Friday, July 3, 2015

Faith Allows God to Work on our Behalf

In this week’s lectionary readings, we are reminded of Ezekiel’s call to a no-win ministry, to preach to a stubborn people who would not listen: “The descendants also are impudent and stubborn: I send you to them, and you shall say to them, 'Thus says the Lord God.' And whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house) they will know that a prophet has been among them” (Ezek 2:4-5). 

Then we are reminded in Psalm 123 that God is our Master and we are his servants, and we rely on Him for mercy in times of need. No matter how difficult or discouraging our ministry may become, we know that we are servants of the Most High of God. So Jesus tells us in Luke 17:10, “So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.'"

But if we are going through trials, Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 12:2-10 that it’s only when we are weak that we experience God’s grace and mercy, for He says, “My grace is sufficient for you and my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9). So, difficult circumstances that expose our weaknesses are actually opportunities to magnify God’s grace. But we need to cry out to God for His mercy. 

The last passage Mark 6:1-13 reminds us that without faith, God cannot do any mighty work in our lives: "And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief" (Mark 6:5-6). So, Jesus once said: "According to your faith be it done to you” (Matt 9:29-30). If our faith is limited, God’s power to work in and through us is also restricted by our small faith. If the bar of our faith is raised, then we shall allow more of God’s power and grace to flow into our lives and our church to work on our behalf. 

So, God may have called us to a ministry fraught with challenges and conflicts; but we need to remember we are just servants, not masters. As servants, we do our duty and have the right to call on our Master to help us whenever we are facing impossible situations. And it’s God’s desire that we come to him in faith so that He can reward us.

Father, thank You that we are Your servants and You are our Master. We serve because it is our duty, not as a favour to You. May You grant us greater faith so that Your work may not be limited by our small faith. Amen.

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