Ordinary People, Extraordinary Ministry, Part 2
Soon afterward He went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod's household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means.
Luke 8:1-3 ESV
In Today’s Treasure we meet numerous women who provided for Jesus and the disciples “out of their means.” These women not only followed Jesus, but also financially supported Him. Why? Each one had a story: what they were before knowing Jesus, what they became knowing Him and what hope they had because of Him. Their support of Christ and His disciples was a sermon without words. They encouraged within the context of what they had: “out of their means” They ran from their own private battlefields to proclaim with actions and words, “Our God reigns! The battle is won!”
No child of God is exempt from this type of preaching ministry, nor should they desire to be! Each one of us who loves Jesus has a similar story.
Do you know Jesus? Have you experienced forgiveness for your sins? Then you have a story. Has God given you victory over pride, anger, life-taking speech? Then you have a message! Do you regularly experience forgiveness when you struggle with a life-dominating sin? Then you have a story to tell. Has He comforted you through trauma, illness, and financial loss? Someone needs you to offer that same comfort in his or her pain. You might instantly feel inadequate because you don’t know how to communicate your faith with words. Instead of thinking only preachers preach, view all of life as an opportunity to express gratitude to God:
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
What’s your story? Who needs to hear how God is redeeming the messy places in your own personal battlefield?
LIFE GIVING ENCOURAGEMENT
Look around your local church and identify behind the scenes people who are serving “out of their means”, but are often hidden from sight. Send them a note or card that acknowledges that they are “preaching” Jesus through their service and you know that without servants like them, the leadership, i.e., the preachers, the worship team, etc., could not serve as effectively “out of their means.”
Ask the Lord if there is a “mundane” task that you need to take on, so that someone else can experience the victory of proclaiming, “Our God reigns!”
STORE UP MORE TREASURES
At some point in our lives, we or someone we know will go through great suffering. I encourage you to go the MARKINC website and listen to the "Autistic Spectrum Disorder: Speaking Hope"audio resource so that you can store up treasures of encouragement for the next rainy day in your life or someone else's. Here is a summary and teaser of this resource:
Autism. . . a term many are not familiar with. . .
In this one hour long interview two sets of parents share how they learned their children had a form of autism and how that diagnosis impacts their lives. The vulnerability and honesty of these two families will equip and encourage other parents as they navigate the foreign land of autism. Included in this interview is a conversation with a sixteen-year-old young man who has Asperger Syndrome. This is a profound and strong presentation that confronts questions such as:
How has having an autistic child affected your marriage or other children?
What did people say or do that wasn’t helpful?
What did people say or do that was helpful?
What about the church? What can church families do to help families with autistic children?
What would you as a father of an autistic son say to a father who has just learned his child has autism?
What would you as a mother say to another mother? And much more.
This interview will speak hope and help to families with autistic children. It will also help equip others to come alongside of these families and help them walk this pathway with hope.