Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Have a Go!


Dear Friends,

In Britain we have a saying: “Have a go!” It means you may not think you have a chance of making something work, but if the “something” is worth the chance, you should “have a go!” I have found Americans reticent about “having a go.” If they can’t do it well, they must not do it at all, or so the argument goes.

It takes more grace to say yes to such opportunities than it does to say no. It takes the grace of God to “have a go” at a spiritual challenge that seems totally beyond us. I have found, however, that in trying to meet needs that I have felt I was not qualified to meet, I have had to depend more on God. When I depend more on God, I receive even more grace than when I worked within my own gifting!

Shortly after coming to America and taking the pastorate, I found myself facing so many needs I thought I was not gifted for, and I became greatly discouraged. I wanted to go back to England! But we don’t have the luxury of “going back to England” every time we feel discouraged! I realized I couldn’t choose to respond only to the things I knew I could do well because I was gifted to do them. This was especially true in the area of evangelism. The need is so great that evangelism is a situation that requires “all hands on deck.” The world is going to hell in a hand basket, and whether I am gifted or not, I can at least raise my voice above the noise and warn people where they are headed. My voice may not be pretty, but it can be loud! After all, if you see someone about to walk blindly over a cliff, it doesn’t matter how well you shout to warn them of the danger but only that you shout!

Any one of us can do the same. If we can read, we can read the Word of God to people who need to hear it. If we can talk, we can speak the Word of God. Have a go, don’t be afraid to fail, ask God to show you what risk He wants you to take today and say yes!

With joy,


Jill Briscoe
Executive Editor
Just Between Us Magazine


Monday, September 22, 2014

Work Outside Your Gifting

Dear Friends,   
  
When Jeremiah was put under house arrest, he realized he needed a messenger. His work was finished, and it was time to read the scroll to the people. He couldn’t do it because he was imprisoned in his own house. Someone else would have to go for him. So Jeremiah did the obvious thing: He sent Baruch. “You can do it. I cannot go to the Lord’s temple, but you can,” I can hear him saying encouragingly to the scribe. “So you go to the house of the Lord on a day of fasting and read to the people from the scroll the words of the Lord that you wrote as I dictated” (Jer. 36:6).

Jeremiah had great confidence in his friend. He had spent hours of prayer with him, and he knew his heart. Jeremiah also knew that “heart” was more important than “gift.” It would be Baruch’s heart for the Lord and for the people that would give him the courage to go to the temple and work outside of his gifting. Baruch could have offered all sorts of excuses. Above all, he could have objected, “It’s not my gift.” But he didn’t. He set off and just “did it.”

Have you ever used the excuse that you can’t do something that needs doing because it’s not your gift? Have you had some really good teaching on spiritual gifts and been quite excited that you have actually discovered yours? The only danger in that is you might abdicate your responsibilities if you don’t believe you are gifted for them! Maybe you have been exercising your gifts happily within the church or in the community. Then a need has arisen, and someone has asked you to volunteer to meet it. Have you ever said, “Sorry [you are really highly relieved], but it’s not my gift?” Even if it is not your gift, it may still be your responsibility!

As a pastor’s wife I have needed to listen to people’s troubles and try to say something to help them. Some would call that counseling. I do not count this as one of my gifts. I do it because there are not enough ears to listen to the hurts out there. At the end of my teaching meetings people want to talk and ask questions. Often these talks turn into “counseling sessions.” I find myself working outside of my gifting a lot of the time. At times like these I try to have a ministry of silence (listening) and a ministry of tears. Anyone can listen, and anyone can cry! That is, anyone who has asked God to break his or her heart with the things that break the heart of God. Only after I have tried to exercise a ministry of silence and tears do I use words. Try it. It is amazing the helpful thoughts that come to you in silence. A talker like me needs to exercise self-control in order to be a good listener, but God is delighted to help you with this if you ask Him to!

Baruch was willing to work outside of his gifting when it was necessary. How about you—are you willing to do the same? Pray about it.

With joy,


Jill Briscoe
Executive Editor

Just Between Us Magazine