Thank you. Thank you for serving to live a godly life as a teacher of God’s Truth. Thank you for the hours of study you put in each week in the midst of ministering to the needs of others. Thank you for the years of study that now provide a deep pool and grasp of God’s Way. Thank you for caring for others before your own needs and wishes. Thank you for agonizing each week over the right word and right words to enlighten, move, and motivate those who hear you. Thank you for so ordering your world that a part of this world looks more like His World should. Thank you for not giving up on people who so many others would wash their hands of. Thank you for the tenderness with which you treat the young and the old. Thank you for lessons designed to be relaxant to each listener Thank you for striving for consistency in your beliefs. Thank you for striving to not be quarrelsome in a world who wants only to contend against the Word we believe. Thank you for avoiding foolish questions which would only divide us. Thank you for being so anchored in the Word of God that every wind of doctrine does not send you adrift in a sea of modernism. Thank you for continuing to grow your faith in good days and difficult throughout your life. Thank you for loving God, His Word, and His People. And, thank you for doing it each week, for rewinding and repeating and not quitting when this get tough. We know sometimes this is tough, taxing, and tedious work that is unending, often unappreciated, and even frustrating. So we just wanted to say, Thank you.
Let’s be brutally honest. There are times in our preaching and ministry that we wonder if we are doing any good, if we are accomplishing anything worthwhile for the Lord. We wonder if our work for the Lord is changing families, lives, and hearts. We wonder if what we are doing matters.
May I suggest to you as you study the Word this week, and as you minister to the lives of people you love throughout the week that what you are doing is of vital importance, that it matters big time, that it is eternally important. It is important to the Lord that you are involved in His work, the work of telling the world about Jesus.
It is important to the young person who needs someone else to look up to in his life.
It is important to the single mother who spends an hour or so getting her children ready for Sunday school and worship each time we gather.
It is important to the young Dad who desperately wants to be the spiritual leader in his home, but he needs some guidance, some help; help that you can give.
It is important to the young families whose lives are so busy and full of work, sports, school, plus a million other things, but they are committed to making sure that they don’t forget God.
It is important to the young single person who struggles with relationships and who continues to search for meaning, purpose, and what God wants for their life.
It is important to the teens who deep down want to do right but that are constantly bombarded by the Evil One through drugs, alcohol, sexual temptations, and in numerous other ways.
It is important to the elderly couples who have given their life in service to the Lord as well as His Church and they want to know that what they have done/given is not in vain.
It is important to the widows and widowers who feel all alone, who long for someone who will connect with them, to see a smiling face, to hear a kind voice.
It is important to the people who don’t know the Lord, yet they are looking for something, they have a void in their heart that can only be filled by Jesus, and you help offer them that chance.
It is important to the faithful people of God who have come to depend on you, who trust you, and who love you deeply for your commitment to the Lord.
It is important to your own family because you are providing spiritual leadership and nourishment for their life as well as their eternity.
Don’t ever let anyone tell you different, preacher, don’t let the devil deceive you into thinking your work is an exercise in futility, don’t let the naysayers bring you down. Your work, your life, and your proclamation of the unsearchable riches of Jesus; they are all eternally important!
I’ve prepared thousands of sermons and classes. I have a lot of traditions that go into my sermon study. Typically I do not put my slide-deck (i.e. PowerPoint, KeyNote, Prezi) together until Saturday. On the way to the church building I sing out-loud, “Jesus Loves Me” and pray for my attitude as I preach that morning - for my heart toward those who listen, for my passion.
I know some won’t get this, but some will. It matters not how hard or long I have studied I rarely feel prepared or adequate for this task and I’ve shared with you the haunting prayer, that seems to flood my soul: “Then Samson called to the LORD, saying, ‘O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray! Strengthen me, I pray, just this once’” (Judges 16:28). I’ve always felt a little guilty praying it - like I didn’t prepare for a final examine and I need Divine intervention.
A couple of weeks ago was one of those very rare Sunday’s I was really confident. I thought about it and then prayed my variation of Samson’s prayer anyway. It made me happy to work this out in my soul. Perhaps this has never been a prayer of desperation but one of dependance. What if it’s not a prayer of panic but of realization. Every time I stand before God’s People with God’s Word I need to passionate beg for God’s help. Just this once. Each time.
