God reminded me this morning that He notices us. Sometimes I lose sight of that fact and it is often assumed on my part. Here are some great reminders for anyone who is seeking to serve God. 1 Thessalonians 5:12-24
1) RESPECT AND ENCOURAGE THOSE WHO WORK HARD AMONG AND OVER YOU
As a staff member of a church, I can too often expect other staff members, volunteers, teachers etc. to just do what they always do which is to be faithful to the tasks they accomplish. I truly appreciate and love each one of them, but the challenge is to love and RESPECT them for WHO THEY ARE and not just what they do to carry out the ministry. Also, God has placed great, and sometimes not so great, leaders over me in the past. Whether I always agree or not, there still must be that RESPECT factor, pledge for prayer/support, and an openness to be taught and molded as God directs them. I am thankful everyday for the staff and volunteer leaders God has surrounded me with. This was just a reminder today to not take them for granted.
2) WARN THOSE WHO ARE LAZY
Pray for the Lord to lead us to those in our pews and chairs that are comfortable to just sit, soak up the teaching and walk away unchanged. They may be the very person we will need to fight the battle with us if they get motivated. Just a reminder, our approach should be out of love for them, not hopes of what they can do for us.
3) ENCOURAGE THOSE WHO ARE TIMID
I can remember the first time I jumped off a high-dive. The view from the top of the diving board with my toe knuckles turned white from grabbing on to the edge of the board was scary. I was timid to say the least. I had
friends that encouraged me, (calling me chicken), and I knew that I had great teachers who taught me to swim. The decision was mine to jump or not. Well I did and had a blast! It was fun, but I just needed the "push". Who has God put in our lives to give that "push" to attempt something for God whether it be in their family, career, or church?
4) TAKE "TENDER" CARE OF THOSE WHO ARE WEAK
We all will be weak at one time or another and we don't need someone to give us a spiritual version of "I Told You So". I envision the picture of the shepherd who carries the wayward lamb on his shoulders. There are times when we don't have the strength to walk, praise God He always brings us the right help at the right time. Who among us is weak?
5) BE PATIENT WITH "EVERYONE"
Some of the toughest spiritual battles I have encountered have been within the walls of a church. I remember someone writing about seeing a bumper sticker that said "Lord Protect Me From Your People". Unfortunately, I can identify with that as most anyone can who has spent time in any church. As I look back though, often those difficult situations always gave a platform for God to work in my life and teach me more about God's love, forgiveness and patience. Just as we are to love and forgive as Jesus did, so are we to show patience. I am so thankful that people have been patient with me.
God showed me that He notices how we are treated but also how we treat others. Verse 24 reads, "God will make this happen for he who calls you is faithful." He was speaking of keeping our soul and body blameless. God is at work in my life and yours. Remember today that He is faithful and has a plan for you. We are not alone. If God has called us to it, then He will see us through it.