I give you a command in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, the One who will judge the living and the dead, and by his coming and his kingdom: Preach the Good News. Be ready at all times, and tell people what they need to do. Tell them when they are wrong. Encourage them with great patience and careful teaching, because the time will come when people will not listen to the true teaching but will find many more teachers who please them by saying the things they want to hear. They will stop listening to the truth and will begin to follow false stories. But you should control yourself at all times, accept troubles, do the work of telling the Good News, and complete all the duties of a servant of God. Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 2 Timothy 4:1-5 (NCV)
I read a blog last night written by a woman that I have known since she was a young teenager. She was testifying about how she had made some plans for her life and two weeks before she was start a new career, God stepped in and said, â€œNo, this is what I want you to doâ€. Now, three months later, she is in her passion, heart-called job and knows it is the ministry that has been promised and placed into her heart. (Leah Taylor Ministries)
I want to speak to every person who is reading this devotion (including me). LISTEN UP!
God has placed a passion in each of us for a Kingdom service. What is it that makes you joyous and excited? Is it organizing? Is it a sport? Is it art? Is it teaching? Listening and helping people to heal? Let me tell you about a couple people I know who have that kind of joy.
My brother and sister-in-law are teachers. He teaches English and she is in elementary ed, primarily kindergarten. They are retired now â€“ but are still doing what they love. They teach their grandchildren. He has been volunteering in a GED program. She has a book club and Bible study group. They use their God-given talents to serve, just like Jesus did.
What is your passion? Once you recognize and admit what that is, ask God how He wants you to use it in His Kingdom.
God has given gifts/talents that enable us to do that service with joy. I have two friends who are very talented in art. One of them has sold her art in shows around the Southeast. She also is part of the art worship in her church. She literally paints a picture during worship that speaks just like a teaching or a song. Just awesome! Friend #2 is a missionary in a foreign country. She is also teaching art in a school. She is able to build relationships with people who would not have normally been open to a relationship. And she is teaching her students Kingdom principles by her example.
Do not dismiss a possibility or opportunity to use your passion because you think you might fail! God will give you what you need or put people in your path to teach and mentor you. Are you open to His opportunities? Do you trust God to put you in a place to succeed and provide you with paths and people to teach and equip you.
We can live our whole life on this earth, do good ‘stuff’, and miss what God had planned for us. Whether you are 20 or 70 and reading this devotion, God is not done with you yet. Retired? Where in the Bible did the disciples retire from sharing what they knew about Jesus? There are opportunities in small groups, vacation groups, dinner parties to encourage people and share (in a non-preaching way) the joy and courage and strength that you know because you have a growing relationship with God. If you were a teacher or a coach and loved it, don’t stop now! Ask God how you can serve Him.
He died for me. Jesus did not have to do that! He doesn’t need me to be ‘happy’ or provide something He needs. He is giving me the opportunity to participate with Him in His Kingdom plan! I don’t want to miss that!
I have been blessed in my life to know so many young people who are gifted in music, sports, mentoring, preaching, teaching, writing, art, â€“ so many gifts. Take that passion and recognize it for what it is â€“ a gift from God that can be used to build a Kingdom that will never end. Let no one stop you. If the fellowship you are in isn’t able to use you, then ask God to send you to one who can. Call or write me. Together we’ll find the place God has waiting for you.
The More I Seek You by Zach Neese (2007) Sung by Kari JobeÂ