Right Where You Are

Colossians 3:12-13 ESV

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”

We are not all called to do something that would be considered great in the eyes of other humans. We are not all called to be out in front of people or to have names of renown. We are not all going to be best-selling authors or super talented musicians or great public speakers or teachers who people flock to. And you know what? That’s really okay!

When God calls us to minister to other people we are just to do what he has called us to do. And it doesn’t matter at all if it gets counted as a ministry in the eyes of other humans or if we get credit for it within the gatherings of the church. In fact, it may be some small act of kindness that no one knows about, or only a few, and it may even go unrecognized and even cast aside by those to whom we are ministering. And that’s okay, too.

The important thing is that we are obeying the Lord, and it is that we are loving other humans with the love of God within us. And since we are to do this with humility and meekness, then we are to do so without thought to whether we are recognized for our deeds of kindness in return. Now if we sent a gift or money we might want to make certain they received it and that it wasn’t stolen, but other than that, no recognition is required.

So, this doesn’t have to be in some official or recognized position within the church (or the institutional church). We just minister to people’s needs because we love them, and because our Lord leads us to do so in some very specific and personal ways. We are genuinely compassionate toward the hurting, and this is not just those who are in physical pain, but those who are in emotional pain, and those who are lost without Christ.

And so we are kind to them, but kindness is not just saying and doing things that make people feel good. Sometimes kindness involves speaking the truth in love to people and helping to open their blinded eyes to see the truth and to recognize the lies they are accepting as truth. They may not always see this as kindness, and they may not like it at all, but if you can save a life from hell and from slavery to sin, that is one of the kindest things ever!

And then we need to forgive one another, for if we don’t, the Scriptures teach that God will not forgive us. But that isn’t the only reason. We should do it because it is the right thing to do, but that even shouldn’t be the primary reason. We should forgive others because God in his love forgave us. So who are we to think we have the right to not forgive when we have been forgiven so much? And we should forgive because that is love.

Colossians 3:14-15 ESV

“And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.”

And speaking of the subject of love, love is not a mushy-gushy feeling that we have for someone. It is not based in our feelings (our emotions) or in what others do for us. We love even when we are hated and reviled in return. We love even if other people don’t see our actions as loving. For love has to do with God and with his divine character and will for our lives, and it has to do with obeying God and doing what is best for others.

But love prefers God and his choices, and it submits to Christ as Lord, and walks in holiness and righteousness. So, if we love others with this love we will not deliberately and habitually sin against them, especially without conscience or compassion or genuine repentance. And we will not willfully do what we know is going to cause moral harm to others, i.e. we will not steal from, cheat, commit adultery against, and/or lie to (or about) them, etc.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 8:51; Jn 14:15-24; Jn 15:10; Matt 7:21-23; 1 Jn 2:3-6,15-17; 1 Jn 3:4-10,24; 1 Jn 5:2-3; 2 Jn 1:6; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; Rom 12:1-2; Tit 2:11-14; Heb 5:9; 1 Pet 1:1-2; Jas 1:21-25; 1 Co 10:1-22; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13; Php 2:12-13; Jn 10:27-30; Acts 5:32]

Colossians 3:16-17 ESV

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Again, this is not about some formal ministry within the formal gatherings of the church. This is what we are supposed to do as part of the body of Christ as part of our everyday lives. And this is not just assigned to people in official ministry positions. We all are supposed to be doing this! This is how the church, the body of Christ, is supposed to operate, not with just a small group of people doing all the talking and singing and ministering.

As followers of Jesus Christ we should be taking opportunities everyday right where we are to minister God’s love and grace to others, and to encourage and exhort and help strengthen the body of believers in Jesus to spiritual maturity and to walks of genuine faith in the Lord Jesus. We don’t have to wait until we are asked to lead a group study or to be on some official ministry team. We should minister to others every day.

So, if you are on social media, share Scriptures, and share spiritual songs, and encourage your fellow Christians in the ways of the Lord, and don’t join in with the world and be just like them. Even if no one responds, keep sharing, for there are people reading and listening that you don’t know are reading and listening. And don’t just share the “feel good” stuff. Share the whole counsel of God and songs deep in doctrinal truth.

And do what the word tells you to do whether you get recognized for it or not and whether or not the people hate and despise you in return for your kindness and compassion. For if you are doing the will of God, and if you are teaching and admonishing other believers in their walks of faith, and if you are sharing songs having to do with walks of obedience and the forsaking of our sins, you may not be well received. But keep sharing! Keep loving!

[Rom 12:1-8; 1 Co 12:1-31; Eph 4:1-16; Eph 5:17-27; Col 3:16; Heb 3:13]

Brighten the Corner Where You Are

By Ina Duley Ogdon

Do not wait until some deed of greatness you may do,
Do not wait to shed your light afar;
To the many duties ever near you now be true,
Brighten the corner where you are.

Just above are clouded skies that you may help to clear,
Let not narrow self your way debar;
Though into one heart alone may fall your song of cheer,
Brighten the corner where you are.

Here for all your talent you may surely find a need,
Here reflect the bright and Morning Star;
Even from your humble hand the Bread of Life may feed,
Brighten the corner where you are.

Brighten the corner where you are!
Brighten the corner where you are!
Someone far from harbor you may guide across the bar;
Brighten the corner where you are!

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