By All Means Possible
“Guide slaves into being loyal workers, a bonus to their masters—no back talk, no petty thievery. Then their good character will shine through their actions, adding luster to the teaching of our Savior God.”
Titus 2:9-10 (MSG)
We want what we don’t have.
In Exodus God told us not to covet anything, but it is in our basic ‘DNA’ to covet. Whole industries are built on this premise. As Christians we can use this in making the knowledge of Christ attractive to people; by setting the right example. Holding on to our principles like Daniel and his three friends who requested to eat pulses when it would have been so much easier (and more pleasurable) to eat the more opulent diet of meat and wine (Daniel 1:8-17). Their thriving on that diet resulted in the rest of the children being given the same diet of pulses and “As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.” (Verse 17). The envy resulting from this put the three friends in the fiery furnace (Daniel 3:8-29), which resulted in Nebuchadnezzar proclaiming in verse 28 “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.” (Verse 28 KJV).
We can look at Joseph who, despite his huge setbacks, kept up his relationship with God behaving in such a way that he was elevated from prison to Pharaoh’s Number Two. Why do I claim this? God does not reveal His plans to just anyone. Deuteronomy 29:29 (KJV) tells us that the secret things belong to God. Anyone can dream a dream, but only God gives the answer or interpretation (Genesis 41:16). As for becoming the Number Two in Egypt, that would not be the case if his reputation had been one of a thief or worse; he would have received a reward and been packed off somewhere.
Then we have the slave girl (2 Kings 5:1-14) who got her mistress’ husband, Naaman, healed from leprosy. Her reaction could have been one of resentment at not only being carted off to a foreign land but also having to wait hand and foot on this couple, coupled with a sense of ‘justice’ being served; but instead she showed compassion and shared her knowledge of God’s healing power. This resulted in the captain for the host of the King of Syria proclaiming “I now know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is no God anywhere on earth other than the God of Israel.” (verse 15).
In Chapter XVII of Francis of Assisi’s Rule of 1221, Francis told the friars not to preach unless they had received the proper permission to do so. Then he added, “Let all the brothers, however, preach by their deeds.” Which has been popularised to “Preach the gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.”
God instructs us in Ecclesiastes 9:10 (KJV) that whatsoever our hand finds to do, we should do it with our might. We should therefore live our lives (be that the ‘slavery’ of postman, bank clerk, factory worker, secretary, farm worker) as true evangelists and preach the Gospel by all means possible and, if necessary use words!
Loving Father, thank you for the hope and encouragement You give us through every page of Your written word. Thank you for the knowledge that however insignificant we may feel, we too can live our lives like the unnamed slave girl and also go down in the history book of Yours for all eternity as we make the knowledge of Christ attractive to the people around us. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Study by Jackee Brown
Worldwide Church of God London
Indian YMCA Student Hostel
Mahatma Gandhi Hall
41 Fitzroy Square
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Phone: 020 8202 3998