Note: this post is the first in a series that I am giving at San Pedro Christian Fellowship, a small congregation of English-speaking believers in Costa Rica. Those who live in the Valle Central are more than welcome to visit us, Sundays at 10:30am. This expository series is based on my volume in the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary of the New Testament; readers might want to acquire that commentary if they wish to see the exegetical work behind these talks – warning: it’s written at a technical level.
LOCATION: Beginning at the rotonda of Mall San Pedro, go about 1.25 km east. Turn right at the corner at the COMEX and the Yokahama restaurant. A very short distance in you will see 2 vacant lots on the right. The church meets in a home, on the right, just past the second lot. Coffee at 10am, service at 10:30am.
Contact me here or on FB or Mark at 2267-6038
A few years ago I went to a reunion; there were people I hadn’t seen in decades. There are only one or two believers in my class. Most of them know I am a missionary, and some of them cannot understand why I would want to waste my time doing that. On the other hand, I heard from a few people: “Gary, your work must be so fulfilling.” The value these people were expressing is, It doesn’t matter if you don’t have money or success; if you feel personally fulfilled, then what you’re doing is right and admirable.
Now, I can assure you that I do feel fulfilled. But what we have there is a half-truth, since it isn’t the same as what the Bible tells us. By the same token, people might imagine that Mother Theresa worked with the lepers because it made her feel really good about herself. No.
I believe that all who are Christians are called to serve God, not just pastors or missionaries. That means that if you are a disciple of Jesus, he has called you too, period. From that point on, it’s just a matter of finding out how and where.
However, if you serve the Lord because it is fulfilling, that program will only take you so far, and will sooner or later end in disillusionment and defeat. And God may at some point make us confront another truth, a deeper one: that God’s call is true even on the days we feel like victims, disappointed, stressed, confused, cheated, failures.
We know this, because this is what the apostle Paul experienced when he went to Thessalonica (more…)