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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Brooksyne with the John Deere Christmas tree
The John Deere Christmas Tree

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"Faithful Service"

"I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that He considered me faithful, appointing me to His service" (1 Timothy 1:12). "I have kept the faith" (2 Timothy 4:7).
Wilfred NelsonMy memory takes me back today to a man named Wilfred, who for many years, served as our greeter in the church we pastored in northern Pennsylvania. He was very dependable and earnest in his ministry of greeting the folks as they entered the church building.  In fact we have a number of readers from that church and I'm sure that just seeing Wilfred's photos will stir up some warm memories of our faithful friend.

Wilfred was a simple man and was somewhat limited in the  areas in which he could comfortably serve in the church. His role would not be reckoned by many as a position of esteem, but he faithfully served in the best way he knew how, and he was greatly respected for it.

For those who knew Wilfred I'm sure you'll recall
his friendly greeting and warm smile. Others of you will consider another person like Wilfred who has impacted your life in a similar way.  

For the last several years of his life he was confined to a nursing home in an increasingly diminished mental state before going home to be with the Lord
several years ago. Wilfred exhibited the fruit of faithfulness while on this earth.  Faithfulness is one of the most under-rated yet vital qualities in the Christian life.

The apostle Paul's life was characterized by faithfulness. When he experienced salvation on the Damascus highway he began a long record of faithful service for God. At the very end of his life he could declare 
"I have kept the faith." And that is God's call for each one of us.

An interesting perspective concerning faithfulness is recorded in 1 Samuel 30. King David and his men were away at battle and while they were away enemies came in and laid the city of Ziklag in ashes, carrying away their wives and children. 

When the men returned they were overwhelmed with grief. The Scripture says they "wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep."  They also blamed David and were ready to stone him. "But David found strength in the LORD his God" (v. 6) and sought direction from the Lord. That's a whole other lesson.

David selected 600 men and set out to rescue the women and children.  When they came to the Brook Besor, 200 of the men were so exhausted they could not cross over the brook and stayed back with the supplies. The other 400 went on, made a great recovery, and returned with the spoil.

When they returned to the brook a protest arose on the part of some who went to battle.  They didn't want to share the spoil.  Then David made a great statement about faithfulness:  "The share of the man who stayed with the supplies is to be the same as that of him who went down to the battle. All will share alike."  In fact David made this a statute and ordinance for Israel from that day onward.

What David essentially said was, "Not all are equally strong or have the same abilities, but all can be equally faithful to that which is entrusted to them."  The 200 who put forth their best were just as worthy of the reward as those who were superior in strength. 

Remember this truth today in your service for God. He's looking for faithfulness so let us be found faithful in all we do!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Thankful manDaily prayer: Father, we want to be faithful in our service to You and to those whom You entrust to our care.  It's often a challenge and there are many excuses we can give for wanting to quit before Your appointed time.  It would have been so understandable for Jesus to give up His plan to redeem the lost when He was beaten, rejected, mocked, and abandoned by those closest to Him.  But He was faithful to the mission which is our only hope for salvation.  Help us to remember that our labor in the Lord is not in vain; that our faithfulness is critical to the mission You have called us to complete.  As we remain faithful we further develop the fruit of patience and endurance and inspire others as we model the fruit of faithfulness.  We can do this only through the strength given to us through Christ in whose name we pray.  Amen.

Wilfred Nelson
Here's another photo of Wilfred. As I recall we were doing a study and had each of the participants take a photo with the study booklet.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
Click on the link to open and play.
(In some cases you may also need to click again to start the song.)

"Where's The Line?"  Video  A very thoughtful song I had not heard before last night.  Well worth the listen!

"He Leadeth Me"  Video   "His faithful follower I would be, for by His hand He leadeth me!"

1 Samuel 30

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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