How many times today did you hear someone ask the Lord to bless us? We often ask the Lord to bless us in our worship, bless our families, bless the sick, bless those who have lost loved ones, bless our food, bless our children, and numerous other requests for God’s blessings.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with any of these. Our Lord certainly desires that we come to Him with requests from our hearts. As well, we have Biblical examples and even admonitions concerning prayer.
My question for us to consider is, do we ever think about our need to bless the Lord. We often think about blessing someone as being associated with what can be offered to the one who is to be blessed? One might wonder, how in the world can we bless the Lord?
Close friend of Jesus, and our brother Peter reminds us of the fact that we are a part of a chosen nation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and a people for God’s own possession. He tells us that this is true so that we might declare the excellencies of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9-10) Another way to say we are to declare His excellencies is to say we are to praise Him or bless Him.
If that’s not enough, David wrote an entire Psalm about it. He began and concluded Psalm 103 with the words, “Bless the Lord, O my soul.”
In the midst of his own struggles, King David was willing and able to say, “Bless the Lord.” He further explained in this great psalm how and why we are able to accomplish this.
May I challenge all of us who have proclaimed the excellencies of our God today to remember throughout this week, even in the midst of trials, tribulations, problems heartaches, and headaches, to let these words flow forth from our hearts. “Bless the Lord, O my soul.”
The enormity of the task before us is imposing, and leaves us sometimes breathless.
Before us sit the leaders of our area. Mayors, Representatives, Senators, Presidents, Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers, Researchers, Pharmacists, Leaders of Industry, Media, Entertainers, Teachers, and Professors. We must challenge them to be the best they can be for the role they occupy. We must inspire them to move in positive and godly ways in their activities, We must open God’s Will in their hearing to help them make the most moral, godly, and upright decisions in their arena. Then there are the future leaders we will aid in molding and inspiring, who will change the world through research, philanthropic contributions, influence, and the use of their talents. Add to that those who have spent their life and now face the end of their time here. They will need the encouragement to finish strong and faithful, the assurance of where they have placed their faith, peace on this leg of their journey, thanks for the missions they have completed, and hope that God’s Family will continue strong. And that’s just IN the audience. Our tasks also involves those who have “weak knees” - whose faith is but a smoldering flax, and others who have fallen and need to be rebuked, and yet others who have been hurt and aren’t sure how to return. But we’re not done for our mission is to ALL the world. There are roughly 7.5 billion out there who each will be lost without the Gospel, for whom we may be their only hope. Feeling overwhelmed yet?
“I am with you always…” (Matthew 28:20).
“I will never leave you or forsake you…” (Hebrews 13:5).
“For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off” (Psalm 37:28).”
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” (Isaiah 41:10).
Yes, the enormity of the task is big, but He who gave it is bigger and promises to be with you in it! Take heart.
Whether you believe the Book of Hebrews was intended to be a sermon, as some suggest, or if you believe it’s a letter the message is clear.
Some of these Christians were struggling with their faith. We don’t know all of the reasons, but it is obvious from the words of encouragement that they were struggling.
“For this reason, we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it.” (2:1)
“Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it.” (4:1)
“Therefore, leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God.” (6:1)
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” (10:23)
Then there is the closing admonition. “…let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…” (12:1)
The reason for all of this encouragement from the preacher is so that we “will not grow weary and lose heart.” (12:3)
Let’s be honest for just a second. There are times in the life of every preacher that we “grow weary.” Are you in one of those seasons right now? Are you weary, worn out?
It can be marriage difficulties, problems with children, financial stress, health concerns, issues with elders or someone in the congregation, personal struggle with heavy temptation, emotional weakness, loneliness because you’ve lost the dearest person on earth, or just being physically and mentally drained.
The Spirit’s answer to the problems our early brother’s endured, as well as what might cause men of God to grow weary and lose heart in our day is the same.
If you find yourself growing weary right now, if you are concerned that you might be losing heart, listen to the words of the Spirit.
“…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith…so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:2-3)
What is it for you?
Here was mine today: I preached as a guest and was asked to preach a Gospel Sermon. So, I preached on Grace. From all I know of the text I didn’t preach anything false, but when I stepped out of the pulpit I thought of a point I missed. Something that would have added value to my message - that might have moved someone.
For you it might have been a misquotes passage, a brother who won’t get off your back, a haunt you can’t seem to shake, a guilt screaming for attention, a grief hurting your heart, a mistake in your past that keeps rearing its ugliness.
Regardless, I’ve determined that most all ministers have them.
