Thursday, January 6, 2011

To Spend and Be Expended

     Do the Apostle Paul and I have something in common?  I don't believe there are "apostles" any more, a special office during the foundational time of the church.  I believe men are to be the shepherds and overseers of the church, not women.  And though Paul would call himself the greatest of sinners, I'm absolutely sure his heart was oriented toward Christ in a way mine isn't.  Paul knew Christ, the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings (Phil. 3).
     The words of Paul encourage me in my "office."  God has given me a tiny little portion of His church to care for, four little souls to nurture and introduce to the Living God.  I pray for kingdom fruitfulness, but long for my first fruits to be the hearts here at home.  Over Christmas I read 2 Corinthians 12:15 and have adopted these words of Paul as my motto for the spring: 

"  I will most gladly spend and be expended for your souls."
      If I am to do God's work well it requires a lot of me.  Students aren't self-teaching.  The house isn't self-cleaning.  Hearts aren't self-encouraging.  Good character isn't self-forming.  The work of God requires faith, for both myself and my little ones, that life is all about the unseen and invisible.  Life is not about the lust of my eyes, nor pleasures of the flesh, or accomplishments of which I could boast (1 John 2:16).  I have to choose, again and again, to spend and be expended for souls.  My other favorite words as mother, found in 2 Corinthians 3:2-3:
  "You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men; being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God , not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts."

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