This is a tricky statement and a rather thought-provoking one.
My job as a caregiver (pastor).
As I thought about what the role of a pastor entails I thought about caring for lost souls, I thought about teaching and discipling. I thought about having a heart for the fatherless and bowels of compassion for the marginalized.
Each day I think about the many caps that such an individual wears and wonder how do they do it. How do I get the task done so that it causes persons to move out of a sense of hopelessness, despair, loneliness, and lost to be strong and walk an overcoming life.
But then I get it. In order for me to give hope and to stand and say you are healed or delivered in the name of Jesus, I have to first be walking in hope.
So let me talk about me: I have had circumstances where it did not seem like it would work, but then God came through. I have had times when the trials and troubles seem to overwhelm me but God answered right on time. I have got moments when it seems like all hell broke loose and that was the time I felt his tender care.
Through all of this, I learned to trust God and as each day goes by, my relationship with Christ got more intimate. Each day I see his hands at work in my life and with each moment I declare that God is sovereign, that he is infinite that he is wonderful that he is indescribable. You see words are never enough when you come to that place of spelling out the majesty of his awesome power.
So it’s not something that can be written on a checklist nor things to-do list. But rather it is being in a relationship with Christ. It is walking in the image of Christ and putting on the nature of Christ so that I can be more like Christ. It is when I have walked in that path that I can give out of what Christ has deposited into me.
So here is how I bring persons out. I tell them of the love of God, I share the good news of salvation. I share the fact that he is the only source and strength, he is the rock of all ages and the strong tower. He is the friend who sticks closer than a brother and the shelter in the time of storm.
I say it with confidence because I believe. He has entrusted me with the message of salvation and with that hope in him, I proudly share the gospel. In doing so I have seen time and time again where through the grace of God lives have been transformed.
So it's not a difficult task but it's a relational job. It is recognizing that each of us is called to be stewards for the kingdom of God. We partner with Christ as we become the salt of the earth and the beacon of light.
I won’t boast that I have the letters behind my name and that I know what to do, that’s not true. I can only do all things through Christ who lives in and strengthen me. So my preparation each day is done with studying the word and talking to him in prayer. My phone does not become my companion except when I am using it to read the word. I spend quality time on my knee before I put on the cap and sit on the chair. And even while speaking I asked the Lord to fill my mouth with his words. I am mindful that I do not seek the glory but that all glory goes to him.
When I do that I watch as the role switches from me to the Christ in me. I watch as people transformed and turned their lives over to him. I watched as miracles of healing and deliverance take place. And like a butterfly who has gone through a metamorphosis, I watched as new lives emerged from out of the rubble.
At the end of each day, I again submit my lesson plan to him and again he goes over the lessons with me. He is the one who reworks and uses the measuring rod to align my own life so that I begin to bear fruit after his kind. He is the one who trims and prunes me so that I can walk in his image and bear more fruit. The very fruit that I am able to share with the persons I encounter daily. The fruit that brings hope and the peace that will pass my own understanding. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,23 Meekness, temperance: against such, there is no law. Gal 5:22-23 KJV
Here is it: I lay my life before him and I am determined that I will be the person God has called me to be. The sermon that walked out in my life is the sermon that people see every day and the one that will bring hope to the persons I meet every day.
All of us have life’s journey to chart. We all help someone along the way. Either we bring hope or we bring despair but we are all part of the bigger picture. We are the ones who must choose how we are going to impact those lives. We are the ones who must bring hope to a world that is feeling lost. There is so much despair happening in a Covid -19 pandemic time that I am choosing that I will shed that light of hope. How about you? What can you do? How can you share with someone the joy and love that hope brings? Think about it and if you can share that with anyone you meet. Give them a smile, a word of hope, and encouragement. We all need it.