(August 26, 2019) Dr George Forbes, missionary statesman, reflects and challenges…
For many years now, as it has been my joy to serve the Lord Jesus Christ, I have been guided and constrained by his words as found in the gospel of Luke, chapter 12 verse 48. They ring in my mind and spirit every time I read them or think of them.
Those challenging words from Luke’s gospel are – ‘To whom much is given, much is required.’
These are sobering words indeed – challenging words, clear words – about our responsibilities as servants of God.
And when we consider it we have indeed been given so much –
- Forgiveness of all our sin
- Born again by the Spirit of God
- Washed by the atoning blood of the lamb of God
- Peace with God
- Adopted as children of God.
Every believer experiences the grace and mercy of God from the moment of repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. Then we grow in his grace and every day we experience his mercies. We also grow in the knowledge of Christ, finding more of the power of his love and the fellowship of his sufferings.
Personally speaking I have been on that wonderful journey now for seventy years. I find my morning times of fellowship, worship, listening for the Holy Spirit’s voice as I read the word of God, more and more precious.
I am increasingly aware of my responsibility for the trust I hold with deep gratitude and dependence on the Holy Spirit.
For those whom our heavenly Father has called to full-time service, we truly have been given so much more. Called to serve him in the ministry of his word, the work of the harvest, the work of the kingdom of God everywhere in the world.
The other side of that commission is the responsibility to fulfil the purpose of God by doing all that we are required to do as his servants. We need to be aware that…
- We’re called to give back to him the fruit of our labours.
- Much is required.
- Each believer it is different, with different abilities, skills and talents.
- We are all called to serve him in different ways and roles.
Many ways of ‘giving back’
As Paul puts it so well in his letter to the Corinthians… ‘God chose some people to be apostles and prophets and teachers for the church. But he also chose some to work miracles or heal the sick or help others or be leaders or speak different kinds of languages’ (See 1 Corinthians 12:29-30).
There are many ways of fulfilling the service or ministry we have been given. A lifetime of service in the advance of the kingdom of God will show the variety, wisdom and the way that the Holy Spirit works and leads.
Many of the roles God uses for his field workers are not at leadership level or prominent in any way. They are, essentially, behind the scenes service that ensures that those in public ministry and leadership can do their work effectively. Supportive positions are crucial to the success of the team. They are invaluable to the effectiveness of any mission.
Each person is a part of the body of Christ, the church. Each one is part of the other when an effective team is operating in the mission field. Variety is a strength of each team as they serve, contributing the different gifts that God has given, both naturally and spiritually. They combine to provide effective, fruitful results.
Each of us must do our best, depending on the grace of God and the enabling power of the Holy Spirit. We should encourage others with whom we work, be generous in our encouragement and cheerful in our manner… especially if we are leaders!
Some choice scriptures…
- Romans 12:5– ‘That’s how it is with us. There are many of us, but we each are part of the body of Christ, as well as part of one another.’
- Romans 12:6-8– ‘God has also given each of us different gifts to use. If we can prophesy, we should do it according to the amount of faith we have. If we can serve others, we should serve. If we can teach, we should teach. If we can encourage others, we should encourage them. If we can give, we should be generous. If we are leaders, we should do our best. If we are good to others, we should do it cheerfully.’
- And those sobering words of Luke 12:48– ‘And to everyone to whom much has been given, much shall be required from him; and to whom men have committed much, they will ask from him the more.’
May we all be committed to taking every opportunity God gives us to give back to him… whatever it costs!
Dr George Forbes is internationally recognised as a missionary spokesperson with a heart for the lost of the nations. With a wealth of missionary knowledge and a unique ability to communicate the global picture, he is widely known as the ‘story-teller.’ Link: firstname.lastname@example.org