“Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12:1
I recently had what I felt was a rough Sunday working with the kids at church. They were hard to calm down, many little “twittery bird type” conversations going on during the lesson, plus a slightly stressful situation and a field trip. In the grand scheme of things, nothing really, but by noon, I was discouraged and daydreaming about how nice it would be to just go to church and serve a little, but not a lot.
You know, just do the minimum and maybe get some rest sometimes and not have to deal with all the headaches that come along with ministry. Oh, how nice it sounded to just let someone else deal with it.
Conviction and Inspiration
And then that night I watched the movie Paul, Apostle of Christ. °
My brothers, my sisters–those early Christians–how they suffered for the Lord. He asked so much of them and they faced it strongly. He asks so little of me and I often face it with weakness.
Discouragement quickly turned to conviction and I had to deeply grieve my attitude before the Lord and ask Him to forgive it.
These men and woman gave up everything–everything–for Him. Their homes, their families, their very lives. He has not asked that of me. No, He simply asks me to serve. He even promises to give me strength while I do so!
What a fool I am. Also, how very blessed, that God would continue to teach me and grow me into the kind of Christ follower I should be. The kind that is willing to stand up for Him and do whatever is necessary to spread the Gospel. Today and always. No matter what!
Oh Lord, I am so sorry. I give up so many times a day and what You ask of me doesn’t begin to compare to what You asked of those early followers of Yours and what You ask of those who are being persecuted for Your Name right now. I am so sorry for my unfaithfulness, my ungratefulness, my whining and complaining. Oh God, help me to serve You with a heart full of joy for all You’ve done for me. Lord, please, I have so much to repay and You are an easy Task-Master. I want so much to be faithful. Help my unfaithfulness, Lord. Help me serve with thanksgiving for all You have done for me. Thank You Lord for never giving up on me. I can hardly understand why You haven’t. And, thank You, for the wonderful testimonies of those Christians who have been persecuted and martyred and for the way You have used the stories of their lives to inspire millions of Christians, including me. Please help me to stand strong as they did, so I can tell others about You. Amen.
°If you haven’t watched the movie, you will be blessed, and challenged, if you do so. Here is the trailer: Paul, Apostle of Christ