For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.- Matthew 16:25
“I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich”)- Rev. 2:9a
Yesterday we met an amazing pastor named Sunday. Sunday has a heart to reach the people in remote villages where there are no churches. In just over a year, God has used him to plant seventeen churches. And he isn’t done yet. We met him through my friend Lois. It’s beautiful to see a local man doing this type of work. We had the privilege of meeting the leaders from these churches yesterday and holding a leadership training. People came from these far villages to gather together for encouragement in the Word. They are hungry to learn more so that they can better serve where God has placed them. Some of them are young believers themselves, and so there is much need for training and equipping.
My parents, Lois and I all got to share with these faithful servants. The theme was “Be Prepared.” We talked about the days we are living in, and how they can stand firm and fulfill their ministries. There were about 70 people in attendance, in the small church building with a tin roof and little ventilation. The heat was real, but we wouldn’t have traded it for anything.
Their passion for God, their appreciation for the messages, and their hospitality were humbling.
We came to pour out and we left so filled up. That is how it goes when you serve the Lord. Though some days are discouraging and fruitless, God is faithful to fill us up and bless us.
He knows our works. And He faithfully blesses us for them (even though it is only by His strength that we accomplish the work, He still rewards us!).
The more we give, the more we are filled. The less we have, the richer we feel. The courageous believers we met yesterday can testify to that. They haven’t chosen the easy places to minister, but the uncomfortable; the places where they contend against witchcraft, idolatry and drunkenness every day. Perhaps most people may never know their names this side of Heaven, but what matters is that they know HIS Name. And God knows them.
I hope the Church in America will wake up and learn a thing or two from them.
It’s not about great sound systems, large followings, or fancy buildings. It’s about Jesus. Sharing Him with those who need to hear. Maybe you’re not called to a remote village, but to a suburb or a city packed with multitudes who don’t really know who Jesus is. Or maybe they don’t even know their need for Him. That’s your mission field. Please, be willing to pour yourself out. The more you give, the fuller your life will be. And even if they laugh at you and mock you, Jesus sees your labor. He will bless you.
Yesterday as we were winding up the program, one of the pastors said that they were so grateful that we came and they will remember us and keep us in their prayers. They requested that we also not forget them, that we remember that they are serving in these challenging places and that we will keep them in our prayers.
Please join me in praying for these servants of God. And let us remember all of those who suffer for the sake of the Gospel. May we also be counted worthy to endure affliction for the sake of Christ!
As I encouraged the leaders yesterday- ministry is hard, and we will suffer as we take up our Cross and lay down our lives; but after the Cross comes the Resurrection. We serve the God of Resurrection Power. When we lose ourselves, our reputations, our status; when we give ourselves to His work, surrender our finances and our time- then we will truly live. We will know life abundantly and we will have all of eternity in Heaven to enjoy the fruits of those labors.
What do you think? I would love your feedback in the comments below!