The Word Among Us

September 2017 Issue

Use Me, Lord!

A Letter from the Publisher

Use Me, Lord!: A Letter from the Publisher

We all have our own favorite passages from Scripture. Some focus on God’s love for us and our call to love God and each other. Others describe the majesty and holiness of God.

And then there are the ones in which God commissions us to go out and build his Church. It’s this last set of passages we want to focus on this month as we pray, “Use me, Lord!”

In one of these passages, God tells the prophet Haggai to urge the Israelites to stop spending so much energy on their own homes and to devote themselves to rebuilding the Temple, the “house of the Lord” (Haggai 1:2). There is also the story about another prophet, Isaiah, who had a powerful vision of God. Overcome by what he saw, Isaiah feared for his life. But God cleansed him from his sins and asked, “Whom shall I send?” “Here I am,” Isaiah quickly responded. “Send me!” (Isaiah 6:1-8). Finally, who can forget Jesus’ own words when he told the disciples, “Give them some food yourselves” (Luke 9:13)? Or when he said, “Go, therefore, and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19)?

A Servant’s Disposition. Without question, Jesus wants us to work with him, to be the “light of the world,” and to wash one another’s feet (Matthew 5:14). As we strive to answer this call, our disposition is key, both toward God and toward other people. Peter, Mary Magdalene, Paul, and so many others developed a new disposition after they encountered Jesus. They enjoyed whatever healings or blessings he had given them, but they didn’t stop there. They wanted to thank the Lord by joining in his mission. They wanted to give back to him for all he had done for them, and so they made themselves available to him.

It’s the same for us. As we come to a deeper grasp of all that Jesus did for us on the cross and all the gifts he has given us, we’ll find ourselves more eager to serve the Lord. On page 8, we spell out a three-step plan that can help us develop this kind of disposition. If we practice these three steps, we will, as Paul says, “shine like lights in the world” (Philippians 2:15).

So let’s pray together: “Jesus, give me a heart that wants to help others. I give you the freedom to use me to build up your Church. Place in me a desire to be alert to the needs of the people around me, and not just their spiritual needs. Help me be alert to their emotional and physical needs as well. I want to do whatever you ask of me. Lord, I want to be your hands and your feet in the world today.”

May God bless you and may he use all of us to build up his Church.

Joe Difato