They leave ua feeling empty, disappointed, inadequate and they might make you reconsider your chosen field of work. They leave you wondering if you should quit.
Tonight I want to remind you that the church needs your voice, the lost need your influence, our culture needs your salt, but most of all that God is for you and your work. He has a vested interest in your betterment and perseverance. While you may fail in the eyes of many, if you proclaim His Gospel with faithfulness and integrity you are not a failure in His. We pray for you and your service often - remember God is for you!
Most preachers are extremely busy on Sunday. There are sermons to preach, classes to teach, people to visit, counseling sessions, meetings to attend, and other special events.
Today, I left my house about 6:30 and finally got home about 9:30. Following worship, I took a new family to lunch, went to visit one of our wonderful sisters in the hospital, met with a dear family at the funeral home about the service for their loved one, attended an open house hosted by our education ministry, met with a family who needed to talk, and after worship had dinner with some friends.
Please understand, I am not complaining. After all, we only work one day a week, so we better pack in as much as we can!! Besides that, it is good for me to stay as busy as possible at this point in life.
Having said all of that, I need to rest tomorrow, but the schedule for the day is full already, so I’ll have to wait a little longer.
Brothers, we need to work some rest and relaxation into our lives. We need some time to reflect, to renew ourselves, to replenish the well. God knew rest is important. He rested after the work of creation.
At times Jesus would get away from the masses and spend time alone with the Father. If Jesus needed to do that, then we certainly need it.
If we work hard, like the Lord wants us to work, there is no need for us to apologize when we rest. We don’t need to explain ourselves. If we don’t abuse our personal time, the people who matter most, will be supportive. They will also be thankful, and our families will be blessed.
We hope you have a great week and we hope you have some time to be renewed. We love you all.
It’s Monday. Yesterday was Sunday and it seems like tomorrow will be too. Sometimes it seems like Sunday comes every other day. But in between, life goes on. Bills have to be paid. Visits have to be made. Yards have to be mowed. You have to take care of your health. Family has to be built. Children have to be disciplined. Haircuts, banking duties, oil changes. An uncle dies, an aunt deals with cancer, a college friend faces extended illness. Life goes on. And that does not call into focus your ministry. The lingering hurt of a slight. The real or imagined fear that someone is working to get you fired. The frustration of striving to paint a vision in a time when people are suspect of visionaries. The fear that you will never live up to expectations. The challenge to keep improving. The difficulty of getting everything done you need to get done. The emotional drain of carrying the baggage of so many peoples’ hurts. And Sunday’s keep coming. Yes, for you, Sunday is a work day. There is stress and there are dangers even on Sunday. But Sunday is also a day to worship, to remember, to reenergize, to renew, to reconnect. It’s Monday and Sunday is just around the corner, this coming Sunday may I challenge you to worship. To push back all those emotions, to forget about the numbers, about who is there and who isn’t there, to toss aside the questions of effectiveness for a few minutes and sing, and pray, and praise, and commune. As a preacher if you are going to worship you have to be intentional about it, there are just too many distractions to keep you from it unless you force yourself into it. Worship. It’s Monday, but Sunday is coming, and soon - you need worship.
It is possible that when we face adversity or endure hardships in life that we will become bitter toward God and the Church. It is also possible that when we see the grace of God in our lives and the love of His family poured out that we will have a great appreciation for the Church. Someone once said that every trial we face will make us either bitter or better.
Perhaps there is a preaching brother who is reading this right now who has been treated unfairly or even cruelly by the church. Maybe a co-worker has stabbed you in the back or the elders have not been what you had hoped they would be. May I take a few moments and share some reminders concerning why we should love the church, even with her imperfections.
(1) The Precious Price Paid for the Church. Let’s never forget that this body of flawed people has been purchased with the precious blood of Jesus. (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 1:18-19)
(2) The Eternal Nature of the Church. Long before the Church found its way to earth, it resided in the mind and heart of God. Ephesians 3:9-11 confirms that the Church is a part of the eternal plan of God. (1 Peter 1:10-12)
(3) The Visible Reality of God’s Spiritual Kingdom. The work of the Church is to glorify God by introducing to the Kingdom, those who do not know Jesus. We exist to help people find Jesus. (Matthew 16:18-19) Jesus taught His followers to pray that the Father’s Will would be done on earth as it is in Heaven. This is best lived out through the Church.
