No Guarantee

By Osten Aune


"No Gurantee" a Lesson for Lay-Speakers
and all Disciples of Jesus Christ.




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God Promises always to be with us.

God Promises always to be with us. God promised Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, the Jewish patriarchs, that He, God would be with them. This promise begins in the Book of Genesis and continues in the Promise fulfilled in Jesus Christ; and indeed through Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit, this Promise continues to us today!

God does not promise us that we will never have any problems, suffering, test, or trials. But God does promise to be with us through our problems and sufferings. God does not promise us that we will always have “green lights” and “no traffic.” God does not promise us that we will always get the “closest” parking place!

But often when we are doing God’s work; serving God’s people we run into obstacles and we are confounded that God should place so many difficulties and hardships in our way, when we are just trying to do His good works. Why is God apparently standing in our way? Why is God making our (His) work so difficult? Why doesn’t God give us a break? When we are truly trying to be “Christ-like” and we are honestly trying to serve God, for God’s glory, and not our own…. Why doesn’t God make our lives easier? Well, God doesn’t give us any guarantees! At first glance we wonder why God’s work is so hard to do. This may be a time to recognize that God’s will and God’s timing may be different from our own. Is this just a lesson in Patience? Again at first glance, having a guarantee from God seems great, but after closer inspection it is not as good as it seems!

What would happen if you had a “Guarantee” from God on your ministry and your mission to the world? If you had guarantee from God you wouldn’t have to:

· If you had guarantee from God you wouldn’t have to “love” what you’re doing!

· You wouldn’t have to be passionate about your work.

· You wouldn’t need to be dedicated to your work

· You wouldn’t need to be enthusiastic about your work. Without Dedication, Passion, and Enthusiasm, without “Love” for what you’re doing; how could your ministry/mission have any meaning?

· If you had guarantee from God you wouldn’t “Need” other people. If you had a guarantee from God you wouldn’t need the gifts, talents, and time of other people. And truly not needing people is a sign of weakness, not of strength! If we didn’t need anyone, we could easily become arrogant. If we can replace people, we can probably convince ourselves that we don’t need God either.

· If you had guarantee from God you wouldn’t “care” if you made mistakes. To err is human; to make mistakes is human. To make mistakes is normal. But think of what a real shame it would be if your mistakes never mattered? You would never seek or ask for forgiveness; you wouldn’t experience the Grace of God.

· If you had a guarantee from God, you wouldn’t have to give your Best!

· You also would never learn from your mistakes.

· And truly it is unimaginable to think of what life would be like if we were never forgiven!

· If you had a guarantee from God you would have

· No obstacles to conquer.

· No mountains to climb.

· No satisfaction in accomplishment.

· No reason to give Thanks.

· No reason to even get out of bed.

· No reason for anything!

So when you are having troubles in your ministry and in your mission to the world remember that God wants you to:

· Give your Best. (not luke-warm or cold)

· Give ALL of yourself

· Do your ministry/mission to the world with all of your heart, with all of your soul, with all you mind, and with all your strength.

And love your neighbor as yourself. Mark 12:28-31

· Do your ministry/mission to the world with love, compassion, energy, enthusiasm, and devotion.

· Use your gifts, talents, time, and tithe to the best of your ability.

· Recognize and give thanks for the gifts, talents, and time of others. Recognize that there is value in each and every person.

· Give thanks for the blessings, which God has so generously lavished upon you!

· Walk humbly always with God.

· And as Pastor Rick Hawkins told us in a sermon:
“We may be knocked down... but not knocked out!”



... of all the commandments, which is the most important? “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “Is this: Hear, O Israel the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”
Mark 12 28-31 NIV



No Guarantee for Lay-Speakers

No Guarantee for Lay-Speakers Saturday, March 21, 2009

No Guarantee for Lay-Speakers

Everyone has a purpose in life. Everyone is here for a reason.

Everyone has a ministry to the church and everyone has a mission to the world.

Never belittle the importance of your ministry/mission and never compare your ministry/mission. Everyone has a ministry/mission that only you can do!

Everyone is like a “secret ingredient” in the making of a pie. If we leave out a “secret ingredient” the pie just doesn’t come out quite right!

Your ministry and mission may be difficult to identify at first. But also your ministry may change over time. Your ministry may just be a stepping-stone to your next ministry and mission.

First I want to talk about some problem areas you may encounter in your ministry.

