Key Insight: Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
His life and ministry was nearing its climax. There were some things he had to share with his son in the faith, Timothy. It appears that this young man was having a tough time in the work at Ephesus. To encourage him Paul writes his first letter to Timothy. Over the years I thank God for those who have encouraged me in ministry.
Faithfulness doesn’t mean failure-less. Faithfulness doesn’t mean having all the answers. Faithfulness is remaining true to the Lord and His Word. Faithfulness means learning from personal mistakes, finding wisdom, forgiving and being forgiven. Many a congregation must surely warrant some type of medal from the Lord for their grace and patience with novice preachers. Fortunate are those beginners in the pulpit who have some sensitive and godly person take them under their ‘wing.’ A good example of such a thing happening in the New Testament concerned Aquila and Priscilla. This couple got beside Apollos, invited him into their home, and explained the way of God more adequately. (Acts 18:26).
Paul was apostle, prophet and pastor beyond peer. In 1 Timothy 1:12 he used one of the lowliest term to describe the heights of Christian service. Paul was eternally grateful that Jesus had made him a deacon, a table waiter. Why choose this title? Probably because it was the one Jesus applied to Himself in Matthew 20:28, ‘…the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve…’ Jesus served Humanity as a Deacon. He most wonderfully demonstrated that at the Passover meal by washing the disciples’ feet. Paul would not presume to put himself above his Lord. Nor should we!
Reflection: In your present stage of ministry how burns the passion? Do you need to find a quiet place and regain your inner strength from your Lord? He has counted you faithful!What are you doing to prove His verdict correct?
Request: Strengthen me within so that I might be faithful for you. May those who are looking to me in the various stresses and strains of ministry know you are my endunameo Amen!
Ray Hawkins Oct 19th. 2015.