If It Becomes My Privilege…

I was listening to a message this morning by Dr. Scott Sunquist, the new president of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary that was given at Park Street Church on Nov. 15, 2020, and the focus of the practical application was on intentional vocational migration.

He was speaking about the needs for people to live out the gospel in areas where it is not being lived out so that people can see the gospel, not just hear about it. He wasn’t speaking about everyone becoming missionaries, but of people being missional with their vocations, moving to places where they can be a light in a dark place, loving as Jesus loves.

He shared this quote from Samuel Austin Moffett in June of 1893…

“Pyongyang is a desperately wicked city, thoroughly given over to immorality. The things I have learned of it on this trip are simply horrible beyond description. If it becomes my privilege, as I hope it will, to see it changed under the preaching of the Gospel, I shall be thankful indeed.”

If it becomes my privilege…

I have often thought of my call here as a missional call. This is not necessarily the nicest neighborhood in Fitchburg (especially when we got here), but it has been a privilege to serve here. If it is God’s will (as I have stated since I began here), I look forward to continuing to serve Him here.

As I was listening to this message, I was mowing and watering the yard (while Debbie is away at a family graduation). Debbie has put countless hours into the yard, especially the front yard, working to make it look beautiful.

I was thinking about how this has become a way to not only share the beauty of God’s creation in an area that doesn’t always see too much of it, but she has had opportunities to talk to people while she is gardening. It has become a form of ministry for her. I would like to think it also brings hope to those who see it, but this is a point for a different post.

It has been our privilege to serve here…

not that there aren’t challenges, but God has blessed us for being obedient to Him, and given us an opportunity to be a part of a multi-ethnic body of believers that is more of a family.

As we look to (hopefully) move forward, I wonder how many people see it this way. I am not just talking about the Elm Street Community Church, but wherever God has called you to be.

The first question we have to ask ourselves is this (and it has to be asked by each person individually). “Do I consider it a privilege to serve Him?” The Creator of the universe sacrificed everything for me, loves me, and desires a relationship with me. It should not be a burden to serve Him.

I am constantly amazed that God would choose me to serve Him in the way He has, but I have always said that if He chose for me to serve Him in a small town teaching a small group of teens, it would be my privilege to do so.

I wandered away for a while, but then He reminded me of who I am in Him, and what He sacrificed for me. It has been my privilege to serve Him in many capacities since then, but the challenge can be to remember that serving Him (much like financially giving to Him and His ministries) is a privilege He offers.

The next question is, “If You give me this privilege, how would You have me serve You?” He gives each of us gifts, and there are some who won’t be able to use their gifts if you are unwilling to use yours.

And the third question is, “Will I serve with joy so that everyone can see You in my life?” A grumpy server is like a grumpy giver, it is not a blessing to God. In fact, it shows a complete lack of understanding of who we are without Christ and how much He sacrificed for us.

Unless God calls you to serve Him someplace far away, He gives you the opportunity to serve Him here… to love Him through loving others here… to serve Him as His hands and feet in an area that desperately needs to see Christ (wherever you are). This is a gift… it is a privilege that He offers His children.

Lord, how often do we see service as a burden. Yet You willingly sacrificed everything for us. Help us to see the privilege of serving You where You have planted us. And may others see You through our lives. In Jesus’ Name…

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