We started this ministry training week for the iServe Africa apprentices with the Garrisa massacre very much in our minds. With that background we are very aware that when we talk about these young people remaining ‘steadfast’ in the years to come we are not joking around. This is a very serious business. The world is a dangerous place in which to do the work of the Lord. We are called to ‘be faithful unto death’ (Rev. 2:10); whether that death will be in 60 years from cancer or 6 years at the hands of a terrorist.
In fact the world has always been a dangerous place for God’s labourers. Hebrews 11 talks of those who were mocked and flogged, stoned and sawn in two, destitute, afflicted, mistreated – of whom the world was not worthy.
What is the secret of steadfastness under these conditions?
Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection. (Hebrews 11:35)
The key word is ‘resurrection.’ Return to 1 Corinthians 15 – what is the whole chapter about? Resurrection. Christ’s that guarantees ours.
Everything in this world is passing away. Everything is vanity of vanity. The only thing that will last is the risen Christ and all who are in Him and works that are done in Him.
On Christ the solid rock I stand all other ground is sinking sand.
If we are not to utterly waste our lives we must be standing, immovable on the solid rock, working the only things that will last for eternity – saved and changed lives.
Don’t waste your life beloved brothers and sisters. Be steadfast in the Resurrected Lord, working with all His strength knowing that in Him your labour is not in vain.
That is the theme of this current ministry training week and all of our sessions are pointing at that goal – whether it is learning about Athanasius standing against the world or John Paton’s 4 years on Tanna being chased by cannibals or about the Scriptural doctrines of grace that will keep us from being tossed about by the winds and waves of the contemporary church. We want to be courageously, joyously, lovingly steadfast.
Resources and notes from the first 3 days:
- Athanasius in 30 minutes
- The Big Plan: Bible Overview
- Shaping a gospel sermon
- Gospel & Guidance: Decision-making in light of God’s big plan
- Augustine in 30 minutes
- Doctrine of Salvation – Harrison’s 2006 paper [pdf] [mobi-Kindle]
- Job seeking, CV, interview skills and job culture
- Luther in 30 minutes and Luther resources
- Practical medley – how to be a decent person, get married and be wise on social media