The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
(Thanks to John for inspiration on this one)
"For God, From God"
A dear friend of mine has pastored a church in our area for nearly 55 years. The Lord has led and enabled him amid the blessings and challenges of such a tenure, giving my friend wonderful opportunity to attribute all glory and praise to God and God alone for more than a half century of faithfulness. He thereby reflects the Apostle Paul in life, and echoes him in testimony:
"I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry" (I Timothy 1:12).
What faithfulness did God see in Paul that led Him to call Paul into ministry? The Apostle answers.
"Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God, who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the Spirit: for the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life" (II Corinthians 3:5-6).
God knew that He could work in Paul the humility and faith whereby His servant would minister not by His own abilities, but rather consistently avail himself of the Holy Spirit's leading and enabling. God's dedication would lead to Paul's dedication. Thereby, he followed the Lord Jesus Christ in such a path of consecration, based on trust:
"The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do: for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise… the Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works" (I John 14:10).
Genuine human faithfulness ever flows from the fount of Divine faithfulness. To the degree we know God's trustworthiness and avail ourselves thereof will be the degree to which we faithfully walk the path to which He calls us. We live for our Lord by living from our Lord. "We had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead" (II Corinthians 1:9).
My pastor friend would surely affirm that 55 years of faithful service speaks not of his grit and determination, but rather of God's working to empower a life of service. Such an example reminds us that in this day, our service must proceed not from our own sense of dedication and determination, but rather from confident realization of God's involved working in our hearts and lives. We play a vitally active role in our walk with the Lord and our callings, a role of faith and submission to His far more vitally active role. Knowing such truth has led a dear friend in a long tenure of faith and faithfulness. It will do the same in our hearts and lives for service to God and others in the tenure of this day.
"By the grace of God I am what I am: and His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me."
(I Corinthians 15:10)
Weekly Memory Verse
We had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead."
(II Corinthians 1:9)