Just What I Need

Just What I Need

By: Dave Branon

Read: 2 Corinthians 1:3-7

We can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1:4

As I stood in the back of the room at a senior citizens’ center in Palmer, Alaska, listening to my daughter’s high school choir sing “It Is Well with My Soul,” I wondered why she, the choir director, had chosen that song. It had been played at her sister Melissa’s funeral, and Lisa knew it was always tough for me to hear it without having an emotional response.

My musings were interrupted when a man sidled up next to me and said, “This is just what I need to hear.” I introduced myself and then asked why he needed this song. “I lost my son Cameron last week in a motorcycle accident,” he said.

Wow! I was so focused on myself that I never considered the needs of others, and God was busy using that song exactly where He wanted it to be used. I took my new friend Mac, who worked at the center, aside, and we talked about God’s care in this toughest time in his life.

All around us are people in need, and sometimes we have to set aside our own feelings and agendas to help them. One way we can do that is to remember how God has comforted us in our trials and troubles “so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (2 Cor. 1:4). How easy it is to be engrossed in our own concerns and forget that someone right next to us might need a prayer, a word of comfort, a hug, or gift of mercy in Jesus’ name. 

Lord, help me to see where help is needed, and help me to provide that help. Thank You for the comfort You give; help me to share it.

Comfort received should be comfort shared.

Today’s reading gives special attention to how believers are to serve one another in humility. During our Lord’s time on earth He provided the ultimate example of ministering to others. Now the Holy Spirit indwells believers and gives us the power to show that kind of self-sacrifice to the body of Christ.

Why Leaders Get Weary

pastorsleepWhen we think of the leaders who are in our lives, we tend to believe they are Superman or Wonder Woman. They have such strength, knowledge, wisdom, and the get up and go like a lion, in which we are all amazed to see. Though we believe our leaders are always ready and available at our beckon call, they do get weary.

Galatians 6:9 says, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” As much as we may know this scripture, God’s leaders do get weary. To be weary means to feel tired, especially as a result of excessive exertion or lack of sleep.

Our leaders are up all night praying and covering us while we are asleep. They are there to council us when we are in a crisis. They run to and fro from the hospital when we request their presence. They pour their heart into their sermons and teaching sessions making sure we receive ALL the Lord has for us to receive. And after all of this is done, the leader is exhausted and tired, and weak.

I know you may say leaders do not get weak, but I have an example to give you to show you they do get weak and we need to do all we can to keep them strengthened in the work of the Lord. In Exodus 17 there was a battle between Amalek and Israel in Rephidim. Rephidim’s meaning is a place of Rest, but the enemy began to attack in this place. God’s leader (Moses, under God’s direction) led the people to a place where their souls could rest from their journey.

Moses instructed Joshua to choose men who would fight, and he told him he would stand on the top of the hill for them to see him. The scripture goes on to say that while Moses hands were lifted Israel prevailed, but when he let his hands down, Amalek prevailed. Now we can dissect this in many ways, but the truth is this…Moses was tired! When our leaders are tired the enemy will come in and prevail over us, but if we learn to hold their hands up, we all will get the victory over the enemy.

Our leaders get weary because we are not keeping them lifted up in prayer. Our leaders get weary because we do not encourage them in the work of the Lord. Our leaders get weary because we do not labor in the vineyard God has assigned us to labor in. Our leaders get weary because we do not support the ministry financially. The list can go on and on concerning our leaders being weary. Galatians 6:6 GNT says, “If you are being taught the Christian message, you should share all the good things you have with your teacher.” In order for our leaders to not fall in the weary category we must share what our leaders have given us by the way we communicate back to them their lessons. We do this by allowing them to see change in our lives. We communicate to our leaders by keeping them lifted in prayer. We communicate to our leaders by submitting to their authority according to Hebrews 13:17.

We must begin to take on the attitude of Hur and Aaron when they held up Moses hands to help the people succeed. The scripture says we must bear one another’s burdens because this is how we are fulfilling the Law of Christ (Galatians 6:2). Our Pastors/Leaders do get tired, and they miss a lot of peace and rest while attempting to make sure we do not lose our place in God. Let’s help our leaders stay in a place of a spiritual Rephidim by keeping them lifted up before the Lord.

Accept your Place in Christ

Symbol Person Choice SilhouettesHave you ever wondered why the Lord would call someone like you to the ministry? Have you wondered why He would call you while you are so young? Have you wondered why He would call you while you are enjoying life the way you want to, and not wanting to slow down for anyone? I have been there at one point or more in my life. Realizing there is a purpose for my life, but not wanting to quite slow down long enough for the Lord to clean me up, and use me for HIS service. I remember when I first acknowledged there was a call on my life, I was excited. That was like the best thing since sliced bread, but overtime I was not so excited because I realized how much I was gonna have to give up in order to live this life. I did what most people do when they are faced with this dilemma…tuck tail and run!photo1

I put on my track shoes and ran as far as I could, and tried to stay away from being noticed as much as possible. Little did I know, is that I can not run from an all seeing God, neither can I run from the gift and calling that was placed in me from the foundation of the world. Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” Before we are even thought of, God has already appointed us for a particular purpose in the earth. It is up to us if we will accept or deny. Denying will not get us out of the plan God has for our life. 1 Corinthians 9:17 says, “For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.” Either way we see it, we have to humble and submit to the call over our lives.

Cats that don't land on their feet.I am reminded of a movie that was released several years ago about a young man who was called to bring balance, peace, hope, and encouragement to those who were gifted with certain air, water, fire, and earth bending capabilities. The young man new he was called, but he was not ready to give up his life for others, so he did like some us and put on his track shoes and ran. He stayed gone for over a century and his hiatus caused many to be enslaved, impoverished, and fearful.

When God has called us to be an encourager to His people, and a doorway for them to come out of bondage, fear, and poverty, we must be willing to accept that call because if we do not, many will stay enslaved in Satan’s grip. Think about your home boys, or home girls who are living the life God has delivered you from, and just by you making a conscience decision to give up your life for them they can be free as well. The Lord never said it would be easy because we have to suffer some things in this flesh in order for others to be free. Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, so we may never have to suffer what HE suffered, but we must be willing to lose some things in order to win others for the sake of the gospel.

In the movie the young man made his way back to the temple where the monks were and there was one monk left. The young man was so happy to seeBetrayal-Quotes-4 someone left behind that he knew (because everyone was killed during his hiatus) that he was so excited. What he didn’t know is the monk betrayed him because he was forced to live in poverty because of his disappearance, and he turned the young man over to the fire nation. How many of us have friends and loved ones being forced into poverty because we refuse to take off our track shoes, and accept the call on our lives? When we do not walk in our calling, we are betraying the gospel, and those who trust us to show them the way. When we betray those whom God wants us to help walk in liberty, we become enslaved to the traps of the enemy.

balance-aktIn the movie the fire nation was enslaving everyone who were gifted to bend elements. The people were afraid to use their gifts until the one who was called showed up on the scene and gave the people hope to fight back. When you man; when you woman accept your calling you will give people hope and courage to fight against the devil and his works, and begin to take their rightful places in life. When the people fought back, word spread that the chosen one was on the scene. In a nut shell, the young man accepted his role in life, and brought balance to all others who were gifted.

My prayer for you today is that you will take off your track shoes and allow the Lord to perfect the work HE has started in you from the foundation of the world. That you will see the joy in serving the Lord in a way you could never imagine. That you will have a love to see others free. John 15:13 says, ” Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Friend; lay down your life, so someone else can receive eternal life…

Eternal Life