Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Firstfruits: My Soul Exults in You, Lord!

As a teacher, I would see myself a near perfectionist and demand high standards from my students. As not everyone can reach such lofty goals, I can feel despondent at times even though there are only two or three who cause heartache and discouragement. But the good essays I am reading at present soothe my spirits and lifted my soul. My soul exults in You, Lord! I set the topic, "Jesus was a Jew": Discuss this statement in the light of the four Gospel accounts, a pretty tough one for first year students. However, I had dropped hints along the way over the course of the Semester and tomorrow is the due-date for the essay submission and I have received four or five papers already. As I was reading and grading one essay tonight, I rejoiced greatly in You, Lord for You have shaped and are shaping Your servants and they are being equipped for effective service. I am seeing the first-fruits and they are ripening, ready to be harvested.

For the past couple of months, I often wonder whether I am bearing fruits - not outward evidence that my work is prospering, but Lord I have committed my cause into Your hands and my judgement is with You. Even last Sunday's preaching was different from the Sunday before. It was well-received and my heart was warmed that church members felt encouraged and strengthened and one even wrote and asked for the sermon notes on Amos 5. A preacher is like a farmer sowing seeds, not knowing which ones will bear fruits and which will die and disappear into the earth even as ministry in the Lord is not by sight but by faith, knowing that if we labour, wearied though we are, we shall reap if we don't give up.

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