[I will fulfill all of my vows]
Last year Andrew and I attended a funeral when a fellow member of God’s family passed away. John was described as being faithful to the Lord through his devotion to his wife and kids. He was a lesser known hero of the faith, but he was honored and loved by his friends and family for that devoted service to them and Jesus. It was a very touching funeral.
My husband had worked under John’s son, Richard. This is what Richard wrote about his dad:
“Last night Superman died… or should I say Superdad. For those of us that have these great men in our lives, we are truly blessed. They raise, they guide, they teach, they discipline, they defend and they love their families. My dad spent his life always doing for others, not because he had to but because he wanted to, and he did it relentlessly, never asking for anything in return.
Maybe that’s why he’s a Superhero, he never wore a cape or fancy tights, or had plates of armor hanging off him; all he needed was his heart, and that was his greatest superpower of all.
Dad, I know the words were never spoken much, they were never really needed. It was so obvious how much you loved us all. Your actions were proof of the man you were. The world is a big place, but if we had more men like you it would be a lot smaller, a lot happier and a lot more peaceful.” –Your Son, Richard
“Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, “How can I help?” Romans 15:1-2 The Message (MSG)
But Ebed-Melech! ❤
“But Ebed-Melech, a Cushite and a servant in the palace, heard that the officers had put Jeremiah into the well. As King Zedekiah was sitting at the Benjamin Gate, Ebed-Melech left the palace and went to the king. Ebed-Melech said to him, “My master and king, these rulers have acted in an evil way. They have treated Jeremiah the prophet badly. They have thrown him into a well and left him there to die! When there is no more bread in the city, he will starve to death.” –Jeremiah 38:7-9
I love these words: but Ebed-Melech! He saw the need and acted! His name means servant of the king. He too is a lesser known hero, but boy did he live up to his name! He went immediately to his king, essentially inquiring “What must I do?” or “How can I help?” He was also rewarded, by God, for doing so. (Jeremiah 39:15-18)
Recognizing our Ministry
Often the need is right under our noses (in our own homes and families), but we can choose to run away from our calling as Jonah did.
The enemy of our faith wages war on marriage and family. Nevertheless, as servants of Christ we are under Jesus authority. Thus, we strive to follow His commands.
“But those who won’t care for their relatives, especially those in their own household, have denied the true faith. Such people are worse than unbelievers.” –1 Timothy 5:8(NLT)
“To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.” — 1 Corinthians 7:11
Strong Leaders are Desperatly Needed!
God referred to His people as an adulterous nation and an unfaithful wife because even though they were provided for, they never appreciated all that they had. Like an unfaithful spouse, Isreal broke their covenant agreement with God. (Proverbs 2:16-17, Jeremiah 11:10)
The nation of Israel turned away from God to embrace other god’s and worthless idols. (Jeremiah 2:23-5:19) Even when disaster was brought on them, Isreal was still foolish enough not to listen. The Lord recognized that they were ignorant, but Israel’s leaders had broken their yoke with Him. (Jeremiah 5:5)
Leaders Must Be Faithful Servants
“And [Jesus] said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” –Luke 9:23
“Lord, you are searching for honesty. You struck your people, but they paid no attention. You crushed them, but they refused to be corrected. They are determined, with faces set like stone; they have refused to repent.” –Jeremiah 5:3
“This is the way of a woman who takes part in adultery: She acts as if she had eaten and washed her face; she says, ‘I haven’t done anything wrong.’” –Proverbs 30:20
Love (Serve) Your Family Faithfully
God is a faithful and loving Father too—so much so, that He sent his Son (Jesus) to save us from the sins that separate us from our Father in heaven. Jesus was devoted and submissive to God the Father, even to death on a cross! His actions proved His love. (John 3:16)
As His followers, servants, children and even bride, we’re called to do the same. Will we live up to our name (Servants of Christ) as John and Ebed-Melech lived up to theirs? If not, can we truly call ourselves children of God? (Romans 8:13) We only have one short life-time to make our choices. Let’s learn to be wise and faithful with the time we’re given. ❤
It’s The Calling of Students…
“And [Jesus] sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” –Mark 9:35
It’s Required of Teachers and Evangelists…
“This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.” —1 Corinthians 4:1-2
It’s a command for all followers of Christ…
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism.” –Colossians 3:23-25
It’s the commitment of Messengers
“But I will offer sacrifices to you with songs of praise, and I will fulfill all my vows. For my salvation comes from the LORD alone.” –Jonah 2:9