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Friday, August 1, 2014

The Blessing of Faithful, Humble Service

“…I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.” --Exodus 20:5-6  (NASB95)

  My son likes to play chess. I don’t play chess against him very often because I don’t like routinely losing to him. I think he stays awake at night dreaming of new strategies for beating me. I’m not sophisticated at chess and rarely think more than a move or two ahead. My son, on the other hand, is thinking many moves ahead and that is why he wins. He envisions the entire game. Frankly, when I play chess I do well to remember the “horsey” goes two and one to the side. Or, is it one and two to the side?

  There is one thing I have noticed about playing chess. Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back into the same box. There is a lesson to learn in that observation. In life, whether you are the most rich and powerful or the most poor and weak, we all end up in the same box when it is over. So, after I’m in the box what kind of legacy will I  leave for those who come after me?

  I don’t need to worry about that because God has taken care of it. He promised in Exodus 20 that if I will simply love Him and live by His truth, God will visit the generations that follow me with His lovingkindness. I don’t have to be a king in the eyes of men to leave a lasting legacy. I just need to be faithful pawn in the eyes of God. 

  Warren Wiersbe writes of John Wesley's father, Samuel, who was a dedicated pastor. There were those in his parish who did not like him. On February 9, 1709, a fire broke out in the Wesley home at Epworth, set by one of Samuel Wesley’s enemies. Young John, not yet six years old, was stranded on the upper floor of the home. Two neighbors rescued the lad just seconds before the roof crashed in. One neighbor stood on the other's shoulders and pulled young John through the window. Samuel Wesley said, "Come, neighbors, let us kneel down. Let us give thanks to God. He has given me all my eight children. Let the house go. I am rich enough." John Wesley often referred to himself as a "brand plucked out of the fire" (Zechariah 3:2; Amos 4:11). In later years he often noted February 9 in his journal and gave thanks to God for His mercy. Samuel Wesley labored for 40 years at Epworth and saw very little fruit; but, what his family accomplished!

  Let us all seek to be like Samuel Wesley: faithful and humble servants of God. God will then bless a thousand generations after us!
Pastor Larry

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