Updated: Apr 25, 2021
"And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen." (Mark 16:20)
The Lord Himself gives us the wonderful privilege of collaborating with Him on the greatest project of all: rescuing His lost sheep. This is a privilege, but also a great responsibility. Those that He loves are lost without Him, and we must reach them!
The reality though, is that this duty is too much for us. This is why the Holy Spirit is given and why we must rely on Him.
The early Apostles went out preaching the good news of Jesus all over the known world. At a time when most people lived their lives within a 30 mile radius, some accounts have the Apostle Thomas making it as far as India with the gospel message. The first century spread of the gospel is truly a miracle of diffusion, but it was not done by the Apostles alone. The scripture says that the Lord Himself worked with them. The Lord Himself, through the Holy Spirit, was their co-laborer, their collaborator. Moreover, He works with us today!
Jesus Himself, through the Holy Spirit, is our great collaborator, our great co-laborer who works with us to cause us to be effective in ministry, who causes us to be fruitful.
In our ministry, the Lord has given us the mighty privilege of introducing His lost sheep to the Great Shepherd, the Lover of their souls. They come from Saudi Arabia and from Iran. They come from North Africa and China and India. They even come from the US. Most are students at our local university, far from home. And they are coming to know Him!
We invite them into our home every week. We feed them and we make sure that dietary restrictions are taken care of...we avoid pork products and always make sure to have vegetarian options. When we share a meal with each other, we tend to be more open to one another. We love these kids, and we make sure to show them. They are the beloved of the Lord; He loves them so much He died for them. It is our job to tell them. And that is exactly what we do. We tell them about the great Lover of their souls and what He did for them, and why it was necessary.
But here's the thing: None of that matters if the Holy Spirit does not work with us. Our effectiveness in ministry does not come from our own abilities or our own labors. Rather, our sufficiency is from Him. It is He who prepares the soil of their heart. He who draws them. And it is He who causes the seeds to grow.
Will you pray with us that he "confirms the word through accompanying signs?" At the beginning of the early church, it was the ministry of the Holy Spirit, working with the Apostles, that caused miraculous growth. Here, in this time of the last great harvest, please pray with us that He continues to work with us, and that He works in the lives of our students, and confirms the truth to them. Please pray with us that He again causes miraculous growth of the body, His beloved.
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