Posted by: pastortomvabeach | October 8, 2015

Thought For The Week October 11, 2015

This week I had the privilege of attending the Potomac Ministry Network’s annual minister’s retreat. Featured speakers were Scott Wilson, Senior Pastor of The Oaks Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, and Dr. Charlie Self, Professor of Church History at The Assemblies of God Theological Seminary in Springfield, MO where he teaches courses in apologetics, church history, mission history, leadership development and discipleship. These two men had a lot of wisdom to pass on to pastors from all over our region.

One thing that stood out as valuable to any Christian anywhere was Pastor Scott’s answer to a very contemporary question. He was asked, in light of the rapid growth of many churches around the country and the apparent huge success of the pastors and leaders of those churches, what would he say to the young pastor who left college or seminary with dreams of building a huge and successful ministry and finds him or herself ten years or more down the road with a church of 100 or less, about success. How does one keep going when they don’t seem to be seeing the accomplishment level of others.

His answer was something every Christian needs to take to heart. He said that success is not about leading a church from small to tall, from nothing to huge, it’s not about getting acclaim or writing books to tell others how to do it. Success is all about walking every day in obedience with Jesus. Success is about being faithful wherever Jesus has you and being faithful in doing whatever He has you doing, whether that’s in a huge context or something that seems small by comparison.

In Matthew 25, Jesus spoke a parable about three servants who were entrusted with some of their master’s wealth. We call it the parable of the talents. One was given five talents, one two, and the third only one. Then the master went away for a long time. Upon his return he called the servants to report on how they had used their talents. The first came and returned the five talents with an increase of five more. The second also doubled his master’s investment. The third had done nothing. He was fearful and felt that the master had given him so little that he would be better off just hiding and protecting it so he wouldn’t lose anything.

We know how the master felt about the third servant but this note is not about him. It’s about the first two. Do you remember what the master said to the first two servants after they had returned his investment with an increase? Matthew records that he said the same thing to both, Well done, good and faithful servant: you were faithful over a vew things, I will make you ruler over many things. (Matthew 25:21, 23). Did you notice that the master didn’t say, “Well done, successful servant.”? What was the word? Faithful!

Pastor Scott, who had done some amateur rapping in his younger days pressed home the fact that all God is looking for is for us to be faithful, faithful, faithful, faithful, faithful, faithful, and faithful. He said this probably 30 or more times while dancing in a circle. The powerful truth here is that if we will handle the faithful part, God supplies the fruitful part! Did you get that? We don’t make the fruit, our Father does. We just walk with Him in faithfulness with whatever gifts and abilities He’s given us and He’ll give the fruit.

Paul wrote in I Corinthians 4:2, It is required in stewards that one be found faithful. He is basically saying the same thing Jesus said in His parable. We are God’s servants and stewards or managers of all His property. That property includes everything about us from the wealth or lack of wealth God entrusts to us to the physical and spiritual abilities and gifts He gives to our very lives since we belong to Him. As stewards of God’s property, Paul says that faithfulness is required. That can mean being faithful to use the spiritual gifts He gives us in serving His people and the world. It can mean being faithful in how we use finances and how generous we are with God’s wealth. It can also mean being faithful in continually increasing our relationship with Jesus through worship, prayer, God’s Word, fellowship, and witnessing.

How would you then measure the success of your life up to now? It’s not about how many promotions you’ve received or how much money you’ve made or how big you’ve grown your company or the size of your house, car, vacation budget, etc. It’s all about every day walking in obedience with Jesus. It’s about being faithful. Just a thought.

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