Take Your Place
In this letter, I want to write about how important you are for God’s kingdom and His plan for this world.
The Lord Jesus died for the sin of every person ever born on this earth: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Jesus told His disciples to take the Gospel to all nations: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations” (Matthew 28:19). They went and preached the Gospel in Israel, the Middle East, Europe and Asia.
He empowered His messengers with the Holy Spirit: “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). The power the disciples received enabled them to preach the Gospel along with signs and miracles and to be bold witnesses in spite of opposition, persecution and martyrdom.
They all are gone! All the heroes of faith we read about in the Bible are dead: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, Elijah . . . as well as the apostles and the disciples of the first century. So are the saints, reformers, great preachers and missionaries of the last 1,900 years: St. Augustine, Martin Luther, John Wesley, Hudson Taylor, Adoniram Judson and Amy Carmichael. And some of the great men and women of the 20th century are very close to leaving us: Billy Graham, for example, is 95.
What does it mean that all these great men and women of God have gone to be with the Lord?
It means we are the only ones God has left on this earth to reach this generation! Please take some time and think deeply about this. God is actually counting on you and me to reach the lost millions of our 21st century with the Gospel before they die. We are it!
It means we need to take our place. There is a definite task God wants us to fulfill in His plan, whether we are in full-time ministry or not. If that were not so, we would not have been born in this century.
But what if you are not ready? Perhaps you look at yourself and you feel small, unqualified, fearful and weak in your walk with God and in your witness. You barely make it yourself as a Christian and can’t imagine how you could possibly disciple and teach others how to have victory over sin, overcome temptation, have a consistent walk with God, love others as God loves them, exercise faith and be faithful in all things.
It is very true—you cannot lead and help others in what you yourself have not succeeded. Only what you have become through the work of the Holy Spirit is life, which you can pass on to others. If you are not ready to take your place in God’s plan, don’t make excuses. Get serious today about getting prepared and ready.
It means we need to arm ourselves with the same things these heroes of faith and the apostles had: God’s Word, a Christlike character, faith, power, love, faithfulness and endurance.
1. Know God’s Word. There is no shortcut to knowing God’s Word other than to study, meditate on and practice it. “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it” (Joshua 1:8).
2. Seek to become more like Jesus. It is God’s will that we take on the character of Christ. This starts by renewing our mind through what God’s Word teaches (see Romans 12:2), receiving correction and allowing God to mold us into the image of Christ (see Romans 8:29).
3. Develop faith that can receive from God. Faith comes by hearing God’s Word and allowing it to take root in our hearts (see Romans 10:17). Our faith grows not by theory, but by opportunities to practice. Keep this in mind when you encounter situations for which you have no solutions.
4. Be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit (see Acts 1:8). It’s not for a few privileged Christians, but for all who believe in Jesus. “You shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself” (Acts 2:38–39). Jesus told us that all we need to do is ask and we will receive (see Luke 11:9–13).
5. Grow in love until you can love like Jesus. We experienced God’s love because it was poured out within our hearts (see Romans 5:5). Divine love is part of the fruit of the Spirit who lives in us (see Galatians 5:22).That fruit grows in our hearts when we stay connected to Jesus and His life flows through us (see John 15:5).
6. Become faithful in all things—even until death (see 1 Timothy 3:11; Revelation 2:10). Faithfulness is part of the fruit of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22). It takes time to develop and a commitment to abide in Jesus. Practice by being faithful in small things: being on time, keeping your word, doing your best when you perform a task, speaking without pretense and being honest in even the smallest things.
7. Develop endurance. Endurance is gained through tests and trials we go through. “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance” (James 1:2–3).
My dear sister, perhaps you noticed that getting ready to be used by God does not come cheaply or by accident. It comes by giving ourselves over to Him fully, without any plans to walk off when the training gets hard.
If we don’t take our place in God’s plan, we will lose our generation. God has no other plan than using you and me. Let us pray for one another that we will rise up, pay the price of becoming useful to God and take our place in His plan.
I love you in Jesus,
Gospel for AsiaView Website
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