“He (Jesus Christ) said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation”Mark 16:15/NIV
I have served as a hospital and community-based chaplain for several years involving ministry work that I enjoy! During this period of time I have developed routines involving places, people, and support provided which involved similar themes and needs. Every chaplain experience has been different, but I have grown accustomed to this variability with growing confidence. While serving as a chaplain, I pray to God to provide me with the wisdom needed to speak and do the work He has allowed me to do and He generously provides.
On a different ministry note, a local church was in need of a substitute pastor for several Sundays and they contacted me seeking assistance. When I heard the voicemail message my jaw dropped, and I was shocked! I thought: “what? I am not a pulpit preacher! I am not good enough! I am a chaplain who works quietly in the trenches taking care of God’s lambs and sheep and not a public speaker.” Despite my personal doubts, I agreed to this ministry opportunity and as tears came to my eyes, I asked God: “what do you want me to say?”
Mark 16:15 quickly came to mind: “He (Jesus Christ) said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (NIV). Psalm 118:14 was another strong foundational verse: “The Lord is my strength and my defense; He has become my salvation” (NIV). I quickly realized using Psalm 118:14 as the foundational verse, there are three sermons in one and built off this! As I developed my sermon notes, I provided biblical cross references about God being our strength and defender. I also provided the Gospel message about salvation through Jesus Christ. I believe I said what God wanted me to say!
During this new ministry opportunity, I realized that God was teaching me something and perhaps growing and strengthening me for a new ministry opportunity in the future. When initially asked to speak from a pulpit I was shocked and underestimated my human abilities. However, when doing the work God has placed before me to do, He assures me that I can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). As I stepped down from the pulpit that day, I thanked God for the opportunity He provided me to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ. I also thanked Him for providing me with the Bible which taught me what He wanted me to say as well as the skills I needed to do His work. I know God taught me something valuable to prepare me for future work (Ephesians 2:10). Thank you, Father God, for teaching me new things that I can in-turn use to better serve you! Amen!
Many blessings to you!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
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