Tag Archives: encouragement

A Letter to My Brother in Christ

I am aware that you need more context to understand fully what I write here. However, that will not be provided. I hope it is of value as it stands.

Journal Entry:

September 12, 2013

I don’t think a church plant will happen…at least not right now. The letter I sent to various people did not reveal much interest. Therefore, I will push on doors elsewhere. If you hear of any opportunities please pass them along. Thanks for all your help and prayers. All that you poured into me is still bearing fruit brother…it was not in vain.

I am thankful for the time I have had after seminary. Seminary was good for me in many ways but I needed to adjust to life outside the academy. I was not ready to deliver truth with mercy and patience. I had a packaged deal (that had many flaws) that would not fly very quickly. I would have lorded it over them. I would have pushed my agendas. But now, I am ready to walk with them (whoever they are) for however long it takes. I will have compassion instead of compulsion. Discipleship rather than dictatorship.

Also, I think my marriage is better as a result of waiting. I think I am a better father having waited. I have learned a ton! Many adjustments along the way. The Lord has been so merciful to me.

Seminary students don’t know what they need because they think they know. They don’t know…most of them. I hope you will encourage them to hang around the church for awhile before going into ministry. They need to be around you. Brother, you have such a gift from the Lord. I thankful for the time with you.

At the end of the day, God has not called me to be a pastor but to trust in His Son. The process of following everyday in everything is far more important than ministry. I could be so consumed with seeking a ministry position that I become faithless to the ministry of my family and those I am in contact with everyday.

I could tell you a story about Stanley who was our delivery guy where I work. I spoke with him about Jesus each week even though he claimed to be a believer. A few months ago, the Lord got his attention and he and his son went to church, heard the gospel, and believed. Now his wife is believing. They are making backpacks for the homeless. I could go on and on about things like that. God is using me right where I am…a husband, father, and hardware salesman.

I am in a discipleship relationship with two guys. We meet at McDonald’s every Saturday morning. I see fruit in their lives! Yet I long for more.

I feel like I am doing nothing for Christ. I ponder giving it all up because I can only do so little. Then God sent this to me: “Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do so little” (Edmund Burke).

May the Lord do with me as He pleases. May I be content with the small ministry that I have. I will give an account for them too! Pray for me…I so need it.


Abounding in Hope!

In the Word this morning, encouragement spread through my mind as I read these words:

Romans 15:1-13  We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves.  2 Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.  3 For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.”  4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.  5 May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus,  6 that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  7 Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.  8 For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs,  9 and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written, “Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name.”  10 And again it is said, “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.”  11 And again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples extol him.”  12 And again Isaiah says, “The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope.”  13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Trinity highlighted)
Observations:
1. Thankful for those who bear with me in my weaknesses.
2. Thankful for Christ who did not please himself.
3. Thankful that my reproaches fell on him…Praise be to Your Name!
4. Thankful for the Scriptures giving me hope.
5. Thankful that the God of endurance and encouragement grants endurance and encouragement.
6. Thankful for unity among the body…this is glorifying to God. (Be encouraged! Don’t think unity is a small thing.)
7. Thankful that tomorrow (hopefully) a family will be visiting our church and they will be welcomed as Christ has welcomed us…this is glorifying to God.
8. Thankful for God keeping His promises and we have the Scriptures to confirm this (three examples given) which leads to hope and perseverance. Therefore, praise the Lord!
My prayer for you is the same as Paul’s: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope, for our hope is in the Root of Jesse, Jesus Christ our Lord!