An Invitation to Shine

Lessons from teaching.

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The invitation.

She said I wasn’t going to like it when she asked. Said she put off the asking a whole day because she wanted to make sure she was supposed to: I think you are the one to give the devotional at Praise and Prayer* next week.

So it wasn’t even a question. Not really. But a challenge to accept or reject.

I can say, in this journey of teaching and writing, I’ve come to realize it includes speaking in public, and being recorded. Also, I’m pretty sure, like I’ve learned about invitations to pray, it’s something I’m not supposed to say no to.

They are invitations to shine for Him.

Praise and Prayer is a service I taught at once before. To be honest, in my flesh, I wondered why I hadn’t been asked again. Wondered: Did I do a terrible job? And turns out, it was exactly a year to the day, that I was asked to teach again. Speak on the same date, one year later.

I said I’d let her know for sure the next day. But in my spirit I already knew the answer. Yet, I wanted to know if God had something for me to say regarding the text chosen for that service. Because I know I have nothing to say in and of myself.

And yes. There was something to say. Way more than I imagined, actually.

The Facebook Live recording of Praise & Prayer and what there was to say…

One of the lessons from teaching, accepting invitations to shine for Him, is when we say Yes we receive far more than we give.

Saying Yes leads us to places where we learn more about Him. Things we might not have learned if we said No.

The lesson learned.

John 16:25-33 was the text for the teaching. Turns out it is the close of Jesus’s final teaching to His disciples before He left them. Before He was unjustly arrested. condemned. beaten. executed.

These things He said were the things He wanted them to remember, to know, before He left, even though He knew they wouldn’t understand. But like a parent sending their child off on the first day of school, He filled them up with as much as He could. Trying to prepare them for life without Him by their side.

Turns out this teaching began in chapter 13 of John, with the washing of the disciples’ feet. Continued through chapters 14, 15, and to the end of 16.

His teaching was really the sum of all He had taught throughout His ministry on earth. And at the heart of His message:
Live like Me.
Serve like Me.
Love like Me.

The great importance of this teaching is in its purpose. In what we discover when we follow His Way: living like Him, serving like Him, loving like Him.

“…I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33 ESV

Do you see it?

In this world we are guaranteed tribulation. trouble. persecution. trials. suffering.

BUT if we follow Him in His Way:
Live like Him.
Serve like Him.
Love like Him.
We will have peace.
Peace in the very midst of suffering.

Now there’s a lesson to work into your life. One of the many lessons we learn from Him when we accept the invitations He offers to shine for Him.

What invitations have you received from Him? How did you respond?

What did you learn from your response? about you? about Him?

How will you respond next time He invites?

*Praise and Prayer: the service where I recently stepped up to do the harrowing work of leading prayer.

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