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Called to be Under-Rowers
M. Hicks
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For this purpose, I have appeared to you,
to appoint you a minister and a witness
not only to the things which you have seen,
but also to the things that are yet to be shown you.”
(Acts 26:16)

 

     I’ve been spending a lot of timereading in Acts 26 recently where Paul is explaining to King Agrippa what happened on the road to Damascus. The other day I was chewing on verse 16 and got curious about the Greek meaning of the word “minister”. With a little help from Bible Hub.com I learned that the word could be translated “under-rower”.

What a thought!

     We have been called to row, but not up top like in a canoe or kayak, but beneath the deck…in the galley. We are often unseen, the ones who provide the sweat and muscle that moves the ship. Our Master watches the horizon and sets our course…and we row. It’s not a solitary endeavor, but requires a team rowing to a rhythmic, unified beat. It’s also work, the strenuous kind that can leave you exhausted at the end of the day. But unlike slaves in a galley, we are not chained to our oars. We choose to sit on those benches because we love the Master and have joined Him on a mission, to rescue drowning souls lost at sea.

     Who are these lost souls?

     They are walking in our hallways, sitting in our classrooms, playing on our courts and fields, and eating in our cafeterias. They may look stable and assured on the outside, but behind every pair of eyes is an eternal soul, and in that sacred place there is confusion and unbelief. In that place there is lostness. In the things that matter most; things of eternal consequence, there is little guidance. For so many, their souls are adrift in a world full of temptation and hidden snares that can enslave and destroy. The presence and peace of God, that serves as our anchor against any storm, is missing in their lives, and so like Paul, we are called. We have been sent by Jesus, the great Shepherd and overseer of our souls (I Peter 2:25), and theirs, to make an eternal difference. Paul’s mission is our mission as well:
              “But get up and stand on your feet. For this purpose, I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister (under-rower) and a witness…to open eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been set apart by faith in Me.”  (Acts 26:16-18)
 
     What an honor and privilege it is to serve the Master in such an important endeavor, and what an honor it is rowing with you. This is a cherished mission we are on together.

     It’s important.

     It’s the reason we have been placed in children’s lives. And though its sometimes uncertain where the ship is going we know who is at the helm. Take a moment today to remember your calling and to rejoice in all that God has done in your life.
·       If you’ve wandered from Him…return. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
·       If you’ve grown weary…go to the well, draw again from the living water and be refreshed. (Matthew 11:28)
·       If storms have rocked your boat…be still and know that He is God, you are not alone and He loves you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)
·       And if you’re anxious and afraid…remember the promise: “He will keep in perfect peace he whose mind is stayed on Thee.” (Isaiah 26:3)

 

God sees you today.
He knows you and He loves you.
And you are making a difference…keep rowing!

      “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Corinthinans 15:58)
 


 


LIFT America Update
 
     May 6th, Cleveland Ohio will wrap up the thirteenth LIFT America Gathering in the 2017-18 school year. What a blessing to be swept up in what God is doing. I am so grateful to be a part of it all.
      Please continue to pray for us. There are people in 12-15 new cities right now praying and planning to join the list next school year. It feels a bit overwhelming sometimes and I don't know what it will all look like, but we are trusting the Lord to add to the number according to His will.
     Our vision is to see events in multiple cities in every state, but the ultimate goal is not just to gather, but to encourage, empower and equip Christians educators all through the year.
     Why?
     Because the souls of our children are precious to the Father. It's not His will "that even one of them should perish." (Matt.
18:14) Our desire in step with all that He is orchestrating, so we are praying, not that He will bless what we are doing, but that that He would give us with discernment to see all that He is doing. 
 
   I want to also thank those who have partnered with us financially. Your support and encouragement means so much.

     If you are interested in helping us grow and being a part of this ministry, shoot me an email or visit ceai.org/lift-America. We are praying that God would raise more partners to help us reach "multiple cities in every state." We can't do it alone.


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