THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2014
EMPOWERED TO WITNESS - 3
Today’s reading: Isaiah 50:4-7
“The Lord God has given me a well-trained tongue”
(v.4a). That is, we are empowered to witness!
is the intent of God in empowering us to witness? It is “that
I might know how to answer the weary a word that will waken
them.” (v.4b). The world is wearied by war, poverty,
criminality, pollution, injustice, calamities, broken relationships,
etc. What is the way out or way forward for people? It is
only Jesus and the salvation he brings. People need to be
awakened to see the beauty of the gospel, and how in Jesus
is their salvation and their peace.
does God empower us to witness? God forms us as His disciples,
from our waking moment each day. “Morning after morning
he wakens my ear to hear as disciples do” (v.4c). Even
as we sleep, God is touching our very being. When we awaken,
He is already whispering in our ear. He guides us in the way
we are to go. He provides the grace to hear, to understand,
does His part. We need to do ours.
we accept what God has for us. “The Lord God opened
my ear; I did not refuse, did not turn away.” (v.5).
God cannot force us. He takes the initiative, He provides
the grace, He does whatever is needed to form us, but we need
to not refuse, to not turn away. We do not allow other less
important things to preoccupy us, such that we are distracted
from our calling or have less time for God.
we accept that what God has for us includes great blessings,
as well as oppression and persecution. It is all one package.
“I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those
who tore out my beard; my face I did not hide from insults
and spitting.” (v.6). From all sides, back and front,
I can expect to be assaulted. For proclaiming the gospel I
will be ridiculed, insulted, scoffed at, spurned, beaten.
I willingly submit, as that is how I embrace the cross of
Christ. I still go boldly forth, not slinking away, not hiding,
not giving up. I rejoice in the privilege of the cross.
we trust fully in God. “The Lord God is my help”
(v.7a). We know we can always count on God. If God is with
us, who can be against us? We never lose hope. We confidently
move forward with faith.
we revel in the glory of God, especially in the cross of Christ.
The cross is an instrument of torture and shame. But in and
with God I know “I am not disgraced” (v.7b). I
am humbled but not humiliated. I am laid low but I know I
will be lifted up.
finally, we persevere and endure, till the end. “Therefore
I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be
put to shame.” (v.7c). No matter how badly things seem
to be turning out, I simply plod on, knowing that the victory
of Jesus is already mine. I may be set back but never put
down. I endure, knowing that at the end of it all, the crown
of glory awaits me.