|WISE INTENTIONAL LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT|
Volume 13, Number 12– DECEMBER, 2019
Merry & Blessed Christmas to your family and you! It is hard to imagine except for the fact for those of us who live in my part of the world, in the past week, we received 20 inches or just over a half of a meter of snow. That is a lot for the beginning of our snow season which lasts normally into April. I have to smile at many of you from Africa who let me know that you want to experience snow. I wish I could mail you some. ?. My prayer is your family and you once again enjoy celebrating Jesus’ birth. May God’s blessing be upon you.
RELATIONSHIPS AND GENEROSITY
Christmas is about relationships and generosity. Think about it. God the Father sent His Son, Jesus to this earth to restore our lost relationship with Him (John 3:16, 1 John 1:5-2:6). Because of His mercy and grace, God generously gave us a gift of salvation through Jesus.
God’s loved compelled Himself to offer us the only way back to have a right relationship with Him. Christmas is celebrating that gift, exemplifying His generosity. How can we be anything less than generous to others and pursue relationships? This is following the example of God and Jesus.
Ministry is simply about relationships. The reason why we are “in ministry” is to guide lost, broken people to the relationship that can heal them. Introducing a person to Jesus becomes the beginning of restoring one’s broken relationship to Jesus. Once a person places their faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord, the relationship is to be pursued with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, with the goal to strengthen that relationship between the person and Jesus.
It should be our personal goal and the goal for others to love the Lord with all of one’s heart, soul, mind and strength, everything who we are (Matthew 22:37-38 – Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.”). That is relationship.
God knew our need and His desire and love to restore lost relationships, so He generously gave up the only way to restore these relationships. Generosity comes from a way to show love to another person. If I do not care for you or do not have no love for you, how generous will I be toward you? Perhaps I will do something “nice” for you but it will be done because I have to do something, not I want to do something. I am “generous” to make myself look good. That is not love, that is selfishness.
Why are we involved in ministry, in leadership development? Is it because that way I look good to you and others that are observing what WILD is doing? Is it to make myself simply feel good (I do hope you enjoy being a part of WILD and it does make you feel good) so I look good and hopefully impress others with my wonderful concern for mankind? Am I inward focused or outward focused?
Maybe this question helps answer the questions from the previous paragraph. Do I honestly and truly want people to see Jesus in what I do? Do I want the accolades and have some sent toward Jesus, or do I want people to be focused on Jesus through my life and they only remember Him? Let that question flow through your mind. Let it sink in.
Perhaps because I am getting older that it is a little easier to consider wanting people to see just Jesus through my life, not see Mike Prom through my life. It has and continues to be a struggle to keep placing the focus on Jesus because I want to be liked and I want people to know that I am doing something positive for Jesus. I wrestle with what people should someday say at my funeral – that they talk about me or that it would be about Jesus that they essentially forget the reason for why they came to the funeral.
God knew our condition and made Christmas all about Jesus’ reason for coming to this earth, to generously restore relationships with the people He unconditionally loves by unconditionally giving up His Son. What is our Christmas’ about?
YOUTH MINISTRY – MARY THE SERVANT
Ever have an experience that no one believed? Think about this. As a young lady, you get up your courage to tell your parents something that even for yourself, seems totally impossible but you know it is true because of what is happening to your body. With all the courage you have, you tell your parents that you are pregnant but it did not happen the way normal pregnancy occurs.
Your explanation to your parents and the guy you love is God came to visit you and said that supernaturally you would become pregnant. At that point your parents and boyfriend suspect that you totally lying as you got involved sexually with some guy for a night. The story you give is totally unbelievable. Yet in your loneliness and pain, you know that it is true – supernaturally God impregnated you.
That is the story of Mary, the mother of Jesus, a young lady, most likely in her teenage years, Mary was visited by the angel Gabriel and was told that she would have a child (Luke 1: 26-38). Mary could not understand how this could happen as she knew she was a virgin and it was not physiologically possible. She was overwhelmed that God would choose her for such a task.
Gabriel explained what God was going to do through her, that she would be the mother of the Savior of the world. Even sense God was asking you to do something? How did you respond? At first, Mary was very possibly more confused than anything else as she knew she was a virgin. Yet as Gabriel spoke, Mary believed God, trusting Him for what she could not understand. Her conversation with Gabriel ended by saying she was the Lord’s servant and God’s will be accomplished. Her heart was submissive and obedient to God’s instructions.
Though Mary had few facts and little understanding, she was willing to follow God. It would not be easy for her. Thoughts of rejection, lying, accusations and pain had to flow through her brain. “Who would believe my story, especially my parents and Joseph?” In fact the tag of bearing an illegitimate child never left her (Mark 6:1-3), when over 30 years later, Jesus returned to his home of Nazareth, people indicated he was the son of Mary, not Joseph. Being known by your mother indicated that the mother was involved in infidelity and the child was illegitimate.
Following God’s leading is not easy. How does God lead you; reading your Bible, praying and quietly listening in the stillness of your mind and heart, another Christian sharing something or as you worship Him? When we sense His leading, how obedient are we willing to be?
God wants to use us for His glory in awesome ways but not everyone on earth will agree with God how He should use you. You will even disagree with God at times on how He uses you. We need obedient hearts and follow God no matter the cost. Mary did that even though she lived through constant emotional pain.
Can you and I say, “I am the Lord’s servant. Use me however You, God see fit!”? It is a choice we will make often in our spiritual journeys with Jesus.