Thank you, Paul, for being obedient, for being a true pioneer, for leaving such an enduring legacy.
Do you guys sign autographs in heaven? If you do, I’d like to get in line.
I am a slow learner. But, I also understand that God teaches us by stages. The Word remains the same; He just seems to help us get more out of it as the years go by. Such has been my experience with this verse:
"and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else's foundation," (Romans 15:20)
I initially took it as a reaffirmation of the Great Commission, which it is. So many have little or no access to the Gospel. If we bother to prepare for ministry, then it seems logical that the first priority would be to find people who have not yet heard.
After some time in the ministry, I also began to see in this proclamation the basis for a proper work ethic. There are enough secondary and auxiliary ministries trying to sell themselves to existing churches. In addition, some have used churches by dishonestly drawing away people and resources to start their own thing.
All the while, the need for genuine pioneers grows.
"An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules." (2 Timothy 2:5)
It refreshes my bones to be around people who want to do things the right way, while letting God worry about the results.
A reaffirmation of the Great Commission... the basis for a healthy work ethic... and in addition, a challenge.... not unlike God's challenge in Malachi 3:10 to put Him to the test with our tithes and offerings.
Go ahead… be a pioneer… do it in a manner that reflects integrity and patience. Grow roots somewhere new, sow the Word and sit back and watch what happens!
I thought of this as I listened to a man at my kitchen table describe his life as a millionaire, hitting rock bottom, and then beginning to find Christ. To be able to have an intelligent conversation about how you get from a works oriented religion to simple faith in Christ and His Word... you can't put a price tag on that!
Thank you, Paul. You were right. There is nothing quite as satisfying as starting from scratch, waiting on the Lord to bless as He chooses, and being allowed to hang around long enough to see some of the results!
Greg was raised near Milwaukee, WI. He has lived outside of the United States since 1976... first in Central America and, since 1982, in Cancun, Mexico.
Concise devotions in Spanish and English, along with some lengthier essays… Designed for personal spiritual growth and to help anyone studying English or Spanish as a second language to improve their skills… Rev 14:6
To highlight one essential facet of the eternal Gospel of Jesus Christ... Rev 14:6; 2 Cor. 5:18
THANK YOU FOR READING!
"For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you." Philemon 1:7
Refreshing the Bones by Greg Smith is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.