Helping Hands – Pressing On
How does one keep on accomplishing great things? Many answers are possible, but there are two I’d like to share. First, great things get in the way of accomplishing great things. Huh? Human nature tends to recognize accomplishment and celebrate it. Nothing wrong there. BUT, the next thing that often happens is a problem.
Helping Hands – Celebrating
So what is there to celebrate? This time of year is busy for many reasons. For us, one reason is to review the year, see what God has done, and encourage you with that news. During 2015, many of you have done the following:
- Join a mission/vision team
- Equip teams
- Give to ministry support
- Send another person on mission because you couldn’t go
What has all that accomplished?
The full answer won’t be known until we reach heaven. What we do know is over 1,100 people have come to faith in Christ this year. THAT is a huge reason to give thanks and celebrate. The mission teams you equipped, the pastors you helped us teach, the churches those pastors faithfully equipped, and preaching the Gospel at every opportunity has borne fruit.
That fruit is just the part that is visible to us. I have no doubt there were others who came to faith through our ministries. I also know many team members returned home with new vision, new dedication, and the future ministry of their churches will be impacted for many years. That’s why I said we won’t fully know the scope of our work in 2015 this side of heaven.
Helping Hands – Following An Example
It is right to celebrate because GOD has done great things. It hasn’t been about any one person or team. His story is about His use of all of us to accomplish His will. But there is also a danger in the celebration. As I said earlier, our nature is the problem. We tend to put our hands down, disengage, and live in the past. This is how great things get in the way of accomplishng great things!
I have served churches that were stuck in the past. I don’t want to live there. The Apostle Paul gave us instruction (a solution) through his own example in Philippians 3:
Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
As we have noted in the Giving Tuesday posts, this is the time of year many ministries receive significant portions of their annual budgets. There are many reasons for that. Some are good and others are not.
The Greatest Mission Story ever told begins at Christmas. Jesus, sent from the Father, came to earth. He came to seek and to save those who are lost. That was you and me. Our salvation was the result of His mission. But His mission (our mission) also includes those we have yet to reach with the Gospel. It’s right for us to celebrate, but the job isn’t done.
The opportunities we have for next year are many and varied. Please stay tuned as I share them with you this month. And as you see what lies before us, please engage. Pray, give, send, and equip. In essence, keep on doing those things you have so faithfully done. More later!