A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Tuesday, September 3, 2019
Galen standing left in the background behind his 1949 Minneapolis-Moline tractor following his surprise.
"The Blessing Of Small Steadiness"
Message summary: The Bible lists many qualities of a good person but today let us consider the blessing of the small steadiness of every day.
Listen to this message on your audio player.
"I put Hanani my brother, and Hananiah the commander of the fortress, in charge of Jerusalem, for he was a faithful man and feared God more than many" (Nehemiah 7:2). "A faithful man shall abound with blessings" (Proverbs 28:20a). "And he (church elder) must have a good reputation" (1 Timothy 3:7).
He was the kind of man that good men talk about
The way he showed his faith was how he lived it out
His hands were rough and calloused
and his shoes were old and torn
And the lines that framed his smile
were lines so well and deep and worn
So what will be remembered of what he left behind?
What will stand the test of time?
Sunday afternoon we attended a surprise 70th birthday party for our friend Galen. He was indeed surprised, telling his wife when he observed evidence of an after church meal that he just couldn't understand why the church would have a potluck dinner on Labor Day weekend with so many out! The surprise included Darrel, Galen's youngest son, driving Galen's recently restored 1949 Minneapolis-Moline tractor to the church entrance.
The 70 year old farm vehicle is Galen's reminder of his boyhood years on the farm when his dad and grandpa farmed the land using this very tractor. He just restored it this past year to the bright orange/gold and red colors that make it stand out and prompts onlookers to say, "Wow, wouldn't it be fun to ride on a tractor like that!" In addition to attendees admiring the tractor we also enjoyed an excellent meal of bbq brisket, which included my all-time Kansas City favorite, "burnt ends"!
It was such a blessing to hear the variety of tributes offered from friends, church people, extended family members, a longtime farm hand and neighbors. Galen is respected as a good man in his dealings with others and a godly man in his relationship to the Lord.
His four children shared the last tributes, expressing thankfulness and honor to their father. Galen's daughter, Roanna, shared that she had seen his consistent demonstration of hard work, generosity and faithfulness. I was especially struck by a phrase Roanna used concerning her dad's faithfulness as the blessing of "the small steadiness of every day".
The small steadiness of every day is the basic foundation of faithfulness quietly demonstrated day after day, month after month, year after year in the long course of life. We've met many people like Galen who demonstrate the small steadiness of every day and continue to meet them. In fact when greeting people in the course of chaplain work I often comment on an employee's unheralded steadiness.
If you stop and think about it, you can also think of many who are faithful in the small steadiness of every day yet few of them are famous as the world deems fame. I have referred to this as quiet faithfulness.
In our first daily text Nehemiah refers to an obscure man named Hananiah. His sole Biblical distinctive is that he was "a faithful man and feared God more than many". In considering this text I observe that being a faithful man and having a fear of God are so inter-related. We believe the massive breakdown in faithfulness we see in our own age is related to the loss of having a healthy, holy fear of God.
In previous generations families commonly imprinted portions of Scripture as an epitaph on tombstones and it's still practiced by some today. On my parent's tombstone we have, "For Me To Live Is Christ, To Die Is Gain". A phrase from today's verse has been used on many tombstones, "He was a faithful man and feared God more than many". The above pictured epitaph is on the tombstone of Deacon Samuel Peck in Greenwich, Connecticut who died in 1793. Such an epitaph makes us want to hear his story.
The road to being faithful is a long steady slog, the accumulation of many small decisions made throughout life, "the small steadiness of every day". You decide each day that you will live faithfully but the characteristic of being faithful takes time. Good intentions and reality too often do not present the same outcome.
The truth of the second daily Scripture is often most evident in one's latter years: "A faithful man shall abound with blessings". Faithfulness has great reward, both in this life and the one to come. If you know Jesus as your personal Savior you are actually abounding in blessings right now, but you can become discouraged with present or recurring trials. God's Word is ever true. Perhaps you need to consider someone who has served God faithfully for many years and observe how they abound with blessings, even in the midst of their ongoing trials. But just remember the greatest blessings are yet to come!
Character qualities like faithfulness, steadiness and consistency might sound boring to many today, but they still matter to God. "A faithful man shall abound with blessings", and he does; both in this life and the life to come. Let us all aspire to hear these wonderful words from the supremely Faithful One, "Well done, good and faithful servant" as we practice "the small steadiness of every day".
So what will be remembered of what he left behind?
What will stand the test of time?
How to love your neighbor, how to love your wife
Wrap your arms around your children and pray with them each night
Thank God for all the good things 'cause the good things are enough
The ties that bind and leave behind a legacy of love
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, may my life be marked by faithfulness and integrity. I know that these character traits are not developed over a short period of time but over the duration of my life, most especially during the challenging times. Obedience does bring blessing and it also brings eternal reward. Help me not to become weary in doing good, for at the proper time that You have ordained, I will reap a harvest if I do not give up. Help me to practice the small steadiness of every day. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Legacy Of Love" Video David Phelps (This is the song quoted in today's message)
"Find Us Faithful" Video Steve Green
"Find Me Faithful" Video The Perrys
"Faithful Man" Video Johnny Minick A tribute song to Howard Goodman of "The Happy Goodmans"
"What You Leave Behind" Video The Talleys
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