Throughout our corporate fast, Pastor Paul and myself have pre-preprared the devotional blogs that you have been reading and today was no exception. However, I’m writing of the cuff today and pray that these words resonate deep within the readers soul.
I love my calling. I mean, I really do. There are few things that bring as much personal joy as preaching the Gospel. Just yesterday, I was able to see the fruit of Gospel centric ministry as yet another soul crossed the line from death to life. I was able to share in the joy of more folks submitting themselves to the Lord and obeying His call to be baptized upon conversion. I was allowed, by the grace of God, to witness children of God grow in the faith, fellowship, assemble together for worship and unite their minds and hearts in corporate prayer. I truly have to pinch myself every once in a while.
But I must be honest. I do not love every aspect of what I do.
Late late night, I recieved the call that I always dread (but always know is coming)…
“Pastor, there’s been an terrible accident. A fatality. We cannot confirm this by phone but we believe it to be one of your Church members. We need you to come to the scene right away”
All at once, your heart sinks, your mind races, your stomach hurts and your heart breaks. On the way over you pray, you wonder and you hope there is a misunderstanding. As you arrive at the scene and see what must be seen you’re hit with a painful truth, it WAS one of your sheep. As you gather your own emotions you accompany the coroner to the next of kins home…who are also in your fold and deliver the news that no one wants to hear.
While this gut wrenching process comes with the territory of Pastoral ministry, you never get used to it (at least you shouldnt…in my opinion). But as heavy as you own heart may be, you realize your hurt is miniscule compared to the deep pain that the family is feeling at this moment and there is a job to be done.
I say all of that to remind you of two things
1. Reliance on the strength and grace of God is the only way to make it in this fallen world. I see to re-learn this truth more fully each time I stand at the door ready to deliver unwelcomed news. My calling, your calling, cannot be accomplished in our own strength. We desperatley need Him.
2. Self Examination is a wise thing to do TODAY. When Mr Bobby Oakley shook my hand yesterday morning, when he sang the great hymns of His faith, when he opened his Bible and his heart to the message of God he had no idea it would be the last Sunday morning he’d have on this earth. Truth is, none of us really know how long we’ve got. Jesus knows…we dont – so friends, today, examine your life. Make sure of your salvation. Do not delay in dealing with what God has been telling you to do.
The “Candy Man” knew his Lord and Savior and in that we rejoice. Make sure that those who remain can say the same about you when your time comes.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes might not perish but have everlasting life” – John 3:16
Soli Deo Gloria! – Pastor Kyle