DATE POSTED Saturday, 2022-12-03
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL
SCRIPTURE FROM: Philippians 2:20-21
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)
BIBLE TEXT: 20 I have no one else like Timothy, who genuinely cares about your welfare. 21 All the others care only for themselves and not for what matters to Jesus Christ.
APPLICATION: Over the years I have served on many Pastor Search Committees, where we searched high and low, far and wide, in what seemed like, ‘a needle in a haystack’, for the next pastor to serve at our church. Also served on church Nominating Committees, where we looked over the church membership role to find qualified persons to fill the internal ministry needs of our church. I don’t recall this Scripture ever coming up in either of the above committees, but I wonder if, unconsciously, we weren’t led by God, like He did with Paul, to choose the candidates who were serious about the needs and work of the Lord, His people, and His church. I sincerely hope, in retrospect, that God turned our stomachs on the applicants who were after their own personal interests and just needed income to complete His mission here on earth. Nominating Committees always seemed so judgmental, because we based our decision on what we saw the individuals do in and around the church. Seldom do churches visit the homes of church families anymore, and seldom do leaders even call to check on their members. Covid? Perhaps! Busyness? Perhaps! Selfish and/or personal agendas? Perhaps! But how do you suppose that Paul knew the very heart of the men available to him for ministry? My gut feeling is that he spent some quality time with them. No devices to distract him. Keeping quiet enough to hear the heart of the individual he was visiting. Praying for each prospect in a very non-judgmental way, but always open to the voice of God on who His chosen workers will be. Friends, I believe you will say like many church leaders today will use for an excuse – ‘but these men and women who serve on our committees are just human’. Fortunately, that’s the correct answer! However, it gives them even more reason to seek the heart of the One they are serving. God has a plan for each of us, and for His ministry here on earth. We must present ourselves to Him as living sacrifices, meaning that we must approach him without a personal agenda, and sincerely make ourselves available to Him. We must surrender our will to His, and be willing to do whatever He commands, without excuses, that ultimately comes from fear and self examination. I want to challenge each reader, along with myself, to consider: if our church looked at us individually to serve in ministry, would they see someone interested in the ways, commands, and wishes of Almighty God, or just individuals centered on selfish desires and personal agendas. Just as Paul saw these awesome and trustworthy qualities in Timothy, I pray that our similar qualities are shinning brightly for God and everyone else to see, God being our helper and awesome Miracle Worker!
BLESSING(S) NOTED: May it be obvious to others what God already knows about us, and may it all be pleasing to God, and for His glory only.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You are worthy of all our praise. Please forgive us for not always acting in ways that would pleases and honor You, but way too often seeking after our own will and benefit. Paul needed someone who had a heart for the people he served and ministered to. Our pastors, and our churches still need folk like that today. Please humble our hearts Lord, so that we may always seek to serve You and represent You in all that we do, so that all the glory will be attributed to You alone. Please humble the hearts of those who need You today, and open their eyes to all that You are doing in their world, and possible even through us. Be glorified in us today, oh Lord. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!