Today's Bible Readings
     Exodus 39
     Proverbs 15
     John 18
     Philippians 2
''Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all." (Philippians 2:17)
            Paul has just discussed the importance of Christians being bright lights in a dark world, holding fast the word of life. Now Paul changes metaphors. He sees himself not only as a light in the world, but also as a libation. The libation was a drink offering that was poured out upon the altar and immediately consumed by the fire of the altar.
            One of the great questions facing believers is, ''are you willing to sacrifice yourself for the work of another believer - to pour out your life sacrificially for the ministry and faith of others?'' This is where I have a great temptation; wanting recognition and prominence for service and sacrifice. God is insisting that we learn the sufferings of Christ and be like Him. ''Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. '' (Philippians 2:5-7)
            Perhaps you want to choose your own place of service and have the recognition and applause of the people around you. It is one thing to follow God's way of service if you are regarded as a hero, but quite another thing if the road marked out for you by God requires becoming a doormat under other people's feet. Paul says in Philippians 4:12, “I know how to be abased…” Are you ready to be sacrificed like that? Are you ready to be less than a mere drop in the bucket - to be so totally insignificant that no one remembers you even if they think of those you served?  Are you willing to be poured out and used up - not seeking to be ministered to but to minister?
            This requires an act of your will, not your emotions. You must be willing to yield everything to Him, and then accept the consequences as they come without any complaints in spite of what God may send your way. This will take place in your will and then you will take thought of the cost when it begins to effect you externally.
A libation was totally consumed on the altar. Are you willing to experience what the altar represents - burning, purification, and separation for only one purpose - the glory of God alone? It is only then that you will become of great value to advancing the Kingdom. The breaking of the vessel and the melting of the gold produces the vessel fit for Kingdom service. Tell God you are ready to be poured out as an offering, and God will prove Himself to be all you have ever dreamed
He would be.
            Pray today for the Republic of Ghana in Africa. It is impossible to describe the awesome need in this country with its 25 million inhabitants. The capital is Accra. This is somewhat of a rural culture since urbanites represent only 37% of the people. There are about 100 ethnic groups in Ghana.
            Our ministry has trained more than 100 pastors and church planters in Ghana. This is one of the great needs since there very few trained and educated pastors in Ghana. The people are hungry for strong teaching of the Scripture.
            There was a rapid increase in evangelism and the response to it in the 1990's. Let us definitely pray for that to continue. This country, like all others in Africa, faces physical and poverty challenges that we have trouble comprehending. Pray for these dear people as they battle against disease and starvation, and share the Gospel of Christ. This is their greatest need.  Ministry to those who are hurting with a strong commitment to evangelism will reach the unsaved.
''Great it is to believe the dream when we stand in youth by the starry stream; but a greater thing is to fight life through and say at the end, 'The dream was true'."
Edwin Markham