· Sometimes you get ahead of Christ. You feel like you are waiting for God to catch up! This is NOT ahead of God; this is opposition to God! We need to always remember that Christ leads, we follow Christ, we are the followers of Christ! We need to wait patiently on the Lord.

· Sometimes we have the arrogance to think that we are doing our part but that God is not doing His part! Again this is arrogance not obedience! We need to always remember that it is God’s Plan, God’s Timing, God’s Way; we need to always be joyfully obedient to the Lord.

· Sometimes we blame God for no reason! Sometimes when I have a large printing job ahead of me and I run out of toner, I’m mad and blame God. I don’t rationalize that I run out of toner because it is a big printing job! I rationalize that God is picking on me, making it hard on me – God never promised me a printer that never runs out of toner!

Sometimes when I hit a dead end, when I say,
“God I give up! I’ve done all I can do!
It’s in your hands – it’s all up to you!”

Somehow I have forgotten that it was ALWAYS in His Hands It was ALWAYS up to God!

In our ministry we are not suppose to see how far we can go and then ask God for help. God wants to be in on everything from the beginning. From the planning, to the hard work, from the disappointments to the joys of a job well done. God wants to collaborate with you; to have a partnership with you in your ministry!

Remember - God is ALWAYS our strength!

Now there are many pit-falls even to ministry… even in serving God there are many temptations to overcome.

What would happen if you had a “Guarantee” from God on your ministry and your mission to the world? If you had guarantee from God you wouldn’t have to:

· If you had guarantee from God you wouldn’t have to “love” what you’re doing!

· You wouldn’t have to be passionate about your work.

· You wouldn’t need to be dedicated to your work

· You wouldn’t need to be enthusiastic about your work. Without Dedication, Passion, and Enthusiasm, without “Love” for what you’re doing; how could your ministry/mission have any meaning?

· There would be no need for thinking or planning. No need to pray to God for help and strength.

· If you had guarantee from God you wouldn’t “Need” other people. If you had a guarantee from God you wouldn’t need the gifts, talents, and time of other people. And truly not needing people is a sign of weakness, not of strength! If we didn’t need anyone, we could easily become arrogant. If we can replace people, we can probably convince ourselves that we don’t need God either.

· If you had guarantee from God you wouldn’t “care” if you made mistakes. To err is human; to make mistakes is human. All of your mistakes would be in vain – You would never learn from your mistakes! But think of what a real shame it would be if your mistakes never mattered? You would never seek or ask for forgiveness; you wouldn’t experience the Grace of God. · And truly it is unimaginable to think of what life would be like if we were never forgiven!

· If you had a guarantee from God, you wouldn’t have to give your Best!

· God does NOT give us a guarantee of success! Sometimes we will FAIL!

· This sounds terrible but you will NOT convert every person you come in contact with! Jesus told his disciples if people would not listen to the Word of God to shake the dust off of their feet and travel to the next town!

· If you had a guarantee from God you would have

· No obstacles to conquer.

· No mountains to climb.

· No satisfaction in accomplishment.

· No reason to give Thanks.

· No reasons to even get out of bed.

· No reason for anything!

So when you are having troubles in your ministry and in your mission to the world remember that God wants you to:

· Give your Best. (not luke-warm or cold)

· Give ALL of yourself

· Do your ministry/mission to the world with all of your heart, with all of your soul, with all you mind, and with all your strength. And love your neighbor as yourself. Mark 12:28-31

· Do your ministry/mission to the world with love, compassion, energy, enthusiasm, and devotion.

· Use your gifts, talents, time, and tithe to the best of your ability.

· Recognize and give thanks for the gifts, talents, and time of others. Recognize that there is value in each and every person.

· Give thanks for the blessings, which God has so generously lavished upon you!

· Walk humbly always with God.



Remember:

God will never leave you.

God will never forget or forsake you.

God has written, God has engraved your name in the very palms of His hands. (Isaiah 49)

Trust in God and lean not on your own understanding!



Prayer:

Help us O’ dear Lord,
To serve you with all our heart
With all our soul
With all our mind
And with all of our strength.
In the powerful name of Jesus Christ we pray.
Amen



Please check out the website by Dan Roark, he is also a Lay Speaker of the United Methodist Church. Dan has wonderful content, poetry, and a wonderful Newsletter at: Welcome to Dan Roark’s Think On These Things Website

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