Crosses             LBG                  HateLove

Devotional - week of January 30, 2005


IS YOUR SPHERE OF MINISTRY TOO SMALL?

“And now the Lord … says, 'It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, And to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles …’” Isaiah 49:5-6

In the “Servant Passage” of Isaiah 49, verses 5-6 are a response of God the Father to a statement made by God the Son Who says:

"… I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and in vain …”  Isaiah 49:4

Jesus is obviously speaking of the lack of response from the Jews, but in light of the Father’s statement in 49:5-6, He also must have been thinking of his confinement by the Father to a calling to the Jews only during His earthly ministry. Before casting out a demon from a Gentile girl, Jesus said to her pleading mother:

"I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."  Luke 15:27

We have no knowledge of the details concerning the timing of the conversation between God the Father and God the Son which is recorded in Isaiah 49:4-6. We do know that Jesus came forth from His crucifixion, burial, and resurrection telling His followers to make disciples of all nations—even telling them that they would witness about Him to the uttermost part of the earth.

Perhaps, as in the ministry of Jesus, God’s plan of service for us is greater than we have experienced thus far.

Observation has revealed that just as in the case of Jesus, God moves those who experience their union with Christ, in crucifixion, burial, and resurrection, into broader areas of service.

When one walks with God on these terms, he is filled with the Holy Spirit. This filling gives him a greater capability for hearing God and greater power to minister as God wills. He will have a stronger desire to bring glory to God and not to himself.

There is no better time than the present to move into the freedom, victory, and expanded fruitfulness that results from experiencing our union with Christ. May we begin experiencing the new-creation life now.