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Inauguration Day: For His Glory

Inauguration Day: For His Glory

If I learned anything during my time as a staffer at The White House, it is that God can be found at work anywhere.

There is no situation, no environment, that God cannot use for His purposes.

This is a lesson from Jesus’ ministry. As Jerome wrote, He was “not born in the midst of gold and riches, but in the midst of dung, in a stable where our sins were filthier than the dung. He is born on a dunghill in order to life up those who come from it: ‘from the dunghill He lifts up the poor.” At the beginning of His ministry, He would select disciples from various walks of life, some of ill-repute like a tax collector, to help spread His good news. He ministered to the powerful and disenfranchised alike, and treated them all with equal dignity. He hung on a cross meant to bring shame and embarrassment, but it only brought God more glory. Wherever He went, whatever the circumstance, Jesus was faithful.

I love the generous audacity of Jesus. Peter had been fishing his entire life. He had spent years learning all the tricks in the book: what time to go out and how far, the most effective way to cast a net, and how to bring the net in without losing any fish. Before Jesus, Peter thought he had his act together, that he was doing his job about as well as anyone could do it.

Jesus, after He died on a cross and resurrected from the grave, finds Peter on his boat along with some of the other disciples:

Afterward Jesus appeared again to His disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.

He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”

“No,” they answered.

He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. — John 21:1-7

When Jesus is involved, all kinds of new possibilities open up for us.

Look for where God might be working where you spend your time — at home, in an office, out in your community — and ask Him to help you understand how you can play a role in that work. This will be good not just for your soul, but for the concrete circumstances of your vocation.

This is what Jesus does: He inserts himself in the everyday affairs of the people He loves for their own good.

During my time at The White House, I saw people make themselves available to God in the most extraordinary circumstances. There were public servants who did thankless work at great sacrifice, advocates who acted against injustice at great personal cost, friends who held on to their relationship even amidst difficult political disagreements. Allow me to share with you one story from my book, Reclaiming Hope, that illustrates the point.

Since 2010, President Obama has hosted an Easter Prayer Breakfast in the East Room of The White House. These breakfasts contained a host of memorable scenes: the president’s joy at seeing the children’s choirs perform; the sermons that were delivered and the encouragement and urging on the messenger received from his or her fellow clergy; the times of prayer that hushed us, just for a moment, and provided the burdened leaders refuge. Most memorable of all, perhaps, is the appearance of Sara Groves.

Sara is an award-winning singer-songwriter best known for her song “He’s Always Been Faithful to Me,” a modernizing of the great old hymn, “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.” I’d contacted Sara and asked if she would perform “He’s Always Been Faithful to Me” at the 2012 breakfast.

When Sara began playing, the room immediately knew the hymn her song invoked, so when she finished the final chorus, she turned to face the audience and said, “I wonder if you would join with me in singing.” As Sara struck the opening chords of “Great Is Thy Faithfulness,” a pressure valve was released. Suddenly, clergy — black, white, and brown; progressive and conservative; young and old — were back in the churches of their childhood, not in the White House. Folks who didn’t know one another an hour ago were grabbing onto shoulders, encouraging one another with the truth of the hymn’s promise. And all around the room, clergy and cabinet secretaries and social service workers and the president began singing “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.” The power of the moment was palpable.

The president has talked about walking around the White House sometimes late at night. He’ll walk through the hallways and think about the decisions presidents have had to make. About the decisions he has to make. I can’t help but think of the president walking through the East Room at night, not to mention the staff who pass through every day. That room was sanctified the morning Sara led us in worship, I think. And I believe the songs of praise that rose that morning must still echo through the walls of the White House even today. That melody of God’s faithfulness is now as much a part of the history of that room as Nixon’s farewell speech or the mourners that passed through it to pay Lincoln his final respects. I think God makes use of that type of thing.

How might God want to use you as He made use of Sara that morning? What moments in your day can be used for God’s glory? How can you be, as Paul writes, a “co-laborer” with God (1 Corinthians 3:9)?

Let God use your faithfulness for His glory.

Written by Michael Wear, author of Reclaiming Hope: Lessons Learned in the Obama White House About the Future of Faith in America (copyright Michael R. Wear), exclusively for Devotionals Daily.

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Your Turn

Let God use your faithfulness for His glory. No matter where you work — in the White House or in your home — the Lord can use your work and your life for His glory. Come share your thoughts with us on our blog. We would love to hear from you!

Today, on Inauguration day, Devotionals Daily thanks outgoing President and First Lady Obama for their service and welcomes incoming President and First Lady Trump. May we Christians worldwide pray continually for President Trump and may he serve for God’s glory! ~ Devotionals Daily