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Tuesday, July 18, 2006
"God Is Not Unjust"
"God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them" (Hebrews 6:10).
Some time back I received a note from a pastor friend who lives in northern California in Marin County across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. This is a geographically beautiful region of the country but is certainly not noted for receptivity to the Gospel. Having spent some time in that area when my brother lived there and having preached in that church I've sensed the spiritual darkness. He's shared personally about his ministry challenges and the discouragement of serving in an area like this. He's asked Brooksyne and me to pray for him and we have.
Sometimes specific verses of Scripture become real to us in most memorable ways. About 15 years ago I went on a short-term mission trip to Fusugusuga, Colombia (about 50 miles south of Bogota) and assisted a local church in a construction project. I also had the opportunity to preach to the national believers through a translator. One of the most memorable affirmations in my entire ministry following a sermon was when the pastor said to his congregation when I finished my message, "perfecto!" (Although my message was, of course, far from perfect I was so heartened by the comment.)
The final night we gathered in the national pastor's home for a special meal and he expressed his gratitude to the mission team for coming and helping with the project. Through a translator he shared the daily verse with great earnestness and it's meant a great deal to me ever since. Although I had surely read the verse prior to this it was at this time this Scripture really became special to me. "God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them."
Most of you who are reading this are involved in some type of service for the Lord. You are working for the Lord and showing your love for Him as in a variety of ways you help His people and continue to help them. That's the very heart of ministry. Some of you, like my pastor friend in California, are in vocational ministry, many others are faithfully ministering as dedicated lay people in a variety of ways. Anyone involved in ministry knows that one of Satan's most vicious and persistent attacks upon the servants of Christ is discouragement. That's why I value the opportunity to encourage on a daily and ongoing basis!
Today's verse offers much encouragement. Look at the first part. "God is not unjust." Did you get that? He's not unfair. So much discouragement ultimately stems from a failure to accept God's justness. He truly does everything well, although we may not understand until the other side. Remember the entire scope of God's plan will not be fulfilled nor revealed on this side.
"He will not forget your work." Fellow servant, you may feel unappreciated, rejected, taken for granted; you name it. But God's Word says, "He will not forget your work." I want to hide these truths deep in my heart today and I want you all to do so as well.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen C. Weber
Brooksyne's prayer: Jesus, I find reassurance and encouragement when I realize that my labor for You is never in vain. You see my heart and equip me to carry out the mission of helping Your people. Help me not to look to others for affirmation since that could lead me to vacillate in my calling. Instead You bless me as I am faithful to You and steadfast in my commitment to help others. Help me not to rely on just the immediate results, but rather to recognize that You are storing up treasures that will only be revealed in heaven.
Today's photo, taken in our front flower area, is a scarlet celosia commonly known as cockscomb. I especially enjoy the brilliant, seemingly luminescent red color! I took the picture by getting right down on the ground level with the flower just as the sun was going down and shining brightly on the flower, thus the luminescence.
We continue to pray for the situation in the Middle East. A resource that I have found very helpful is the website of the Mission Network News, which provides current news in regard to the work of Christ. You can also subscribe to free daily email update, which has the latest news and prayer requests. Today's message encourages prayer regarding the staff of a ministry in Lebanon and the issue of discouragement.
My prayer in this regard today: Lord strengthen, protect and encourage my brothers and sisters in Christ in all the areas impacted by war, regardless of nationality. Especially help those involved in ministry as they seek to let their light shine in a very hard and dark place. I pray for all regular people regardless of religion who just want to live in peace. Of course I do pray for their salvation through trusting in Christ. And Lord I ask you to confound, destroy and bring to nought the work of the evil terrorists who are blinded by a demonic religious system. I recall in Scripture when your people were surrounded by enemies bent on destroying them and how you set ambushes against them and they destroyed each other rather than your people. Perform a mighty miracle of deliverance I pray.
(All of 2 Chronicles 20 is an incredibly interesting chapter in this regard and was the source of my message this last Sunday evening.)
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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