‘X’ marks the spot

P1000328  Where do I find the source of the strength I need to face each day? Where do I find the joy in serving, and the refreshment to my spirit for each new task? Sometimes, our lives can seem so small, so full of trivialities, and we wonder if anything we do is worthwhile?

Last night, I was privileged to attend a meal and celebration marking the retirement from full-time employment in Scripture Union Scotland of a woman whom God has used mightily to advance His kingdom in our land. She has served SU for 33 years, involved in residential events, missions, development of new ministries, strategies for change and nurturing of countless leaders and young people along the way.

It was humbling to see the number and variety of people who assembled to pay tribute and express their love and appreciation to her. But it was glorious too, because ultimately, we were thanking God for all the ways He has gifted, sustained, led and enabled her in His work.

We are not all called to such high profile ministries, but we can be confident that this same God is our sustaining power, and take comfort from these words which were written to the Thessalonians:

So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honoured because of the way you live, and you will be honoured along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ.”  (2 Thessalonians 1v 11&12)

What a privilege is ours, to be the means of bringing honour to the Lord who loves and saves us. It is not our strength or cleverness which achieves this by itself, but rather the power of God working through us. Our gifts and abilities are used most tellingly in His service when we surrender them to His direction, and engage in the “good works” to which our faith leads us.

Faith prompts us to believe that God loves and desires to save our friends, family and work colleagues – so we in turn love them, and by our actions, and words, seek to share that love and help them to encounter Christ. Faith tells us that this world is not all there is, but only rather the prologue to a grand adventure, beyond our imagining – so we can be content to serve, to put others first, to value the small and forgotten ones, knowing that we are not in any sense blowing our chances of a good time! Faith prompts us to believe that God provides for those He loves, and to see that everything we have is a gift – so we are free to share and give, not hoard and strive to acquire more.

And all this is possible because of the grace which is God’s endless gift to us, daily, hourly, minute by minute grace. Continually He loves us, forgives us, heals and comforts us, sets us back on our feet and on the road to walk another step closer to home. This is ‘X’, the spot where treasure lies, and not one which can be frittered away, but which is without limit, always sufficient for our needs. It is grace which fuels our labours, and enriches our pleasures, and helps us to see that nothing we do for God is ever wasted – whether that is on a small or a large scale. By grace, I am significant to the God of heaven, and He takes pleasure in my company – here is priceless wealth, and treasure indeed!

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be ours, now and forevermore.. Amen

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