Ministry that Pleases God
By Rev Ellice Lau
October 29, 2023
October is election month for our fellowships. Some fellowships are having a hard time finding members to participate in serving. Some other fellowships are different. Each and every one of their members has a role to play. They take turns to keep the fellowship up and running so they can continue to build up one another.
I came across Nehemiah 11:1-2 recently while preparing my sermon: “Now the leaders of the people settled in Jerusalem. The rest of the people cast lots to bring one out of every ten of them to live in Jerusalem, the holy city, while the remaining nine were to stay in their own towns. The people commended all who volunteered to live in Jerusalem.” At that time, Nehemiah and the leaders were looking at the acute problem of a deserted holy city. So they carried out a number of measures. While leaders would set an example and volunteered to move into Jerusalem, others would draw lots based on the principle of tithing to send one out of every ten of them to live in the holy city. The need to draw lots showed that some were not willing to live in the holy city and yet they were still willing to obey the plan and guidance of God. On the other hand, there were some who volunteered to move into the holy city. They were willing to sacrifice their comfort in order to respond to the needs of the holy city. We see that both kinds of offering were used by God. But the Scripture shows us that those who are willing are more blessed.
For many years, I have led senior fellowships and sisters’ groups. Many seniors and sisters are scared about serving. They feel that they do not know much and they have fear of disapproval by others. Some others may find it difficult to cooperate with others. They are therefore afraid of or are reluctant to serve. But after encouragement and exhortation, they understood that serving is a response to the grace of God and they should not mind what others might say. Moreover, we do not depend on ourselves but God. “We can always learn if we don’t know how!” Finally, they are willing to try and are willing to be trained and equipped. They gradually experience God in serving and their spiritual lives also continued to grow. These brothers and sisters passively obeyed in responding to serve at first, but in turn received the blessing of God.
A sister is physically deformed since small due to a blood vessel tumor. She also suffered much in her body, spirit and soul as she always had to go in and out of the hospital. Her school life was also affected. Coming from a family with difficult circumstances as well, she developed a sense of inferiority from young. But ever since her youth, her life completely changed after knowing God and experiencing being loved. Despite having to face limb amputation as a young adult, she was always grateful and joyful. The peace and joy in her life was felt by fellow patients around her, which became opportunities to share the gospel. Later, the sister shared her thoughts and experience in different schools and organizations. She became a blessing to many people, including a primary school pupil who was inclined to commit suicide.
We may not necessarily have legendary experiences like this sister. But if we are willing to respond to God, whether to passively participate in serving or willingly serve, God will still be pleased and will use us as long as we are willing to obey Him. May God bless our ministry so we not only become a blessing to others, but our own lives will also be blessed and that we will grow.