By Bob Rhoads

"You gave abundant showers, O God; you refreshed your weary inheritance." Psalms 68:9
 
The Lord refreshes His people when they are weary, giving them renewed strength to make it through life's trials. Every believer needs refreshment after going through a certain trial(s), a chance to reflect at the end of the calendar year or at the end of the ministry year. Or even during a difficult time.
 
I find that getting refreshment from the Lord is encouraging. It allows me to reflect on both the good and the bad. Everything comes from the Lord. He is in control of every little detail. He renews my strength to continue to do MORE and BETTER than I ever did before. The reason why I do my work in ministry, is because I know He has called me to do this specific purpose.
 
Just two weekends ago, five servant students from the C3 Club (Campus Crusade for Christ) at Gallaudet, joined my wife Karen and I for our annual Servant Team Retreat at our friends' beach house in Ocean City for a time of refreshment. We spent one year together on campus. It was nice just to hang out and reflect on what we've done. The time allowed us to not become discouraged since we failed in some things, and it encouraged us to then look ahead in prayer for what God has in store for us.
 
I enjoy doing this almost every year with my team. Those are the moments I've come to cherish with my students.  It allows me to know each one of them better. We were able to relax and enjoy the fellowship before they go home for the summer. It was good to wrap up what we've done during the school year - both the good and the bad.
 
Since we are approaching the end of this school year, I felt this is fitting to share what I believe the Lord has prompted me. There are 3 areas to process our hearts and minds in the Spirit:
 
REFRESH helps us to stimulate our memory. Check out Philemon 1:20, where Paul asked Philemon to refresh "his heart in Christ", to encourage him through Christ Jesus. Philemon came to know the Lord through Paul's message about 20 years earlier. Paul realized that Onesimus was Philemon's slave when he decided to receive Jesus as his personal Savior. Paul did not know where Philemon stands with his faith that day. Would he be kind to receive Onesimus back, not just as his slave but as brother in Christ? If Philemon didn't then Paul would be discouraged.  
 
He prayed that they would be one in heart and mind and spirit. We should do the same by reflecting on our ministry together with all our struggles, problems and issues we've dealt toward one another like Philemon with his former slave. Philippians 2:1-5 is an excellent motivator to generate love and support. Whether it is good or bad, having success or none at all, we need to thank the Lord for those times and opportunities over the year. It strengthens our unity to do ministry better for this coming fall. We need to acknowledge that we are now a little wiser and a little stronger- ready to do better the next time around.
 
REVIVE is to renew or to restore to life. God has blessed us with the fullness of LIFE. We should and are to enjoy it to the fullest and allow our lives to be a sweet aroma before the Lord. Psalm 85 emphasized on verse 6 to remind us of His love and His blessings upon us as well as His willingness to restore us fully in His salvation.  
 
Romans 8:28 has been my lifeline and I've come to adopt this verse as the very center of His Scriptures; everything our Lord God has done is good for those who love Him because they have been called to do His purpose on earth. Let this be your time in prayer together with renewed hope and love!
 
RECONNECT is to join or to link together as ONE. We are the peacemakers. In order to have peace, we should forgive and come together as ONE. About 2 years ago, the word PEACE just blew my mind away when I learned that the meaning in Greek means to reset or go back to one. The world longs to have PEACE but they will not have it until they have Jesus in their heart.  
 
PEACE will draw us together as believers in Christ Jesus. This is a perfect opportunity for your team including those who just joined to build a bond and be united to do God's work together. In the same way, your body cannot heal or process unless every part of your being agrees to come together for a certain time or purpose.
 
After that precious time with my Servant Team, we were able to leave with a clear understanding on what and why we are doing ministry. Over the years, I have told my students that it is not a mistake that God has brought each one of them to Gallaudet for this specific time. Each of us has a passion for the lost and we want every person to know Jesus in a personal way. We want them to know how much God loves them and that He has great plans for them. We know because we have been there before.  We have seen how God has lifted us up again and again.
 
May your team be blessed with a time of refreshment, which is His way to restore us to our real purpose on earth. AMEN
 
 
Comments: Robert Rhoads  

 

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