Saturday, November 20, 2010

BOLD Outreach Reflections from Psalm 13

Subtitle: Waiting on the Lord

"How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I make decisions alone with sorrow in my heart day after day?" Psalm 13:1-2 (God’s Word, Copyright 1995 by God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society,

This Psalm is hitting me a little too close to home. Ever since I was laid off from my full-time ministry staff position I have been waiting for the Lord to show me the next steps in my ministry service. Over the past two years I have taken on several part-time positions in the community that would not be considered to be church work or "ministry" in the eyes of most people. I have had to work at entry-level positions and at jobs that have a high rate of turnover for very little pay. During this time I completed my Masters of Arts in Christian Outreach degree and expected to receive a "call" to serve God in a fulltime ministry in a community, but it has not happened.

I often find myself crying out to God with David, "Look at me! Answer me, O Lord my God!" (v3). On my own I continue, "Speak to me, show me your will, give me direction, open a door for me to serve you in ministry," and I hear silence....
     more silence...
          nothing...      nothing...      nothing...     
                    then these words come to me...
    "Shhh, be still and know that I am God."

Outreach ministry takes time. We cannot by our own reason or strength bring someone to believe in God or come to faith in Christ. It is the work of the Holy Spirit working through the Word of God that calls, gathers and enlightens God's own to come to Him in faith. Our role in that activity is to proclaim God's good news to those with whom we work and play or otherwise engage in activities as we go about life and living.

We can count on God's mercy and salvation. That is what David did! When everything else is stripped away – every material possession, everything that might give us security, meaning, or identity (all those false idols in our life), nothing is left but God's promise to be merciful and grant us salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. God rescues the broken hearted. The humble He does not despise. Those who call out to Him for mercy are saved! We can BOLDly count on this outreach promise as we share the good news of Jesus Christ with others.

"But I trust your mercy. My heart finds joy in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord because he has been good to me." Psalm 13:5-6 (God’s Word, Copyright 1995 by God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society,

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