Chosen, Equipped, and Empowered

Good morning. It is Saturday, September 26, 2015. Only 14 more days to Playa del Carmen!

Today’s word of the day, from dictionary.com, is galumph. I love this word! It means, “to move along heavily and clumsily.” It appears that Lewis Carroll invented this word, in his poem, Jabberwocky. It appears in this verse:

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

Today is Love Note Day. This seems fairly self-explanatory. It would be fun to see what creative ways you can come up with to leave love notes for the loves in your life.

I don’t have time for my usual weekend edition, this morning, as we are going to Christi’s company picnic, and she has to be there at 9:00, due to her somewhat supervisory role in the event. So we will be leaving the house in less than an hour.

I only had to work until 6:00 yesterday. They decided to cut us loose, but most of the crew is working this morning. I’m not, primarily because of this picnic event, but I don’t know if I would be, anyway. I’m don’t take kindly to giving up my Friday evening and my Saturdays, too. At least not on the Saturday that I’m not scheduled to work. I can’t go on about this, though, as it will cause me to get grumpy, and I refuse to be grumpy today. 🙂

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Heart Aflame)

He sent Moses, his servant, and Aaron, whom he had chosen.
They performed his signs among them and miracles in the land of Ham.
He sent darkness, and made the land dark; they did not rebel against his words.
He turned their waters into blood and caused their fish to die.
Their land swarmed with frogs, even in the chambers of their kings.

Psalm 105:26-30

“God sent Moses and Aaron, his servants, not because of their own intrinsic fitness, or because they spontaneously offered to him their service, but because he chose them. This passage teaches us, that those who are engaged in active and useful service for the Church, are not prepared exclusively by their own exertions, or framed to it by their own talents, but are stirred up thereto by God.” (p 270, emphasis mine)

(From Daily Guideposts 2015)

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.”
Luke 4:18

In today’s reading, by Pablo Diaz, the author is celebrating 40 years of preaching the Gospel, this year. He recounts the humble beginnings of his ministry, in 1975, on the streets of New York City. He was part of a youth ministry in a home church. They met every Saturday at noon, first for prayer, and then going on the streets to “hand out literature, visit the sick, and hold what we called a ‘street service.'”

On that day, when his life was forever changed, their leader, Sylvia, pointed at him and said, “Pablo, you are going to preach today. Get ready.”

Pablo says, “My heart started pounding, my hands got sweaty, and the butterflies in my stomach kicked in. I thought to myself, What am I going [to] say? What if one of my friends sees me? What if nothing comes out of my mouth?” At this point in his life, Pablo had never done any public speaking.

As they got into position at the corner of East Broadway and Clinton Street, a light rain was falling. With no microphones or speakers, they sang a few songs, a capella. “I opened my mouth, and words began to come out. I raised my voice as loud as possible, so the people there could hear me.

“The longer I spoke, the more empowered and confident I felt. It was an incredible feeling, unlike anything else I had ever experienced. when I was finished, my heart was filled with great joy.”

I chose to share this reading today, because it supports the Psalm reading from Heart Aflame. When things like this happen, I always take notice, because I believe that, when two completely unrelated sources mesh in this way, God is really speaking something of value. Well, any time God speaks, it is certainly of value, but hopefully you understand what I mean.

We are where we are because God has put us there. Of course, there are choices that we have made along the way that have contributed to our current place in life, but whatever we are doing, God has equipped us for it, simply because it was his good pleasure, not because of anything that we have contributed. God chose Moses and Aaron, “not because of their own intrinsic fitness, . . . but because he chose them.” God chose Pablo, who had never spoken a word in public, to be a preacher of the gospel. God chose me, gave me musical talent, made me a worship leader for a season, and then, remarkably, placed me into prayer ministry. I never saw that coming! But God knew. He knew before I was born. He chose me, “before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4), and equipped me to do what I am doing now.

Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Then I said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the LORD.”
Jeremiah 1:4-8
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.
1 Corinthians 12:4-6

(From Solid Joys)

Today’s reading is “Live Confident in God’s Power.”

and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe,
Ephesians 1:19

“The omnipotence of God means eternal, unshakable refuge in the everlasting glory of God no matter what happens on this earth. And that confidence is the power of radical obedience to the call of God.”

It is rare enough that two unrelated sources mesh together in this way, but today, I have three! While one might have to dig a little to see the connection with the Solid Joys reading, I assure you, it is there.

Consider the fact, the Biblical fact, that God Almighty, the Creator of the universe, is our refuge! “All day, every day in all the ordinary and extraordinary experiences of life.” How guilty are we of forgetting this?

“If we believed this, if we really let this truth of God’s omnipotence get hold of us, what a difference it would make in our personal lives and in our ministries! How humble and powerful we would become for the saving purposes of God!”

God’s omnipotence means refuge for us, his people. When we truly believe this to be real, “there is a joy and a freedom and a power that spills over in a life of radical obedience to Jesus Christ.”

How does this connect to the other readings? God chooses us because he chooses us, not because of any intrinsic value that we bring to the table. In the words of Horatius Bonar, in answer to the question, “How Shall I Go to God,” “It is with our sins that we go to God, for we have nothing else to go with that we can call our own.” When God chooses us, he then equips us with the gifts that we will need to perform the ministry for which he has selected us. And then? He is our refuge and the source of power for those ministries. His omnipotence is our refuge and this produces radical obedience.

Father, I praise you for choosing me; I praise you for equipping me, even though I have not always believed I was fully equipped. Forgive me for doubting you and forgetting the power that you provide. I still have not arrived at that place of “radical obedience” in my life. The one thing that I find encouraging about that is that I am not yet as old as Moses was, I don’t think. All levity aside, Father, I pray for this confidence to take hold in me. I have not read anything today that I did not already know. But every day, I forget that you are my refuge and strength. Every day, I forget that that power and potential for “radical obedience” is right there, available for me to grasp. May your Spirit help me to grasp it, and never let go.

I pray for this day, that our activities at the picnic will be safe and fun. I pray for some great recreation as we participate, and some opportunities for fellowship and relationship. May we display your Kingdom in everything we do. Let it be a fun day.

I pray for our church services, this evening, that your name would be lifted high. I pray for Andy, as he leads our prayer time in my absence, and for Jacob as he preaches concerning why you allow pain and suffering in the world.

Come, Lord Jesus!

May the truth of these readings infiltrate your life today. May you know the freedom of the refuge of Almighty God in your life as you believe that you have been chosen, equipped, and empowered for whatever he has prepared for you to do.

Grace and peace, friends.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s