Saturday, March 25, 2017

Giving the Best - Martin Wiles

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Galatians 6:9 NLT

Doing again what I had already done 30 years before was somewhat of a surreal experience.

Five candidates and I were instructed to sit directly in front of the presiding bishop. We were ordinands and would soon be ordained by the presiding bishop. But the difference between me and them was that I had already done this many years before in another denomination. Though the doctrine and governing style between the two denominations was slightly different, the ordination process was similar—yet still touching. 

The bishop instructed us on the seriousness of the process and related what its purpose was. Then one by one, we were called to the stage for the presiding board to lay hands on and pray for us, separating us for the preaching and teaching of the gospel. 

Once again, I was reminded that God demands my best. If anybody could have tired of doing good things, Paul certainly could have. His zeal for spreading the gospel to the Jews and the pagan world was equally as fierce as was his persecution of Christians before he met the risen Jesus on the road to Damascus. 

Paul traveled the known world on numerous mission trips, endeavoring to present everyone with the opportunity to trust in Jesus Christ. He gave his best until he was finally put to death for doing his best.

Prior to meeting the risen Christ, Paul’s fervor was probably an attempt to earn acceptance with God. He was, after all, a Pharisee—a religious leader who had studied under a master teacher and who obeyed the Old Testament law zealously. New understanding, however, dawned on him after his Damascus Road encounter. Now he worked to tell others that they couldn’t work to attain salvation.

Salvation can’t be earned through my good works, but I will want to do them when Jesus has entered my life. He is my example, and studying His life reveals that He spent the majority of His time serving others. 

Christianity is somewhat ironic. 

God promises persecution, but He also promises peace and abundance. 

In the midst of trying circumstances and persecution, I can find peace, joy, and fulfillment by taking my eyes off myself and putting servant hands on others. 

Give God your best by obeying Him and serving others.

Prayer: Father, as You have given Your best for us, prompt us to give our best for You.

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