(4) The Church provides a place for people who are imperfect, people who are lonely, and people who are hurting. (Ephesians 4:25-32; Galatians 6:1-2)
When we are struggling with life or when we are going through difficult days in the Church, it might help us to remember these simple thoughts. They could help us survive those rough patches and hang in there for better days. May God bless you, dear brother, in all you do for Him. We love you.
satan will stop short of nothing to get another of God’s Men. he will not play by the rules, he will lie, he will cheat. And if he can trip up, discourage, run off one of God’s Men, he gets a double thrill - he gets the minister and those who he might influence. I want you to know, the time will come when each of us will quit - the question is when and what will cause it. It may be discouragement, disease, or death but something will still your preaching voice. And you need to know, as much as we strive to encourage guys to stay with it, it is not a sin to not preach. We need excellent shepherds, understanding brothers, and supportive members. But please, don’t quit too soon. satan will use whatever he can. It may be a difficult leadership he will use to distract and discourage you, it may a deep hurt that makes it seem impossible to go forward, it may be a lack of confidence, a feeling of inadequacy, a guilt that you carry, an individual who spreads falsities that affect your influence, a sin your can’t seem to get around, a loss that leaves you empty, a disappointment that you can’t let go of, a thorn in flesh - or a combination any of the above. I hope you will remember that satan will buffet you in any way he can. Remember, you have those of us who love you and are thankful for you and want to encourage you in every way possible. Remember for every enemy of the cross there are friends. Remember the work you do is important. Remember, He that is in you is greater than he that is in the world, I John 4:4. Go, do, bless. Remember you are loved and you are valuable.
The grief is real. The pain of losing the dearest person on earth or an extremely close friend is real. The broken hearts are real. The loneliness is real. The fear of the unknown is real. The emptiness is real. The hurt caused by broken friendships is real. The worries about the possibility of losing a job are real. The financial concerns are real. The hurt caused by someone you love walking away from the Lord is real.
It’s all real, or at least it feels real as you walk through it. Can I tell you what else is real?
The promise that God will never leave us or forsake us is real. The knowledge that He has provided a Comforter for us is real. The love of family is real. The compassion of people who understand the real meaning of friendship is real. The support of other Christians who sincerely care is real. The blessings of being a part of God’s Family are real. The commitment from our Loving Father that all of this is temporary is real. The call of God for His people to come before His throne at any time is real. The glory and the promise of Heaven are real. The fact that we someday will live forever in a place where there is no cancer, no disease, no sin, no pain, no sorrow, no heartache, and no loss; this fact is real. All of the promises of God are real, and they are Amen.
Dear brothers, let’s do everything we can to make sure that the painful realities of this life do not overshadow the joys of this life or the life to come.
Thank you for your prayers and kindness to our family the last few days…
One of my cries out to God is to make me better for the service I am in. I firmly believe that if Christianity doesn’t make us better people then we are really not Christians at all. Knowing Christ, imbibing His Word, striving to live to the standard of His example, being influenced by His People, should make us better. If you are not a better person as a Christian than you would otherwise be, are you really a Christian at all?
I was reminded again this weekend and today.
Preaching should make us better men. It should make us think deeply and biblically through the issues of life. It should press us to handle with grace and faith hardships as an example of that faith. It should push us to overcome the personal demons that plague us and might lead to reactions that might ruin our ministry in a moment. It should compel us to a greater love than “the heathen,” loving our adversaries and forgiving the worst of human enemies. If should lead us to greater heights as a husband and father, imitating Christ and God. It should call us to love the souls of each person we have the opportunity to influence to Christ. Time in the Word should cause us to examine our own lives and challenge us to allowing It to disciple us.
My brother buried his beloved companion of roughly 40 years on Saturday afternoon and then Sunday he chose to preach. I got to hear his message online this afternoon. It was as passionate, tender, compelling call to Christ as I can ever remember hearing. Yes, preaching, the life of ministry, time in the Word, deeply considering life in light of God, living a life of love and service to Laura, have all refined him to be a better man because he is a Christian man.
I pray you are allowing God to make you better because you belong to Him. I am proud of and thankful for my humble brother and pray I can be like him as he is like Christ.
It was a most unusual Sunday, but oh my, what a blessing. One of a handful of times in the last forty years that I sat and listened to someone else deliver the sermon. It was a tremendous blessing to be warmly greeted by strangers in a worship setting far from home. It was a great blessing to sit beside my wife, to be able to hold her hand as we prayed and even as we opened the Scriptures together.
