Archive for the ‘Faithfulness’ Category

Evaluating Ministry

September 10, 2007

Like all in Christian ministry I have that tendency to try to evaluate my work. It is in part the desire for sight rather than faith. It is also a pressure from the evangelical sub-culture to proclaim success based on numerical growth. When i think like that I am often reminded of Paul’s words to the Corinthians,

Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me.’

In similar vein CH Spurgeon offered these words to his students, ‘We are laboring for eternity, and we count not our work by each day’s advance, as men measure theirs; it is God’s work, and must be measured by His standard. Be ye well assured that, when time, and things created, and all that oppose themselves to the Lord’s truth, shall be gone, every earnest sermon preached, and every importunate prayer offered, and every form of Christian service honestly rendered, shall remain embedded in the mighty structure which God from all eternity has resolved to raise to His own honour.’

May all of us who labour for Christ’s kingdom be content with the epitaph George Whitefield wished for himself, ‘the day will declare it.’

Those Who Honour Me

June 19, 2007

I was reading an interesting story in Philip Orr’s book, The Road to the Somme, which relates the story of Ulster soldiers in WWI. This incident recounts how one young recruit found himself at the training camp in Clandeboye estate in Bangor away from his Armagh home for the first time. On his first night when bedtime came he wondered what he should do as it had been in practice at home to pray before getting into bed. However he was worried that should he kneel and pray he would be made a laughingstock in his barrack. Eventually he decided he should. So he told his new colleagues that he was going to pray. To his surprise not only did a number of his fellow recruits join him but there was silence throughout the barrack. He noted that this was the first of many fruitful prayer times with the other soldiers when they enjoyed a sense of God’s presence.

On reading this simple yet encouraging story of one young man’s faithfulness I was reminded of those words of God  in 1 Samuel 2:30, which feature in a fictional incident in the film Chariots of Fire, ‘those who honour me I will honour.’ As we are faithful to God he is not found wanting and is faithful to us.