The Blessing that is Serving, and Responding to Love
This EC, I was able to participate in the ministries of planning for the Men’s Meeting and its worship vocals support, as well as leading an IBS (Inductive Bible Study) group. Although I am normally reluctant to speak in front of people, God showed me His will through His word, which was, “It is more blessed to give than to receive,” Acts 20:35, and in prayer, He prompted me to experience this at EC.
However, back when I first was approached to do this ministry at EC, I kept focusing on my own shortcomings, and my feelings of nervousness came to the forefront. While doubtful of my own preparedness, I resolved to trust in the Lord, who I knew would work through my own weakness, and do my best. As a result, I was able to serve in wonderful praise and thanksgiving with my wonderful family in Christ. God took away my anxiety about the situation, and He gave me more than I even expected from Him. I prayed deeper than I had ever prayed at any EC; I was able to “wrestle” with the Word, and I praise God that I was able to take one more step through ministry.
Also, at this EC, I was reminded of the grand magnitude of God’s love and grace, and was able to take this time to renew my dedication to Him. I am currently in Seminary, but at some point, I had gone from being satisfied with “knowing knowledge about God” rather than “personally knowing God”. He showed me that my faith had become somewhat jaded, and more about knowledge, like the Pharisees.
Through the plenary session messages, I was confronted with the question of whether I was truly dedicated to responding to the love of God, and it hit me. I thought of Christ, who gave me grace and mercy; and the freedom from the bonds of sin through faith, and the truth that is living in Christ’s freedom. I repented of my own view that had underappreciated the enormous love that God the Father gave, through Jesus on the cross. A prayer welled up from my heart: “I want to know more about the amazing love and the will of God. Please open the eyes of my spirit. Please take away the spirits of fear, shame, and anxiety that get in the way of dedication to You. Change me into a person that can be pushed along by Your love, and that I can share the Gospel to others.”
I praise God that EC has given me the opportunity to deepen the relationship with God, and this time has given me a new strength and encouragement.