Hold on, Zorobabel!

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We all wanted to make a difference and leave our mark in somebody else’s life. We were made with this “sense of accomplishment”. We are complete when we have constructive relationships. Like a friend of mine use to say:” People need God, people need people”. How that’s true!

We, who were born “from above” (John 3:3) find accomplishment when, used by the Father, can leave His mark—blessing others. Indifference, selfishness, and the unbalanced search of self-satisfaction – so common nowadays – does not represent our normal way. It’s pathological, and serious! The normal way is to live for each other and have accomplishment in somebody else’s joy.

When Haggai, the prophet, address himself to Zorobabel (Haggai 2:20-23), Judah’s governor, a leader, Zoro, (allow me to call him this) and the high-priest Joshua had before them a noble task, however tremendous: to lead the people in the temple reconstruction. They had already returned from the Babylon exile a few years ago, but because of other people’s resistance and discouragement in their own people, they didn’t prioritize the project.

The book of Haggai is itself a call for the missions. A lovely and energetic word for that people to put God’s projects higher than their own. It’s not that hard to identify ourselves with the Israelite people. We need to be careful to not value, seek, or be amused by non-vital projects. I mean, “our own projects” instead of His Kingdom. This exhortation is still alive for us today. But is also alive the encouragement word that the Lord addresses to Zorobabel.

Particularly, I have no doubt that the ministry we received from Him (to encourage people and churches to get involved with missions in & from Northeast Brazil) is far beyond our strength and capacity. It’s a noble project, yes, but the challenges make us aware of our own limitations. We are confronted with Jesus’ words to his disciples…” without me you can do nothing”. (John 15:5)

But it is exactly to Zorobabel that God addresses one of the most beautiful words of the Old Testament. He says: “You are my servant, my chosen one… I will make of you a “ring of sealing”! (Hagai 2:23). History shows us that the ring of sealing was the King’s Seal. It was a super precious object, sign of honour and authority, used only by the king to validate all the officials’ documents.

God’s message couldn’t be clearer: Hold on, Zorobabel! Despite all the hard times and challenges, the Lord had chosen him and was going to use his life to leave His mark – bless – His people. Ah! How good it is to hear that. How good it is to know that our efforts aren’t useless. At least, He chose us to show His glory in people all around us.

My life is not mine at all. I don’t belong to myself. And if I have something that doesn’t belong to me, that turns me into a debtor. If that wasn’t enough, the good (life and Grace) that I have, is a collective good, it belongs to the community. It is to be shared, not tasted secretly. It is like owing to a cooperative! I am in debt to each one of the globe people, because the grace that I have is addressed to each one of those people.

I have been praying for Northeast Brazil for years. I am eager to see this people celebrating life in Jesus. Like the Psalmist says: “Let the people adore you, Lord!!! Let them rejoice in you” My prayer is that through Teleiós we can make a difference, with the strength and life of the Lord, being used by Him, to see his glory shown in many lives.

We’ve been blessed. Believe it, we Brazilians are one of the most blessed people in this generation. And that raises our debt account a lot! In a few words, out of 12,000 people in the world, 2,500 are totally unreached by the Gospel. That means, they demand pioneer mission work. Most of these people are under the heavy mantle of Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism. They live in hard access places, like the nomadic people in North Africa. Even more, most of them are “the poorest among the poor”, demanding a high level of abnegation of the messengers.

Why am I saying so? Because I believe those truths that I’ve shared with you can be effective to move us toward the mission. Yes, we are debtors and the Father wants to use our lives to show his glory in our generation. We didn’t come here for a picnic. We can find meaning and accomplishment in everything we do. But we need to align our projects with His. That’s why He made us and chose us.

Hold on and be with us. We do need you!

José RM Prado

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