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Tuesday, July 19, 2022
Our friend Doris High took this up close photo of a windmill on an Amish farm in Ohio.
"Doing Something Ordinary For God"
Message summary: In our view the vast, vast majority of work being done for God is done by ordinary people doing ordinary things out of the spotlight.
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"God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them" (Hebrews 6:10).
It seems that every generation of young people really wants to make a difference in their world. In my youth when I was just beginning my Christian walk I recall being challenged many times to "do something great for God". In response to that challenge and God’s call upon my life I entered Bible College and embarked upon ministry. There I met Brooksyne who was also preparing for ministry. We, along with many of our peers, had an earnest desire to "do something great for God". After all, the phrase, "Do something ordinary for God" would certainly not be much of an aspiration!
That was nearly 50 years ago now (ouch!) and life is continually transitioning day by day, year after year. I don't imagine any objective analysis of my life up to this point would warrant a claim that I've done anything really great. I've never pastored a large or nationally known local church. I never gained fame as a worldwide evangelist such as Billy Graham or lesser known evangelists. For sure my name is not associated with recording artists! As a writer I don't have any published books or best-sellers although I have found satisfaction in preparing these daily messages since 1996. This, along with my service as a chaplain to some 500 employees in various companies, is currently the way I serve. Of course Brooksyne and I share both of these ministries together. We have appreciated gracious feedback over the years indicating that we have touched people's lives but certainly make no claim to greatness or being in any spotlight.
The aspiration to do something great is commendable. Yet a sense of unworthiness can sweep over a person, who, after an honest assessment of their giftings or lack thereof, realize they're simply unable to accomplish anything reckoned as great by others. Many have dropped the baton of service when their aspiring dream never fully materialized. They could only imagine worthiness of ministry if serving in a big way or in the spotlight.
Doug Black has an interesting ministry as a purposeful bi-vocational pastor in Philadelphia (he's also a web designer). He sees his ministry right where he's at, and also serves in his local church and in other settings as well. He's certainly not in any spotlight and that's not what he seeks.
He makes an interesting point that is so instructive. "There are a lot of people trying to grab the spotlight in our world. The platforms that have no spotlight or that are far away from the spotlight are always empty so we need to find God right there." I believe Doug is saying to look for ministry opportunities that don't always have the spotlight on them, those that may be ordinary.
We propose another aspiration that may initially seem rather uninspiring: "Do something ordinary for God!" All of us can do that and faithfulness in the ordinary really does matter. In our view the vast, vast majority of work being done for God is by ordinary people doing ordinary things out of the spotlight.
Now, praise God, sometimes the ordinary does become great, such as the young boy with the fish and bread that Jesus multiplied to feed the crowd. He simply offered the ordinary he had and Jesus performed the miracle. We read nothing more in Scripture of that boy again. We can assume he went on to live an ordinary life, hopefully in faithful service to Christ. Our aspiration should be to glorify God in our obedience and service to Him, not to make anything great of ourselves, let alone seek the spotlight.
Let us consider the daily verse, written to a group of people "The Hebrews", none of whom we know by name. But as part of the Holy Scriptures we can read this verse applying it to our own lives.
"God is not unjust". That's a simple four word phrase we do well to memorize. Unjustness permeates our world and there are times when God's ways don't make sense to us, even tempting us to question His justness. But the infallible Word of God proclaims, "God is not unjust".
"He will not forget your work". Others may forget or not even notice, but God always sees and remembers!
"And the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people". How do we show our love for God? Surely through our praises, thankfulness, obedience and in many other ways. But this verse specifies a way that goes to the very heart of ministry and it's generally demonstrated in ordinary ways. In some wonderful way as we help and serve God's people, we are actually helping and serving God. Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me" (Matthew 25:40).
"And continue to help them". The writer of Hebrews was confident that this help was active and ongoing, as he finished the sentence with this phrase. Are you in active service for God and His people today? If so, keep it up. What a great blessing long-term, faithful, and dependable workers are in the kingdom of God. You may not be in the spotlight, in fact it's likely you're not. But He sees and will not forget your work. He generously rewards us in this life but His greater reward will be given in the life to come! Today do something ordinary for God so that He will use it for His extraordinary purposes.
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, as You call us You also equip us to do that which You lay upon our hearts. May we respond to those in need in whatever capacity we can help. Certainly we can pray, we may need to write or call, and then there are the times we are to go and accomplish that which we are called to do. May our motive, in everything we say, do or think be to glorify You as we shine our light, not for our own glory, but always for Your glory and honor while also spotlighting the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Amen.
I want to tell you about someone only a few of our readers will know. I accepted Christ when I was a teenager and attended a small church in Independence, Missouri. Through the years I kept up with my first pastor and his wife as they aged. Pastor Howard died about twenty-five years ago. I last visited with his wife in 2006 along with my brother. She insisted on taking us out for ice cream, which gave us an opportunity to thank her for the impact she and her husband had on our lives. They were great examples as they demonstrated Christ's love and total dedication to the flock. Here's a photo of Sister Howard and me taken during that visit. She and her husband are a vital part of my spiritual heritage.
Several years after this visit I tried to call her but got a recorded message that her phone had been disconnected. I had a sense that she may have moved on to her eternal destination. On a hunch I typed her name and "obituary" into the search engine and sure enough she had passed away at 91 years of age. Her obituary had this descriptive statement, "As a minister for over fifty years, a published author and a teacher, she devoted her life to sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with others."
Early in their marriage they faced a loss that required significant overcoming. While they were pastoring a church in Iowa their eleven year old son, while delivering newspapers, was killed by a drunk driver. When we visited her in 2006 she wept as she told us the details of her heartbreaking story, some 50 years earlier. Both she and her husband understandably had a very difficult time but by God's grace they sought to overcome and went on to touch many lives for Christ.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Ordinary People" Video Danniebelle Hall
"Use Me" Video Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir
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Stephen & Brooksyne
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 make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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