Sunday, August 15, 2010

Wholly Consecrated

This morning I am reflecting on yesterday's long, hard day.  The day when we provide free furniture and household items for international students at the University of Iowa.  All 169 of them!  Many who have have been sleeping on the floor, eating on the floor and using Styrofoam containers now have bedding, dishes, tables, beds, dressers, couches--all from the hand of God who loves them.  The God who moves people and circumstances according to His will.

Before falling asleep last night I thought through the day and pictured our many fellow workers.  The words, "“The world has not yet seen what God will do through the life of one man who is wholly consecrated to Him,” came to mind.  Now, this morning, I realize that we will never see that man because God, in His greatness, guards His own in humility.  The church yard and streets of Iowa City were full of men, women, teens, and children who were wholly consecrated.  There was no name, no individual, no agenda apart from Jesus.  Jesus was serving the multitude out of compassion.  Jesus was moving the hands, feet, and hearts of His Body. 

Biblically, we cannot, nor will ever, be wholly consecrated apart from the working of the Holy Spirit.
But I have seen the result of consecration--and I have learned this:  The one who is wholly consecrated to God will not draw attention to anyone but God Himself.  He will serve diligently, with or without recognition.  But the Lord God, in His grace, will bless such a one with peace, joy, and contentment.  After all, the fruit of the Spirit fills the giver before it is given (Gal. 5:22-23).

Where some would count success in the number of international students who adopt our church as their own, or become involved in Bible studies, or come to a saving faith in Jesus, we can simply say, "We are blessed."  Yes, we continue to follow-up with student contacts, to pray, to seek opportunities to minister--as conversational English partners, through Bible studies, and continued offers of aid.  But the light shines, not because the world is dark, but because there is a Light.  And as the Light penetrates darkness, it is not lessened or enlarged because of the darkness.  It is.  God uses His people to extend Himself to a lost world and His essence is not affected by their acceptance or rejection.  He is.  And because He is, we are.  We are...blessed...praying...depending...available...working...living.

"As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. " (1 Peter 4:10-11).

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