This past Sunday Pastor Tyrone Reeves and Straightline Church celebrated one full decade of faithful service to the Kingdom. I was blessed and honored to fill the pulpit of Straightline’s Church on this very special day. The theme for the weekend was “Behold I do a new thing,” which was my text. Strange how you go into a service with a plan and then God changes the arrangement and content of the plan. LOL! The Spirit brought to the sermon a number of illustrations relational to Straightline’s present situation and their future. It was so amazing, actually “wonderful – beyond understanding, absolutely and thoroughly miraculous in every way.”
Sheryl and I have been in the ministry now for over 38 years. We have watched people come and go, ministries start and fold, pastors come and go, men and women called into full-time service in the local church and mission field. Absolutely beautiful to behold! I wish I did not have to say this, but in more cases than not far too many who come to a church or alongside of a Senior Pastor do so with an agenda, and when that agenda is not met they are gone. It’s simply the way of life. But then there are those, both in the pew and leadership, who have no agenda other than, “Pastor, this is my home, my place of service, whatever you want me to do if I can do it let me know – I’m here.” And through thick and thin they are there – present, serving, praying, giving and available.
When Throne felt called to pastor a church in his hometown he said, “Pastor, this is what I believe God is saying to me. However, you are my covering and I will not leave without your approval and blessing.” A rare and precious moment! One of integrity! It is a cherishable moment for any Senior Pastor. Tyrone and Omega are a true treasure in the Kingdom. We are blessed to know them.
Here’s an eternal truth: God is not going to judge a man solely on what he accomplishes or doesn’t accomplish. Granted all of us have been given gifts and abilities for bringing Him pleasure, and we will give an account of how we used those talents for Him here on earth. With that said, the far bigger picture is motive: why and for whom did we use our talents? Did we serve God with integrity or did we crush others on the way to success? Were we so concerned about our agenda that the feelings of others and the unity of the Kingdom were sacrificed? This is the far bigger and more eternal picture.
Personally as I have observed life and ministry “motive” is central to “love.” They are one and the same. God’s motives are pure because He is “holy, love and faithful.” The apostle Paul put it this way in 1 Corinthians 13:
2 And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. 4 Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part; 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I used to speak as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I also have been fully known. 13 But now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (NASB77)
With this in mind, may ‘my’ prayer, may ‘our’ prayer be: “Lord, search my heart and purge any wicked way in me for Your glory and the well-being of others and myself.”