Go, Tell Your Enough

Lisa-Jo’s 5-Minute Friday theme this week was “Enough”.  I know; it’s not Friday, but as this has been a week when “Enough” meant so much, I thought I’d write my post – a bit belatedly.

 

I sat down the other day to do my budgeting.  I do it every year – work out how much I’m getting, what I have to pay out, and how much I’ll have left to spend … but it was different this year:  Because this year, the government had made some changes and the money I get to pay my rent had been halved.  My worst scenario was that eventually my savings would run out, and I wouldn’t have the money to see my children through the Compassion-programme any more.

 

When I start something, I start intending to finish.  I felt God had called me to sponsor these children, but my question was:  Had He called me to do that right to the end of their sponsorships?  I didn’t want to be a dropout and I didn’t want to let them down.

 

The next bit doesn’t make sense.  I looked at what was coming in; I took into account my utility bills, food etc.  I still had enough to sponsor them – and some to spend; not as much as previously, but enough.  To say I was excited was an understatement!  I wanted to tell people, which could have been a problem:  Because what about those who have more than enough – who’ve worked hard to get that more-than-enough?  When they see you not working as hard as they do, and still having enough; will they resent you?  And then, the ones who have less-than-enough; will they hear your news and think you’re insensitive because you mentioned it?

 

Well, I told people anyway, and they were happy to share my good news.  I had a surprise message today from one of those more-than-enough people who wrote:  “Glad you are still able to sponsor the children as you enjoy it so much”.

 

As I write this I’m starting to think:  Are we like that with God?  As I face my struggles and He gets me through the days, giving me peace when I turn to Him in my weakness, He’s my Enough.  Am I telling people?  Because spiritually-speaking, there are those with less-than-enough – those who struggle and think there’s no one to turn to in their time of need …  And what about the ones who think they have more than enough, but they’re living without Him; will I be a spokesperson for Jesus?  He told the church at Laodicea:  “You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’  But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked” – Revelation 3:17.

 

It takes courage to challenge people about where they are with the Lord, and wisdom too.  Jesus’ friend Peter wrote:  “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.  But do this with gentleness and respect” – 1 Peter 3:15, so as followers of Christ, we must speak with sensitivity … but let’s still speak.

 

Go, tell your Enough.

Gifts for our Good

“It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service” – Ephesians 4:11-12.

 

Wow, this could be a long post!  Apostles:  Well, apostles means “Sent ones”.  Jesus was sent by the Father:  “As the Father has sent Me, I am sending you” – John 20:21, so God gave some to be “Sent”.  But Jesus said those words to His disciples, so isn’t every Christian “Sent”?  Yes, to a degree, but there are some with a particular gifting in that area.  They go out from the church where they are and plant other churches; Paul (the writer of Ephesians) was an example of this.

 

Prophets:  Prophets are people who have words from God for other people.  For example, when my uncle was in hospital with cancer, my earnest prayer to God was:  “Heal him, Lord, because if you heal him and he becomes a Christian, then people will listen to him”:  I wanted my uncle well; I wanted people to listen and come to Jesus; I wanted a harvest.

But one Sunday morning in church, somebody told us they felt God was saying:  “This is not going to be a time of harvest, but a time of growth”.

I told the Lord:  “Part of me doesn’t want that to be about my uncle”; I kept praying for healing, but the prophet’s words came to pass:  My uncle wasn’t healed; he did die, it did bring me closer to God, and perhaps grew the faith of others too.  God has shown me quite recently, though, that prophets don’t just have to use their gift during a meeting; they can operate in one-to-one situations.  That was a relief to me because we’re told in the Bible to want the gift of prophecy, and I’m much more a one-to-one person.

 

Evangelists:  These are people who share the good news about Jesus with others.  Again, all Christians should do this to an extent, but some (like Billy Graham or Reinhard Bonnke) have a particular gifting in it.

 

Pastors and Teachers:  Pastors care for the people they’re in charge of, and teachers teach God’s Word.

 

And why did God give these gifts?  For people to show off?  No, He gave them so we could prepare others to serve God.  When people shared the good news about Jesus with me, it benefitted me; that prophet who spoke about growth helped my relationship with God, etc.

 

Do you serve God in any of these ways?  Or has a Christian ever spoken into your life?  Did it help you?