Monday, November 28 (Suggested Scripture Reading: Romans 12)
Dr. Helen Roseveare, a medical missionary to West Africa for many years, was the main speaker at a missions conference when I was in college. When I think of the purpose of Advent- to prepare us for the coming of Jesus- I go back to one of her messages that has stuck with me for all these years.
Dr. Roseveare went to Africa in the mid 1950’s. During the civil war there, the medical mission compound- including hospital, school, and housing- was destroyed. When the team went back, they immediately began to rebuild, and her assignment was to rebuild the medical college.
When it came time to paint the classrooms, several of the African students volunteered for the task. She gave them the paint and supplies and sent them on their way while she tended to other chores. Soon, she went to check on them, only to discover that they had “painted” several of the classrooms without ever stirring the paint!
She explained to the boys that there are basically two substances in that bucket of paint- the pigment on the bottom and the oil on top. In order for the paint to work, the two substances have to be stirred together until they are completely incorporated into one. Stirring that paint is hard work- you have to stir from the bottom up, and continue to stir as you paint.
The next morning in their Bible study, Dr. Roseveare used this as an example. She said:
God wants to stir us-just as a pot of paint. He wants every single bit of us stirred. You can’t divide your life into parts: solid and liquid, or spiritual and secular, or Sunday and week days. This doesn’t work. God wants to stir us all the way through, so that everything that comes out of us, day in and day out will reflect the Lord Jesus Christ, and so that we are doing the job for which we were made. The question is, are we willing to ask God to stir us- no matter what it may cost.
It is a question of complete surrender to Him- He wants all of us, not just a small part. He wants our time, our talents, our ambitions, our agendas, and our futures. We were designed to serve Him and honor Him as one whole person, not just a portion of our selves that we feel we can set aside to Him- but the sum total of who He created us to be.
As we begin this time of preparation for all that is ahead of us in the next couple of months, let’s pray that God will stir in each of us a desire for complete surrender so that we can be effectively used by Him.
(You can listen to Dr. Roseveare’s message series here: