I’ve been leading a four-week study on Islam at my church. I pray that I’ve been fair to my Muslim friends in representing beliefs / thoughts. I pray also that it challenges my Christian brothers and sisters to learn more about other religions of the world and minister the Gospel of Peace in a culturally sensitive way.
I was reading around and was pointed to the article “The Character of a Teacher” by John Paul Jackson, which appeared in the most recent issue of Ministry Today. I especially enjoyed this section:
“We cannot become truly great in God’s kingdom unless we walk through adversity, pain and difficulty. Here are some examples from God’s Word:
- Joseph was made second-in-command of Egypt after years of wrongful imprisonment and unfair slavery.
- Gideon delivered the Israelites from their enemies after struggling with insecurity and fear.
- Samuel left his parents and served in the often-lonely temple before growing into a great prophet and judge.
- David became a beloved king after years of living in caves and dodging death threats.
- Paul was blinded and then persecuted as his ministry grew. These private battles forged great leaders for God.
Likewise, hidden victories in the daily grind of life form a foundation for how we operate publicly. What do we do when no one is watching us? How are we treating our spouses? Are we devoting quality time with our children? Are we being generous financially and spiritually? Have we overcome issues of rejection and fear that plague our lives? Have we restored broken relationships? Are we speaking blessings over others?
It takes hundreds of these seemingly insignificant, private victories to form a solid foundation of character upon which God places the weightiness of public ministry.
When David sought Saul’s approval before facing Goliath, he told the king about his private victories: “‘Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God'” (1 Sam. 17:36).
David’s history of hidden victories as a shepherd gave him the faith and confidence to face Goliath publicly as a protector of Israel’s future. A foundation of character, formed humbly and quietly in the hidden moments of life, had been built in the future king’s life. Little did David know how these events would allow God to use him one day. As we overcome our personal battles, God can trust us with the great responsibility of teaching others.”
Retrieved from: http://ministrytodaymag.com/display_cms.php?id=8630
It’s Saturday night! Time to find a crowd and enjoy the evening, methinks. Grace and peace.