By Gladys McElmore
Jesus Christ establishes spiritual leaders for the distinct purpose of proclaiming the Kingdom of God in a timely manner. Today’s preparations must include the same spiritual foundation for Christian work as we continue to lead others to Christ. During the last years of His earthly life, Jesus focused upon His disciples whom He coordinated from ordinary circumstances and made them fishers of men! He set no ideal requirements for them other than telling them to come and follow Him. With the command to “come,” He meant for them to drop their present occupations, activities, known interests and to become His helpers. Comparatively so, many of us have done likewise with new believers who are continuing to join the ranks of Christians daily.
Jesus’ instructions regarding management of God’s work were so valuable that John testifies in several chapters: John 1:40-46; John 4:28-30; John 15:26-27; John 19:35-36. What do these Scriptures teach us about the ways we can work together when winning souls for Christ? When considering our limitations spiritually and physically, we, too, can become risk management coordinators for God. In everyday language, do we appear to be “beggars telling other beggars where to find bread”? Who excelled as great disciples in this category? Andrew, with the writings of his brother Peter was certainly a prime example. Read about Peter’s ministry works in Acts 2, 3, 10 and 11. How many of us, as chosen vessels, have become leaders in evangelism, administration, volunteer works, managing or coordinating works for God with or without earthly recognition? We have sometimes been introduced to Christ by faithful believers with no special identities. No title is needed to work for God!
Jesus Christ has directly and indirectly encouraged each of us to become a risk-taker with the decision to follow Him. Although most of us are not prominent in life, just think how limited God’s work might be without faithful witnesses for Jesus Christ! Excellent thought-provoking examples are found in the stories describing the Samaritan woman and again with Philip and Andrew, who have demonstrated heartfelt invitations to follow Jesus. As we think over our lives, we are constantly called to do likewise. Let us continue to search for available moments in our schedules, and with our resources to promote the gospel of Jesus Christ.
How does Jesus urge patience for Christian work? What encouragement can modern believers draw from Paul’s experiences when facing frustrations? Read Luke 24:47-53; Acts 1:6-8; and Acts 16:6-10 to learn how leaders suffered risks and emerged despite problems in our early faith-bases groups. Why not resist looking for limitations, but try creating opportunities to serve and witness for God?
Mrs. Gladys R. McElmore, a resident of Norfolk’s Middle Town Arch Community, is a New Journal and Guide Freelance Contributor on religion. She is a native of Essex County, Va.