LifeLink Devotions

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

It has arrived. The first day of my retirement. I am officially unemployed. I still get to preach one more time this Sunday and enjoy the celebration of my ministry at my retirement party, but my 27-year tenure as Pastor at Calvary Baptist Church has come to an end. I plan to take some mission trips to the Philippines and to India this spring, but overall, my summer will be spent relaxing with Denise and being refreshed in my spirit so I can hear the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit speak His next instructions to me. I will be ready to go whenever and wherever He calls.

After forty-four total years in ministry, I’ve seen a lot of changes, especially in our culture. It has seriously degraded into a fuller expression of depravity. I sometimes wonder why the Lord has not yet returned and put an end to it. It is in those moments that I remember this verse from Second Peter: “And count the patience of our Lord as salvation…” (2 Peter 3:15)

Just a few verses earlier Peter proclaimed, “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)  The patience of the Lord is motivated by His heart of love to desire all people to come to repentance and be saved.

To be sure, there is a day of judgement coming. Jesus will return in all of His power and authority to inflict the consequences of sin upon all who have rejected Him. It will be horrific. But He is being patient with that judgment so that His followers can proclaim His love and grace to those who stand condemned. The patience of Jesus is our opportunity to see more people get saved from their sin.

However, seeing more people get saved requires us to personally proclaim the message of salvation. Far too many followers of Jesus are willing to rejoice when someone gets saved but miss the inexpressible joy of being the one who shared the Gospel and watched the Holy Spirit transform a life. Why are we satisfied to be fans in the stands when we could be on the field in all the action? Why are we content with occasional cheering when we could be carrying out the game plan of the Head Coach?

My friends, it appears that time is short. Yet every day we awake we have a choice to either protect ourselves from the growing depravity of society, or to engage depraved people in conversations about Jesus, who conquered sin and death and desires that all should come to repentance.

Which will you choose?

Pastor John