The Gospel according to…Job.
Yesterday I had a great opportunity to share the gospel. I knew a few weeks in advance so I spent the time preparing my message. I like to share how God is working in my life so I prepped to share the gospel in Numbers. I struggled with it. I worked on it. I prayed about it. I wrote out the message, rewriting it over and over.
Saturday morning I had opportunity to sit down with friends, share a great breakfast, a good cup of coffee and chat. We have been talking for weeks how God uses people, events, struggles and even dogs to teach us His ways. Then we got into Job chapter 1. That’s when the disagreements started. Please note, contrary to popular opinion i.e the news, it is possible for a group of people with differing opinions to discuss their differences in a reasonable and rational way. This should be especially true when the group is a body of believers in Christ.
However, the more we talked the more convinced I became that God would have me speak on Job 1 on Sunday. Our disagreement centered on whether God caused or God allowed the series of events that happened to him. Every one of us who have been in ministry whether preaching, teaching, counseling or discipling know how I felt. I had spent weeks preparing the message for Sunday and now here it was less than 24 hours away and I was starting to read Job 1, intent to follow God’s lead and see what I could learn about the life of arguably the second most persecuted man in history. Christ being the first.
You know the story but I hope my words challenge you to look again at the life of Job. God’s own description of Job included his upright character, his blameless lifestyle, his fear of God and his turning from evil. Having God describe him like that humbles me. No one I know including God would describe me that way. But what jumped out at me most and what separates Job from most people I have ever talked to who have gone through serious trouble was his response.
The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord!
We could get into many discussions on Job and we could spend years studying this one great book. We could talk about his wife’s response…curse God and die or the counselors God sent to comfort him but I challenge you to look at the another opposite response, from God.
After sending (or allowing) all these ‘horrific’ things into Job’s life all at once, God didn’t pat him on the back, hug him and say, it is ok Job, I still love you. How does this compare with how we respond to those who come to us sharing their troubles? If someone comes crying to you because of fear, anxiety, depression, worry, marriage problems, children problems, financial problems, etc. how will you disciple them?
God confronted Job. Get dressed, stand up like a man and answer me…Where you there when the foundations of the world were formed? After blasting Job for 3 chapters, Job was crushed even more than he was after losing everything. He finally saw God for who He is. There was nothing he could say. We all need to get to this point. We need to help everyone God sends our way to get to the point of seeing our absolute need for the Savior.
When he repented, God restored him twofold.
I thank God for changing my direction, in 1987 when I was headed for destruction and Saturday when He lead me to learning about Job. Pray for me that I become blameless, upright, fearing God and turning from evil but more importantly please pray that God teach me how to respond like Job in worship and repentance.
I love to share what God is doing and how He is teaching me I thank John Ballard of Shell Banks for the opportunity to share His Word.
If for any reason, at any time I can help you in any way my ministering friends, please let me know. I am here, for you.
Please do me a favor and share this with your friends in the ministry: pastors, ministry leaders, deacons, elders, teachers and those active in making disciples. Thank you for all you do, for Him.