SIMPLE WAY TO PREPARE FOR THE FUTURE
I use several devotional books in my quiet time and of course one of them is the classic, My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. One of the best lines is the opening one for Sept. 6: “A river reaches places which its source never knows.”
The Word mandates that we make disciples of all nations (Mt. 28.19-20). Preaching for decisions is rewarding when you see someone actually give their heart to Christ, and we should all rightfully rejoice when that happens and the subsequent baptism occurs.
Teaching and investing in the life of a Christ follower, however, is often tedious and drawn out over years, and when the person transfers, moves, or joins other Christian ventures it is difficult to see the “fruit of your labors.” But one of the strongest scriptural promises we have is that God’s Word, if properly implanted in the souls of men (James 1.21; 1 Pet. 1.23-25), will not return to God without accomplishing its purpose (Is. 55.11), which is the salvation of men and them walking in step with Christ (Col. 2.6-7). From a 1-1 standpoint do not grow weary in well doing (Gal. 6.9) when you don’t see radical or visible transformation in your disciple(s). Our responsibility is to remain faithful in sharing God’s Word with folks; He will give the increase (1 Cor. 3.6; 2 Cor. 9.10). If the Mississippi River had self-awareness, I am sure the small origination brook up in Minnesota would have no inkling of the wide expanse it becomes down at Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Likewise it is hard to see how that squirming AWANA Cubbie, Royal Ambassador, or GA will one day become a missionary or successful businessman and active layman in his church, but we must remain faithful to share God’s Word with them, knowing we won’t be able to see the end result.
I have often said one of the strengths of Mountain State BA is that in years past many of our young men and women were trained to take positions of leadership in this area, resulting in many of our present day churches. We need renewed training (what to do) and equipping (give the tools to do it) of our people, using every available innovation (as long as it does not compromise biblical integrity), so that a witness for God continues in this corner of His Kingdom. I am under no illusion that my 62 year old body will last for untold decades in my present position, and want to make sure that my efforts are invested in the long term sustainability of Christ’s church for southern West Virginia far beyond my tenure; my decisions are born of an increasing love for His Kingdom and His people in WV.
We are not obligated to personally win the world and its 7+ billion to Christ; that thought easily paralyzes and overwhelms us. We are commanded in the Word to share where we are with what we have when we have the opportunity. Wherever you are on that aforementioned river, be faithful; who knows what will transpire in those disciples’ lives beyond your view and beyond your time to the glory of God?