Friday, November 12, 2010

For those who will preach, teach or otherwise minister the Word of God this weekend

Here's a worthwhile thought from Christian writer Marlene Bagnull:

"Do you feel called to 'write His answer' and yet struggle with self-doubts? Truthfully, through working with hundreds of writers through the years, I find that the those who really have a gift with words and a message that needs to be published are the ones most likely to be crippled by self-doubts.

I shudder when I think of how many times I almost gave up because my self-doubts were so loud and insistent. Why would anyone want to read what I wrote? I What made me think that I could write for the Lord? I wasn’t qualified! How could He possibly use someone who was only a high school graduate? I felt ashamed and woefully inadequate.

How it must have grieved the Lord when I failed to see that the Cross turns my minus into a plus – when I believed the lies of the evil one instead of His promises. And how much time I wasted in my self-centered and selfish focus on my doubts instead of on the needs Father was calling me to address through the words He would give me if I would just trust Him."

The devil attacks preachers and teachers the same way he comes at writers, hissing in our ears at every opportunity, "You don't live up to these words you're using." He's right, of course, and we can let that become the despair he desires.

Earlier in the week, those of us who keep at the Daily Offices read several chapters of The Revelation, including these verses from Chapter 19,

"And the angel said to me, 'Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.' And he said to me, 'These are true words of God.' Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, 'You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your comrades who hold the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.'"

No creature - angel, visionary, Gospel writer, preacher, teacher, pew-sitter - is worthy of worship. We are all just servants, and unprofitable servants at that.

Yet we are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb. Jesus is greater than our frailties, faithful when we are faithless and his strength is made perfect in our weaknesses. He is true, and his testimony is true even when held in our feeble grasp.

So worship God! It is wasted effort to evaluate yourself for a perfection of which your flesh is presently incapable. Look to Jesus and share the truth he gives you to hold.

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