The entire worship experience was thrilling. And the preaching was outstanding. If I called the preacher’s name, few of you who are reading this would recognize him. He isn’t a regular on the “big” programs (it is certainly not because he’s not capable). He isn’t well known for his writing, his preaching, or his ministry to his congregation (as a point of fact, most of you reading this wouldn’t recognize the name of the church).
As we sat through the sermon (very Biblical, very well put together, and extremely practical), I thought about all of the preachers around our country and the world, who are much like this godly man.
I thought of many of you who read these Monday Morning Thoughts. Men who love the Lord with all of their hearts. Men who are committed to preaching the Truth in love. Men who minister without fanfare to the flock God has entrusted to you. Men who love their wives and who are working hard to help raise their children. Men who continue to stay strong under difficult circumstances. Men who labor every day for the Glory of God, not so that they will be praised, or known, or famous, or wealthy.
Men just like you, my brother. Thank you. Thank you for your life of service for the Lord. May He shower you with abundant blessings from above. As well, may you know how important and valuable you are to the Kingdom.
How was your sermon yesterday? Did you interpret the text well? Illustrate it clearly? How was your introduction? Did everyone “get on the bus?” Was your outline memorable and followable? How about your close?
If you are like me there are plenty of weeks you’ll grade yourself out low on these.
Last week I was in a class with a small group of people who did not know me. The teacher had each of us introduce ourselves. Naturally in my introduction I included that I am a preacher. A little later, the teacher referred to me as a pastor. While I don’t always do it, I said, “Actually, I’m a preacher, not a pastor.” All heads turned as the preacher responder “What’s the difference.” Before giving a more instructive answer, I jokingly said: “A pastor has to care for people, a preacher just preaches.”
In your opinion you may not have graded out well in your preaching Sunday, but that doesn’t mean your day was wasted. Obviously, your sermon is significant, but your ministry is much more than those words you spoke for 20-45 minutes yesterday.
Those words may often be remembered, but the attention you gave to a young child, the time you sat and listened to an aging sister tell of her aches, the moments you answered the ethical question of a business man, the interaction with a teen about their weekend athletic endeavors, the time in counsel with a sister struggling with her faith, the hug for a widower still struggling in his year old grief, the welcome you gave to a new family who is experiencing that discomfort many face when walking into a new place, the knowing pat on the shoulder toward someone who had called you earlier to confess a private struggle, the sincere smile you share with a sister battling depression, these will be remembered. I bet you did much better than the grade you placed on your sermon. Yes, you preached and/or taught, and I’m so thankful you did, but I pray when you give yourself a “low C” on the sermon, you’ll remember — You ministered. And your moments in ministry will last much longer in the hearts of people than a masterful message. Step lively, what you do matters. Don’t quit. We need you preacher, we need your ministry.
When our grandchildren were younger, they would fall and hurt themselves as children will do. If I was near, I would tell them to come to Pops and let me hold them. I would jokingly say, “Come to Doctor Pops.” As our granddaughter got a little older, she would roll her eyes at me, and once she piped up and said, “Pops, you’re not a doctor, you are a preacher!” Then she said, “Stick to what you know, Pops.”
I’ve thought about that childlike admonition numerous times. It really is sage advice for those of us who preach. It is possible that one of the reasons we struggle so much in our work, is because we attempt to do things that are not in our area of expertise, and they are not really part of the work that has been assigned to us.
Sometimes, we try to do the work of elders because we feel they aren’t doing their work. We may become frustrated because they aren’t handling a situation in the way we think they should.
Perhaps, we see a job not being done by some deacon or some member that has been assigned to them. Rather than going through the ordeal of trying to get them to do it, we just do it ourselves.
Or, we don’t like the way some brother teaches a Bible class, so we stop asking them and we teach all of the classes.
If we aren’t careful, we can burn ourselves out doing the good work of the Lord by trying to do everything. It sometimes seems easier to do the work of others than to encourage them to do their work.
Brothers, our job is the preach the Word of God and minister to those whom God has entrusted to us. May God help us to busy ourselves about this work. As well, we will be less likely to become frustrated and burned out in the work of the Lord. In other words, stick to what we know!
I can remember those days. I’d get paid on Sunday and rush to the bank Monday morning. I was living paycheck to paycheck. I did that for more years than I am willing to own up to. Roughly 38% of you who are in ministry are still there, I understand and am thankful for the sacrifices you make for the ministry.
But that’s not the Sunday to Sunday I’m talking about.
