For The Truth

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Battle is the Lord's

This is a devotion that I delivered to a group of fellow pastors today, but the encouragement contained in it can be applied to all believers. I hope you find it beneficial as you travel this sod.

. . . and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled. John 17:12 NAS

One of the things that this passage reveals is the great relief our Lord gives us through the doctrine of divine election. This does not excuse us from our responsibility to tell of God’s great love that He has provided through Christ (Matt. 28:19,20). Nor does it remove from us the necessity, as ministers, to faithfully know and teach His Word (Deut. 6:6,7; 2 Tim. 4:1,2). What it does do is relieve us from the burden of what the hearers do with the message we have delivered.
As I began to walk more closely with the Lord, I began to struggle with the issue of winning the lost. I would witness again and again, and sought continually to improve my ability share effectively, seemingly to no avail. Adding to my discouragement would be comments from leaders whom I respected; who said that to fail to win others to Christ was to fail in one’s witness.
It wasn’t until God’s Spirit brought my attention to the witness of Noah (1 Pet. 3:20; 2 Pet. 2:5) that I began to understand that we are responsible for the sowing of the seed, but the harvest is the Lord’s. Consider that great men like William Carey and Adoniram Judson faithfully spent many seemingly fruitless years in our Lord’s service, yet their success is not measured in numbers, but in their faithful service. There is such encouraging relief in this knowledge. As pastors we sometimes feel a greater sense of burden as we prepare to present the great truths God has revealed to us from the Scripture. Our responsibility is to present to those in our care God’s love and spread before them the banquet of God’s truth. Whether they partake or not is not within our control. What is within our control is what we do with the time we are given with them, therefore, let us preach the word; and be ready in season and out of season (2 Tim. 4:2a NAS).

May God bless our service to Him so that we might rejoice like the father of the prodigal son (Luke 15:24).


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