We all know about the apostle Paul and the great things God did through him. What a special man he was! But Paul didn’t work and minister alone. He had many unsung heroes around him, helping him and making what he did possible. Most aren’t even mentioned in the Bible, but a few are. One such is a man named Ananias (Acts 9:1-20). He isn’t someone we know much about but he had a key role in Paul’s life.
When Paul was on his way to Damascus to kill Christians, Jesus met him on the road. Paul was converted and his whole life changed. The experience left him blind so his companions led him into Damascus and a very uncertain future. But God told Ananias to go to Paul, pray for his sight to be restored, baptize him and introduce him to the Christians in that town. Can you imagine how Ananias felt, being sent to the very one who had come to murder him and his friends? But what a key role he played in Paul’s future. He was used by God to get Paul started. I’m sure he didn’t know what a great honor and privilege he had. It was difficult and dangerous. He had no idea how the meeting with Paul would turn out. That’s often how it is when we serve God in behind-the-scenes ways, too.
Mordecai Ham had no idea how God would use a little boy who came forward in one of his rural crusades, but Billy Graham has been the spiritual father of thousands (including me). It seemed small at the time, but God used Mordecai’s faithfulness in a great way. A poor London shoe repair man who had to say a few words to a very small congregation when a now storm kept the pastor away had no way of knowing that young Charles Surgeon gave his life to Jesus that morning. But Spurgeon went on to become one of the most effective and influential pastors in the history of the church. John Wesley gave his heart to Jesus listening to an unsuspecting layman read aloud from Martin Luther’s commentary on Romans. Jonathan Edwards, who led the Great Awakening in the USA, came to Christ reading about John Wesley’s conversion. The list can go on and on.
Included in that list are acts of service you have done for Jesus, which have brought results far beyond your imagination. Who knows how God uses a book we give out (which you pray and pay for) to influence a pastor and his whole life and ministry, as well as those he shares the book with. Who knows how God uses a conference session to impact a man and his spiritual work then and for generations to come? Who knows? I don’t and you don’t, but God does. He sees, remembers, blesses and rewards. So don’t get discouraged because you don’t see all the fruit you’d like to see from your ministry. Faithfully persevere. God uses it for His Kingdom and glory. Don’t quit. Don’t give up. We need you. The Kingdom of God needs you. Jesus needs you! (January 21, 2019 Doylestown, PA)
Galatians 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
James 1:12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
2 Thessalonians 3:13 And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good.
Think about those who have done “little” things for you – they may have seemed little to the person doing them but they have means a lot to you. Pray for those people. Thank them today. And look for little things you can do or say to help someone else this very day.
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