This video is of an offering devotional given by John Pearson at Vision Baptist Church in Alpharetta, GA. It was a blessing to me and I believe it will be to you also.
On average we are in 12 churches per month. We have had the opportunity to learn from men who are serving God that come from very different backgrounds. We have shared our hearts and we have asked men of God to share advice with us. The counsel and advice I’ve been given these past months has been priceless! The topic of today’s post comes from another seasoned man of God. He told me, “Sanctification is a life-long process, be patient.” Sanctification is the “setting apart” work of God. In one sense, we are “sanctified” positionally because of what Jesus has done in dying for our sins. In another sense, are “sanctification” is an on-going process. We are becoming more and more like Jesus as we submit to Him.
We want to see folks saved, discipled, and trained to serve God. Often times, we can get in such a hurry that we lose patience with brothers and sisters in Christ. We want to see them “progress” much faster than they are. This turns into frustration very quickly. Remember to be patient with people. God is at work, love them and lead them. How can we be patient like this? Here are two things to remember…
- Remember where you come from. I can be patient with others when I remember how God has worked in my life since the day I was saved. I can look back at the progression. At times it may have looked like I was at a “stand still”, but I wasn’t, God was still working on me (and He still is). The night I believed on Jesus, I did not wake up the next day knowing all the Bible, knowing how to navigate this world, and knowing how to let go of sinfulness in my life. Truthfully, I was still a mess and didn’t even realize it. It took years before I even realized things needed to change. It took God’s Word, the Holy Spirit, and a loving, patient church to build me and lead me to serve Jesus! Remembering how long it has taken me (or how long it is taking me) helps me remember that sanctification is a life-long process and I need to be patient wth others as they draw closer to Jesus!
- Remember God is the One who sanctifies. God absolutely uses the local church to build and love His children to conform to His will, but it is God who does the work! God’s Word convicts us and changes us! Jesus prayed in John 17:17, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” Jesus didn’t make this request to His disciples. He didn’t encourage Peter, James, John and the guys to sanctify those who are saved. They couldn’t do it and neither can we. Jesus asked God the Father to do so because this is a work that only God can do!
Being patient with people is not easy, but it is absolutely necessary. God is at work. As you and I serve Jesus in our local churches, remember that sanctification is a life-long process, so be patient with your brothers and sisters in Christ that you are discipling and training.
What should we rejoice in? Maybe more appropriately, where do we find our worth? As I am on deputation to go to Argentina, it is very hard not to wrap myself up into what God has called us to do in Argentina. My success or failure is totally based on what happens when we get there. My worth will be seen through the lens of that ministry.
Jesus has something to say about this sort of thing. The disciples were so thrilled at the results of there ministry. Things were happening! Demons were even subject to them (10:17). So what was Jesus response to this? Jesus made very clear that they should not rejoice in the fact that the demons were subject to them, but they should rejoice that their names are written in Heaven (10:20). There ministry was not what Jesus told them to rejoice in, or identify themselves by for that matter. Their source of joy should not be in the fruit of ministry. There joy should be found that their names are written in Heaven, that they belong to Jesus!
We are continuing our series on “Here is some advice…” It is all about the different advice I have received as we continue deputation. Today’s post will cover advice that I am given regularly. It is actually “Love your wife.” but to generalize I entitled this post, “Love your spouse” because I think it goes both ways.
“Without your spouse, you do not have a ministry.” Can God use a man who is single? Yes. Sure He can! But God’s design is that husband and wife work together in ministry. Aquila and Priscilla are a great example of this, but that is another post (one that we have touched on I might add, click here). If I lose my wife, I lose my ministry. Here are a few tidbits I’ve been given to make sure I “love my spouse…”
- Spend time with your spouse. The ministry takes time. I remember when I first started working at my home church my Pastor told me, “The ministry is not a job that you can punch in and out on a time clock. It is always going.” In the process of ministry it is easy for everything else to take a “back seat”, including your family. Although there are times this is unavoidable, time should be made for your spouse.
- Do ministry together. Our marriage is by no means perfect, but there is something we have always done. We have always done ministry together. I think it is because we never knew any different. We worked together in ministry before we were married. We have worked together in ministry throughout our marriage. When we had babies, they were just dragged along with us. We have worked together, and if may say so, any good thing that has happened in what I’ve done, Leslie was deeply involved in it. She truthfully makes me better. I can attest to this piece of advice, ministry should be done together.
- Do things for your spouse. Pastors have told me the importance of taking care of my wife, of going beyond what is expected and doing special things for her. Her birthday and Christmas should not be the only times I give her gifts. Some have advised that she is the queen of our house and should be treated as such.
- Talk to your spouse. Men have told me to tell my wife I love her and tell her often. I am encouraged to tell her how beautiful she is (and she is very beautiful!). She may know that I love her, but it doesn’t hurt for her to be verbally reminded of it regularly. Some have claimed that a lack of communication is one of the biggest problems in marriage. It is important to talk with your spouse.
There is so much more to this subject that I have been encouraged to put to practice. I remind you that this isn’t something I have come up with (although I fully agree with it), but advise I have been given by men of God as we have travelled on deputation. Here is some advice, love your spouse!
I have attached a photo that I took of Leslie last night. I must say I am a very blessed man. The truth is she is obviously gorgeous, but she is even more beautiful on the inside…