Things Are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
What comes first - Purpose or Preparation? First of all, we should define our purpose. According to God’s Word, it is to Glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever. As beautiful as that sounds, what does it look like? How is this manifested in our daily life? Well, as we have been discussing, it is played out in our relationships with each other. “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Matt. 25:40. We can say all day long how much we love God, but if we treat each other poorly, the world knows we are hypocrites. Spiritual Switch: If this sounds like gobledygoop to you, don’t bother finishing the article. You are what 1st Cor. 1:18 “perishing”. “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” If however, you are nodding your head however reluctantly, we have to ask another question. What is the basic ingredient in this process? Answer = Need. Need turns us from all that is outside Christ. Ask someone that lived in the Great Depression. The true value of something is only known in want. This can come in the form of a loss of Goods, Status, Relationships, Reputation, Health, or whatever. “Without bitter experience in our own inadequacy, we are quite unfitted to bear the burden of ministry” - author unknown. Believe me, this isn’t the way I want it, it’s just the way God has ordained it. Here’s how God’s Word puts it: “But the God of all grace, who hath called us into his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you.” - 1st Peter 5:10. So what takes place before we are ready to serve Him? That’s right. Suffering.
Question. When did Jesus commission Peter to serve Him? Was it:
A) After Peter bragged about how he would be faithful even if everyone else fell away? Or, B) After Peter spent a time wandering the streets, bordering on suicide, morning over his inadequacy and lack of faith? The answer is B, and it is the same for you and I. God wants to and will, take you completely out of your place of competence so that you will trust in Him alone, not on your talent, financial condition, knowledge, social status, or looks. Some of you know from experience exactly what we are talking about. God may well have brought you through something you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. Congratulations. You’re off to a great start. “Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.” - Hosea 6:1. Don’t let these bad experiences drive a wedge between you and the Lord; they are intended to make you powerful in Him. God Bless.