January 17, 2011

Echoes Into Eternity

I have been under the impression that I left my previous life as an engineer because God had called me to the ministry. Although I believe that is still true I have done an honest assessment of myself and realized that I have driven towards ministry first to learn for myself. I have always been able to read. Some would say that I have been spiritually gifted to pick up on the subtle nuances within the text that are often flown over in haste. Unfortunately this isn't exactly the case. I orient on the details but I have read and not always understood it. This is where my pursuing of education comes in. I wanted to learn from the seasoned veterans. I wanted to learn original languages, historical contexts and a plethora of other things only a fine-tooth comb picks out. With just the little bit that I have gleaned from that last few semesters has opened my eyes to a world I didn’t see clearly before.

If after this, the Lord would then bestow a ministry on me, it would be an abundance of blessing that I do not deserve. If a ministry would come some day it would show me through God’s providence that He would entrust me to help shepherd His people. I would be honored and pursue it with a zeal that only the zealous understand.

The turning point and linchpin in this story was when I realized that I first needed to get my mind right with The Boss. I needed to know for myself the things of the Bible and of the Lord. If a man or woman is to have a ministry for the Lord they must first marinade in the Word. It not only must become part of them intellectually...it must become them...period. It requires more than just positive thinking many times, it actually requires effort and you must go through a process of learning (more on this in a later post). Because of the requirements of where God is leading me I am now being entrusted to teach others and will need to start preaching multiple times. I take this as serious as a heart attack just like every other time I have been asked to do teaching or preaching of the Word or ideas of God. Those that teach are worthy of double honor (1 Timothy 5:17) but so too they will be held to a more exacting standard of judgement. The Bible is replete with examples of leadership and teachers being singled out for specific judgement because they do not only lead themselves astray, they do so to others. (Hosea 4:4-10,18; 5:1-5, Luke 12:48; 1 Timothy 5:20, etc).

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. ~Ephesians 6:4

I take it serious when I attempt to raise my boys because they are my first priority. I have lamented that I am often harder on them than I am on anyone else because they are my children. In reality, they are God's children and I am only given stewardship over them in this life for a very short time, at most 22 or 23 years. Just like the people of a ministry, my children have been entrusted to me by God to raise and teach them in the ways of the Lord. When I attempt to teach God's children I take the same tact I take with my own. I am often hard on myself to make sure I have totally done my homework before delivering the information. I am also demanding of the mental rigors I expect of the listener. I want to move past the milk stage whenever possible and get to the meat and potatoes. I try to paint vivid pictures to put the listener/reader in the action itself. To disciple them in the Way that I am being discipled for I too am a child of God entrust to deliver a message. It is no different then if I would hand my son a task to complete to help his mother. In some shape or form we are all servants. Any believer of Jesus Christ is just this: Servants of the Servant of God. This is especially true of a teacher/preacher.

I now realize that my gift to the body lies somewhere between teaching and preaching. I know that they are gifts that are not the same but I also know that they are not mutually exclusive. As the Lord has done in the past…He is making me wait to determine the end result. So be it...He knows best.

You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” ~Deuteronomy 6:7.

To wrap this up I will say this:

Before you can teach others you need to know what you believe because what you believe is what you teach. You may not teach it through your words though. If you have internalized and accepted a truth or The Truth and believe it, it becomes you and manifests itself in your actions. If it comes out in actions and behaviors those behaviors will speak louder than any words you could ever speak. Once those actions have spoken they will resonate outward to others like the sound of music in an echo chamber. Teaching that will echo through eternity...because a Christian's teaching is an echo of The One. Jesus Christ.

"I AM the resurrection and the life..life...life....life "


Don and Shelly said...

Andy... a lot of wisdom in one post. It certainly has me doing a lot of thinking. Thanks for your candor.

Andy Pierson said...

Whatever I can do to stimulate the spirit and mind of believers and non-believers...

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