Yesterday I shared WHO we are called to minister to – that ties in closely to WHAT we are called to do. Again, take a look at some verses from Isaiah 58…
Vs. 6 – To break the chains of wickedness
– To untie the ropes of the yoke
– To set the oppressed free
Vs. 7- To share your bread with the hungry
-To bring the poor and homeless into your house
-To clothe the naked
* – Not to ignore your own flesh and blood
Vs. 10 – Satisfy the afflicted one
Remember those verses from yesterday – well, the WHAT goes a little further:
Vs. 12 – Some of you will rebuild the ancient ruins;
– You will restore the foundations laid long ago;
– You will be called the repairer of broken walls,
– The restorer of streets where people live.
We are not saved by any “works” we do, but once we are saved, we are called for good “works” (Eph. 2:10). James 2:14 takes this a step further and asks, “How can you say you have faith, but do not have works?” How can we say to someone that is broken/homeless/hungry/lost – “Oh, by the way, God loves you… see you next Sunday”? “Faith without works is useless.” Those are not my words, they’re from James 2:20. Works is a product of faith. Jesus has called us to put on work boots to our faith and feet to our prayers. That is what drives us to not just do church, but BE the church. That’s why we don’t just want to have a cozy little service on Sunday and sit around until next Sunday comes along. That’s why we’re forming partnerships with the City of Findlay and community organizations – to take over these streets – and restore them for Jesus! That’s why though our methods may be unique, different and crazy, but the message of salvation and the truth of God’s Word stay the same – we’re restoring the FOUNDATION. That’s the WHAT. That’s what drives us. Jesus Christ is the foundation!
PS. I put a * by the last part of verse 7 – because it also sticks out to me. Kevin and I are the same in that we are driven – especially with a goal or mission before us, “workaholics” even. God guides us and leads us in ministry, but He also makes sure that 1st things are 1st. He impresses upon us, over and over again (we each can be a little stubborn) that HE comes 1st – our relationship with Him, that quality time and fuel that can only come from Him. Gotta be a Mary before we can be a Martha. Shortly after that comes our family that He has created. He knows our passion and willingness to heed His call for ministry – but “not to ignore our own flesh and blood.” Julia, Emma and Joey have been given to us for this season, and Kevin and I to each other and He lovingly reminds us not to let that go. We have to be deliberate to keep God 1st and Family 2nd and we encourage those who volunteer at LP to do that also. 1) God 2) Family and then 3) Ministry.