The run up to our annual Benefit Dinner and Silent Auction is always a very hectic time here at FaithSearch—so much so that my co-laborers have often heard me lament that it is my least favorite time of the year. It is also a very important time of the year, as the event enables a large part of our ministry budget. It also celebrates highlights of the ministry year and anticipates another year of active service in the mission God has called us to: “Proclaiming the Gospel with Evidence to All Peoples Everywhere.”
As they say, “No pressure.” Right!
As I was preparing to lead staff devotions on Wednesday, I happened to read a devotional by Charles Spurgeon, based on 1 John 4:13. Spurgeon was a nineteenth century pastor in London, known as the “Prince of Preachers.” He was also a prolific writer.
This devotional focuses on John’s discussion of love, as in “God is love” and draws out the argument that we “abide in Him.” (Read the complete devotional.)
It is poigniently propitious to be reminded of this truth amid the activity of ministry. We who love Him and are guided by His Holy Spirit, literally A.B.I.D.E. I.N. H.I.M. He Himself is our dwelling place. Our eternity with Him is why we do what we do; I am His and I live for His glory, not mine, nor for my comfort and ease.
This “dwelling place” is the God of the universe; it is His Kingdom; it is wherever He rules and reigns; it is the “pearl of great price” for which a man sells all he has in order to have it (Matthew 13:44-46); it must be pre-eminent in our thinking, for whoever loves even father or mother more Jesus is not worthy of Him (Matthew 10:36-38); nothing we have or can do is more valuable than knowing Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:8).
We live and serve for His pleasure and glory. Keeping that ultimate end in mind renews my spirit and encourages me to keep going, especially in times of stress and trial. So when I read Spurgeon’s words, I was renewed and refreshed and pulled up short to consider that there is tension between the labor He has for me here, and my desire to be with Him (Philippians 1:22-24). Spurgeon drew this out to its logical conclusion: if God has work for me here that would take forever to accomplish, then it would be my joy to never depart the earth to be with Him, but to labor on here for His glory. WOW!
That’s certainly something to think about.