Friday, April 21, 2023
It made me very uncomfortable. My flesh wanted to enjoy the moment, but my spirit was unsettled. As I was being introduced to speak the MC said, “Here is a great man of God.” I cringed. I quickly prayed to ask the humility of Christ to be seen in me.
As I stood to speak, the introduction of my message instantly changed in my mind. I looked out over that crowd of people and saw pastors, pastoras, college students, and church workers who were deserving of true honor before the Lord. Many came from remote places. Many lived in places with no running water, no sanitary systems, no air conditioning, no showers or bathtubs, and no source of income. Yet here they were, gathered as faithful servants of King Jesus, longing to be enriched and encouraged to go back to those places and carry on the commission of Jesus Christ to share the Gospel with everyone.
These are the true heroes of the faith. People who have sacrificed all the things we consider entitlements so that Jesus Christ can save more souls. I told them they were great people of God and that I was nothing compared to them.
We all have the tendency to look for people who are greater than us so they can influence us. It is especially true in the church. We are constantly looking for the next great preacher or author who can influence us. We quickly follow them and call them great. We even label our belief system with their name. Even pastors do it by using quotes from them in their sermons to validate the truth they are teaching. Why do we do that? The Bible alone is our validation of truth. It’s not wrong to quote what others have said, but why do we hold those people in high regard just because they seem to have a better grasp on the truth than we do?
Instead of calling them great, why not become great yourself? Study God’s word. Obey God’s word. Grow in your own knowledge of God through the Word. The focus of all Bible studies, life groups, and church services should be the study of God’s word, using other resources only as an assistant. Unfortunately, we have become dependent on what other authors have written rather than dependent on the Author Himself.
I pray that every person who heard me preach that day was drawn to the Scriptures as their source of all life and activity. I believe they already were, because their sacrifice for the Gospel was evident. When the Gospel has its guaranteed affect on us, then we are compelled to serve King Jesus. (Seems I heard a pastor preach on Compelled recently.) Are you compelled to serve Jesus at all cost, or is He just an add-on to your own pursuits and goals.
I was honored to preach to the faithful servants of Jesus in the Philippines. But I am no more a great man of God than they are. When Jesus Christ takes up residence in a person’s life in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, then that person is great in the eyes of God. Now it is up to each one of us to determine how great we will allow God to be in us, and that requires constant study of God in His Word. Get started today. Grab your Bible and read it before you do anything else. May I suggest you start with First John.