This was Preacher Bob’s last morning with us as pastor. We are sad to see him go, but know that God will be with him and us in this transition.
I Timothy 1:11 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust. 12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;18 This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; 19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:
Paul frames the words truthfully and timely. We’re undergoing change; they happen in the course of the will of the Lord. Things will be different after I’m gone, but lots of things will remain the same. We won’t see each other on a regular basis, but the Lord will hold us all.
I want us all to think about where God has placed us and why. Verse 12 says And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry. The Lord has me in the branch of service of a minister. The Lord placed me there for the same reason he placed you where you are. There is a will for our lives; that can sometimes be a challenge. At times the work is hard. We are to carry on when we’re down and out and when we’re tested and tried. God has placed us as shining lights to a dark world. Without our place in the world, it would be different. Think about the church in the community. A lot hinges on the leaders of a church, but all are important in the eyes of the Lord. God first counts us faithful. He doesn’t put us in a place to see what we do; he does it because he sees our faithfulness. He placed me in a minister’s role, and he placed you in a sphere of service as well. This isn’t because of one person, but because of all. You have a hold on your spot, and the job is to remain in place where God put you.
Life is not meaningless. The most miserable person is the one who lives only to himself. That person has nothing. The most important thing is to have our hearts right with the Lord. We have faith in the gospel. It would be hard to feel as if you have no one to love and no one to love you. Be thankful God loves you and that you have a church to love. God doesn’t place us where he wants in this life because of what we want out of it. He places us because we’re faithful. For three years Nita scoped me out. She tested me inside and out before she married me. I had to prove my faithfulness to her first. You have to have that trust before a man and woman marry. The same thing goes with the kingdom of God. We’re faithful to something; all of us are. Why not be faithful to somebody. We’re faithful to our jobs. You know to show up. Your work record of being faithful is known and it most likely one of the major reasons you got the job.
This is the way it is with God in his placement of us. Be faithful. Be decided. Be determined for the Lord. Before we can be faithful and given responsibility in the big things, we must prove ourselves faithful in the little things. It’s the everyday service of making God’s way your way and his will your will, and his Word your Word. This is what counts. And it happens because of your faith. We can all live a little closer to God. We can all be more faithful, more dedicated. When we are, it makes us happier with ourselves. We are more fulfilled. Because of our relationship with the Lord, we have a treasure greater than any other treasure we will ever possess. To know God loves you and that he entrusts a place to you is a treasure. We have a place as his child, a place in his church. He has a place in our lives. I have to walk worthy in the place he has put me. We all do.
We are so blessed because God has placed us. We’re not perfect. We fail more than we succeed. But God is a forgiving God. It’s trusting him and being thankful for the place he put us. Be happy and faithful in and to that place. Can you see the need to be more faithful and where you need to do it? He’s committed a lot to us. Through it we serve him. It’s for our souls and the saving of the souls of those around us. How will others be reached if we’re not used for his service. Be faithful to the place God put you in so that when your time is through you will leave this world and others can say “he/she made a difference to the world around them.”
In the time to come I hope to hear and see that you are in your place, that you’re being faithful to the Lord. I want to see each of you in heaven. Promise me that we’ll meet there.