As a missionary, I am in constant wonder that God chooses us to be the vessels by which His Kingdom is proclaimed and through which His Kingdom advances. I once heard a story in a sermon that likened our participation in ministry to a child helping his father pump gas at the gas station. The father certainly doesn’t need the child to help accomplish the task of fueling up, but the participation is essential to deepening the child’s relationship with his father. In this same way, God certainly has many options at His disposal for proclaiming His Glory and His Kingdom, but – mystery upon mystery – He chooses our participation.
This past Sunday, I was asked to preach at Christ Community Church, in Gainesville, FL. When Rob Pendley (the senior pastor) first asked me to preach, a million excuses popped into mind about why I would rather not. But being asked to do things that are uncomfortable and unexpected for the sake of the Gospel has probably been the most reliable constant since I moved to Uganda in 2011.
As I prepared for the sermon on John 4, I found myself identifying more and more with the woman by the well. Ill equipped. Broken past. A poor candidate to carry the Gospel. Yet, I had had this encounter with Christ, just as she did. And it completely changed my life.
Here’s a link to the sermon on the CCC website:
(Click on “Launch Sermon Player” at the bottom of the page – you can either listen to the sermon in the player or select download audio to download a MP3 to your computer)
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us – 2 Cor 4:7