When speaking with people in the church over the last few weeks, I have notice many sharing with me their experience of the same emotion. Whether over 70, early retired, on furlough, working from home or caring for children, many have said that they feel frustrated. So let me be honest, I share some of your struggle. I am missing my kids, worshiping as a church, playing sport, watching football and even……coffee shops! However, I have felt my self really encouraged over the last couple of days with a well-known scripture.
When Paul writes to the church in Ephesus, he does so to give them a glorious vision of the glory of Christ and to share with them, their standing and purpose in him. In chapter 2, verses 8-10, Paul writes, ‘God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.’
So let’s be clear. Paul is saying that we are saved by grace not by works. However, Paul is clear in that God has, through salvation, commissioned us for works that he purposed in eternity past. So, given that we believe that God is sovereign over all situations and circumstances, could it be that God wants us to serve him, both before and after lock-down, but not during? Of course not! The work he calls us to at this time is just different. Therefore I don’t believe that any of us are on furlough from his service. Nor should any of us see ourselves as redundant or retired from ministry. We are living in unique times and God is calling us to serve him in a unique way. Therefore, I encourage you to ask today, what is it that the Lord wants to do in our life and how is it that the Lord wants to use you?
Be encouraged. Every blessing, Gareth