March 27, 2005
The Ministry of Life - Part VI - Liberty
A Covenant of Liberty
there is liberty." 2 Corinthians 3:17
Sin shackles. It binds people up; it weighs them down. It keeps them locked away in darkness. It sometimes embitters the lost causing them to lash out in hatred and cynicism, creating a chasm of mistrust toward those who bear the name of Christ.
For the Christian, the shame of a secret sin whispers condemnation over them convincing them they're a fraud if they attempt to serve God or a failure if they don't. Gifted Christians unwittingly squander their God-given gifts and talents under the weight of false guilt or already forgiven sin. Freedom is theirs for the taking, but they can't seem to lift their eyes from under the shame to find it.
Other Christians serve on every committee, volunteer for every function, attempt to fill every void, doing and working and striving as though that will somehow silence the shame of their sin. They serve until their marriages crumble or their health fails, working to pay off a debt that's already been paid. But in their shame is a sense of unrelenting unworthiness. Rest and relief and joy could be theirs but for the tireless voice of condemnation echoing through their wounded hearts.
Our lives, our ministries are the tools God uses to silence the voice of shame and the accusations of false guilt. Through us, God will gently lift the chins of those downcast faces enabling them to find freedom. And it is through us that He will build bridges across those chasms to the lost. That's what our ministry -- our service is all about. Together we can lock arms in the unity of Christ to minister to the hurting people in our midst.
This is the ministry to which we who have received mercy have been called, and no matter how tough the going gets, we must not lose heart.