love to see the graces of God in everyday life. I will ask them not to receive those graces in vain, but to recognize the love of God and his Son’s work on their behalf.  That is my role on this team, and I will do all of that knowing that God will do what only he can do in their hearts.  I know that I am the weak, flawed link in this team but, wow, what a partner I have.

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