As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been doing a lot of inner reflection and prayerful pondering since 2019 began. Last year brought a lot of change in the lives of people around me and great spiritual growth in my own life. God has revealed and confirmed a spiritual gift in my life and grown in me a greater heart for ministry. But overall, I have to say that the biggest thing the Lord has given me this past year is a greater burden for people.
God started this work in my heart several years ago when He opened my eyes to the needs of His Church. This was one of the many reasons why I started this blog back in 2015. However, this year God has grown my heart for people beyond the somewhat safe realm of internet ministry. (I say “somewhat safe” because sharing my thoughts and reflections on a blog or internet platform doesn’t really affect me personally. I don’t see you face to face. I don’t really know you or vice versa, so whether or not you agree with me or like what I share is of no real importance.) Now, God has opened my eyes to the needs of people right in front of me—people in my church, community, business, and everyday life.
Hmm…I don’t feel like I’m explaining this very well. So let me try again.
As I grow in years and maturity, and God continues to work in my heart and shape me into the person He has planned for me to be, I’ve had a greater burden for people. Individual human beings created in the image of God for His pleasure and glory. They were created with a purpose and to know joy and peace. But look at our world. We’re a broken mess.
Confusion is mainstream. Chaos is the norm. Heartbreak is everywhere. Things that used to be simple are complicated. And in all the craziness of life, people are lost. The individual—broken and hurting—is pushed to the side in our self-centered world.
But God sees and cares about each person. And He wants to meet each person where they are. It doesn’t matter if it’s a garbage dump, abortion clinic, divorce court, hospital bed, lonely mansion, or in the streets. He wants to be in our brokenness, so that He can redeem. But God needs hands and feet. He needs you and me to be the light and the hope in people’s lives.
As God continues to call me into more and more ministry, He’s also showing me that ministry is all about people—the person right in front of me at any given minute. He’s asking me to look beyond the outward appearance, past the multiple tattoos and piercings or the icy demeanor, and to see the person He created. He wants me to view people with His eyes—eyes of love and compassion, of mercy and grace.
This is the message God keeps speaking to my heart as I brush shoulders with more and more people in this world. People who are lost, kids being raised in broken homes, prodigals who have been hurt by the church, Christians living in mediocrity and have not tasted and seen the goodness of the Lord. Whether we want to or not, as Christians, we represent God to a hurting world. So we must represent Him well.
That’s my New Year reflections and life lessons that God has taught me over the past year. What about you? Is there any area of growth you’ve seen in your life this past year? Has God shown you any new life lessons in 2018?
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