Daily encouragement

Video by

Stuart Poteet

Discipleship Pastor

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Team Week - Thursday

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Behind the Scenes

My mind kept bouncing back to the email sitting in my inbox. I'd read it nearly a week ago without acting. I didn't want to respond out of wrong motives, so I waited to see what the Lord would say in response to this email's invitation.  

After about two weeks of not being able to shake the call on my heart, I joined the team that prays for people up front during service once a month. I was met with a mix of fear and insecurity as I stood that first week. The lanyard around my neck declared that "I would LOVE to pray with you!" And this was so true! But alongside that was also a very real feeling of insufficiency.  

And maybe you've felt that same paradoxical pair of emotions in your own heart too as you've stepped out in joining a serve team, or even as you've only considered it so far. I've felt it every time: I remember it well the first time I showed up to a youth group gathering as a leader, the awkwardness and uncertainty dripping off me. I felt it the first time I was "volun-told" by my exuberant friend that I'd be great for the First Impressions team. And, while I still feel those first day jitters when I step out in a new way, nowadays, I know what's really going on here...  

See, the enemy is doing everything in his power to keep you side-lined. He knows the story God's put in your heart, the passions, the gifts, your history that holds such vast potential for meeting others in their own hard spaces. He knows that those things inside you, they hold the power of the Living God, the One who loves to work through his people to bring his healing love to our broken world. Satan is the adversary of that restoration, so he's doing everything he can to side-line, paralyze, and silence God's people.

But I've come to be certain of something, both from the past and again recently as I began standing firmly in my awkwardness and insufficiency at the front, arms open to pray for whomever might dare to step out into the aisle with me because they know their need for God's comfort, peace, presence is too great to seek it alone. Here's what I've found to be true: in my weakness, HE is strong.  

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 says, "I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses...for when I am weak, then I am strong." Yes, serving is about using your God-given gifts, skills, and passions for the glory of God and the good of his people. However, it's also about how God will undeniably change your heart through the process of stepping out of the safe space of attendance and into the skin-in-the-game space of serving.

Make it Real

If you're currently serving with the ACF family, I invite you to spend today reflecting on how Christ's strength has been on display in your life because of the areas of serving that stretch you. Sometimes, it's not so much the areas we feel strongest in that bring him the most glory, but the areas that challenge our hearts to truly rely on him for every second. If this is true for you, will you share your story with someone today? How has serving blessed your walk with Jesus by increasing your reliance on him?  

And if you're not serving right now, I want to invite you to join an ACF serve team this week at one of our services! Insecurity, uncertainty, insufficiency? You might be thinking I haven't made a very good case! But here's the truth: to the world's eyes, yeah, it'd be foolish to step out, to risk, to trust God can use our meager loaves and fish (Matt. 14:17). But as today's verse reveals, when we trust him with what we can bring, even when we're not sure we're sufficient, the Lord is absolutely ready to let his power shine through our clay jars. As 2 Cor. 4:7 says, "But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us." Because when we are weak, then, in HIM, we are strong.

End in Prayer

Father God, increase our faith! We pray for the courage to step out in serving because we know that this is just one way you refine us. I thank you for your strength and the incredible GIFT of your Holy Spirit in me that enables me to step out in faith to meet others with your love. I'm so thankful that YOU are the true treasure inside my simple clay jar. In Jesus' name, amen.

Written by

Kimber Gilbert

ACF Devo Team Leader