October 31, 2014
“For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” (Hebrews 6:10)
The devotional and practical application of this Scripture shows us that these thoughts are directed to people who have labored long and hard in the ministry without much visible affirmation, encouragement or reward. These words are instructing them to think about the One for Whom they were doing this ministry to God’s people.
Abraham heard three words from God which are recorded in Genesis 17:1. “Walk before Me.” These three words remind us that we need to know Who we’re doing it for and we need to know how He feels about everything we do in the way of ministry to His people. When there is not much fruit and very few encouraging accolades, it can be a great consolation for faithful servants of the Lord to be reminded of the glorious reality that God has seen and He will never forget our faithful labors.
The story is told of two elderly missionaries who returned to New York after nearly half a century serving in Africa. They had lost their wives in Africa and were very, very lonely in that large city. Sharing their discouragement when they met at the YMCA where they were staying, one of them said to the other, “We are not home yet, George.”
Sometimes the recognition and the reward for faithful service may only come when these words are heard: “Well done good and faithful servant.”
If you are a faithful servant without much affirmation or encouragement let these words console you today.
Dick Woodward, 04 June 2010
July 31, 2012
“I am the vine, you are the branches.” (John 15:5)
The apostles had been in awe of the profound words and miraculous works of Jesus. In their last retreat with Him, Jesus essentially said that the key to His preaching, teaching, and supernatural ministry is that He and the Father are one. The Word of the Father was spoken on earth and the work of the Father was accomplished on earth through Him because He is one with the Father. He then taught them that after His death and resurrection, if they would be at one with Him His Word would be spoken and His work would be done on earth through them.
While they were in a garden, He pulled down a vine, which had many branches loaded with fruit, and said: “I am the Vine and you are the branches.” In this metaphor the fruit does not grow on the vine. The fruit grows out on the branches because they are properly aligned with the Vine. The branches can bear no fruit without the Vine and the Vine can bear no fruit without the branches. If the Vine, Jesus, wants to see fruit produced, He must pass His life-giving power through the branches, the apostles.
Jesus wants to see this fruit produced far more than the apostles want to be fruitful. By this inspired metaphor, He was actually teaching two propositions: “Without Me, you can do nothing” and, “Without you, I will do nothing.”
It is the plan of God to use the power of God in the people of God to accomplish the purposes of God according to the plan of God. Jesus is a Vine looking for branches.
Are you willing to be one of His branches?