Gird ourselves and be girded to serve the Lord

---By CK Jen, 2020/09/04

In John 21:18 Jesus spoke to Peter and indicated that when Peter was young, he girded himself to serve the Lord but according to what he wished, and when he was old, then would willingly stretch out his hands and be girded to carry out what the Lord desired him to do. Brother Titus mentioned in his message Visions and Revelations 20 that everything in this verse was positive. When Peter was young, he received the burden to serve the Lord, however, when he grew old and mature, he would submit himself to and only please the Lord.In the church life how this verse applies to us? This is the focus of my fellowship.

John 21:18 Most assuredly, I say to you,when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; butwhen you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.

What does it mean that we gird ourselves? It means that during our daily church life we have heard a fresh speaking from the Lord to us and generate a burden to serve the Lord. How can we hear the Lord's speaking? Acts 2:42 provides one example that some of Lord's speaking comes from the teachings and fellowship of the apostles. In the churches which I am familiar with, after the brother Titus have fellowshipped several times with the leading brothers of certain churches some full timers (ex. brother Antipas Desai) and their families (his wife and three children) will move from one locality (Chicago) where they are serving to another locality (Montreal) where they will be serving. It means that the living of this co-worker's family will have a relatively dramatic change involving housing, children's studying schools, etc. However, these co-workers and families are normally willing to be girded and move. This is a great example of being girded to serve the Lord. In general, the working brothers and families rarely could live up such a life. Normally because of the job or certain family's situation, they move from one city to another, and in the new city they still serve the Lord with burden. Therefore to me, these working brothers are so-called younger ones (in Christ's life) in John 21:1 and the full-timers mentioned above are older and mature ones in John 21:1.

Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

Some of the young saints who love the Lord would like to serve certain services with burden. Definitely they heard Lord's speaking. Many occasions, however, they feel that they do not have the freedom mentioned in John 21:1 "where you wished". Why? I would like to clarify some in this fellowship.

In the church life there are a.orders of church administration (not related to my fellowshiphere, therefore not expounded),b. order of life andc.order of burden. There is one example concerning the order of burden: in 2018 at Montreal, two young brothers aged 20 had the burden to print gospel tracts and distributed to the people at metro stations. Firstly, they hadfellowship with the relative older and matured saints in the church that was an example of submitting to the order of life, then the church felt that this was a great blessing so the church supported this burden and strongly encourage all the saints, if possible, to practise such an exercise. This is an example of the church via having fellowshipped with the burdened young saints and submitting to the order of this gospel preaching burden which young ones received from the Lord. Indeed, Lord blesses the church via such a sweet fellowship involving both order of life and order of burden.Such a fellowship in fact is an action of "stretching out our hands and being girded" to carry out what the Lord desires us to do.

Another example was that a few years ago a young sister A met another sister B who has a homosexual living, and the sister B expressed the desire to join the Lord's Day church gathering in which there would be Lord's Table meeting involving eating the bread and drinking the cup. Following the principle of the order of life the young sister A had fellowshipped with me (an older brother) concerning what she could or needed to do. I informed her that if the shepherding of the sister B was her burden from the Lord, please carried it out (it means that we submitted ourselves to the order of burden) but privately and individually. However, if sister B came to our Lord's Table meeting her living style which was homosexual would most likely cause many saints' confusion such as how the church can teach the young children effectively to live a healthy living according to the Bible. As a result, the sister A did not invite the sister B to join our Lord's Table meeting that was an example of submitting to the order of life.

Another example was that many years ago a brother C would like to take care of another brother D who had alcoholic addition. The older saints in the church appreciated such a burden of brother C because the Lord also took care of many people who had difficult illnesses in the Bible. However, the brother C insisted that since brother D was also a brother, they had the right to visit the church sisters' house without the need to have the fellowship with the older brothers in the church (it means that brother C ignored the order of life). Eventually the church stopped brother C to do so.

In summary, in the church life through fellowship the older saints can be willingly and joyfully submit themselves (to be girded) to the order of the burden of young ones, and likewise the young ones can also submit themselves (to be girded) to the order of life. However, individually and privately anyone can follow Lord's speaking and burden (gird themselves) to serve people. It also means that the fresh speaking (revelation) of the Lord may come from any saint (no matter young or old) in the church life to grant us some burden to serve the Lord, however, from the Bible (Acts 2:42) the teaching and the fellowshipof the apostles normally would elevate and enlarge our revelations and burdens.

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     ●  Acts
     ●  Gospel of John
     ●  Life of Abraham
     ●  Bible Homework (CK Jen)
     ●  Bible Homework (Antipas
           Desai)