Monday, June 10, 2019

“The Work to Which I Have Called Them” by Melanie Rigney (@melanierigney)

“The Work to Which I Have Called Them” by Melanie Rigney (@melanierigney)

While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then, completing their fasting and prayer, they laid hands on them and sent them off. (Acts 13:2-3)

The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power. (Psalm 98:2b)

“Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father." (Matthew 5:16)

Lord, help me to remember always that it is You working in me and others. Help me to set aside my feelings of pride, worthlessness, and envy.

The Spirit called them out, Barnabas and Paul, for a special mission. They went to Antioch, Jerusalem, Cyprus, and beyond, preaching and evangelizing and bolstering the faith of the early Christians. A dispute later would separate them, but for miles and miles, they carried out that special mission.

The mission was big, bold, and fraught with significant risk as well as potential rewards. And in the meantime, many early Christians never left their hometowns. They stayed and went about their daily lives, loving their friends and trying to love their enemies, earning a living, keeping their dwellings tidy, growing crops, and all the mundane things people do. They weren’t imprisoned or martyred. We don’t know their names.

Were Barnabas and Paul better Christians, more loved by God, than those anonymous-to-us souls? Of course not. We all have an opportunity to say yes to the work to which we are called. That work is unique, specially designed for us. It is essential to bringing souls to the Kingdom, regardless of whether anyone other than He knows it.

It can be tempting to let some pride and arrogance creep into our souls when we see others going about life and the world tells us we are better spouses, parents, attorneys, writers, painters. Conversely, it can be tempting to be envious of those who seem to be doing the same work better and to greater public acclaim. That, my friends, is the evil one whispering into our souls and trying to take up residence. Don’t listen to him. Listen to the One who called you to the work… and do it for Him, not for the world.

Pray for someone whom you are tempted to regard as superior or inferior to you.

Image Credit is Willem de Poorter [Public domain]

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