Sacrificial LoveWhat does it mean for you to carry your cross?
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I’m not a professional prophet. . . . But the Lord called me away from my flock and told me, “Go and prophesy to My people in Israel” (Amos 7:14-15).
I am just 3 months into my elected role as youth deaconess in the local church that I attend, and I’ve already received three requests from people who want to step down from serving. A few have simply gone MIA (missing in action). So I feel like a general who’s trying to rally his army to fight a battle even as he’s losing his soldiers.
I was discouraged until I studied Amos 7:10-17. The prophet was a shepherd from Tekoa (in Judea) who was called to prophesy in the northern kingdom of Israel. During his ministry, he was grossly misrepresented by Amaziah, who distorted his message and cast doubts on his motives (v.10). Given the circumstances, Amos could have become despondent. His ministry was unappreciated.
Then Amaziah ordered Amos to go home (Amos 7:12). Essentially, he was saying, “Amos, get out of this place where your message isn’t accepted. Go home to the place where things are familiar and secure!” But Amos stayed the course. God had given him a commission, and the prophet recognized that his ministry and his location were God’s choosing (Amos 7:15).
Bible teacher Alistair Begg says, “When one is effectively involved in serving God, there will be opposition, persecution, and trial. Consequently, there is no ideal place to serve God anywhere in the world except the place in which He has set you down.” As I think about my role at church, I now realize that I was mistaken. I’m not the general; God is. And He’s working in His church so that “she will be holy and without fault” (Ephesians 5:27).
May we one day be able to say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful” (2 Timothy 4:7). Keep fighting! Keep running! Keep believing! —Poh Fang Chia
Read Matthew 28:18-20 for God’s clear commission to all believers.
What could discourage you from fighting the good fight of the gospel? What will enable you to press on?
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