I’m Sunday to Sunday. I live in that precarious place where my elders are good and my relationship with the church is healthy but the ever present reality that I’m one sentence in a sermon, one accusation from the right person, one indiscretion away from not having a job.
I’m Sunday to Sunday. For nearly 40 years I have not slept well on Saturday night. It doesn’t matter how many hours I’ve studied and prepared, how good life is otherwise, I am most ofter awake until the wee hours of Sunday morning and then up before the sun that day. I fantasize about a night of 8 hours of sleep on a Saturday. I think I’m weird but I bet a number of you are too.
Yes, I’m Sunday to Sunday and while some might question my faith or confidence, this Sunday to Sundayistic life I live presses me to greater faith. It pushes me to not be self-reliant but to trust in God come what may. The Sunday sermon, bathed in prayer and covered with His Word. The precarious place where I could be out of a job at any time. Even the lack of financial independence forces me to turn to Him. Others might, He will not forsake me. Others have, He has not let me down. I put my trust in Thee, where else can I rest it?
It was a sincere and concerned question from a kind heart. It’s a question that we’ve heard, in various ways, quite a bit over the past year or so. To be honest, it’s a question that we consider a lot. Chances are, as a preacher, you’ve been asked a similar question numerous times, and one that you’ve asked yourself.
How do you keep going when you’re suffering with a physical illness or when someone you love is dealing with a terminal illness? How do you keep going when you feel emotionally worn down to the point of burnout? How do you keep going when you feel underpaid, under-appreciated, and overworked? How do you keep going when you are struggling in your marriage or with your children? How do you keep going when you are at odds with your elders, co-workers, or a prominent member in the Church? How do you keep going when you feel ineffective, when you feel like a failure in your work for the Lord?
Just a few reminders from my heart. You probably know all of these, but perhaps they will serve as reaffirmation for you.
Remember that we are partners with God in the greatest work in the world. As proclaimers of the Word, we are not dealing in trivia.
Remember that this is, as we often say, the work of the Lord. We are doing His work. The more we come to understand and remember this, the easier it will be for us to keep going.
Remember that whenever we preach the Word of God, we are giving those who hear us what they need to make the most important of all of life’s decisions.
Remember that we are bringing comfort to the broken-hearted, peace to the troubled, and hope to anyone who will obey the Word of God.
Remember that in spite of the difficulties of this life, we have the promise of Heaven. Someday everything in this life will be in the rear-view mirror and our eyes will behold the Glory of the Lord.
By the way, what keeps you going? Feel free to share your thoughts with all of us.
May I write something very personal to you. Please do not think me out of place in writing this,
Don’t “compare ourselves with ourselves” (2 Co 10:12): One of the joys of my life (I get emotional just thinking about it) is when I’m speaking somewhere and someone comes up and tells me how awesome one of my sons is. “We think your son is awesome.” And, I say “thank you, which one.” And in the nano-second between the question and the answer, every time I think., “but you know, it simply doesn’t matter.” They are both a blessing and tremendous ministers who love the Lord, His People and Souls. And I can breath. But here’s the thing. They are as different as night and day. And there is no reason to compare them. Give Philip a microphone and he’ll blow your socks off. He’s comfortable in front of a crowd. He is a system’s guy. Andrew, he doesn’t need a mic. He will love people to death and serve them. Yes, he can preach and teach and yes, Philip can do one on one. They are both insanely creative and both intensely devoted to the Word of God but they are different. Why would I compare them?
Of course I’m a proud dad but if you think that why I’m writing this piece then you are miles off base. My point is for you to be the best you you can be for God. I know guys who’s ability to understand and apply words in original language is a thing of pure beauty. I also know brothers who can collect, remember, and present moving illustrations that shed beautiful light on the text, but struggle with the English language let alone the Greek. I know guys who can present lesson after lesson without a note who can connect with their audience well, but who are insecure about one-on-one visiting.
But it seems for most of us it is our weaknesses that chase us, we want what we don’t have and can become envious of the gift we do not possess. If you spend your ministry trying to be someone other than you, comparing your “success” with that of others, you’ll never impact those you uniquely can impact. Talk about a recipe to keep you discouraged, ineffective, and on the ledge of quitting! And, you stand in danger of forgetting that the Father is proud of all of His sons who are faithfully serving Him. He sees beyond your cannot’s and to your committed service. You are His sons and The Father is proud of the stewardship of each of the skills He has provided.